| 2008 AFM Formula IV Champion
2008 AFM Top Points Earnings
2009 AFM Forumula IV Champion
2011 AFM 650 Production Champion
2011 AFM Forumula 40 Champion
2011 AFM Forumula IV Champion
2012 AFM Forumula 40 Champion
# 6 Plate AFM 2009
#10 Plate AFM 2010
# 8 Plate AFM 2012
Vance&Hines XR1200 Series Final Round - 16th place
450 Superbike - Thunderhill Season Championship - 1st place
450 Superbike - AFM Championship - 2nd place
AFM Rounds 2-7 Most of the 2013 Season
After round #1, our teammate Jon moved to Holland for work... leaving his Kawasaki ZRX400R safely in the hands of the team. With no reason to let it sit around, I decided to race it at Round #2 (Sonoma Raceway). I had a lot to get used to with the smaller chassis and high reving motor, but it was a blast to ride and handled exceptionally well. My knees were still healing, but it still made for a good (tight) fit. I managed to pull off a WIN on my first weekend with a huge smile on my face (and a slipping clutch).
The next rounds I still struggled a bit, not knowing the bike as well as I did my SV. I ended up 2nd place at round #3 getting drafted to the line. Determined not to have that happen again, I charged for the win at round #4 (Back at Thunderhill) and dropped my laptime to a 1:57 for a decisive win. Unable to repeat the laptimes at round #5, I still came home with a win. Rounds #6 and #7 were exciting battles with only a small margin of victory for the TWF Racing Kawi 400. Missing the first round, it was a major up-hill battle to go for the AFM championship (finished 2nd overall), but taking the Thunderhill Series Championship was our primary goal.
It was a very fun season running a new class. I also still showed up on the grid for several of the SV classes as well as finishing the season running an 08 GSXR600 just for the added experience.
HUGE Thanks to Jon Forman for offering up his Kawasaki to make my season exciting and memorable.
Formula 40 - 1st place
AFM Round #7 - Thunderhill Raceway October 6, 2012
Arriving at the track close to 5PM on Friday, I still did not know if I would be able to ride on Saturday or not. From my earlier race report you might of read that I had knee injuries. I had the surgery to replace my right ACL and clean out the damaged meniscus on Sept. 5th. One month almost to the day, I am pulling into the paddock or the last round of the 2012 AFM race series in hopes of holding on to one championship. At the same time, feeling a bit silly (and almost stupid) for feeling that saving this championship is worth the risk to my knee. BUT.... we are racers and that's how we think, like it or not.
I unloaded and set up my pit area, then immediately began to socialize. I was not going to ride the morning practice sessions so I could relax, sleep in and just focus on my afternoon. With the morning pressure removed, it was nice to visit with friends.
I was signed up for only a 1/2 day practice so my morning was spent talking, socializing and watching practice. It was a wonderfully relaxing morning. During lunch I began to do some of my Physical Therapy exercises to get my knee loosened up and then worked my way into my leathers. I felt OK going out for practice and my first lap wasn't too bad. I could not turn right, but I could ride. I went around for a full practice session focusing only on the 3 right had turns to figure out my best body position given my limitations. By the end I felt OK with my results and came back to the paddock to ice down my knee and wait for the race.
A quick comparison of my form that day turning left and right. Notice the inside foot turning right, I couldn't get onto my toes so I had to keep it from dragging the ground like a rutter.
Formula 40 Lightweight - 1st Place
I decided I was not going to settle for the 'math' game of the points, and to just race instead. My warm-up lap felt a little better than morning practice so I was encouraged as I grided up or the start. I was on pole for the start and focused on the learnings earlier in the season about starts... focused... kept it simple.... let the clutch pressure build until it was ready to explode... and the GREEN FLAG DROPPED!!!!!!
He made it very clear in the next 4 turns that I was delusional as he walked away never to been seen by me again until later in the paddock. "Well, OK. I can't touch him, but I'm still in 2nd", this thought was followed by a little giggle then a grunt and a wince as I entered the right handed entry into turn 3. I felt alone, but at two critical spots on the track the low setting sun would cast long shadows. These two spots were critical because they cast the shadows of my pursuers ahead of me as a polite warning. By this point in the race my knee had warmed up and relaxed so I spent 3 laps battling the helmeted shadows that lurked behind me feeling hopeful for my 2nd place finish.
As I exited turn 8, I was 20 bike lengths back from James and Michael wondering what I could do with only 7 turns left. I barely had the thought out in my head when Michael had the door closed on him on a pass into 9 and ran off track. I watched intently as I crested the blind hill of 9 to see Michael upright in the dirt about the re-enter the track. Knowing he was upright and OK allowed me to giggle... and giggle I did :D (Sorry Michael) for now I had my 3rd place finish. One position better than my original plan. I tried a few celebration wheelies but without the prior approval of my knee they looked like a frog leaping into a wall. I didn't care, I had a championship. After a season with a blown motor, fried clutch, crash and two broken knees... I still had a championship. That thought made me very happy.
