Round one of the British Historic Racing championships was held at Mallory Park last Sunday 15 April in glorious but chilly sunshine. I decided to ride the tried and tested 1954 NSU Sportmax replica I raced last year in the pre-63 250cc solos as the NSU Norton is still not fully race ready.
Having raced the bike quite a few times last year, I was quietly confident before practice. As it was a sunny, crisp but quite cold day, my mechanic decided to fit a slightly larger carb jet. The bike felt faster than I remembered it, we also raised the rear shocks to speed up the handling. Things were looking good.
Come the first race of the day, I was allocated 7th on the grid - dead last. At least I had nothing to lose. My start was disappointing however as I failed to find second gear after what was a pretty decent launch. I then spent the next five laps chasing the backmarkers and after three laps found myself in fourth place. The race was then red flagged following a red flag incident.
The second race after lunch saw me sat in pole position - all was to play for and I had my eyes set on a podium finish. I managed another good launch but once again fluffed second gear, this time only worse. I found myself dead last, sixth again. The field managed to pull away and all I could manage was to harass the rider in fifth position through some of the tighter turns.
So, before Cadwell next month I will be practicing my starts, (especially selecting second) and looking for some more power with a larger carb to help me on the 'mini-Nurburgring's' long straights.
Until next time...