Latest update from 18-year-old UK racer living the pro flat track life in the American Flat Track Singles series.
Calistoga: After Texas I covered the drive up to my uncle's in San Francisco pretty sharpish. We were looking at making some changes after a dreadful Texas half-mile. I also wanted to drop Karl off in time so he could see the city before heading home. Paul Harrison, another DTRA racer, was the next companion to work with me for the next three rounds. After preparing the bikes in the best form we could we headed up to wine country to show we were on pace. After a terrible start in the main event I was able to make 7 passes over the 15-lap main to finish p8. Knowing we were contenders I was disappointed with the result.
Arizona: We drove back to our location in San Fran to prep the bike for the first mile of the year. My dad also flew in to see what the miles were all about. We parked up in Arizona in the compound of our friends, Keith & Merl Williams who I met through some racer friends the year before - great people and it’s always a great time parking there.
I heard there was a short track race the night before the mile. I turned up and had a decent battle with Morg Mischler to take the win in the pro main. Arizona Mile was a struggle from start to finish. I was having a hard time in getting myself comfortable with the speeds on such a bad surface. I managed to make the main event and leave the race safely. We kept ourselves in high spirits and looked at the race as a learning curve and found a few ways we could improve for Sacramento.
Sacramento: The lead up to Sac was a hectic time with a lot of time working on the bike and finding ways we could improve. We found a decent combination. I had spent hours on the phone with my sponsor, the famous Woody Kyle (WKR) from Florida. When we were happy with the mile bike we called in at James Monaco’s almond farm on the way up to finish bike prep and ride his short track on the Thursday before the mile. The track was awesome and the area was perfect.
My dad (above) and I agreed that riding Lodi the evening before the mile was taking my focus away from the National. It was a special feeling to be riding the Sac Mile again for the second time (still only my fifth mile). We made progress throughout the evening and I was smiling at the same time! In the main event I was battling with a group at the rear end of the hot field! We finished up with a p17 and a whole lot of data to move on with. The Amateur mile was the following day so I decided it would be best to stay and ride the Pro class to gain a little experience... I used the race strictly to test different setup changes which had me feeling comfortable and running extremely good lap times. I was able to come from midfield in the main to draft the leader to the checkered flags, coming just short of a win.
Paul Harrison and my dad both flew home and left me and Scott Faulkner (who joined us just before Sac Mile, another DTRA racer). Scott is stopping for the next few weeks. We called in at a generator repair shop in Salt Lake, dropped the generator out the side of the RV, prepped the bikes in the car park for Springfield TT and got back on our way to Illinois! Scott’s suddenly realized that the driving never gets anymore exciting In a different country and we have a whole lot to cover. The driving gives us the adventure though.
It was a pleasure to have Paul on board and I’m glad that he was able to experience the miles.
Next race is tonight, the Springfield TT - the singles don't ride Sunday's Springfield Mile, but their is a 'Production Twins' race for AFT Singles riders who have a suitable bike. Go to fanschoice.tv to tune in.
Thanks to Tom Stein for the use of photos.