BMW Motorcycles National Racing Series
Canadian Thunder

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David riding the "light" bike

A picture is worth 1000 words

Plate says it all

Ummmm there was a trailer attached to this wasn't there?

The "tear down" begins

The hardest working man in show business


Our pits

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"Crazy" Cathy & I

David & I

Richard & I

Chris & I

Rob O'Brien & I

Joe Rocket - it doesn't get any better

And I cook as well :o)

Race Report Round 4 & 5

The following are the daily updates posted to my blog on During any race weekend you can visit the series website for daily updates as each race weekend progresses.

July 12, 2006

Rounds 4 & 5 - Canadian Thunder - Mosport International Raceway
My Travel Report

Well the trip over on scAIR Canada wasn't all too disruptive as there was a direct flight from Victoria to Toronto. $9.99 two day old sandwiches aside. With this round being in Toronto, and effectively in the back yard of BMW Canada's head office, the powers that be, my bosses, have arranged for us to drive a brand new Mini Cooper S for the weekend. Pretty nice of them to offer, but they must not know of my "rental car abuse" history record. (More on that later… maybe.)

What I found extremely humorous today was the look on Dan's face when we went to pick the car up this afternoon. Dan's white like no other, especially his never-seen-daylight legs, but today he looked pasty as a bag of flour as we approached the car. Now you need to understand that Dan and I have some history together in regards to rental cars. Spain October 2004 would be a prime example but you'll have to ask him for the details on that one as I'm pleading the fifth. :o)

When it comes to rental cars, more specifically ones that I'm driving, Dan seems happiest with the "governed" economy rentals we tend to get from the major agencies. These tend to be rather slow non exciting vehicles such as the PT Cruiser (aka the "PT loser") that we had for the Calgary round. Sorry if you own one of those, no, really I am. The Mini however wasn't "governed" whatsoever and is supercharger to boot. As sick as I am I didn't tell Dan about the supercharger until we got in - (Insert evil laugh). Essentially the Mini is a street legal go cart with paddle shifting. Way fun! Well for me anyway. Despite the supercharger we made it to the track in one piece, with no incidents I might add, and helped the team prepare the pits and bikes for the weekend.

I'm looking forward to this weekend as I have always wanted to race Mosport. It's one of the premier tracks in Canada and is considered a "home track" for most of Canada's professional racers. Again, it's another track that I'm not familiar with so we'll have to work efficiently tomorrow to figure out which way the corners go. Hopefully I'll be able to get a good sleep, despite the time change, and be rested for tomorrow.

July 13, 2006

Rounds 4 & 5 - Canadian Thunder - Mosport International Raceway
Day One

Well I didn't get the best sleep, however, with a good breakfast I wasn't feeling too bad. I guess it's all relative. I went out in first practice to get my first look at Mosport and have to say I'm impressed with the track's layout, however, it's definitely tailored to car racing as there are walls everywhere. Quite dangerous to be honest. Thankfully I noted generous use of air fence in the particularly bad areas. There are two turns in particular, turns two and four, that will require a little…. ahem… "bravery" on entry, however, with some time we'll get the BMW going through there efficiently.

As you might imagine second practice went much better as I had a clearer picture of where to place the bike and get on the gas as we also managed to get the BMW working well in a few key sections. Thankfully we have another practice session tomorrow to test some additional changes and to give me some time to further review the track in my mind. At this point the only thing holding up the progress is me and my riding so with no excuses we'll have to sort that out by tomorrow.

July 14, 2006

Rounds 4 & 5 - Canadian Thunder - Mosport International Raceway
Day Two

Now that Dan has decided that I am no longer allowed to drive the Mini our trips in and out of the track are less thrilling. At least in my mind. As is usually the case the excitement of race weekends does not always revolve strictly around the actual racing. In fact, it usually stems from other things that occur. This morning would be a prime example where today our team witnessed first hand a gentleman that has, in our minds, qualified for a potential Darwin award. Get this. A large motor home towing an equally large trailer comes up and pits across from us. The driver hops out of his motor home and proceeds to unhook his trailer before I might add choking the wheels to stop it from rolling. Sure enough the trailer starts its unattached, unrestricted, decent down the sloped pit area and proceeds to pick up speed as it plummets down a very steep embankment. I just don't know what to say, but you can imagine what we were all thinking. Thankfully and luckily no one was injured.

