Masters Race Report
Randy and Tim had raced earlier in the day, so we had the experience on the course, but now it was wet. Tom G. had to learn on the fly, but his experience we knew would win out. We had 40+ in our race, probably the biggest field of the day. The race started fast and the field broke up within the first couple laps leaving 15-20 in our wake. Midway through the race three got off the front and Tom, Randy, and Tim were left in the chase group. Randy and Tim drove the pace which we averaged 25mph for the day, but there were to many sitting on our wheels and we couldn’t close it down. We finished in a pack of about 20, with Randy 6th in the 40+, Tim was 6th in 50+ and Tom was 2nd in 60+ which help his points for TBRA championship.
by Tim Taylor
This was a great venue in bi-centennial park, downtown Nashville. Octavio and I did the Cat 4 race. The course was a 0.8 mile rectangle with round-abouts on the corners. Turns 1 and 2 went inside and were pretty wide and safe. Turns 3 and 4 went to the outside, creating short turns to get around hugging the curbs. In between the ends were long wide straight sections probably 1000 meters long with the finish line about 600 meters down the front straight. The races went off with everybody being able to maneuver but quite a bit of slowing and accelerating through turn 3. We had a large field of 41 so the surges were pretty extreme. I started mid pack but moved up to front 5-6 where the turns felt smoother. Two treehouse guys made an early move and formed a gap but never out of sight. David Howe is a Treehouse guy thats been winning everything lately and I knew he was the guy to watch. He sat back and let the large group of other Treehousers pretty much dictate the race with a few surges by Bikers Choice to keep the gap in check. At 6 laps to go the pace picked up and the 2 were caught with 1 lap to go. Howe went hard between turns 3 and 4 and managed to get around turn 4 in the lead and held it through the long finish. This was a long sprint that went at the end of turn 4 and I got around a few guys to finish 10th. The race had a ton of primes that kept the pace high, averaging 25.8, actually faster than the Masters.
Tim, Tom Gee and I did the Masters race. The race went off hard with Tim patrolling the front and of course keeping the pace high, as he always does. The pack split up pretty quickly. I think Tim won a prime and was nipped at the line for a second one. A group of 4 opened a gap during a prime lap and kept the pace up and in a blink they had a 10 second gap. Tim and Steve Ferm (BPC) worked hard on the front with only minimal help from other teams. I was trying to watch for Tom and make sure he stayed in the group as best I could and still stay on myself. About 30 minutes in a Treehouse guy and I moved to the front and he took a hard dig up the front side and through turns 1 and 2 and I came around for a hard pull through the back and turns 3 and 4, hoping to get something started from the field. We cut some time off the gap but as with Tim and Steve’s efforts, nobody finished it and catch was stopped again. I settled in to recover and hoped to have something for the finish. Again the sprint was long and hard from turn 4 and I ended up 7th and 15th in the field. No podium but a great couple of races. Hats off to Tim for showing up workhorse style and Tom had another great race finishing 2nd.
by Randy McKinnon
Cat3/Elite Masters Report
Races went well. We showed out. We did work and raced safely. In the 3s a dude soloed away. The field of 3s seemed satisfied to race for 2nd. I felt strong and raced a little smarter. But once again I was a bit out of position heading into the final two laps. It’s a process. I finished 7th. I have learned that to get better at racing you not only have to race but you had to have a flexible plan. It always is disappointing knowing you finished a race feeling stronger than you overall place. But I guess that’s part of the allure crits; strength is not king.
I decided to race the Eliete masters as well. It was my first race ever in this division. These men do not play around. I attacked on the very first lap. Not the wisest idea but I figured why not. I got a gap and few others bridged up. Chris Brown of BMW-Litespeed was one them. He started working with 4 guys and I had to go back to the group to recover. Brown and his breakaway companions held us off. I did good work with the group to try and bring them back. Texas Roadhouse and Cumberland transit worked hard to, as well as Simple Green.
With two corners to go I spotted the Roadhouse guys and followed their wheels. But again my carelessness gave way and I let some one else have their wheel. Kent bostik, a former pro and amazing masters racer was right in front of me just before the last corner. I pushed to get around him but he held me off. I battled down the straightaway and at the last minute was knipped at the line by Ron Wilson, another former pro and amazing masters racer. I finished 9th.
While I might not have had any podiums or won any money I believe that this weekend was valuable. Octavio, Randy, Tom G, Tim and I were in the mix. Teams are beginning to see that when HCB-LC Racing shows up its game time.
by Chris Winter