Author Topic: Kowitz write-up from Miller  (Read 1083 times)

Brammofan

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Kowitz write-up from Miller
« on: September 09, 2015, 08:00:49 PM »
Arthur Kowitz wrote this on Facebook, I'm sharing it here:

Race Report, Utah 2015....Hello again, race fans...
Wanda and I endured the 2500 mile drive from home in Daytona Beach to the high desert of Salt Lake City. An unscheduled stop in Texas for truck repair and the news of a dear friend's death seemed to make the trip even longer.
Upon arrival at the world famous (and awesome) Miller Motorsports Park, we were greeted by 30-50(!) mph constant winds that made our life in the open paddock a bit of a challenge. Nothing could be set down without it blowing away.
I keep saying to myself...'everything worthwhile has a price'.
A comedy of errors ensued... I messed up the diesel fuel in our truck, a friend's racebike wouldn't start, motorcycle charging stations malfunctioned, and the winds were too strong for me to utilize my racebike's bullet shaped streamlined fairing.
After removing the fancy, and usually effective, bodywork, I spent Friday on the track to re-learn the course, and endure race practice.
I've raced here twice before in years past.
Mid-morning on Saturday, raceday, the winds stopped...suddenly. Hooray!
I had little confidence that the calm would continue, nor was there time to re-fit the fairings. Oh well, let's go racing naked.
The air was filled with uncertainty, as 2 newcomers on high powered prototype electric racebikes were on the starting grid. Also, there was the current series' points leader and other talented riders to contend. It's always intriguing to line up when the pecking order is unknown.
All gridded up, one board up...board turned sideways, Green!!. I leap off the line with a good start, leading the field into turn one, through the high speed right hand sweeper. Like a rocket, one of the high voltage protoypes whooshes past me with an amazing burst of power!
Try as I may, the speed differential is too much foe me to overcome...he is gone into the distance. Whew, that thing is fast!
One thing I have learned over the years of life, and racing...trophies are not awarded on the first lap.
Lets maintain concentration and lay down some fast laps. My bike is running great, and I am "feelin' it"...right about then, I get passed on the outside by a smokin' fast rider...one of my good buddies. Can't let this happen.
Right in the middle of a tricky triple-esses section of the track, I see a bike laying on it's side, off track and in the dirt. Ouch!...that's my back up bike which I loaned to another racer. It pains me to see one of my own bikes crashed trackside. Stay focused, I remind myself...again.
Over the next couple of laps, my buddy Pete and I trade positions. We come high speed into the last hard left-hander, just before the technical section leading to the front straight, when I notice the fast prototype bike leaning on the wall off the track...broken and out of the race...two of us are now dicing for the win.
As we enter the last lap, I am only a couple of bike lengths behind my friend/enemy-for-the-moment. The all important twisty section that leads into a left hand bowl and onto the front straight approaches...this is the dash to the finish line. Must get the best possible drive onto the front straight. Remain deliberate and do exactly what's needed...be cool. I follow into the bowl, but choose to drift wide right, and make a hard left across a very late apex. The set up has been done.
We both tuck in tight as we rush toward the line...my extra drive, and slightly faster bike pull me ahead of him several yards before the finish line.
Checkered flag!!
Let's take a breath, attend an awards banquet, accept a first place trophy and get ready for Sunday's race...same competitors, same track..
Sunday was not so successful for me, as the wear and tear of the weekend...and an awsome exhibition of riding by my colleagues, relagated me to a third place finish.
Most realistic motorcycle racers agree...going home in one piece, with a bike unscathed and still running, is a successful event.
Adding to that a first and a third place finish makes for a fine drive back to Florida.
Next race in Alabama next month...I'll be ready.

Sent from my SM-G900P using Tapatalk

« Last Edit: September 10, 2015, 08:22:29 AM by Brammofan »
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Shinysideup

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Re: Kowitz write-up from Miller
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2015, 05:56:14 PM »
Congrats to Arthur!

I hope his backup bike (and its rider!) are OK.

dbsuperbiker

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Re: Kowitz write-up from Miller
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2015, 09:40:17 PM »
back up bike and rider are just fine, they both were repaired and raced the next day.
thanks for the concern

PETERNICOLOSI

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Re: Kowitz write-up from Miller
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2015, 04:59:19 PM »
I would love to hear more about sunday. brian can you help with this.

BrammoBrian

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Re: Kowitz write-up from Miller
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2015, 09:38:34 AM »
I would love to hear more about sunday. brian can you help with this.

Ok, Pete... you asked for it! ;)

eMotoRacing at Miller Motorsports Park
Race Report #919 Brian Wismann




The opportunity finally arrived to get out from the garages and from behind the pit wall and get myself onto the race track.  I have been participating in electric motorcycle racing as a Team Manager since 2009, but have only competed myself previously in 2014 and 2015 at the ReFuel SportElectric Time Trials at Laguna Seca.  This was an opportunity to race head-to-head with some seasoned veterans and I simply could not pass it up…

I reported on Friday morning at 7:15AM for AHRMA’s “Fast and Safe” Race School, which was conveniently being run by regular Brammo Empulse racers Andrew Cowell and Murrae Haynes.  Talk about drinking from a fire hose!  Between practice sessions I had to check tire pressures, get the bike on charge and then run back to the classroom for further instruction.  I was so busy, I almost missed the mock-race at the end of the day, the final hurdle to stride before receiving a probationary race license for Saturday and Sunday’s events.  Luckily, I made it out to the track and started the race from P1 on the grid.  I got hassled a bit by an instructor on a Yamaha something or other, but ultimately won the mock race, for whatever that’s worth.  Race school completed, license granted. First goal achieved!  8)



