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VRRA Mosport Vintage Festival 2009

August 14, 15, 16 2009

I've always wanted an umbrella boy!
Photo by Flair Photo
Andrea, squinting at the count-down on the endurance race clock, and enjoying the services of a very overqualified umbrella boy.

Friday Endurance Race

The endurance race practice went well for Team Dirty Girls. I took the first few laps on the NS250 to make sure my new tires were well scrubbed in. Laura took a few laps of practice to get re-familiarized with the bike and the updates since last time she rode it. The new lower clip on handle bars feel good, keeping the rider closer to the tank, although for me they took a bit of getting used to. I finished off the practice session, enjoying the flowing Mosport road course while the NS enjoyed charging up the back straight.

Between the endurance race practice and the riders meeting we had time for some 'bench racing' in the pits, discussing line and the team strategy. The riders meeting clarified some of the rules, particularly the forbidden nature of rider-changes during red-flag delays - a rule I'd been unsure of at the Shannonville endurance race, when riding with 'Team Iron Ovaries'.

We set up our trackside pit for the endurance race without our awning, which proved to be a bad decision, some of our crew got rather sunburnt; although I had the opportunity to enjoy the services of an umbrella boy, so it wasn't all bad.

VRRA Mosport 2009 - bench racing in the pits Then suddenly it seemed they were calling 'two minutes' and I suited up and rode out for the warm up lap and our flagged standing start. Gridded in the middle of a row, I had a fairly good view of the starter, but I had trouble finding the right row of the grid. Fortunately my very alert crew waved me forward to my correct grid position for the start. I still need to master the standing start - I didn't get the clutch out quickly enough, or shift to second gear quickly enough either, and I headed into corner one near the back of te first wave. The pack had spread out by the time we reached the blind downhill corner two, and once I'd crested the hill and could see an empty line to corner three it was much easier to accelerate. I schooled myself to a manageable pace for the 40 minute first session Laura and I had finally settled on in our strategy meeting.

Unfortunately a red-flag in the third lap halted the race, and I had the unusual opportunity to ride the track backwards, returning to the pits from corner 5. It was amazing how unfamiliar the track was facing in the other direction. The race was restarted with the clock reset to an hour and a half, but a second red-flag on the second lap stopped the race again, and evenutally the race was cancelled.

VRRA Mosport 2009 - the P4F3 group pits Back in our pits down in the lower padock towards corner one, you can see my (unused) pit board for the endurance race, and my disappointed NS 250, parked until the Saturday practice.


Although the NS started reluctantly for the morning practice, it ran well once going, and practice gave me an opportunity to work on my line into corner eight.

I got a bad start in the heat race on Saturday, experimenting with neutral after first gear, and fished around for a while in the gearbox hoping to find a gear that was useful for forward motion. I lost a lot of ground off the start, but I made a few good passes and I captured back some of the positions I'd lost off the start

VRRA Mosport 2009 - two mechanics Laura had problems with her bike overheating, and both Tim V. and Tim S. were helping out. You can see Laura is happy to oversee the work of two mechanics as the airbox comes off the CBR to expose the carburetors.

Both Laura and I were racing in the Period 4 Hare and Hound race at the end of the day on Saturday, so we were all keen to make sure her bike was running in time. My bike just needed gas, so I was a bit more relaxed.

I got a good start in the Hare and Hound race, taking off with the lightweight hares in the first wave to be chased down by middle and heavy weight (P4F2 and F4F1) hounds. I passed Laura on the way into the first corner, and charged hard, but the hounds caught up pretty quickly, and I lost some of my momentum when the bigger bikes started passing.

VRRA Mosport 2009 - three mechanics Having three mechanics work on your bike is better than two right? The more people working on the bike, the bigger a crowd it draws in the pits it seems. Laura's bike got a lot of attention as it came apart a few times over the weekend.


I was gridded in the second wave with a good view of the flagger but leaving the line promptly through first gear only makes for a good start if you find second gear. Somehow I managed to find about three different gears, each resembling neutral, between first and second. I think I'll be planning clutch work for the NS this winter. The two rows behind me had passed me before the first corner, and I had my work cut out for me just to finish where I started.

I gathered up my determination on the way into corner three - the only place on the track where I seemed to make good progress on other riders - and I settled down to chase the group of riders ahead of me.

I charged ahead and passed JP and then Laura, then a vest-wearing rookie before I saw a long gap in front of me. I saw the half-way flag while closing the gap to the riders ahead and a lap or so later the leaders passed me. I recognized Bruce ahead of me, and thought I might be able to pass him on the back straight. I closed the gap, but I couldn't get close enough to pass, and we saw the last lap flag as we passed the start-finish line. I kept the pace up as best I could, but passing leaders put a gap between us and I couldn't catch Bruce before the chequered flag.

VRRA Mosport 2009 - three women racers There were four women racing at the 2009 round of the Mosport VRRA racing series, Jen (left side) in her first racing weekend, Andrea (middle) and Laura (right side) - we didn't manage to co-ordinate well enough to get Digna Leda to join us for the photo she's been racing longest of all of us.

The weather co-operated all weekend, with a hot and sunny weekend and what was probably the longest rain-free period in the entire summer; we've had a very wet season in Ontario.

All considered, a great weekend of racing, and I'm already looking forward to the season finale at North Bay.

Read more about the Mosport racetrack and see the Road Course map

Back to the 2009 Season Page - Articles Page - Main Page

Update before Mosport:

The NS 250 F Honda is nearly ready to go, just a few bits of safety wire and a new number plate mounting bracket. This race I'm better prepared - new tires, new clip-ons and stiffer suspension are some of the updates for this race. I'm really looking forward to Mosport, it's my favourite racetrack, and the NS powers joyfully up the back straight(see Mosport track map). Team Dirty Girls will once again participate in the endurance race on Friday, with Laura and I riding, assisted by the (now famous) two-Tim crew, with Bob S as junior crew member.

Back to the 2009 Season Page - Articles Page - Main Page

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Dirty Girl Motor Racing 2009

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