Part 3 Day 2 at SGMP November 9, 2012 (Friday)
South Georgia Motorsports Park is a premier-class facility near Adel Georgia, about 30 miles north of Valdosta and the Florida state line. I always look forward to travelling in the South, as it is a bit different than our northern reaches in a few respects. First, the food is by and large better. You can’t get good biscuits and gravy north of Evansville Indiana in my opinion, and the farther south you get and the farther away from the big cities, the better. Grits, greens, okra, and barbecue, bring it on! Breakfast, dinner, supper, I still mess up which is which, but since it’s all good, it doesn’t matter. Track food has vastly improved over the last fifteen years or so, but it was closer to survivable at places like Dallas, Gainesville, Atlanta, and smaller venues as well. Makes me hungry just writing about it.
Well, after another great breakfast and a shower, we headed back to the track. WJ was able to get us rooms that were affordable and not too far away. Driving an extra hour or hour and a half a day is a nuisance, and in some cases, such as the U.S. Nationals, unavoidable.
Rolling everything out, we prepped the bike and went to staging. The air was good, so we wanted to see what would happen with the new ignition and the fuel tuneup I left where it was the day before. Adding two teeth to the rear sprocket I hoped would improve the short time. We saw an 8.963 @ 149.10 mph on the board. It did pick up two tenths of a second in the 60 ft. time, so now we had a good starting place for the day’s work. I stopped at the timing shack and asked for the timeslip and was told the clocks weren’t “quite ready” yet. We only had one other 8 second run before, so this was pretty darned important to look at the data to tune from it. I was told to go to the tower to see about taking care of that. It was here I got something I never had gotten before in forty years of racing….a hand-written timeslip. I appreciated the effort that was gone to, because we needed that data and I can only imagine if everyone else came trotting up and wanted theirs too. After thanking the timing official, back to the trailer to see what kind of trouble we could get into now.
Adding another degree to the timing and taking a percent and a half out of the barrel valve leakage (leaning it out slightly at idle and just off idle, but making no perceptible change in its responsiveness) and adding 1.6 grams per clutch lever (5 levers total) got us an 8.949 @ 150.05 mph. A nice improvement with small changes. Was about this time were joined by Jim Morin, who had come down from Madison Wisconsin on vacation and wanted to see the bike run. Jim and I go way back as he was the tuner on our first Top Fuel bike in 1982 (see what I mean about waaaay back?) and the Ducati offered a different perspective than the Harleys he had been working with lately.
Next up we took a little clutch spring tension out and added another degree of timing to try and tug on the motor and work it a bit harder got us another 8.96 @ 152 mph. Not the e.t. change we hoped for, but the mph picked up. The next pass was a little less clutch spring and an 8.94.
Now we figured to take the clutch the other direction to get it to leave harder and pick up some e.t. Putting all the tension plus another half turn into the springs got us our first 8.80, and 8.891 @ 148.12 mph. The 60 ft. time dropped to a 1.327 seconds, but it slipped a bit going into high gear, which is where the mph went. So the next pass had us nearly out to our original setting at the beginning of the day. The air was coming in with a vengeance, showing at 32 feet below sea level, so we left the motor tuneup alone. This time we saw our first 8.70! The slip gave us an 8.782 @ 151.44 mph. A nice solid run!