What a weekend. It had its lows and its highs. All weekend we struggled to get on the pace. As late as the last morning practice, we were still 5 seconds off Anthony’s previous pace at the track. Anthony was simply not feeling the track. The weather had been terrible all weekend. Saturday the high was 53 degrees, while Sunday reached a new high of 54. The good news were that Anthony was getting a handle on his starts. For the past two races, we had struggled with starts, but after we spent one full trackday practicing starts after every session, Anthony began to get the hang of it.
His first race was the 125GP class. Anthony was gridded at the back because in WERA, for the first race, they grid you based on registration time (thereafter is based on points). He got an ok start, nothing fancy, but certainly MUCH better than in the past. By T1 he was well within striking distance of the leaders. Within a couple of laps he was closing in on 2nd place and by lap 4 he was fighting for second place. He fought for position for two laps, which slowed the pair down and allowed 4th place to catch up. On the last lap Anthony tried to pass on the outside into the right-hander after the bridge, but the rider pushed him wide, which allowed 4th place to come through into 2nd. This meant Anthony only had a few more corners in which to take third. On the exit of the last corner, he did his best and got a good drive onto the straight. He said, he and the rider were almost bumping bars. Anthony took 3rd by 0.023 of a second, VERY CLOSE.
Formula 2 got started in similar fashion. However, in addition to the 125s, he was also racing against SV650s and Moriwakis. Within a couple of laps he was chasing 3rd place and since WERA races are only 6 laps, it meant he only had 3 laps in which to make up a 5 second deficit. Lap after lap, the gap was closing, but he was running out of time. When the white flag came out, he crossed the line 1.5 seconds behind, it was going to be close. Anthony says he was determined to push at 100% and he braked later than he had all weekend into T4; 1.5 seconds turned to 0. Anthony says that he didn’t want to attack until he was certain. He says he made sure to get on the throttle at the same time as the other rider, he was planning to attack on the last corner… again. Like in the 125GP race, he got a better driver out of the last corner to take 3rd by 0.064 seconds.
Though the weekend started as total CRAP, Anthony came through to turn it around and get his first-ever podium position as an Expert-Level racer.
Here are links to photos of Anthony showing off his plaques, you can tell which is the 125GP plaque… trust me
WERA West Round 2 is in three weeks in Las Vegas. Wish us luck