The forcast was a bit dodgy for the weekend, but like almost every weekend at Gimli, the forcasters can never get it right. This time, that was a good thing as they were calling for rain on Saturday, but it never came.
My goals for the weekend was simply improving my lap times. The frontrunners in both ULGP and Thunder were 1-2.5 seconds in front of me last round; if I could knock a second off of my best lap time on each bike, I would be closer to the front and continuing to push the limits of the bike and me. "Make haste slowly" is a good thing to remember, especially when this sport is just a hobby, is supposed to be for fun, and most of the time I need to go to work on Monday morning... even if I do get summers off. As usual, I started the weekend on the Supermono... for some reason my onboard lap timer was not working, but I was happy to see a string of 1:10s after the end of the first session. The traffic was light being the first practice of the day, and the track was in good shape. Just a little more from me and the bike, and I would get that elusive 1:09!
The second session saw me on the EX, and I was again pleased with a bunch of consistent low 1:07s and I even snuck in a 1:06 right at the end! I had already reached 1 goal of going faster than the last round. Again, not setting the world on fire, but I am still improving.
Race 1: Canadian Thunder GP (15 laps)
A good race overall. Doug, and Rod were off on their own at the front, and for awhile, my group of me, Mert, and Jason kept Wilson in sight until he pulled away. That left a 3-way battle for 4th. I was able to get by Jason and Mert overcooked turn one in lapped traffic, so I ended up prevailing this skirmish. On top of that, Rod pulled off as not to muck up the championship battle with the regulars, elevating me to 3rd. Not how I wanted to get my first Thunder podium in 4 years, but I'll take it regardless.
Race 2: ULGP #1 (12 laps)
The poor weather cut down on numbers overall in all classes, and ULGP was no different. Only 6 bikes took to the grid. A bit of a humdrum race; Mert's RGV was sick, so he was out on a GSXR400, which didn't handle very well. Lance then scampered off on his Aprilia, leaving me in 2nd overall, 1st expert. Did some 1:10s in the race, but the :09 I was looking for did not materialize. Damn!
Race 3: ULGP #2
A more interesting race as I was determined to throw down some fast laps and try to keep the rs250 behind me. And I did, for about half the race. I started to imagine hearing buzzing 2-strokes in my ears out of every corner, but no one has passed me in the turns all year on the Supermono -- on the straights, however... sure enough, on lap 6, Lance came streaking by on his bike and put some distance between us. Again, 1st in class, 2nd overall. I'm still leading the expert championship by a healthy margin... can't wait to get the Husky finished!!! I need more power!!!
Saturday night was not a good one. Started to feel horrible, the rain and wind came, and blew down the canopy. It was toast. I guess you get what you paid for, and it kept the sun off of me for 2.5 race weekends. I ended up crashing by about 8:30 pm -- not a good sign as that usually means a cold coming on. The weather actually blew over and it got decent again later that evening, but I was sawing logs by then. Much needed rest, I guess.
I was of course up like a box of birds by 6 am the next morning. This allowed me time to move my bike out from under the permanent concession stand (moved there in the pouring rain the night before), get the pit ready, and head out to breakfast with Doug, and back in plenty of time to get prepped for day 2. Practice was OK, but there were still damp spots around the track so I was being extra cautious, turning a couple of 1:07s each session.
Race 4: Canadian Thunder #2 (10 laps)
Still starting on the 6th spot on the grid, but hopefully I move up 1 place by next round. I'll let the video do the talking...