BMR Racing heads into 2013: No Arm racing

Posted in News with tags , , on May 24, 2013 by mitch128

A successful test day held last Sunday at Jurbystone Park, with thanks to ARA for holding the event. We spent the day learning two new upgrades recently installed into the Supertwin to make the machine much easier to ride. I spent the day learning, how the changes made the machine react and adapting my style to suit.
Firstly the JHS Racing engine didn’t miss a beat all day, was punching out of the corners well, and making very good top speed down the back straight, keeping with the 600cc machines.
Roy at Pro Shift has kindly come to our rescue and we now have the Auto blip shifter system (as run by Dave Molyneux), which allows me to brake much later into the turn and I now have high speed clutchless downshifts allowing precise multiple downshifting, a massive step forward.
Rekluse have developed an auto-clutch system tailor made for my bike (a worlds first), proven in the off road world and winning many championships (ask David Knight), this system allows me to get off the line clutchless and virtually eliminates stalling.
With both these systems fitted I feel I can now ride faster with less fatigue and greater confidence, we’re already looking forward to the next real roads outing at the Post TT on the 8th of June at the Billown circuit, and then the hugely popular Southern 100 in July before the Manx Grand Prix in August.
Finally a huge thanks to Crowe Morgan chartered Accountants and Formula Fast Fit for coming on board with the offer of Sponsorship, this support goes a long way in securing my racing ambitions.
BMR Racing is proud to have the support of the sponsors and close friends who have helped achieve our goals so far, and the ultimate dream to complete race distance at the Manx Grand Prix this year.
Thanks
BMR Racing
Chris Mitchell

2012 Roads Debut

Posted in News on April 4, 2012 by mitch128

At last the 2012 season is here, with my first race meeting on Sunday the 25th of March. I’ve got lots of going on at the moment and have been kept really busy after joining the ARA Club committee, it’s nice to get involved on a different level and put something back into the Club. I’ve also been really busy preparing myself for this season both mentally and physically, fingers crossed this year will see my roads racing debut, all my plans for 2012 revolve around my Manx Grand Prix Newcomers entry!
I should just add a brief overview of my story at this point, as I’m sure some folk reading this have wondered what BigMitch Racing is all about. I’ve been a bike nut all my life and got into riding bikes at an early age, I used to ride my Brothers Yamaha RD around when I was 12 (private roads of course), and by the age of 16 bought my own 50cc Suzuki TS. I moved to the Isle of Man in 1988 and got into cars for a while, but the bike bug never left me and by the mid 90’s had taken my bike test and bought a Honda CBR400-R baby blade. I owned several sports bikes after this moving up through the ranks from 600cc’s and eventually buying my dream machine the Yamaha R1, having a blast on the IOM TT Course couldn’t get much better. And then came the TT 2001 that never was, cancelled due to foot & mouth, however the celebrations on the Island continued. Sadly my enjoyment of the festival was to come to an abrupt end with a massive accident at the 26th milestone, I don’t remember much about it and thankfully nobody else was involved. I suffered some big injury’s, bruised lungs, torn spleen, a general beating and the dreaded nerve injury to the group of nerves that control the arm (Brachial Plexus). The first three years flashed by with hospital visits and further surgery at the specialist hospital in Stanmore, with nerve grafts and lots of physio etc with the hope of recovering some movement, unfortunately I didn’t gain any further use of the arm and continued to rehabilitate my life, with lots of support from friends and family. So I re-trained myself from Dairy worker to Accountant, but my love of motorcycles never left me. I’d already found the internet and was in contact with fellow Brachial Plexus sufferers, and I’d joined the NABD National Association for Bikers with a Disability and heard of one armed riders/racers who had overcome their injury’s and got back on two wheels. So in 2004 I bought a scooter and had it adapted thanks to Paul Dedman, it was a fairly simple job of moving the indicators over to the right. I quickly learnt the hang of riding the bike and was using it everyday for work, great being back on two wheels!
Of course the little 100cc scooter was never going to be enough, and after a couple of years riding to and from work I bought myself a Yamaha R6, its was an early 1999 model in red and white low miles and came with a quality steering damper decent exhaust and in good condition, it just needed a bit of tlc.
I found myself a local engineer, His business card read “Peter Moran – The Good Doctor – Awkward and Eccentric Engineering”! It turns out Peter not only had an impressive collection of CNC Milling machines & built His own British based Classic Drag bikes, but was also one of the Doctors used to help out during the TT, MGP and Jurby ARA Club meets. After some discussion and head scratching over several brews of strong tea we eventually came up with the idea of how my adaption would work. All I needed was the clutch lever on the right hand side of the bars, the inspiration came from the additional levers found on classic bikes like the Ariel, with the Clutch cable rooted down the clip on tube the lever exiting the bar end, and so the design was made and eventually I made my first test run outside Pete’s country home, eeek!

