STEVE ALLEN aka FROGMAN, WSMC #18, AHRMA #100
Race Web: http://www.Fezone.com/race
REA: AHRMA Sears Point Sonomafest 2001
This report is my first in about a year and a halfÖ as I have NOT raced since the WSMC Finals in December, 1999. Last weekend (4/26-28/01) was the AMA Vintage Days "Sonomafest" at Sears Point International Raceway featuring AHRMA vintage racing. I decided that I would come out of retirement in order to compete as I have REALLY missed road racing and the camaraderie amongst road racers.
I elected to go to the Saturday practice to shake off the cobwebs. I ran into a couple of racers from Arizona that I had raced against 2 years previous and we had a great time re-learning the track and hanging out together. As you know, Sears Point is literally dumping millions of dollars into the facility in order to make the place better for racers and spectators alike. The biggest changes I noticed were the Turn 7 layout and Turn 11 has been moved a couple of hundred feet closer to Turn 10 so the silly AHRMA chicane was not present.
The first time I went through Turn 7, I expected the same sharp 180 degree turn around layout but was greeted with a very wide and square turn similar but opposite to Laguna Secaís Turn 2. I, of course, expected the sharp turn of 1999 so when I entered and turned right, I had to weave to the left and then turn back right again. Iím sure anyone following thought I was a rookie for sure!
Anyways, hillsides have been moved and removed. There are thousands of seats being installed and a permanent garage under construction. It is very obvious to me that Sears Point is serious about their racing!
Saturday: 3 practice sessions in the morning, new tires and I am ready to race. Supermono 2 was my first race and I lined up outside in Row 6. Scorpion Cup racers occupied the first 2 rows. The flag drops and I get an amazing start going around a couple of Scorpion Cup racers in Turn 1. By Turn 4, I was out front and chuckling inside my helmet. One of the Scorpion guys goes around me on the 2nd lap and entering Turn 11, the 2nd place guy goes up my inside on his front wheel, the back one a foot off the ground! Iím shaking my head thinking "what a dork, that guy is off in the weeds!" and the next thing I know, he goes blasting around me into Turn 2 all full of piss and vinegar. I notice that no one is behind me and decide that these guys need to race for their win and I donít need to be involved so I knock it back a notch and go into cruise mode thinking my lead is secure. A couple more laps go by and all of a sudden, Roger goes blasting around me (which woke me up) so I had to put my head down once more. I knocked 4 seconds off my lap times (down to low 1:58ís), passed him back and didnít look back. I heard that he was going into the carousel faster than he had ever been and lost it so once again my lead was secure. I won the Supermono 2 race by a country mile!
After a brief rest, I once again lined up for the Supermono 1 race. My 500cc bike is totally outgunned in this unlimited 4-stroke singles class but I donít care, it is another way to get track time and I still have a good chance to be up front. We take off and I get another fine start and am in 3rd place for a couple of laps but my competitors are picking me off slowly but surely and I barely hang on to 5th at the checkers. Good fun though!
Sunday: Same drill, we practice, have the riders meeting then it is time to race. Supermono 2 is really a non issue (so I thought) since my main competitor is sore due to yesterdayís crash and doesnít make the start. I lead flag to white flag and then entering turn 7 on the final lap, my throttle cable breaks!!! I manage to get her slowed down and safely around the turn. I then began fiddling with things and by the time I pulled the cable sheath back and found the cable, I had coasted all the way to Turn 9 when Kurt goes hauling by me! YIKES!! Victory is GONE but I can still get 2nd place so I tug on the cable and manage to coax my poor bike through turns 9, 10 & 11 to take the checkers. What a bummer!
Now it is time to rock as the Supermono 1 race starts in 40 mins. Like, the ONLY spare I donít have is a damn throttle cable so my friends Tom Hardy and Ivan Theilin take off the abscond parts. We end up with Rogerís cable and throttle assy and bolt everything up to my carb in the nick of time. The Supermono 1 race was fun and all, I was WAY amped up and earned a 4th for my efforts which means TROPHY!
Along with the races, there was a huge swap meet and concours. I entered my 1978 Ducati Super Sport Desmo Darmah under EUROPEAN "SPECIALS" and won 2nd in class. This was itís first show so I am a proud papa. Not a bad weekend for me, more than a year retired and I get 4 trophys!
Next weekend is the Corsa Motoclassica at Willow Springs. If I can do well there also, I will have a chance to win the AHRMA "Pacific Crown Ė Supermono 2" National Championship.
Oh what FUN it is to RIDEÖ. Until next time, CYA L8R!!!
THE FROGMAN'S 2001 "outta retirement" SPONSORS:
AVON Racing Tyres GALFER Braking Systems MOTUL Lubricants
PRO * LAP Race Leathers SPROCKET SPECIALISTS