As always, I have to thank Zoran and my TWF Racing team members for all thier support. 4TheRiders for making me look good in every picture. Zooni Leathers for keeping me safe and Pirelli tires for keeping me upright. A special thanks to Galfer brakes for thier at-the-track support and for the performance and feedback the 1300 series pads gave me to prevent a crash in turn 6. Additonal thanks to Sidi, WoodCraft, Suomy, MotionPro, Driven, AmourBodies, RaceImage.net and my Z2TrackDays family.
AFM Round #6 - Sanoma Raceway September 2, 2012
Arriving at the track in the late afternoon on Friday allowed me time to socialize more than usual. It was a nice afternoon/evening of slowly unloading the hauler and talking with friends. Then, later that night the Catching's arrived and the real socializing began! Friends are as much a reason a lot of us race as the racing itself, and the AFM paddock is overflowing with them.
My main focus for Saturday practice was to get comfortable on the bike, get my knees loosened up and figure out the changes in turn 9. Turn 9 is a tight chicane (Quick right / left combination) that was recently modified for the cars that race at Sanoma. The change was not significant, but it opened the turn more allowing for a faster entry and a slightly different exit. It took me most of the day and into Sunday to figure out how to effectively maneuver the changes.
The bike felt great, my legs felt really good and I was ready for the Formula 40 Lightweight race.
The next 2 laps were about the same. I would try to set up a pass and either a back-marker would thwart my efforts or James and/or Jay would out-ride my efforts. We crossed the white flag (last lap) still in a tight clump and I was quickly running out of time. I was looking at every corner for an opportunity but nothing presented itself.... until turn 6. There was a slower back-marker exiting turn 5 middle track. James and Jay looked to the outside for their pass giving them a sweeping entry to the downhill carousel of turn 6. I looked to the inside and held the throttle wide open. Cresting the blind hill into Turn 6 I put my trust in the Galfer brake pads to get the bike to slow down and to initiate (and hold) a tight entry. The front end pushed but the Pirelli held strong and I was able to hold a perfect line to the exit and a great drive down the back straight into turn 7. I took slightly protective lines for the last few turns and took the checkered flag for the win.
650 Twins - 3rd Place
Another poor start.... I just can't seem to get away from them. This race was not as eventful as the previous day's F40 race, but still fun and exciting. I was in 7th again in turn 2, but I was able to recover quicker. I was in 4th within a few laps and had the highlight of the race catching and eventually passing Rory for 3rd. I thought it was going to be a pass on the brakes into turn 9, but Rory held me off, so I set up the exit for a pass in turn 10. It was an outside pass and Joe at 4TheRiders.com got the picture (above). I was giggling the whole time, Rory is great to race with!!!!!
By the time I moved into 3rd there was too big of a gap to 2nd so I crossed the checkered in 3rd.
At the 1/2 way mark, I see a flash of red going into Turn 9 and Jason passed me. WHAT!!!!!!!>?!>!>! I followed him for the next few laps as he absolutely rode the wheels off of that bike. with two laps to go, he ran wide in turn 6 which helped me set up a pass to move back into 2nd. He kept the pressure on but I was able to fend off the production bike and finish the race in 2nd.
As always, I have to thank Zoran and my TWF Racing team members for all thier support. Zooni Leathers for keeping me safe and Pirelli tires for keeping me upright. A special thanks to Galfer brakes for thier at-the-track support and for the performance and feedback the 1300 series pads gave me to prevent a crash in turn 6. Additonal thanks to Sidi, WoodCraft, Suomy, MotionPro, Driven, AmourBodies, RaceImage.net and my Z2TrackDays family.
AFM Round #5 - Thunderhill Raceway August 5, 2012
Back in the USA, X-Rays show damaged to the MCL's on both legs, but the MRI to look at the inner meniscus was not scheduled until the Tuesday AFTER the race weekend. So.... I drive off toward Thunderhill with stiff, sore knees and very limited range of motion in the right leg.
I didn't have much hope for Saturday's practice sessions. My knees were feeling better with the humidity in CA, but I still have limited range of motion. My first attempt out on track ended quickly when I discovered I had to stand up on the pegs to reposition my feet between corners..... That wouldn't do.