So after some fine tuning I was back out riding the famous 37.73 mile IOM TT Course while mastering the fine art of controlling the motorcycle with one arm. By the end of 2006 I had gained enough confidence to agree to go on a track day with friends from the Island to the famous race course Oulton Park in Cheshire. The trip soon came round in April 2007 and yes I was nervous, mostly of riding on and off the ferry and riding to our digs near the circuit, of course it all turned out to be no trouble. During the early session’s on the track day I grabbed one of the instructors and got Him to show me the lines of the circuit, by mid day I had got the hang of it, despite getting some funny looks we had a great time and before long we headed back to the IOM.

During the rest of the year I continued with my riding and took a couple more track days on the local IOM Circuit, Jurby Airfield. While on track I realised I was riding with some of the local club racers and wasn’t far off the pace. This got me thinking, could I take it to the next level and apply for my race licence, we’d have some hurdles to jump but by now I was used to that.
By early 2008 I had joined Andreas Racing Association, and sat my classroom ACU course, taken my eye test and filled out all the forms for my race licence. Because of my arm I was required to take an on track rider assessment by one of the ACU Instructors Gary Radcliffe, the date was set for one of the Race Schools during one of the early club meetings of 2008. I completed the course on my R6 road bike, we had to tape up the lights and have the bike inspected by the scrutineers, followed by the classroom course before the on track assessment. I can remember being really nervous thinking my riding wouldn’t be good enough and I wouldn’t make the grade. After the first track session I went for a chat with Garry who put my mind at rest and said I hadn’t anything to worry about, and by the final session I was given the green light and issued with the go-ahead to apply for my ACU road race novice licence. I was to take my first race meeting in June 2008 with a GSXR-600 K2 ex Tony Oates machine, with a baptism of fire in the 600 class!

The rest is history and with a change of class by the end of 2010 with a JHS Racing SV-650 Supertwin Built for me to start the 2011 season, with the dream of gaining my National Licence to compete in the Manx Grand Prix! 2011 was to be my best year yet, going much faster than I ever did on the 600. The 650cc twin really suited me, much lighter and easier to turn and the punch of the twin out of the corners really worked well, by the middle of the season I was starting to look competitive finishing the year with a battle with John Batty for 3rd place in the championship (sorry John) and gaining my National licence with it.
Here we are in 2012, this year really is all about my roads debut and competing in the 2012 Manx Grand Prix, to line up on the start line of the Mountain Course and see the flag drop with the tap on the shoulder really is a dream come true, something that’s taken lots of hard work and impossible without the help of Friends and Family, supporters and Sponsors, it really is a team effort!
To enter the MGP you need an ACU National licence gained by finishing within 110% of the race winner, you also need a Mountain Course licence, this requires a medical form filling out and you need to of competed in 6 race meeting’s within the time frame of June 2011 to June 2012, I have 2 of these signatures left to collect In 2012, so I have my entry in for the ARA Meetings on the 25th of March and 15th of April, fingers crossed that’s me sorted for the MTC Licence, will update on that in April.
If my entry is accepted I really don’t want my first ever real road race to be the Manx Grand Prix, so Ive entered the Post TT Supertwin Race on the 9th of June on the Billown Circuit down by Castletown, to gain some experience and use the event as a test for both the bike and rider. Hopefully plenty of fans will still be on the Island and come down to support the event, we can be sure of a couple of celebratory beers afterwards.
My preparation also started back in 2011 by working hard on my fitness, again with the focus all about the Manx Grand Prix, Ive been training hard with a mix of Mountain climbing, weights and Mountain Biking, and with giving up the booze for Lent I’ve lost a good 9Kilo’s! Of course Ive kept up with the on board videos and the Playstation TT video game while getting out for laps of the course on the R6 as often as possible.

