Oulton Park; 24th Oct 2009

Oulton Park October 24th

I had already sewn up the Forgotten Era 2009 championship after winning all the races except one where I had let Giles (Toad) ride my bike due to an engine failure on his, so this final race was more to do with personal honour than actually needing points.
For the last race it was a full grid in all races and in the forgotten Era it was no exception as my old adversaries, 2006 champ Denis Scholicar and 2007 champ Mike Hose were back to prove a point.
Toad was unable to get his FJ motor rebuilt but the usual FJ suspects were there. Up for grab was the second and third positions as only a few points covered Thrush and Mura.

Practice;
As usual all the FJ boys go out with the Forgotten Era practice, while I tend to op for the Powerbikes. The reasoning is the FE also has classic bikes and many other slower bikes so you feel a hero over taking everyone but you’re not actually travelling at any pace.
Liam (Corky) didn’t let us down with his ‘Win it or Bib it’ motto and in a few laps went into Shell Banking a bit hot only to find the lever came back to the bars, even dropping down a few gear and re-grabbing the lever made him enter to fast and the result was the back end coming around and dropping him off into the grass. To make matter worst, his bike CAUGHT ON FIRE; while the marshal’s was waving a flag he ran for an extinguisher and doubted the fire.
Not being the type to let a little fire ruin his day, he and a bunch of helper set about repairing the FJ Racer, luckily there was a good few hours to our first race.
The brake fault was traced to a warp disc which pushed the pads in so making the lever having to travel a long way before they bit, they were swapped for the discs from on his dry wheel.

Race 6; Powerbike; Race for Gird position; 4 laps
The forecast was showers all day so it was full wet tyres on a very wet circuit. As normal we were at the back of the group and after the warm up it were difficult to see in front due to the massive amount of spray let alone race. In the first lap their was a massive crash resulting in a Red Flag, we at to then wait on the grid until the rider was recovered safely. So again another warm up lap before the 4 lap race.
I had a reasonable start but with visibility poor I stayed claim but notice into the first bend a couple of riders taking to the grass as they punted one another off circuit.
It was a good chance to get to grips with the circuit and the weather ready for the real race in our class in Race 8. I managed to make my way up to 21st (out of 32 riders) with a lap of 2;08.5. Corky not being fazed by the crash came in a respectable 25th lapping at 2;11.8 and behind him came Who; Mura; and Thrush.

Race 8; Forgotten Era; Race for grid position; 4 laps
I was on pole, then Denis (ExUp), Mike Hose (Westlake), Tony Rainford (Triumph 750) which is strange as he was given pole at the first race of Oulton and didn’t come nowhere then. The position are taken from previous known race time and results so perhaps he use to be quicker, who knows! Then it was the rest of the FJ racer taking the positions behind.
After the warm up lap the race was on.
I was first into the first right hand bend (Old Hall corner) and onto Casades but on the exit Denis pass me on the straight, by Hizzy Chicane I out braked him and was back in the lead. I rattle a couple of quick laps off and on the third lap looked behind and I seemed to be about 5 seconds ahead.
About this time I noticed that Corky was again pulling his bike out of the grass but this time at Druids Corner which is a super fast and scary corner, you cant knock him, he is a try’er!.
This only being a race for grid I back off, no point showing all your hand so over the last few laps Denis had caught me up while I was already catching back makers, I gave a polite wave as they pull out of the way under Blue flags (this tells them they are being overtaken). I held a tight line into the last bend ‘Lodge Corner’ but as I crossed the line Denis nipped pass to take the win by 0.04 second. Mike Hose came in 3rd, ‘Who’ made an excellent 4th followed by Mura. Thrush was next but disheartened by being some 8 seconds back. Thrush needs to be in front of Mura if he wants to come 2nd and the rain conditions seemed to suit Mura.

