Another Busy Season for Backmarker Racing


The boys plan on doing a lot more sprint racing this year. Two of our riders sold their Yamaha R6s. One switched to a TZ250 and the other went to a SV650. Both of them are wanting to work on their "basics of corner speed" and we all agreed that their new (used) bikes will help them each in addressing that aspect. Jonathan will still campaign his personal R6 this season's sprints. We also lost one of our fastest endurance team riders due to other commitments. Now were down to four very dedicated riders.

The team's R6 endurance bike is up on the block at E-Bay and at various racing sites. We are not sure if we'll be putting the spare R6 motor up for sale, since Jonathan might be interested it scooping it up from the team. If the bike does not sell by the first week in Jan., we'll likely go ahead and run it for another year. Even though our first endurance race is not until March, I'll need time to completely tear down the bike and freshen up the two motors... if we are going to keep it. If it does sell, odds are that we'll be getting a '05 R6. Of course, that is if each of the four riders can come up with the amount to make up the difference between what we get for our old bike and what it will take to get the new bike and set it up for racing. At least as Team Manager/Mechanic, I don't have to chip in on those types of expenses. If we do get a new bike, we're hoping to cover some of the expenses by selling all the stock bodywork and various other parts like headlights, tail lights and such. If we come up short, it will be back to another used bike of some kind. Either another R6 or maybe a SV650. At least it will be newer than the '99 model we campainged last year.

Though we are still very tempted to go green and get a 636, there are still too many unknowns about the '05 636. Previous models have always had more power than the R6s, but in our SuperStock classes, the suspensions have been far too difficult to set up for the types of tracks we run on. It will probably be best that we stick with something we're most familiar with. Not to mention what our suspension tuner is most familiar with. If the '05 636 turns out to be half as stable as many hope it will be, we might reconsider it at the end of this season. All the magazine reviews, opinions of others and even AMA, CCS or WERA finishes mean little to nothing when it comes to what will and what won't work at the tracks CMRA runs on. You could say the proof is in the podiums.

Our second endurance event of this season will bring us to the most grueling of all of our events. It will be an 8 hour race on the high banks of Texas World Speedway. This track is 1.1 miles LONGER than any of the other tracks we race on (2.9 vs. 1.8 miles). The scary part is that the pace is so much faster that there is only about 20 to 25 seconds difference when compared to the shorter tracks. Our best endurance lap time at TWS is 1:54.096. At The Motorsport Ranch, it was 1:24.635 and at Hallett, it was 1:25.549. Our overall average times were around 5 or so seconds slower. Admittedly, these times might not be worth getting all excited over for most folks, but they were good enough to give us a fifth in class at the end of our first season as a team. Consistancy in lap times and quicker (as well as fewer) pit stops will be our main focus for this season.

I have already spent several weekends that I could have been riding my own bike, getting things ready for next season. The nice part about it is that the rest of the team has been stepping up to the plate and has also been giving up their personal off season time (none of them ride on the streets anymore) to help with the process. There will also be numerous open track days and various riding schools going on during the non-race weekends at three of four tracks we run. Of course, we will not be going to each and every one, but we will likely be going to a lot more of them then we did last year. I just wish that it wasn't a minimum of 330 miles to a maximum of 550 miles to get to these tracks (one way). Hauling all our bikes, gear and what not is killin' us in gas expenses. Sure, it would be nice if one of use could afford to buy a nice new diesel truck instead of using my Hemi powered Dodge, but I guess that if we had that kind of money, we wouldn't be worried about what bike we'll be able to afford to endurance race for next season. Ah... but ain't that what "real" racin' is all about?

We impressed a lot of folks on our first season as a race team. Now, both our's and our competition's expectations of what we will do this season has gone up a little bit higher. Speaking for myself, I expect at least a few, if not several podium finishes in class this season. We came so close last year and we ended up with more misfortune than luck. So wish us luck, guys and gals.

Here is the tentative 2005 CMRA schedule. If any of ya'll are in the area, stop on by (bring your own beer - "hospitality" ain't in our budget)

February 18-20 - Oak Hill Raceway Henderson, TX
Sat - RS / Mini Sprints / 4 HR Mini End
Sun - Sprints

March 18-20 - MotorSport Ranch (CC) Cresson, TX
Sat - RS / Mini Sprints / 2 HR Mini End / 4 HR CMRA Endurance
Sun - Sprints

April 22-24 - Texas World Speedway College Station, TX
Sat - RS / 8 HR CMRA Endurance
Sun - Mini Sprints / Sprints

May 12-15 - Hallett Motor Racing Circuit (CC) Hallett, OK
Fri - Riders School / CMRA Open Practice Day
Sat - Mini Sprints / 6 HR CMRA Endurance
Sun - Sprints

June 3-5 - MotorSport Ranch (C) Cresson, TX
Sat - RS / Mini Sprints / 2 HR Mini End / 4 HR CMRA Endurance
Sun - Sprints

June 24-26 - Oak Hill Raceway Henderson, TX
Sat - RS / Mini Sprints / 6 HR Mini Endurance
Sun - Sprints

July 29-31 - Texas World Speedway College Station, TX
Sat - RS / Mini Sprints / 6 HR CMRA Endurance
Sun - Sprints

August 18-21 - Hallett Motor Racing Circuit (C) Hallett, OK
Fri - RS / Hallett Track Day
Sat - Mini Sprints / 2 HR Mini End / 5 HR CMRA Endurance
Sun - Sprints

Sept 9-11 - Oak Hill Raceway Henderson, TX
Sat - RS / Mini Sprints / 4 HR Mini Endurance
Sun - Sprints

Sept 30 -October 2 - Texas World Speedway College Station, TX
Sat - RS / Mini Sprints / 6 HR CMRA Endurance
Sun - Sprints

We always leave one day prior to the event due to travel time and so we can have everything set up at the track on the night before.

(C) - Clockwise
(CC) - Counter clockwise

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