Stung, but not beaten WERA West at Buttonwillow

We’re on our way back from Buttonwillow and WERA’s 7th round of the WERA West championship.

We left for the track on Thursday to get ready for a Friday’s trackday with Let’s Ride. Friday was a pretty good day overall, the wind was light and the hottest temperatures we saw were in high 90s. Saturday was a trackday but we had already decided we would not run on Saturday, instead we’d work on the bike and get it ready for the Sunday races.

Anthony and I got up early Saturday and we began to work on the top-end and the normal maintenance routine. By noon, Saturday, we were done. But we also wanted to make sure everything was ok with the bike. Anthony asked the track-day provider (Fast Track Riders) if they’d left him do only one session to see if the bike was well. They agreed. By 1pm we were done and packed up. The weather was hotter than Friday and by mid day it was already in the low 100s.

Sunday I got up early and let Anthony sleep in. I changed body work and got everything ready for tech. We installed a Diablo SuperBike SC2 rear and SC1 front on the RS125 and a Diablo SuperBike SC1 rear and used SC1 front on the Mini bike.

During Morning practice, on the RS125, a bee flew into Anthony’s helmet and stung him by his lip. It happened around riverside and he said he was planning to continue riding until he realized how much pain he was in, and the bee was still crawling around his mouth. He pulled in and yelled for me to come to help him. I noticed the bee around his mouth and pulled it out. I asked him if he had been stung and he nodded yes and whimpered in pain. I noticed the stinger and took his hemet off. I knew not to pull it with my fingers because I might “pump” more of the venom and instead used my knife to pry it off. I told him to come in, but he said he wanted to finish the session. I put his helmet back on and he finished the session. When he came in, we took him to the paramedics’ and they gave him a cold-compress. He was in pain, but within a half-hour he was fine, as if nothing had happened.

Anthony’s races were race #1, #6 and #9, Mini, Formula 2 and Formula 3 respectively. Until Sunday, Anthony had not ridden the Mini bike at this track, as all of our track time had gone to the RS125 (as that is our #1 priority for a race weekend). I told Anthony a fast laptime with the mini bike would be a 2:06. In the race he got to work and went faster than I had ever expected setting a fastest time of a 2:04.3 and winning by 43 seconds.

By the time the Formula 2 race came, it was already 102 degrees. He was gridded 3rd. Anthony got a good start and ran second until the exit of bus-stop, where he passed P1 into riverside. Anthony wanted to go as fast as he could and try to open a gap. Previously, Anthony’s fastest time at Buttonwillow was a 1:56.2, in much nicer conditions. He put his head down and set the fastest time of the race with a 1:55.7 and a 31 seconds margin of victory.

The last race was the Formula 3 race and Anthony wanted to go faster, however, the track was getting greasier as the temperature was rising, now at 104 degrees in the shade. Anthony was also gridded 3rd, but this time he got an even better start and led into T1. He put his head down but all he could manage was a 1:56.1, however, his margin of victory had increased to 38 seconds.

We’re glad to be back in the cool Bay Area and we’re off for the rest of the month. Laguna Seca is in a few weeks and I cannot wait to go and watch “other” people work.

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