Monday, 19 March 2012

Page 7 (edited!)

Okay, I've caught up on my sleep now, back to the semi-regular routine that is my life, it's about time I shared my experiences from the rest of the weekend at the racetrack!

On Sunday, I was up bright (or dark, depending on your outlook) and early, I actually woke up just before my 5am alarm went off! Got up to the track at about 6:40am, no-one there again but all good cause I knew the routine would be the same as Saturday's. A couple of other guys arrived shortly after me, brand spanking newbies to marshalling, which was cool to see, then the rest of the hoard arrived / came down from their rented apartments! Had our briefing, and got sent out to our points around the track. I got to watch a different corner from Saturday, but with the Chief Marshal again, which was cool. Didn't really see much action on our section of the track to be honest, just a few bikes running wide but staying upright. One of the highlights was when one of the bikes dropped a whole lot of oil in a big long line down the track behind us, so the racing was held up a little bit till about 20 of the marshalls did their best to sort it out. I wanted to make special mention of the fact that everyone just got stuck in and cleaned up the mess extremely quickly, that in itself was a sight to behold! The drama actually occurred in the last scheduled race before the lunch break, so it worked out well. Shortly after we cleaned up the mess, a bunch of muscle cars did a few laps of the track, which was really cool to watch, along with a stunt-bike doing his thing up on the main straight (that I couldn't see but no major.) Racing quickly resumed, with the 250's bringing the fun back. Then the rain started! Superbikes got held for a 'wet track' for half an hour, while the weather cleared and the track dried out, then they were off like rockets! The top three were swapping positions every time they rounded my bend! Then, unfortunately, one of them lost a chain, and retired, leaving the other two to duke it out. And duke it out they did! I cannot believe the speeds they were taking corners at, and keeping the bike upright! It just seemed to defy physics! Finally, the guy I had hoped would win got the checkered flag, which was cool. After the big bikes, there was only one race remaining, the 'Post-Classics'. The biggest field of the day, I can't remember how many bikes there were, but it was cool watching them lap the track pretty much non-stop! I tried to get a couple of photo's and video's but my phone wasn't really up to the job... One of the riders dropped his Kawasaki right in front of us, no injury that I could tell, and only very light fairing damage to the bike, fortunately. When the race finished, I helped push his machine back up to the pits and his service vehicle. I even managed to get a souvenir from his bike, he said I could keep his broken brake lever, which was pretty cool to me as well. Like a momento of sorts! Anyways, afterwards we went back to the pavilion for prizegiving and a few drinks, met a few more really cool people and talked about a whole bunch of stuff, from Laguna Seca MotoGP to my 'mystery trip' later in the year... From there it was decided that I should stay the night and drink some more, so we went up to the rented apartments - overlooking the whole track, wow! what a view!!! - to continue the conversation and festivities! The clock struck midnight before we all knew it, so off to bed it was.

Up at 6am Monday to the sound of a rooster crowing (some people's alarms are evil!!!) after I silenced mine a few times, went outside to find the rain had kicked in again, but there's still something to be said for waking up with a racetrack right outside your window! I was feeling the effects of the repeated late nights, but I had an awesome weekend, so excused myself for the trip home fairly early, even managed to get to work on time! (Not a very productive day at the office though, I assure you!)

All in all, I thought the weekend's organisers put together a top notch event, only a couple of slight mishaps, but we're all only human so nothing to moan about, the racing had heaps of excitement, both from bikes upright and not quite, the people were really friendly!!! and I left with a huge smile on my face. And really, you can't ask for much more than that I think. I'll definitely be going back to help out again, in fact I may even be heading to the track south of my hometown this weekend for the Nationals final round! The fun never stops!!!

Until next time...


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