Project 5 Racing

Urbana Grand Prix

Ginger and I drove to the Urbana Grand Prix to race the W3/4 and Open this week-end. Man is it flat along I-57. I do not travel south that often, so the shock was real. At registration, we learned that the course had been altered due to potholes. Instead of a figure 8, it would be a loop around a block and an out-back to the finish line with a 180 degree turn before the final approach. Holy crap – a 180 degree turn? Seriously? And such as short course = lots of 180 degree turns, with the surges that come out of them.

The W3/4 started hard with attacks at the whistle. Serious braking as we hit the 180 degree turn with a surge as we came out of it – and went uphill – into the wind – really, all of that at once! Oh – plus the temperature was heading north of 90 degrees for the first time this year. Repeat – many times. It was great to hear the Sides cheering on each lap – thanks, guys! As we neared the final laps, half the field was in the lead pack. Two racers unfamiliar to Ginger and me led out the pack on the final laps. On the bell lap, as we approached the final 180 degree turn, I attacked to get through the corner first and was able to hold off a charging Vanessa MacKenzie from Proctor for the win – 1″ means a lot! Ginger came in 4th. Great race for us!

The W Open had many of the same strong racers, plus the amazing Jessica Prinner and Patricia Black who had beaten Jessie the day before – so we knew she was a threat. With the longer racing time, rising temperatures, and most on their 2nd race of the day, the pace started slower. After a few laps, Jessie tired of the pace and attacked – cleanly getting away. Soon Patricia was off chasing her jumping clear of the pack. As the pack tried to chase down the break, it was obvious that Jessie and Patricia were not working together. We pushed on…Ginger took a few hard pulls, I did, as did many of the others. But it wasn’t to be my race – I lost contact with the pack. Ginger and the others continued to push a hard pace – really working hard. It was cool to see. With Jessie lapping me, I had the pleasure of doubling back to the finish to see the pack sprint. Out of the 180 degree turn first, Vanessa took the pack sprint. Ginger finished a super strong 4th in the pack sprint for 6th overall – great job!

Following the race, while grabbing a bite to eat, was able to watch Tim race in the Masters 30+. Intense pace – again with a break-away. Tim finished with the chase pack – looking solid all through the race – moving forward and back very comfortably. Great job, Tim.

Another fun day of racing… 

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