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Le Minz 2009 24 Hour Scootathon.

Discussion in 'Racing, Motorsports, and Track Days' started by rpmorrell, Feb 20, 2009.

  1. #1 rpmorrell, Feb 20, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2015
    Wow! What a weekend it was. Fun & drama central.

    A huge spanner was thrown in the works for the organisers when they arrived to find they'd lost the use of a big shed over the other side of the track.
    Maybe because of the diabolical conditions or maybe because of the shed loss they changed the layout of the track the morning they arrived, on Sat.
    Big headache for them.

    The Parklands track, on the Gold Coast, is known as The Goat Track, & gets plenty of criticism for being narrow & bumpy.

    I'm in much better nick than I was at the last Le Minz in 07. (there was no 08 Le Minz)
    Thanks to some excellent work & meds from a GP I knew of from my triathlon days, Dr June Canavan in Maroochydore. She got me back on my feet after struggling for years with an hard-to-detect form of angina.

    After riding round in circles to the buzzing of 50cc's for 24 hours: that noise stays in your head, & you can hear 2-stroke 50's in the traffic, music from the sound system & even in the shower! Makes ya a bit nuts!

    I had maybe about half an hour's not-really-sleep through The 24.....I had to stop it because I couldn't help but see the track behind my eyes, & I was saying to myself, "Don't look at the track! Look further ahead!" etc etc.
    I was getting a bit travel sick from trying to have a kip!!!.....seriously!

    It was a bit frustrating trying to squeeze a bit more speed outa the poor ol' 50.

    Anyhoo....over to our race on the PMX Naked Carbon.
    The day started off for me leaving home at 4:30am, & arriving at the Gold Coast Parklands on Smith St at about 8am.
    Shel & I actually passed there just under an hour earlier, & so we went on to a local servo to have some breakky.

    It was pouring with rain.
    A very subdued atmosphere was about as we slowly unpacked things & helped erect the Tent City for our teams.

    Lucky we found some mains voltage to power lights, coffee machine & heater which was later very handy with drying out soggy clothes.
    I dragged out my 4-burner BBQ from The Tardis aka Foulcan Wagon.

    Practise Session was very wet & the bike was quite loose yet controllable on the narrow track. Gravel & silt was washed across the track in many places.

    At 12 Noon we were set off for the start of the race. I was out 1st for a 1.5-hour stint.
    There were 4 bikes in our team with 3 riders per bike.
    I was in the modified category, & the PMX naked was a bit thirsty, so when I was called-in for fuel change with just a few laps to left to do suddenly it was out of fuel.
    Lucky for me & team that it happned just near our pit area. If it had run out of fuel on the other side of the track then I'd have to push it round the ciircuit back to the pits.

    So our scheduled 1.5-hour stint were now 1 hour & 15 mins on a full tank.

    Within a few hours, the first crash of the day was registered.
    Hearing reports of a rider getting run-over sounded very dire, to say the least. Not only run-over, but ran over his head!

    The ambo was over there tending to the injured rider.
    A wave of shock went through our pits when we realised it was one of the bikes from our team that was involved.
    Our Allen Drysdale was down!

    You can't imagine the relief when he walked back across the track with a defiant thumbs up to the applause of our pits.

    Allen had an almighty shiner with cuts & blood around his eye.
    The 24 was all over for Allen.
    Later on in the night Allen went to the local hospital to see if there was anything that could be done as his eye continued to bleed.

    The bike was 1 rider down, leaving 2 riders to keep it going.
    They later found another rider looking for a ride because his machine had expired.
    Seems The 24, with all the rain, silt & crashes had taken it's toll on quite a few bikes.

    The PMX seemed to get faster & faster through the night as the rain subsided & the cool of the night could be enjoyed.
    However, when The 24 was working it's way round to sunrise & the day warming up, the bike was geting slower.
    It developed a bad mid-range bog, & I had to keep the revs up simultaniously braking for corners. If ya let the revs drop, & ya tried to pick up the throttle: there was nothing for some endless critical seconds till it slowly cranked itself into life again.

    Undoubtedly the star of our show was Paulo, an Italian, new to our sunny shores of Australia.
    He knows hardly any English, but he speaks volumes in his racing skills.
    No-one knew he could ride like that!

    By the end of The 24 I'd be thinking all the bikes were looking muddied, battered & bruised.
    I had a few offs: lapses of concentration or sometimes baulked by stupid & dangerous passing manouvers by a faster bike.
    My offs were luckily limited to a bit of grasstracking that was very slippery, & I managed to keep the bike upright.

    I'd done my last session for The 24, & I was spectating Mr Wax (aka Jared) commandeer the PMX towards Paulo's double 45-min stint to finality.

    It was truly magical seeing Paulo celebrate The 24, waving the Italian flag as he rode over the finish line to category 2nd & overall 3rd.

    I would think all the other teams had that same lump in their throat as their rider crossed the line for the last time.

    Slideshow here

    Youtube Helmet Cam Vids

  2. wow great write up, cheers