March 2012 at last the racing season kicked off with my first track day of the year, a very cold Sunday up at Jurby, I used the day with as much track time as possible, the upgrade to the forks (Ktech) felt good but the cold temperature meant I couldn’t really push as hard as I wanted, still I felt happy with the bike. By mid March I was lucky enough to take part in the Manx Grand Prix Newcomers weekend, we had several experienced MGP racers give us advice and take us round for guided laps in a mini bus, with a pit lane chat from Big H on what to expect during pit stops etc a real eye opener. The Weekend was brilliant and great to meet with some of the other Newcomers from around the World, my dream to compete in the Manx was starting to feel real! Here’s a link to the MGP weebsite, lookout for the Newcomers video!

http://www.manxgrandprix.org/

The first race meeting came round on the 25th of March, I was more than ready to get stuck in, and with support from Sponsors and friends and family the bike was looking a million dollars. The weather couldn’t of been better, genuinely like a Summers day with warm blue skies. Without the pressure of needing to finish in a certain position as all I really need is a finish to gain my signature I was feeling relaxed and looking forward to racing again!
<a
My first qualifying session got underway, after the first sighting lap with warm tyres and good track condition I decided to go for it, half way into the lap exiting the bus stop chicane I flicked the bike right left as usual, except the clip on (handlebar) came loose in my hand and I lost control of the bike for a second, not good. I had to limp the bike back to the pits and abandon the session, with about 15 minutes to sort the clipon before my next session, thanks to my pit mate Quilly and Phil Gaunt who also came to the rescue we got sorted and back on track for the next session.
I had to put all that behind me and concentrate on the job in hand, I put some safe steady laps in and was soon heading back for the pits this time feeling happier with the bike. My times weren’t great but I was only really looking for a safe finish, I had noticed the bike wasn’t steering too well so had a think about making some adjustments for the race’s in the afternoon.

Lunch break gave us time to fuel up, get the kettle on and have a chat with folk who I hadn’t seen all winter. I had a look at my times and the first session I qualified 21/32 with a time of 1.23, and the second session 13/24 with a lap time of 1.21. By early afternoon the first couple of races got under way and the Ballaugh posse arrived to support, with some advice from Julian Wood who’s a bit of a suspension guru we made some positive changes to setup and got the bike steering much better steadily improving each time I went out to race, I finished the day with low 1.19’s consistent lap times with a 5th place finish against a strong field of riders, down to my best times of 2011. A good day had by all!

So I’ve got one more signature to gain my Mountain Course Licence which I should have by the 15th of April, and my online MGP Entry is in awaiting approval, I expect to make my roads debut on the 9th of June at the Post TT Races. The support I’ve had along the way has been fantastic, I’ve said it before but it’s true, I can’t do it without all the help. Mugs4u have started a line of MITCH48 Merchandise and I receive a small royalty from each T-Shirt or Hoody ordered, please take a look and make an order, the gear is quality and I think it looks dam fine!

http://www.mugs4u.com/-48—chris-mitchell-57-c.asp



Special thanks should go to Mrs Mitch and Mini Mitch, My Mum and all Family, Jock and Laura for all there help, Crew Chief Quilly, The Ballaugh Massive, RoadRacingSupporters.com, Mugs4U, New 2012 sponsors Unipress, Ross & all the supporters proudly wearing the MITCH48 merchandise!
Im mostly self funding and road racing doesn’t come cheap, if you feel you can help in any way please get in touch, loads more space on the bike. And please follow me on Twitter and Facebook, be sure to like and share my BigMitch Racing page, lots of pictures and regular updates!
http://www.roadracingsupporters.com

http://ballaughmitch.wordpress.com/

http://mobile.twitter.com/Bigmitch_racing

http://www.bigmitchracing.im/


2011 in review

Posted in News on January 1, 2012 by mitch128

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,200 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 37 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Off Season up-date

