Snetterton 15 July 2002

 

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Go Star Racing Track at Snetterton July 2002
full report below

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I was bestowed with the task of organising the first ever Go-Star Track Day, as these things go you open your mouth before the brain gets into gear “off course I can get 20 people”! 

Thing’s started slowly but eventually we had up to 26 people who were keen to go on the track day. We had a problem with the group numbers, everyone wanted to be in the novice group and no one wanted to be in the fast group (especially Sean). After everything was sorted and one or two drop outs we had 18 people turn up on the day. 

I arrived at Snetterton the night before with my wife Susan, Cole our baby boy, Pete and Vicky Bartle. Tony Norman & Stuart had arrived earlier they had the Barbie going so we tucked in to burgers and sausages. Tony would show Jamie Oliver a thing or two with his Barbie skills and he’s even quick at cooking. 

Matt and Sean Turned up as it was turning to dusk. As soon as Sean’s helmet was off he was jabbering away about something or other. That guy can talk for England! We had a bit of a banter then off we trotted too our hotel down the road ready for the track day onslaught. 

The track day was hosted by 100% Bikes they were fantastic, they were really helpful in the first place offering a great discount to Go-Star and also Liz was very tolerable with booking details. We had a garage overnight and Ian had brought along the Go-Star banners of which look great and made us look like an organised team, well done Ian!

All the bikes were lined up their ready for action, we had 18 riders of which consisted of 8 new members and 10 existing members. Neil, Andy, Guy, Richie and Scott left Sheffield at 5.00 am that morning and just arrived before briefing - what a day they were going to have.

Paul Ziller from Lady Snoots was a diamond, he provided us with an excellent deal for three hire bikes and to my cost they went really well (too bloody well!) The weather on the day was absolutely fabulously, the maximum temperature on the day was 27 deg C you couldn’t have asked for anything better.

After signing on, all 18 of us toddled off to the café for track day instructions. The first group out was the intermediate level; there were no Go-Star riders in this group. After 20 minutes on track the next group out was the fast lads. We had 8 members in this group of which I was one.

I followed Tony and Andy round; to say I did not enjoy the first sighting session would be an understatement. The thought went through my mind “I’ve spent weeks organising this event and I hate this bloody track!”  The track is relatively flat and after spending most of my time round Donington, Mallory and Cadwell it seemed uninspiring and difficult to learn (well that was my thought at 9.30 am.) I could not get to grips with it and trying to follow Tony Bryant, Tony Norman and Andy Harris was impossible.

Tony B said don’t worry you’ll love it in the afternoon. He was right! We stopped for lunch and tucked into the vast array of food, well done Sue and Vicky for the catering! The Go-Star racers introduced themselves to the novices and offered advise when asked. It was all great fun. After lunch I switched to the so-called novice group so I could be with a few of my mates. The gauntlet had been well and truly dropped.

First thoughts were that I would watch them and see how they go and then put in one or two fast laps and show them who’s the Daddy (well that’s what I thought!). What a tussle we had Neil Offler, Paul Bradley and Pete Bartle all must have had a gallon of Red Bull at lunch because they definitely had wings and The Lady Snoot bikes were going really well.

First session after lunch result was:

  1. Neil Offler

  2. Paul Bradley

  3. John Hewitt

  4. Pete Bartle.

That was it, as I rolled into the garage Neil and Paul could not get off their bikes quick enough, the banter started. Well I know I have a competitive spirit but I really tried not to bite back. “Ok then you want a race”! As we lined up for the Second Session after lunch Ian Porter came over and told us that Marc Parchment R1 suffered an oil leak of which had dropped oil along the back straight and into the Esses.

After a short delay we were off. After two or three laps of cat and mouse the pace began to pick up. My trusty old CBR 600 was no match for the newer ZX6R and R6 along the straights but boy it could do a good job around the bends.

Paul over shot the back straight of which gave me an opportunity to get close to Neil we had to go slow through the Esses due to the cement on the track but we had a great tussle through the Bomb hole and around Coram. I finally passed Neil as we entered the hairpin “right job done just hold the position until we finish – one to me” NOT SO! Half a lap later we were entering the Esses I was slowing down for the oil and back markers (my excuse) then Neil and a guy on a Fireblade came passed me on the outside. That was it, I tried my best to catch him up and over take him but it was impossible. 

Result Second session after lunch result was:

  1. Neil Offler

  2. John Hewitt

  3. Paul Bradley

  4. Pete Bartle.

This was not good news, the so-called racer being beaten again! Trouble in the camp. But what good fun I was having. Third and final session after lunch, right that’s it their no way am I going to let anyone beat me on this session!

Two warm up laps and then straight on the power, I had a right tussle with Pete Bartle he was riding like a man possessed. I finally got past him then set my sight on passing Neil. Every time round the Bomb Hole and Coram he kept a tight line and always stopped me form getting in front for the hairpin. After two more laps I got my sights on being a gear lower through the Esses and over taking Neil through the bomb hole. Well I was a gear lower but I wasn’t as quick out of the Esses as I would like, well it’s do or die. I pulled out wide out of the Bomb Hole and started over taking on the outside it felt like I was never gong to get passed him, the only though in my mind is that this is my only chance and I’ve got to get past him now, I opened up the throttle a little more then I finally made enough room to pull across him as safely as possible. I had made it through the hairpin and then onto the straight. I held the position for one lap and come home in front.

As I passed over the finishing line I thought I was Valentino Rossi – what a feeling pity I can’t pull a wheelie like him! After the seven sessions I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed myself and I cannot wait to go back to Snetterton. What a wonderful track (your right Tony B).

Big thanks go to all the Go-Star racers for helping the new members out, Sue & Vicky for the catering, the lads from up north making the effort to travel down to Snetterton 300 miles in one day and 7 track sessions is really something. But to everyone at the club for making Go-Star something special!!

Everyone went home in one piece and with a big smile on their face!

Good day had by all (eat your heart out MCN)!! 

See you at the next event.

John Hewwitt

 

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