Anyway, things didn't go so smoothing for us in morning practice when my bike developed a rather troublesome oil leak that required the team to switch me over to the spare bike for qualifying. This actually meant a complete "tear down" of my current bike to switch the relative components over to the spare bike. This I assure was no small undertaking and I need to thank the whole team for their amazing efforts, specifically Dan who, quite frankly, worked his butt off. With this chain of events I was now going to have to qualify on a bike I hadn't ridden. Not the ideal situation, but at least we were still running and able to qualify. Qualifying went fairly well, although I never managed to hook up with anyone to get things really rolling. At the checkered we managed to post the fourth fastest time putting us on the outside of row one for Saturday and Sunday's races. I'll tell you this, I'm really looking forward to the race, it should be an epic battle.

July 15, 2006

Rounds 4 & 5 - Canadian Thunder - Mosport International Raceway
Day Three - Race 1

Morning practice went quite well as we were able to make a few changes to the motorcycle that enabled us to further drop our lap times. Going into the race I knew it was going to be an unbelievable battle. And it was! I got a horrible start and went into turn one in about sixth position. As we came around for lap two I had made my way up to second behind Darren James, last years series champion. From here it became an all out battle as our bikes' strengths played against each other. Essentially Darren owned me in the corners but the torque and outright horsepower of our BMW enabled me to get by on the lengthy back straight. For the entire race we went back and forth with Darren pulling some really impressive passes all the while keeping it clean and safe. GREAT STUFF!

Unfortunately, neither of us saw the last lap board but I kept my head down and was able to just hold him off for the win. Although we won I have to say I'm not all that impressed with my overall performance. I made several mistakes during the race and never really felt as though I nailed a lap. I'll make sure to work on that tomorrow. None of this would have been possible without the help from all the sponsors and I have to thank Dan Zlock for all his tireless efforts. Tomorrow brings us to race day two and I know it's going to be another great race.

July 16, 2006

Rounds 4 & 5 - Canadian Thunder - Mosport International Raceway
Day 4 - Race 2

In what seems to be a tradition I’m typing this report from the Toronto airport as Dan and I wait for the plane. With us focusing on the racing at hand and all the things that entails the weekend now seems suddenly and abruptly over. I actually feel a little displaced as I’m only now reflecting on everything that has happened. It’s amazing how much has occurred and what a weekend the team had!

We somehow managed to put a BMW on the top of the podium in both races. Something I’ve been told hasn’t happened in Canada in over twenty five years. Also, we did this at a very opportune moment as Pieter de Waal, VP for BMW Motorrad Worldwide, was in attendance. Good timing as you might say my bosses’ boss was happy. Bodes well. :o)

Today’s race was almost a carbon copy of yesterdays except that both Darren and I raised our game that much more and really had a fight for the win that ultimately came down to the last lap. Despite the fact that our bikes are very different in their relative strengths, as I have mentioned earlier, the lap times ultimately come out to be the same. What this equates to is some really exciting racing and I hope the fans were treated to a GREAT show. I know I had fun. Again, we had a good clean race and Darren made me earn this win like no other. As is usually the case I need to thank everyone involved with the team. I wouldn’t be here, writing this report, without the combined support from everyone. Thank you all for such a great weekend.

From here I have a week off then I’m off to Seattle for a charity event. Next race for the Thunder series is round six August 11-13 in Shubenacadie, NS. Rumor has it that “Shubie” is an extremely bumpy track so we’ll look to make some additional changes to the BMW before we arrive. It’ll be fun regardless.

Stay tuned, I’ll keep you posted.