Posted in News with tags , , , , on December 13, 2011 by mitch128

I thought I would update a little on what I’ve been up to since my last blog back in October, once again time has flown by, the race season feels like ages ago now as we steam into the Festive period.
The ARA prize presentation night was held back in October, a good night was had by all! I was well supported by my Family and Friends/Sponsors who came along to celebrate my first roadracing trophy award, in fact I won two trophy’s (6th 1300cc Singles,Twins,Triples & 3rd place 650cc Championship) and was given a bottle of Champagne from the John Batty race team as a well done on my results this year, thanks Team Batty and well done to all the other competitors who picked up trophy’s on the night.
Collecting my 3rd place 650cc IOM Championship trophy!

More good news, after a successful season this year I have finally upgraded my Race licence to National level! This was a big goal of my’n since starting racing so it go’s without saying I’m well chuffed! The National licence is the requirement to race the roads, opening the door to the Post TT, Southern 100 (amongst others) and the Manx Grand Prix if my entry/Mountain Course licence gets accepted. This of course depends on many factors; no final decision has been made as yet for my 2012 plans, will keep you all posted.
The bike has received some tlc over the last couple of months, with more improvements to come. I’ve dropped the forks out of the bike and taken them to Evomoto in Ramsey, to have a K-tech re-spring and re-valve to my spec. The forks are from a K7 GSXR-600 and although really good, the standard internals needed upgrading. They are back in the bike, I’ve re-fitted them with a base setting from K-tech, it should make a good improvement to the setup and I’m looking forward to testing in early 2012.



Im continuing my fitness drive over the winter trying to keep in shape, working in Ramsey I use the climb of the Mountain section on foot (Gooseneck & back) just about every day as a work out, with 70mph winds and hail storms thrown in it does its job. And I’m still getting out on my road bike as often as possible with laps of the TT Course, it all helps.
I owe a big thanks the Roadracingsupporters.com team for including some of my racing pictures in there superb calendar, all funds going to charity. Yours for only £6 + p&p you can order yours here http://www.roadracingsupporters.com/2012-Calendar.php
And Im looking into some team BigMitch merchandise, T-Shirts & hoodies etc with details coming soon, just need to get my design head into gear!
As always I can’t thank you all enough for your continued support, I couldn’t do without each and every one of you. I expect 2012 will bring more racing success, if you would like to get involved, have your company logo/name on the Supertwin for next year with an offer of sponsorship, or feel you can offer your support in any other way then please get in touch, you can follow me on Facebook (Chris Mitchell) or Twitter #Bigmitch_racing or email: cmmitchell41@hotmail.com , I’m looking forward to hearing from you. I will be contacting these people in the early new year and contacting the sign&design company shortly after that to have the bike stickered up in time for its first outing in 2012.

Merry Christmas and a Happy successful New Year!

