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Ball Sac Racing Race Report

Tom's Report from Barber Motorsports Park

5/12/2006 - 5/13/2006 Birmingham, AL - with ROGUE

 

 

We never thought we would have weather as good as last year but we did. Friday was perfect. I was going to treat this trackday event with Rogue as a race weekend. Barber is a fun track. There are quite a few places that you can spin the tire up and have fun dragging it in. Starting with coming down the front straight (which I never did get right)! is Turn 1. You need to stay way right as you come down the hill. I think the fastest way is to slide both tires as you come down the hill to point you at T2, you need to drive hard to T2 then hold tight, looking for the exit and getting on the gas early spinning the tire up over the hill driving hard to the horseshoe. The horseshoe is a hard braking slide it in turn, get it turned and another hard exit spinning down the short straight to the Alabama coaster. This is another hard braking, come in sideways right turn which I did get correct a few times and it was fun! I shoot straight down the coaster and again spinning and hard on the gas to the kink. Coming out of the kink on the back straight was the turn I enjoyed the most. You just pin the throttle with the rear stepping out, crossed bars, front coming up, man is it fun!! The blind turn just before the hill had me baffled all last year and all day Friday. To me it was the hardest turn on the track because I could not see the entrance or the exit so my turn it point was non existence. After talking with Mark from the trackday Organization that put on the event, he told me to turn in at the end of the concrete rumble strip. he said the whole track is 45' wide so you have room there. Well, on Saturday I did and the first time it messed up my entrance to the hill because I was wide. After a few times I finally got it. Now I turn in at the end of the rumble strip and turn in much harder to continue the drive up the hill. The hill is fun and as the sessions went on I was going faster and faster up it so the bike was getting real light. I was hesitating a little until the front crested the hill and then just spun it up down the hill to the second to last turn before the straight. This is another turn I know I can get better and make up time. I think now the fast way is to run hard down the hill and hard up to the pit exit. This means braking real hard at huge lean angle then shoot to the last turn and down the straight. Another possible way is to run hard down the hill, stand the bike up kinda backing it in and then shoot to the last turn. I never figured this turn out, so there is some more time there. Friday would be practice. I am trying to get to my best time by the second session of practice day. This meant that by the second session Friday I needed to be at least running a 1:39.4 or better, because that was the best I ran last year when I was at Barber with Rogue. That part of the plan worked, I had run a 1:39.1 in the second session. As with all race weekends I would run the previous race day tires. So I felt positive about getting some good times. Friday on the shagged tires I got down to 1:37.4. Even though that's 2 seconds faster than last year, it was still a little disappointing. I wanted to get to the 1:36's Friday. I usually run 2 seconds quicker on race day with new tires, so if I got to the 1:36's then my goal of 1:34's would be possible. Unfortunately Saturday morning it was raining. I did 2 sessions on Allen's 750 in the rain. Then in the afternoon we did get out for 3 sessions. the track was green and there was lot of traffic. I only got to a best of 1:37.3. It was a trackday and not a race weekend so taking chances trying to past some of the slower riders was not worth it. I was also not able to use my quick shifter because the clutch needed to be replaced. I know on a race weekend the 1:34's are doable. I never got to push my brake markers up do to all the traffic. I ran all my laps in the 1:37's and 1:38's Saturday. I know when I figure out and get a few more sections right the times will really come down.


First I'd like to thank Mike and Allen for driving out the rig. Also thanks to Pete and Tom from Rogue for putting on such a terrific event. Thanks to my wife Sally for coming on all these trips and making them fun when we are not on the track. As always at these Rogue events it's great to see all the friends Sally and I have made since we began these Rogue trackdays back in October of 03 before I was even racing. Guys like Robert, Greg, Hoov, Mike, Steve, Drew, hell the list can go on with our Rogue family, it's a blast running around all these tracks with you guys, see y'all next year at Barber!!
 

Tom
#151

 

     
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