Back in the paddock, I tried to gently force my right knee to a full bend, but it was not having any part of it. I ate lunch and prepared for my second try. On my next session out, I had two horrible laps trying to find a way to ride. I forced myself to stay out for the full session determined to either find a way, or feel confident in my decision not to race. on lap 4 I started warming up more and by lap 6 I had it. If I kept my right foot on the ball of my foot and never moved it, I could ride pretty well. I just had to change my riding style and keep my foot planted on one position for the full race. I would slip and scream about one time per lap in practice, so I hoped that ratio would go down during the race.
My practice sessions were not too enjoyable, So I kept it limited to the two sessions and called that good for the race. The next step was to see how I held up for Formula 40 on Saturday Afternoon.
Formula 40 - Lightweight
With my foot firmly planted in the position I intended to keep it throughout the race, I was lined up on the pole position.... feeling pretty good. I had a 'slightly-better-than-normal' start and went into turn 2 in 3rd place. Trying to settle into my riding style, I stayed in 3rd for the first two laps. We had also quickly caught up to the back of the middleweight class so the back-markers gave me a few challenges. I knew where I could gain on the leaders so I started to focus on my plan and less on my knees.
on lap 3, I made up the distance and made my passes for the lead. My legs had stopped hurting, but I was already feeling tired from the extra strain. I mentioned that it was lap 3.... but exited turn 15 onto the front straight expecting to see the white flag... the sign for the last lap. CROSSED FLAGS!!!!! that means we are only 1/2 way. **Sigh** "Thinking away the pain" was taking more of my energy than I thought. I still had 3 full laps to go.
I was actually having a lot of fun so I settled in for 3 more laps. I was able to make good work of the back-markers and then on lap 4 I was able to use two more at the end of the front straight to put a solid gap between me and second place. The next two laps, I kept my focus on the track, on having fun and trying not to be too exuberant about being in the lead when I had only hoped for a 3rd place at best! It was hard to not giggle and lose focus. I took the long awaited white flag with my giggling securely tucked away for another lap.... crossing the line at the checkered in First Place!
I had to do a cool-down-lap wheelie for Joe at 4TheRiders. With all my excitement and exhaustion I lofted it nicely, crossed up to get a good look at Joe (who was taking photographs from directly in front of me) and quickly hoisted it higher and higher until both he and I matched panic looks :D. As he finally started to flinch, I managed to get the front end back down and ride out the turn on the top of the curbing. The nice part is, the pictures only captured the cool part :giggle:
As several friends predicted on Saturday, I was certainly going to race Sunday after such a good ending to Saturday. I was much stiffer again for the morning practice, but since we were race #1, I had to get out on track. I took it slow and just let my legs warm up. they felt better than Saturday morning, but not as good as Saturday afternoon. Practice went OK, and after a short rider's meeting to start the day, we were headed out for our warm-up lap.
650 Twins - DNF
My warm-up lap went well, and my knees quickly found there place. I was excited that the pain was not as much as I expected and I let myself get excited for a good race. The Green Flag dropped and had an absolutely horrible, crappy, 'what-the-hell-is-wrong-with-me' kind of start. A small tear formed in my eye from sadness as I shifted into 2nd with the RPM's bouncing off the rev-limiter. 5 more bikes passed me as I continued to bounce off the rev-limiter.... HUH? I grab third gear as riders from 7 rows back pass me before turn 1. Through Turn 1 and into turn 2 I continue to shift, quickly find the rev-limiter and get passed. "OK... I know what's going on here" I tell myself. I grab a hand full of throttle without shifting and feel the motor slip through the RPM's without any acceleration. "WOW, good thing this didn't go out yesterday during F40" was my next thought along with another slight giggle.
I put my arm up, let traffic get around me cleanly (I hope they felt I did an OK job) and pulled off into the infield access round out of Turn 5 and watched the race from there. It was actually a pretty good seat for spectating.
Back to the pits after the race, Zoran made quick work of the clutch change and we had the bike ready with a new rear tire and warmers in place with time to spare before my next race. Special thanks to Billy and Jason from Catching Competition. I had a spare set of frictions, but they supplied me with the much needed steels. THANK YOU !!!!!!
Formula 4 - 2nd
I was gridded on the second row and determined to make up for the race start in 650T. I launched the bike well and mainted my postion going into turn 2 in 5th place. I wanted to keep on the rear wheel of the leaders and I was doing OK for the first lap. On lap two, Neil and Kirk started to pull a gap on 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th. We had a tight group and it was going to be a fun race. On lap 3, the 3rd place bike had a violent high-side crash out of turn 13 onto the back straight. We were all able to avoid him but it seperated us a little. Now it was me and Jason Catching (Pit-mate and good friend) It's always fun to race with friends. He was riding well, but this day.... my "wheels were swift" (Beier, 2012). I had a great drive out of turn 15 onto the front straight and made my pass. I knew Jason would stay VERY close and take advantage of any mistake I made, so I only made one, entering the back straight. Damn, I meant to make NONE!!!!! I saw his wheel under braking into turn 14 but I was able to close the door and maintain position.