Chris
AKA
BigMitch Racing #48

Final Race weekend 24th 25th September

Posted in News on October 4, 2011 by mitch128


My final race weekend came around some 7 weeks after my last race at Elvington, it seemed like ages ago to be honest. In between we’ve had the 2011 Manx Grand Prix, with some great results from the locals, with both race wins and local newcomers making their impressive debut’s, the IOM did us proud. Sadly some of the riders didn’t get chance to see the chequered flag, either through injury or worse, my thoughts are with the friends and family of the riders who didn’t make it.
I spent the two weeks at my usual post as Deputy Sector Marshal at Kerromoar, thankfully we didn’t have anything more serious than retirements to deal with for the duration. We have a good mix of experienced guys and a couple of novice marshals in the sector, and of course we’ve got the best seats in the house, however the races are always in need of more volunteers, if you can spare the time please sign up.
The Andreas Racing Association decided to make a double race weekend for the final meeting, GP Circuit on the Saturday and the newly sorted Club circuit on the Sunday, after a cancelled meeting earlier on in the year it was good to be able to gain two signatures together this way. I was all packed and ready to go by Friday night, the weather forecast looked like we may be in for a good one, touch wood. I was sitting in 4th position in the 650 championship, 2 points behind John Batty in 3rd. It didn’t seem that long ago at the beginning of the year, wheeling the 650 out for my first race on the twin, championship points were the last thing on my mind, but now with two races to go I’m wondering if I can take 3rd position!
Day 1
Waking up on Saturday morning to the rain bouncing off the bedroom window wasn’t in the plans, I looked outside to confirm that yes, its bloody miserable outside! By the time my mate Quiily arrived it was already starting to brighten up, things looked even better as we arrived to a busy paddock to get un-packed, signed on and bike through scrutineering, it was drying up quickly.

I had two races on the GP Circuit today (Saturday) and two race’s tomorrow(Sunday) on the Club Circuit, the first being the Singles Twins and Triples being extended to 8 laps and the second being the 650/400 race extended to 12 laps, my tyres already seen their best days would have to last the weekend, my tactic for the day was to just go for it and give it my best, time to qualify!
Qualifying times
Singles, Twins & Triples qualified 14th out of 36 with a best lap of 1.20.781 (5th in my class)
250/400/650 qualified 7th out of 26 with a best lap of 1.19.034 (3rd in my class)
A positive start with my fastest ever lap of Jurby in the 250/650 nearly in the 1.18’s lap times, and 6th overall puts me on the 3rd row of the grid next to Dave Madsen-Mygdal, The bike felt good and I was up for it!
Race 1: Singles, Twins & Triples
I got a good start and by the first lap was up into 12th position, it was a frantic race with a full grid and such a mix of bikes from the steal framed 600’s, Aprilia 1000’s, 675cc Triumph’s, 650 twins and Modern\classic classics on the grid. I got my head down and by lap 4 was up to 9th position, over the next 4 laps I got picked off by the faster top speed steel frames down the back straight and finished 12th overall , but 4th in my class with a best lap time of 1.19.238, Result!

We only had time for a splash and dash before my next race, the 12 lap 650/400 race, the longer races are physically hard work, I could only hope I could put in the same effort for this one!
Race 2: 250/400/650
I got a fairly good start and by lap 1 I was in 8th position, managing to hold this position until lap 6 when Jules Ray came past me, I dug in and tried to stay with Jules but He started to gap me after a couple of laps, I held 9th position to the chequered flag on lap 12, more importantly I finished 3rd in my class with a best time of 1.19.264, and John Batty who had developed a clutch problem finished down in 7th, I’d re-taken 3rd position in the 650 Championship with only 2 points separating me and John it was all to play for during the next days races!

It was home time, and I had to make a gearing change for the different circuit on Sunday, and having never ridden the Club circuit on the SV it was a bit of a gamble, I decided to come down 1 tooth on the front sprocket and managed to do the job in the back of the van.
Day 2
The weather forecast for Sunday was looking to start off ok but with showers coming in by about 1pm, and they weren’t far wrong. My good mate wasn’t able to help out today, so it was all down to Mrs Mitch who not only made the fabulous butty’s but drove the Van to the circuit worked the spanners/tyre warmers re-fuelled the bike and brewed up, blimey all I had to do was the easy bit and ride the bike! As usual the bike flew through scrutineering, apart from one loose nut on the chain adjuster that I hadn’t nipped up in the back of the van while changing the front sprocket, thankfully Mrs Mitch was quickly on hand with a no12 spanner and the job was complete. We even had a visit from Mr JHS Racing (James) from Bistol who was over with the Supertwin IOMTT 2012 Talks, Another happy customer!

