Today the North Iowa Off Road Group (NIORG) had the first of their two ice races on Smith Lake, near Algona IA. A buddy of mine, who's quad is down for a rebuild, offered me his tires to use if I came down to race. I'm not really one to pass up an opportunity like that. Ice tires are expensive as all get out to setup, and mine haven't been used in years, and didn't work THAT good then.
They had a TT course, and a 600' radar run. I entered into the big money Pro class for the TT course, and got 5 tickets for the speed run also.
Went out for practice, and the thing felt great. The track was awesome! There was a split section where you could take one of two lanes which were really evenly matched. This kept slower quads from becoming a road block, although, that wasn't a problem in my class. The track was the biggest TT ice course I have run on. There was a long straightaway which had us entering a big sweeper in 5th gear.
The quad setup was really pretty good. I wanted a little more hook in the rear, so I decided to adjust the pressure in the rear tires. At this time, I realized the rate at which they leaked
The left rear had lost 3 lbs. I went out for the first moto, and I didn't have a great start. Not bad, but not good. As the race went on, I found some faster lines, and got comfortable with the track, so I got faster, but I noticed I wasn't getting much drive out of the corners. I also thought I noticed my clutch slipping, but I couldn't tell if it was losing traction or if the clutch was slipping. I ended up 4th out of 4, but not by a lot. I have a GoPro video of this race, but the 10 lap races make for an enormous file, and I didn't think to set the resolution lower. So we will see about getting it up on youtube. My interwebz isn't that fast.
What I realized when I got back, is that the right rear had thrown 2 screws, and had gone flat which really explained some things. Another buddy of mine who was racing in a different class offered me his rear tires after my tire slime bottle burst while I was trying to get that tire to hold air. I changed tires, and went over and made a pass on the radar run quick to try them out. I launched hard turning me hard to the right. Hard enough that I had to let out of the throttle to get it turned and get back in it. Then there was no question that the clutch was slipping, which in all the tire changing, had escaped my mind to check. I came back down the return road, and the guy told me I ran 64.something mph, and I was the class leader
(I don't think that many guys did the speed run)
So then it came time for my final. I finally adjusted some free play into the clutch. (really kicking myself for forgetting to turn on the GoPro for this)
I had a better start, but was on the outside going into the big sweeper, and I got shut out. I was running 3rd, and we were running tight. It was one hell of a race. I could gain some on one turn, and lose some the next. We were all pretty evenly matched. There was a 310R two smoker, a YFZ with an Athena, me, and a Honda 450R with unknown mods, in that order at this point.
A few laps in, I had a comfortable gap between me and the 450R, and I was working on the YFZ. What ever lane he took in the split, I took the other one, then, finally, it paid off! He got wide and hit a berm, and I came out ahead. Now I've got my sights on the 2 smoker. I rode with everything I had, looking for places to make time. I'd gain some, I'd lose some. By now we're 6 laps in. I had pulled away from the YFZ and the 450R, and the 310 and I were pulling away, but he had a comfortable lead on me. I was still lacking drive coming out of the corners, but I was finding every possible advantage I could get. Dad said I was going into the corners quite a bit harder than the other guys, but I was losing too much traction coming out. By lap 10 I was praying for the 310 to spin out or hit a bale or something, but it didn't happen. They guy was fast
. I got 2nd and felt like I left it all on the course. I'm very proud of the quad's performance and my own. Especially since I haven't raced on ice in like 5 years.
I took my winnings ($60) and joined the club to support the cause. I had $20 left, so I gave that to Dustin for letting me use, throw screws out of, and slime in an attempt to seal, his tires.
Here's a few pics that my girlfriend took with my phone while I was racing