We’re back from our trip down to Willow Springs. It was Anthony’s first-ever visit to the track. Though the track is relatively simple in terms of layout, it’s definitely a difficult track to master… in more ways than one.
We arrived there on Friday to practice and learn the track. The weather was “ok”, though a little windy (which was mild compared to Saturday). The highs were in the mid 90s and the Motoyard staff ran a great trackday.
Because of his age, Anthony was restricted to the B group and he found it very difficult to get clean laps.
Saturday was a “free” day for us, since he only had one race, the Mini race. If we thought Friday was windy, we were in for a surprise. Saturday had consistent winds at 15 to 20 mph. Like always, I took the RS125 apart and made sure everything looked good for Sunday’s races.
On Sunday we had three races, WERA Minis, Formula 3 and Formula 2. I talked to Chris and Corey from CT racing about tires for Sunday and they suggested Pirelli Diablo Superbike Moto3 SC1 front and rear. The weather forecast for Sunday was light winds and 100 degrees. Perfect weather for the SC1s.
The first race was the mini race. Anthony got a great start and pushed hard to open a gap in the 4-lap main and take his second victory of the weekend. The next race was the Formula 3 race, 125GP. Like in the mini race, Anthony pushed hard to open a gap and take his 3rd victory of the weekend.
The final race was the Formula 2 race, 250GP. There were 3 fast 250GP guys who knew Willow Springs well and we knew it was going to be a tough race. Like in the other races, Anthony got a great start, and though he was out-dragged to T1 by the 650s and 250s, he was with the leading group. The leader of the pack was on a Ducati 650 (748 down-bored to a 650) and he was gone. But second, third and fourth place were in sight. Anthony passed fourth place and began to chase 3rd. He got around 3rd place, a 650, on the inside of T4 and maintained 3rd until the last lap, when things got interesting.
On the last lap, fourth place, a 250GP, passed Anthony on the main straight, and into T1. Anthony rode closely behind it and began to work on moving past him on the outside of T2. He tried as much as he could but the 250GP out-drove him out of T2. Anthony followed into T3, but opened wide for T4 to get a better drive into it. It paid off, as he was able to dive into the inside of T4. He pushed hard to get away, but the 250GP was past him by the time they got into T7. Lucky for Anthony there was a lapper in front, who slowed the 250GP down, and allowed Anthony to go around both on the outside. The 250GP still had the inside, but in order to make the last corner, it had to run wide, this was Anthony’s opportunity to pass on the inside of the exit of the last corner.
As much as Anthony tried, the 250GP out-dragged him to the line to beat him for 4th. Yeah… another 250GP was lurking behind both, and out-dragged both to the line to take 3rd.
Though Anthony was kicked off the podium, he had a lot of fun and learned a lot. It was good to see him fighting, if a little scary.
We’re going to Buttonwillow in two weeks for the next WERA round. Wish us luck.