Race 14; Powerbike race for championship. 5 laps
Again there was plenty of time so Corky and his helpers could AGAIN rebuild the FJ. On taking it too scrutineering they said “you’re back again”. Corky said “There’s no point checking it has its been here twice already” a bit of Irish logic. So after a quick inspection it was ticked off as fit to race. Just as well they don’t do a mental examination eh!.
We had all fitted wets on but after the warm up laps it was noticed that the track was drying fast. The result of the drying track was soon after the start my tyres was spinning up coming out of some bends. I managed to get my lap time down to 1;59.5 but couldn’t use all the power and was short shifting into fifth gear as soon as I could. I finished the race 13th with Who, Thrush and Mura in 15th, 17th and 18th place. Luckless Corky didn’t even make a lap as his brakes seized on the grid.

Race 16; Forgotten Era championship and trophy race. 4 laps
My plan after the race for the grid position was that Denis would believe that he should be able to beat me, so if I managed to get a good start he might think he could catch me up again, that’s hoping he hadn’t notice I had backed off on the last few laps. This time the planning was to go flat out from the start, no mincing around.
The weather was still dodgy in that the track was drying but the weather was showery, so I decided to replace the rear with a full race tyre but half way through fitting it started to drizzle so back in the wet went.
When we turned up to race, Denis and the rest had opted for wets as well, so at least we were all in the same boat. After the warm up it was obvious that race tyres would have been the best option.
Like the first race I got a good start and was first into Old Hall corner but half way round the lap after coming out of Brittens chicane Denis passed me over hill top with his better acceleration. Again the problem was the rear tyre, it was spinning and not driving so the only way I could get him back was with corner speed, so into Druids I made brave over take around the bend, but as I accelerated on the straight Denis again came pass on the power. I thought this is going to be a good race as we seemed equally paced so later in the lap, on the entry into Island Bend I went around the outside of him before going into Shells. From then on I put my head down and tried to take no notice of the rear tyre squirming and never looked back. Even coming out of Lodge corner on the last lap I nailed it thinking that I wouldn’t give Denis the chance to pass me over the line, but on looking back after the line I was 15 seconds ahead and Denis was nowhere in sight. Who had an excellent race and was catching Denis and was less than a second behind him when they across the line. Thrush had prayed to the gods and had come up trumps with a dry track and managed 4th. Corky having to start at the back did very well to come up to 5th (but then staying on is a bonus bless him!) while Mura still got a respectable 7th.

Conclusion;
Ever race I had entered in both the Wirral 100 Forgotten Era or the North Glos Pre-Injection class I had WON with one exception where I got a 2nd in my first race in the PI class.
I had the beating of the old pass champions of Wirral 100 FE when they decided to race in the class as they never attended all the races.
The FJ Racers again had taken 1st, Thrush 2nd and Mura 3rd in the FE class for 2009 as in 2008.

2010 we plan to again enter in the Wirral 100 FE class, that’s me, Thrush, Mura, Who and Toad but we might not see Corky racing has its looking likely he’s moving to Germany and getting married. Hewill be missed but the good news is we wont need to keep so may spare parts in the van ha ha.

Also a big thank you must go out to Mark aka ‘Boss’ our Pit Manager and Kerry who takes all the great photos. Also the long suffering wife of Mura who not only has to put up him but being a mechanic herself gets roped into spannering for the rest of us. Finally there are other guys and dolls who helped throughout the year and without all your support it would be difficult to make these great achievements in turning a touring bike into a class winning race bike. So a big thank you from us FJ Racers.

I will leave you with a quote from the last race Wirral 100 race programme from Oct 09 which seems to sum it up.

Forgotten Era. “The big class has been fun all year with a gaggle of riders on the FJ Yamahas obviously enjoying themselves and entertaining the rest of us hugely, Phil Hacker is the man to beat, but a huge respect to all of the riders of these iconic machines”

That’s what it’s all about, FUN

See you in 2010
Best regards
Doc

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What a great shot taken by Kerry of the FJ's coming out of Lodge

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Thrush trying to get 2nd in the championship in his 1st year

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Corky crashes not once but twice; Caz helps out in the repair

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'Who' rides the best race of the year, well deserved too

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Mura keeps the presure on Thursh for 2nd

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Corky not fazed by the crashes still puts in excellent performance

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Another great shot from Kerry with Mura and Who

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A close up of Doc riding the winning FJ racer in the Wirral 100 Forgotten Era championship at Oulton Park

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