ROSAMOND, CA, March 21, 2010
Sidecar Season Kicks Off In California
Formula 1 sidecar racing picked up where it left off with the 2010 season opener at Willow Spring’s 2.5 mile Main Track. An inverted grid made for a hectic start to the six-lap race. The holeshot went to Bad Cat Racing’s Mike Jones/ Cindy Creech clearing the field from their mid-pack starting position. Team Johnny Killmore’s John Wood/ Vanessa McClure made a pass around the outside of turn 2, the long uphill right. While Wood/ McClure pulled out a sizable gap for the first three laps, it became quite obvious they would have company soon.
After slowly working through the field, Subculture Racing’s Wade Boyd/ Christine Blunk and defending champion Becker Moto Works’ Bill Becker/ Eric Becker began to immediately draw in on the leader. The battle for second heated up as the two swapped spots and looked for a way around Wood/ McClure.
The opportunity came on lap four while entering infamous turn nine. Splitting the leader, Becker/ Becker went inside from 3rd place while Boyd/Blunk took the outside. Three wide into this high speed turn meant someone had to give up, with Wood/ McClure being squeezed out first. The Becker machine hugged the inside in a flurry or rocks and debris, taking the lead. Afterward Becker would be heard saying, “…in 25 years I’ve never taken that line, and I doubt I’ll ever do it again.” Regardless of the “sketch” factor, the pass stuck.
With Boyd/ Blunk also around the outside, the new leaders would have only one lap to stretch out a gap. This proved impossible as Boyd/ Blunk made a bold move on the inside of turn one. Becker would wait until the downhill turn four to make an amazing move around the outside of Boyd, who’s shorter wheelbase machine struggled for traction. Wood had fallen out of contention by this point, later citing arm pump and fatigue for his falling lap times. The two-way battle for the lead would end with the last turn, as Becker/Becker got a better drive to win the drag race to the checkers.
Also of note was the “rental racer” team of Cat On A Leash. Part-time passenger Michael Troutman made the jump into the driver’s seat, bringing former European passenger Peter Andres back to the track. Using a rented machine they had only seen the day before, the pair managed to recover from a bad start to finish 7th. It doesn’t sound impressive until one sees the 3 cyl BMW engine supplying power to the machine. Against a slew of GSX-R1000 machines, the duo never even got lapped by the leaders; an amazing feat for a rookie team at such a high-speed track.
The SRA-West will return to Willow Springs Raceway 4/30-5/2 for their first double-header of the year, at the Moto Classica vintage event presented by AHRMA. For a full schedule visit http://www.sra-west.us.
SRA-West Formula Sidecar:
1. Bill Becker/Eric Becker (Becker/Suzuki)
2. Wade Boyd/Christine Blunck (Kal-Gard/Suzuki)
3 John Wood/Vanessa McClure (Windle/Suzuki)
4. Mike Jones/Cindy Creech (Becker/Suzuki)
5. Sean Bakken/Gary McEwen (Baker/Suzuki)
6. Hans Schulz/David Andres (Baker/Suzuki)
7. Michael Troutman/Peter Andres (CSR/BMW)
8. Leon Van Orsdale/Steve Stull (Baker/Honda)