On lap 5, exiting the cylcone onto the fast outer section, The second place rider crashed out in turn 7... a very fast corner. It didn't look good and I started looking for the Red flag. by the time we crossed Start/Finish for the final lap, the red flag came out. We were stopped by turn 5 and the race was over.
As always, I have to thank Zoran and my TWF Racing team members for all thier support. Zooni Leathers for keeping me safe and Pirelli tires for keeping me upright. Additonal thanks to Galfer, Sidi, WoodCraft, Suomy, MotionPro, Driven, AmourBodies, RaceImage.net and my Z2TrackDays family.
AFM Round #4 - Sonoma Raceway (Formerly Infineon) July 1, 2012
I had a great start and lead the race into turn 1. I had a bad entry into turn 3 and saw Jay’s front wheel challenging for the lead, but I was able to maintain the lead down the hill into turn 4. I had open track for about a lap, then we started catching the back-markers from the middle-weight class. I was able to make efficient use of the ‘traffic’ and opened up my lead and crossing the checkered flag in first place. I was excited for the win, but my times were still 2 seconds off pace for Sunday.
Formula 4 - 4th Place
I had a poor start going into turn 2 in about 10th place. I was not willing to make the aggressive passes so I was stuck in 10th until things settled down by the end of the first lap. On lap 2 I started making passes. I was able to move up into 4th place by the end of the 3rd lap, but the leaders had opened up a large gap by then. I crossed the finish line in 4th, still 2 seconds off the pace (and 2 seconds off my last season times). Frustrated I asked Zoran to look at my suspension. I don’t like blaming the bike, but I had spent enough time blaming me that I needed a diversion.
Turns out my suspension settings were all changed. I don’t believe it to have been malicious, but sometime during the early season my suspension settings had all been changed (for the worse). We set the bike back up and I was prepared for my final race.
650 Twins - 4th Place
I had a better start and was sitting in 3rd by the end of the first lap. The leaders were pulling a little bit on me, but nothing significant. On lap 3 Jason made a pass pushing me to 4th. I used that as my motivation to not let the leaders get away. Also, Jason had run much better than me in the first race so I sang “show me the way” in my helmet and let my bike do what it does best. I was not able to set up a pass for the next few laps but it was a great race. The leaders didn’t pull too much of a gap and I felt like I actually raced ‘MY’ race and felt good. I ended up with the same result as before… 4th, but this one was a well ridden 4th matching my best times at Sonoma Raceway.
My season has been less than outstanding so far, but I am keeping my focus on the ‘fun’ and on my primary goal of improving my personal best lap times at every track I race. I did not reach that goal this round, but I have one more opportunity at this track to reach my season goal.
I want to thank Zoran for his support, TWFRacing for a great group of racers to be a part of, Zooni Leathers for saving my butt when I fall (and making me look good while doing it), Pirelli tires for the best traction possible!, Galfer Brakes for their trackside support and superior brake pads, MotionPro for the ‘just right tools’ like my new brake bleeder, Go-Go for always having kind and inspirational words, Driven Sprockets, RaceImage.net, Suomy helmets, WoodCraft, Armour Bodies, and Z2 Trackdays for letting me be a part of their family :D.
AFM Round #3 - Thunderhill Raceway Park June 3, 2012
AFM Round #2 - Thunderhill Raceway Park May 13, 2012
AFM Round #1 - Buttonwillow Raceway March 18, 2012
2012 Pre-Season Race : WERA Las Vegas Motor Speedway February 11/12
The biggest goal of the weekend also came in that last race with a 1:23.2 lap time. A full ½ second faster than my previous personal best acquired just a few hours earlier.
I have to thank Zoran for taking the trip with me. filling my ears with advice patiently listening as I repeated myself about 27 times about what I was thinking and doing wrong out on track. I also want to thank Corey at CTRacing / Pirelli for all the tire support. I actually ran the same front that was on the bike at the last round of 2011 for the full weekend, but the new rear and the tire choice advice worked out perfect for Sunday. My Zooni leathers felt as comfortable as always and luckily went untested for another weekend. The Galfer brakes, Driven sprockets, WoodCraft bits… all worked as perfectly as usual. I was also excited to try out my new Suomy for this event. I always forget how comfortable and plush a new helmet feel, and this season’s helmet is even lighter than before.
The first round for the AFM season is March 17/18 down at Buttonwillow. I already have sections of the track that I am thinking about differently, but I’ll first spend a few days with my wife and daughter and Mickey down in Disneyland before heading to the track.