Thanks to Infinity Pro Team Rider - Tony Brown - for this race report.
Raptor Racing backed by Infinity Pro
Round 2 Pembrey Race Circuit 5th May 2012
We had a couple of busy weeks leading up to our outing at Pembrey. We had borrowed Clive Stirrats for the first round at Brands as Mums bike still needed so much doing to it, but the pressure was on and after many hours spent in a cold truck with a biscuit tin full of spanners she was ready.
It was to be my first time at Pembrey as a driver and Ryans first time on another new outfit in our second meeting out as a team.
We set off out in qualifying with the plan of getting out first and getting a few clear laps in before catching up with the pack again. This all went well until after the couple of laps we had caught up with a few outfits completing their laps.
We caught up pretty quickly actually - coming in to the last corner - so quickly in fact we found ourselves rubbing fairings with Wesley Pettman (sorry Wes) all was good though and we managed to carry on for another lap or two but not going any quicker. We came in to pitlane and stood watching the monitor until the chequered flag went out to secure us a 2nd row start for the first race.
Due to stoppages our first race wasn’t until 3pm which meant we had quite a long build up to the race. Everything on the bike was checked and tightened and off we went to the collecting area for the usual "running about like a clown" session before the race. Off we went for the warm up lap and back in our place on the outside of the second row, checked the bike was in first and ready for the lights. On they came and within a second they were off, and so were we.
We had a storming start, flying past Sam Ryder and Dan Knight in the front row, taking the lead. I hooked 3rd gear and pulled the throttle back and SNAP, the throttle was twisting but nothing was happening. So we are now in the front of a full grid of sidecars with no throttle.
Because of the good start we managed to get to the inside of the track just in time to find the end of the pit-lane and safety. It wasn’t until after speaking to a few people behind us I realised how lucky we were to avoid a collision. Thanks for missing us everyone!
We had a hectic few hours removing the carbs to make up the new cable but thanks to Michael Lines and Julian Cole we made it to the grid with minutes to spare.
We now had a big challenge on our hands.
We were starting on the back alongside Simon and Jed, both of us wanting to win. The thought of flying in to the hairpin amongst a full grid of equally eager teams did somewhat worry me a bit but as soon as the lights went out that was all forgotten.
We made a flying start, taking quite a few teams on the run down to the hairpin, we made it through in one piece, after some hard fought battles by the end of lap 1 we were up into 9th moving up 8th by the second lap to be taken by Gilbert and Jed in to the hairpin on the start of the 3rd. From there we could only watch as Gilbert powered in front of another 2 outfits leaving us having to deal with Kevin Cable and the guy on the F1. We battled as hard as we could but with the power differences down the straight we were unable to move up the pack any more leaving us with a 4th in class.
After the second race we were left with the decision on whether or not to replace the engine, it was to be quite an undertaking as I knew how long it takes especially at a cold circuit and bad lights.
With a little bit of persuasion from a few people we decided to go ahead.
Six hours later and at 1am we had pretty much completed the job, leaving just the all-important start for the morning. Everything working well we were out for an easy practice just making sure everything was working ok. All well and good we were back in the paddock with not much left to do but wait for the race.
Well technically, there wasn’t a race 3 for us as on the way to the grid the throttle decided to jam on full as soon as we left the collecting area. Pretty glad it choose there than the hairpin off of the start. So the race was over before it started.
After finding the problem of a loose nut on the carbs we were ready for the final race of the weekend. Again, we were starting from the back with Si and Jed on the front so we had lots to do to try and catch them. After the bad luck with the throttle I was a little bit weary of it, but was happy to race after the warm up lap.
Ready, in gear and waiting for the lights ... We were off!
Another great start and we were in to the pack. By the end of the first lap we were up in to 8th battling with Sirrel and Wareham, managing to go around the outside round the long left due to Ryans great passsengering, hanging so far out of the outfit desperately trying to keep the chair wheel planted ... (knew you’d love it eventually).
We were then following the Belgians round on to the back straight where we managed to pass them just before the flat out kink. We were up in to 6th and battling with Cable and Pawsy closely following the yellow outfit of Archer and Grimes before they missed a gear helping us and Kev to move up a another spot. We then overtook Lockey and Clements soon after, putting us in to 4th overall and 2nd in class. The battle between us and Kev lasted for the rest of the race with lots of late breaking maneuverers, trying in vain to keep up with the powerful F1 as he powered off out of the corners.
It was a fantastic race! Soon after we found out we broke the club lap record formally held by Ben Holland and Ricky Stevens, all in traffic too! Looking back now I’m sure we could of, with a clear track, carried lots more corner speed and gone quicker too. There’s always a next time, and it was our first time here.
It goes without saying there were lots of people who helped out to get us to and during the weekend.
So Thanks to:
Infinity Pro Power Bands
Mum and Dad for of course letting me use the outfit but also all the work dad did to get us going.
Keith Whiting for the Fantastic engine ( carbs can still do it )
Ian Hamilton at Express tyres
Rob Cameron at 151’s for making us look smart
Julian Cole and Michael Lines for helping out so much during the weekend
Gordon Brady for the great picture
Next round is at Oulton park 6th June