Michael Neeves blog – Racedays, Jerez
16 November 2011 11:18
I’ve just come back from riding my BMW Park Lane S1000RR at Racedays in Jerez. It was my final ever outing on No.5, after two years racing it in MRO.
What is/who are Racedays?
Racedays is a three-day trackday with a difference, as you get the chance to qualify and compete in a number of races. It’s all the best bits of a laidback trackday in the sunshine, but there’s more of a point to it, as you get to scratch your competitive itch.
I raced in the ‘A’ race (for the fastest 30 qualifiers) and the ‘over 600cc’ race. There’s also B and C races, an ‘under 600cc’ race and if you don’t want to race at all, there’s loads of open trackday sessions to play on too.
There’s a plasma TV in pitlane displaying everyone’s times over the three days, to keep you on your toes and on top of all that you can get expert tuition from Grand Prix legends Simon Crafar and Jeremy McWilliams. My friend Madge went out with Crafar and went loads faster and my brother, annoyingly, got with a second of my times on his new S1000RR with help from McWilliams. Thanks Jezza!
Racedays owner Gerry Byrce also runs a European Superstock 600 team, running Kawasaki ZX-6Rs and the new European Junior Cup (in which Crafar is a riding coach), a WSB support race for 14-19 year-olds, riding Kawasaki Ninja 250Rs. You’ve got to tip your hat to him for his enthusiasm and commitment bringing young riders into the sport.
Racedays arrange your hotel, bring your bike and kit to the track from the UK and supply you with a transponder.
I finished 5th and 6th in my two races. I could’ve done a bit better, to be honest, but my head was more in trackday than race mode, but I did manage to break the magic 1:50 barrier, getting down to a 1:49.4.
Brit, Sam Coventry, who races for Quelch Racing in the Spanish championship and German European Superstock 600 rider Marvin Fritz finished at the sharp end of both races, but I was happy to bring my Beemer home in one piece and end the season on a high, after a great year in MRO Powerbikes.
Next year I’ll be racing in the Bemsee Premier 1000 championship on with BMW Park Lane on the 2012-model S1000RR.
It’s taken most of the season, but I’ve got my bike set-up so well that I only ever have to change the front preload adjusters from track to track. At some circuits I reckon I could benefit from different springs on my rear Ohlins TTX shock and 30mm fork cartridge kit, if I was fussy, but I haven’t got the tools or knowhow to do it out the back of my van at a race meeting. I’m gutted that my settings I’ve worked so hard to come up with now have been hijacked by my brother and Lloyd, who is now the proud owner of No.5, who will no doubt try and use them against me when we all race together next year.
My Dunlop Ntech slicks were as impressive as ever, giving loads of grip and impressive durability. They managed to hang on and churn out consistently quick lap times, even when they look finished.
The only other change to the bike was fitting a set of SBS’s magnificent Dual Carbon brake pads half way through the trip. The SBS Dual Sinter pads I took out had lasted three race meetings.
Why you should go.
One of the best things about Racedays is it’s simply a laugh. It’s the perfect holiday: sunshine, bikes, mates and beer, all on one of the best racetracks in the world. What more could you want? You also get to rub shoulders and ride with the likes of McWilliams and Crafar.
It’s all things to all people: the perfect after-season party if you race, it will give you a taste of competition if you don’t race, or if you just want to ride your bike on the track with no pressure, it’s perfect for that too.
The next event is Almeria 2nd – 4th March 2012.
Pictures by www.trackphoto.co.uk