Here are some photos from the recent ACU test day at Three Sisters, taken by the official photographer...
Following our recent track day at Oulton Park we headed to the Three Sisters circuit for some cheap track time (£39 for a two-hour session). When we started racing in the 1990s we spent a lot of time at Three Sisters, but we hadn't visited the circuit since 2012 - since then the circuit had been resurfaced and was looking very tidy.
We arrived at the circuit around 10:30 which was well in advance of our 12:00-14:00 'open pit lane' session and gave us plenty of time to put the Kawasaki Supersport machine on tyre warmers and then have a chat with fellow racers Ian Robinson and Paul Daley.
When 12:00 arrived we headed straight out on track and did an initial run of 5 or 6 laps. On the 600cc bike, it felt like we were riding around a car park - with the bike unable to properly stretch its legs. Only 2nd and 3rd gears were used all day and our hands were already aching due to gripping the bike so tightly!
Through the day we continued to do short runs - a total of 11 runs and 65 laps during the two-hour session. With each run we got looser and more comfortable on the bike and were cirulating around the 1-minute mark. Once the lap times had stabilised, we started to play with the suspension adjustments on the Supersport machine - something we've not really had an opportunity to do as it has mainly been ridden at race events. Regardless of the adjustments, our lap times remained similar but we could identify and articulate what changes they made to the 'feeling' of the Supersport bike - we now need to work on using that information to try and reduce lap times in the future.
Fellow Northwich rider Tim Poole was also in attendance at the test day and during one of our runs we were able to follow him for a short while. Following an unfortunate crash in 2009, Tim suffered a leg injury which has since restricted his movement whilst riding - but as can be seen in the video below, he's now looking very comfortable once again. Tim is planning to compete in the 2021 Southern 100 Pre-TT Classic and 2021 Classic TT races on the machine he is riding in the video.
Following a final set of suspension changes, we headed out for our final run of the day to see whether we could put in a clean lap. Prior to this test, our Personal Best lap time around Three Sisters was a 1'00.6 lap in 1998. In the earlier runs we had logged a best of a 1'00.04 - so we desperately wanted to put in a sub-minute lap as the cherry on top of what had already been a very useful and successful day of testing. We left the pit, found a clear lap and registered a lap time of 59.76 - our first ever lap of Three Sisters under a minute, as shown in the video below. A nice little personal victory for the day! :-)
Our next outing is just over a week away, at a Darley Moor track day on Monday 20th July. We are hopeful that we can get some dry sessions during that track day so that we can compare acceleration data before/after the engine tuning performed by MSS Performance.
Here are some photos from the recent No Limits trackday at Oulton Park, taken by the official photographer...
After 8 months of waiting (and following months of beautiful weather), we finally got back out on track again - and thunderstorms were forecast all day... Typical!
Despite Oulton Park being only 20 minutes drive from Two Daves Racing HQ in Northwich, we hadn't ridden at Oulton Park since 2014 on our Kawasaki Supertwin so needed to brush up on our track knowledge prior to the No Limits Racing meeting in August. We arrived early (06:30) to secure a spot in Garage #1 and after a few minutes of unloading we were ready to go. The coronavirus pandemic appears to have impacted the track day experience for the better - with online briefings prior to the event and no static noise testing (drive-by only), the morning was a very relaxed affair.
Prior to the first session the rain fell, so a switch to wet tyres was necessary. The first two laps were supposed to be "sighting laps" under yellow flag conditions (no overtaking) but it took until our fourth lap for the lights to be switched off. In all honesty, that probably worked in our favour as it gave us a chance to blow away some cobwebs and get used to riding a bike again - as everything just seemed to be flashing by in a blur!
In session 2 we started to settle down and that gave us the chance to think about what racing lines and which gears to use around the circuit. With our Darley Moor gearing, we were only using 3rd-5th gears at the speed we were circulating. Here is a wet flying lap from during that session...
By session 3 the rain had stopped and the sun had come out. The track was wet when the session started but very quickly started to dry - there was steam coming off the track on the Lakeside straight (towards Island Bend) which was a very peculiar sight.
We swapped over to our brand new dry tyres for session 4 and spent the first part of session making sure that they were properly scrubbed in before we started to pick up the pace. After the lunch break and into session 5, we tried to push harder to go faster but ended up going slower! The onboard footage from this session also shows the demise of our GoPro Hero camera, which broke nearing end of session...
For the final two sessions, without the GoPro we were able to see the dashboard clearly which was actually a great help. Once we started to relax, we felt comfortable and took another few seconds off our lap times. The lap times we achieved were not suitable for (or comparable to) racing, but we now feel like we are in a position where we would be ready to enter a race meeting - and we are confident that the excess time would drop away in the competitive qualifying and race sessions.
It was difficult to tell whether the engine tuning by MSS Performance has made any difference, due to us never having ridden the Kawasaki Supersport machine around the Oulton Park circuit. However, we have a trackday booked at Darley Moor on Monday 20th July so hopefully then we will be able to see what difference the changes have made.
Following a review of the government policies and recommendations, Darley Moor have announced their plans for activity at the cicuit for the remainder of 2020. The official statement is as follows:
After 3 long months we are pleased to announce our gates are about to re-open. We like all other venues are re-opening under strict Government guide - lines including having to race for the time being without spectators. The Darley Moor Sports Centre programme of events for the rest of the 2020 season is:
Monday 20th July Loose Cannon Track day
Saturday 8th August Darley Moor MCRRC Practice Day
Monday 17th August Loose Cannon Track day
Saturday & Sunday 22nd & 23rd August Classic RMCC Race days
Friday 4th September Loose Cannon Track day
Saturday 12th September Darley Moor MCRRC Practice Day
Sunday 13th September Darley Moor MCRRC Race Day
Monday 28th September Loose Cannon Track day
Saturday & Sunday 10th & 11th October Darley Moor MCRRC Race Day
Monday 19th October Loose Cannon Track day
This recent announcement means that our 2020 racing calendar now looks as follows:
Friday 26th June - Oulton Park (Track Day)
Monday 20th July - Darley Moor (Track Day)
Friday/Saturday 14th-15th August - No Limits Oulton Park
Saturday/Sunday 12th-13th September - Darley Moor Round 5
Saturday/Sunday 10th-11th October - Darley Moor Rounds 6 & 7
With the coronavirus lockdown taking over the world, racing news is a bit thin on the ground... So just like back in 2015, we decided to take on some more summer projects.
With the Yamaha Jog restored, the Aprilia RS125SP restored and both of the current race bikes prepared and ready to go, we decided to finally get around to making the garage/workshop look a bit prettier!
At first we thought that a quick lick of paint would suffice but when preparing the door surfaces, the paint started falling off in big chunks. Some forensic work found at least 6 different colours on the side door, which showed us some of the history...
After initially attempting to preserve as much as we could, we eventually decided to take the doors back to bare (galvanised) metal.
After being masked up, a couple of coats of paint was applied and then the plaque and trims were re-attached. When we started totalling up the man hours spent we gave up counting after reaching 20 hours - but I'm sure you'll agree that it looks much better than when we started!
Hopefully the lockdown will ease soon, so that we can get out on track again - even if it is just at some trackdays for a bit of practice - but until then, please look after yourselves and "Stay Alert"!
Oh, and for you CB750F1 lovers out there, you'll be glad to see that Dave Snr is making good progress... :-)
David Carson Jnr,