After several weeks of sunshine and very warm weather since Round 3 the weather forecast was set to dampen our spirits as well as the track again on a race weekend. However we only had two rain showers at Shakey on Saturday to spoil qualifying. The first stopped shortly after midday which allowed the track crew to prep. the racing surface for a start around 2 o’clock. After about 3 pairs of street cars ran down the track a strange and very dark cloud formation appeared which delivered the second shower of the day and turned the pits into a river and curtailed any further racing activity. Then we were treated to clear blue skies and soaring temperatures for the evening!
For Round 4 Joe was again joined in Gas by Robbie and although Terry had entered he was missing due to pressure of work. Kieran and Brett had the pleasure of Clampy’s company in ET and it was now Pete’s turn to be absent but no sick note this time as an important celebration at home demanded his attention (and wallet). Tim who was also on the entry list was a no show and yet again the Twins were down in both classes for a variety of reasons. We did have an extra racer in the Twins pits but Cary was still recovering from a shoulder operation and had been advised (told) to leave the ‘bike at home and spectate. I think he may have experienced more water than he is used to even though he lives on the South coast. Nice to see he is on the mend but a frustrating day for all.
SCR is also the venue for ‘The Global Gathering’ in July and the airfield was now contained within a high fence and marquees, performance stages etc. were being assembled by a huge team who were also hampered by the weather. We were kept entertained by a partially assembled tent that had been turned into a very large paddling pool and the efforts to raise/lower and raise it several times in an effort to lose the extra weight of this water.
Beer o’clock came early with entertainment provided from Clampy’s mobile disco and the chin-wagging and supping continued until well past a sensible time as we were expecting an early start on eliminations day.
With a one-shot qualifier for all competitors first thing, in order to work out the pairings, and RWYB drivers/riders filling the pairing lanes it was to be a frustrating start to the day. Eventually qualifying was completed with a few unexpected placings due to machine or rider problems (over indulgence for some maybe!) leaving Joe top qualifier in Gas and Kieran no. 1 in ET. Although there was several rounds in 8.50 and 9.50 ‘bike before the finals NAST decided to run in each early round to ensure our eliminations were completed in the event of a change in the weather or the almost obligatory major oil-down from one of the four-wheeled contingent. We were joined by Chris and Yvonne for race day and the good news is Chris’ new Harley should be on the strip for the August Bank Holiday meeting, NAST Round 5.
For first round of eliminations in Gas Joe stormed off on the Buell with an excellent reaction time with Robbie day-dreaming in the other lane on the Honda with too much to do despite Joe’s unusual 10.1 second run. Kieran, with a bye, faced and beat the Harley of Clampy in the second round who had previously seen off Brett on his Suzuki. The strategy had paid off as we had completed our finals and the remaining competitors had to wait an awful long time as yet again there was a major oil-down in the right lane (the offending Volvo estate was last seen in the layby opposite the airfield entrance obviously waiting for the services of the AA/RAC).
With hurricane Bertha safely out of the way we are looking forward to probably 4 ‘bikes in Gas and maybe eight in ET for August – roll on Round 5 and some late Summer sunshine.