My Empulse HVR bike had been running like a dream all Friday and in practice on Saturday, so I was feeling pretty good despite some nerves going into Saturday’s event.  Starting from the back of the grid, I made my way up to 2nd behind Arthur going into Turn 1.  I moved past Arthur in the short straight between turns 6 and 7 and started hunting down the gas bikes that had started in the first wave.  Unfortunately, as Arthur has pointed out, it was a race of attrition, with my bike having a mechanical issue at the end of Lap 3 that took me out of the race (safely), but did allow me to be scored with a finish.  Since I was the only eGrandprix bike, I was awarded a somewhat hollow first place in class.  The problem with the bike was transmission related, which was somewhat of a relief, having had motor controller glitches in earlier events that I had believed to be resolved. The bike was wounded, but no serious damage was done, but I was without needed tools and parts, so I decided to park the HVR to race another day.   


Leading Pete Nicolosi through the "Attitudes" during Practice on Friday


The HVR was flying around the technical Miller East track!



Following Arthur through turns 5 and 6 in Race 1
 
Now things got interesting…
As I sat looking at my wounded HVR bike in the pits and my production street bike in the back of the garage, I decided I would set to work to get my street bike ready for Race 2 and go “head-to-head” with the others in the eSuperSport class.  I knew getting practice in the morning would be key since I would need to adapt to the reduced power level, change shift points, and even modify my racing line.  I also knew Arthur and Pete were capable of running sub 2:00 laps on their bikes and I needed to know how far off the pace I was.  First practice session out I ran a best lap of 2:03… Crap… this is going to be tougher than I thought.  Second session out I made some adjustments and ran a few extra laps to get some kind of rhythm and was rewarded with a decent improvement – a 1:59.  Arthur ran 1:58s last year at Miller, so I’d have to find something extra in the race, but at least I could be close. 

So… I ran those extra laps and SHOULD have had plenty of time to charge, but as fate and 2 fried Level 2 charge EVSEs would have it… I barely made it to 85% SOC before I needed to roll out to the starting grid.  As such, I skipped the warm-up lap and took my spot beside the Team Zeus prototype at the back of the grid, two rows behind Arthur (P1), Pete (P2), and Murrae (P3). 

The green flag came out and I got a great start... 

https://youtu.be/h7zIu0mc2mY

I’ve got a pretty solid line through Turn 1 courtesy of watching Shane Turpin through there all these years and used it to my advantage.  I came out of Turn 1 in 3rd place right behind Arthur and Pete.  What ensued over the next couple of laps was some epic side-by-side, take no prisoners racing with two very talented and luckily – very safe racers. 


The racing stayed this tight throughout the 6 lap race!

I wasn’t able to ride with Arthur or Pete during practice, so I really didn’t know where they were strongest or where I might have some advantage,  After a couple of laps I learned that I could make up some lost ground on the short shoot between the final two turns which lead to some pretty good speed on the front straight. Then, I could use the Shane Turpin line to get past on the entry to Turn 1, put my head down and hope I could pull a gap.  I hit the front on Lap 3 and thought for a second… “Hey! I’m winning!” … next thing I knew a flash of black and yellow leathers and a red Empulse came up next to me.  Try as we might, neither of us could shake the other and from what I understand, the announcer was calling a blow-by-blow as Pete and I traded places over the next several laps.  Remember those extra seconds I was looking for in practice?  We found them… every lap I ran in the race was a 1:57 or a 1:56!  I had heard about this phenomenon and had seen it at work with our professional riders, but it was something else to experience it.  To say in practice, “Well, that’s all she’s got…” and then go 3-4 seconds faster a lap in the race. 


I lead Pete on laps 3, 4, and 5...

But Pete lead the most important one across the line! 


Back to the race…  I am a rookie racer, but I had a good race.  Pete is a veteran racer and had an even better one.  While I was focused on staying smooth and running consistent, fast lap times, he was focused on what’s really important – winning the race.  Pete managed to get past me at the end of Lap 6 and beat me across the line on what was scored as the final lap of the race.  We both went on to finish the last 2 laps that the gas bikes ran, but these weren’t scored and Pete lead lap 8 anyway as that 15% battery capacity I missed was starting to catch up to me with performance reduction to control low SOC voltage sag.   Arthur came across the line in a solid 3rd place finish after a tough weekend. 

It’s hard to describe what a fantastic experience the whole event was.  I have the utmost respect and jealousy for the racers that make it to every event, like Pete and Arthur.  The sacrifices these guys make and the work they put in leading up to and during a race weekend is truly admirable.  Looking at that side alone, you would wonder why anyone would do it.  Having experienced what happens on the other side of that pit wall, I now know the answer.  




It was an honor and a pleasure to share the track with these competitors. These are the guys that are making electric motorcycles "real".
« Last Edit: September 19, 2015, 11:08:41 AM by BrammoBrian »

PETERNICOLOSI

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Re: Kowitz write-up from Miller
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2015, 02:01:42 PM »
VERY NICE, BRIAN YOU FORGOT ABOUT PUT ME IN THE DIRT,THE MIDDLE FINGER YOU GIVE ME AND THE ELBOWS..... SO WE WILL SEE YOU ON TRACK NEXT TIME. AND LEAVE YOUR A BIKE AT HOME


THAT WAS A GREAT WEEKEND,EVEN WITH BROKEN BIKE, TRUCKS AND ALL

dbsuperbiker

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Re: Kowitz write-up from Miller
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2015, 09:19:30 PM »
Nice write up, Brian...we need to get you out of the house more often!