Monday, 12 June 2017

Greenfield Dirt Track

The weekend of June 10th and 11th Greenfield Dirt Track hosted round 3 and 4 
of the 2017 DTRA series. As this is my first year competing this was my
first visit to the track. I have to say its a very impressive set up, they have all the right
equipment to deal with all weather situations.

We arrived friday evening and set up camp for the weekend, its always a good vibe
at the DTRA and this weekend was no different. Good to catch up with the others
that arrived friday.

We woke up saturday morning to rain bouncing off the roof of 
our van, the joys of living in the UK. The organisers decided to hold up the meeting for 
a couple of hours in the hope the rain stopped. This turned out to be the case and
by midday we were on the track for practice.

The track on Saturday at the Greenfield facility was totally different to every other track I've been too this year. Racing in the Thunderbike class it took me a few laps to get used to the feel of the surface, I was happy with my pace but with the line between death and glory being so fine I made a handful
of mistakes which effected my results. My heat results were 7-6-5 which were good enough
for me to make my first Thunderbike final in 11th. Starting from the back row i wasn't 
expecting too much, I wanted to get involved and run the pace of the other guys in the final.
I was happy with my pace in the final running in 10th but one mistake dropped me back from the
pack unable to make any more passes.

(don't have any racing photos yet unfortunately)

Saturday evening they ran the Pro, Hooligan, and mini bike classes. It was really good to be able 
to watch the pro's go at it, taking a lot of tips on corner entry and exit.

Woke up Sunday morning feeling really good, the weather was good with just a bit of wind which 
helped taking away the dust.

With a bit of bike prep it was ready for another days racing.

The track for the second days racing was a change from the previous day with the addition of 
the infield section, with a right hander and jump. I wasn't too sure how the bike would
deal with being in the air but I thought with my background of racing motocross I'd be able to 
deal with it.

Photo-Tom Bing

With the new section of the track added I felt very happy with pace and comfortable with the jump.

Photo-Tom Bing

First heat race in the Thunderbike class I managed to get the holeshot from a second row start. Manage to keep the lead for 4 laps with Geoff hot on my heals.

Photo-Tom Bing

Unfortunately I made a small mistake and he got past me which i was gutted about but stoked to get
second in the heat race. 

Going into the second heat I felt really good, myself, Mike Hill and Geoff Cain all had back row 
start positions.
Photo-Sami Graystone

Photo-Sami Graystone

I decided my best option was to drive around the outside heading in the first turn, by the second lap I
had worked my way up to third position feeling good. Then the bike cut out, I was gutted. It turned out that due to me sending the jump every lap the bracket which held the coil in place had snapped,
resulting with the spark plug lead pulling out and the engine dying. 

With my best track side fix, a mixture of zip-ties and gaffe tape I managed to secure the coil to the frame.

Heading into the final heat I knew I had to get a good result if I wanted to get into the 
final, as the previous DNF would really effect my scores. I had a front row start in the last heat which was giving me the best possible chance. I managed to get another holeshot and set my mind to setting a good pace and not making mistakes.

Photo-Tom Bing

Photo-Sami Graystone

I managed to hold on to the lead for all six laps and got the win, this was my first heat win in the DTRA so I was stoked. It also meant that I had qualified for my second final.

In the final I had a mid row start qualifying 7th. I got a good drop and drove up the inside of couple riders into the first corner.

Photo-Tom Bing

Making a couple passes through the race I worked up to Forth chasing hard for third.

Photo-Tom Bing

Unfortunately I ran out of time and had to settle for forth, I was pretty bummed with my result coming off the track but after a minute I realised what a good weekend I'd had and what massive improvements I'd made since the first round two months ago.

A final thought goes out to all the guys at the DTRA that make these events happen and to the track crew that have such a wonderful facility.