Qualifying times
Singles, Twins & Triples qualified 18th out of 36 with a best lap of 1.33.310 (7th in my class)
250/400/650 qualified 10th out of 26 with a best lap of 1.32.305 (3rd in my class)
My times looked pretty good considering I hadn’t ridden this layout for nearly two years. By the time we came to break for the lunch the clouds had begun to gather, and the paddock was full of racers nervously glancing towards to sky, this was all I needed! My spare wheels are fitted with full wets and to have to race on them would need for it to rain full on, I decided to stay on my dry tyres as it looked like we may just get away with a dry race. I wasn’t feeling my best so made the decision to go out in the Singles Twins and Triples race just to get a practice start and pull in after 3 laps, this would give a chance to check out the circuit and see if the odd spot of rain we were having was starting to make the track wet, I would then give the 650 race everything!
The track was still dry, with enough breeze to keep it this way but it was getting colder and darker. While on the grid I noticed some of the lads had switched to Intermediate tyres, John Batty being one of them. After lap 3 I pulled in, getting funny looks from people, this was the one and only dnf result of the year, but it was all planned for. We chucked a couple of litres of fuel in and stuck the tyre warmers on while the race I had pulled out of continued. The drizzle was getting steadily worse, I couldn’t believe it!

We should have had a sidecar race next before my 650 race, I’m not why but the chairs came back in and they called the 650 race to start next, this was it!

Race 2: 250/400/650
With a 2 point lead over Mr Batty all I had to do was to finish in front of John to secure 3rd in the Championship, not an easy task lol. The rain was to get steadily worse; sitting on the grid waiting for the lights to go out all I could hear was my heart pounding and the rain drops hitting my visor. The lights went out and off we went into the first corner, I caught site of John on my outside and I managed to take the inside line and stay in front. I held on to 9th position for 3 laps all the time the rain getting steadily worse, On lap 4 John got past me getting underneath me on a tight hairpin right hander, I came back at Him and re-took my position but once again John came back past me a lap later. The rain was causing me some real problems and I was getting slides front and rear as I tried my best to hang on to John who was riding really well, as usual. On lap 7 Glenn Harrison crashed out causing a red flag and a race result, I’d managed to hold on to John finishing just under 2 seconds behind him, John finished the race in 6th and I finished 7th, meaning I finished with a total of 64 points and John with 63, I’d taken Third in Championship and it felt like a race win to me!

So that’s my race season over for 2011, and what a brilliant year its been on my SV-R Supertwin, I’ve learnt so much this year and my racing has improved so much and I only hope I can build on what I’ve already achieved this year . Its true what they say about the racing community, everybody’s keen to help out each other and the ARA Club is going from strength to strength, I cant wait for next year already. Im already thinking about next year’s target’s and I hope to share this with you soon, hopefully that first trophy isn’t too far away!
I have also appeared in the RoadRacingSupporters latest calendar alongside the world’s best roadracers, it’s a fund raiser for racing charity’s and a fine production, yours for £6 and worth every penny http://www.roadracingsupporters.com/ Thanks guys it’s a proud moment!

Ive decided not to take part in the Endurance race and I am doing my Marshals IMC Course on the same day at the St John’s medical centre in Douglas, Good luck all the Teams, Marshals, Medics and officials, hope it’s a fast and safe days racing!
As usual I would like to send a massive thank you to all my friends and family for their support so far, too many to mention but without all their help I couldn’t of done it, it’s a team effort.
If you want to get involved with Team BigMitch Racing and feel you could help in any way or have an idea, doesn’t always have to be financial then please get in touch. You can remain anonymous or you could advertise your business and /or have yours or your family’s name on the bike, you will be welcomed into the team, please get in touch.
Cmmitchell41@hotmail.com

http://twitter.com/#!/Bigmitch_racing

Facebook: Chris Mitchell
Thanks to all the photographers for the superb pictures

See you in the paddock for the 2012 racing season

Elvington 7th August: Auto66

Posted in News on August 11, 2011 by mitch128

Been looking forward to this meeting since I put my entry in back in June, I needed to get a race under my belt from across the pond!  After a chat and bit of advice from fellow SV racer John Batty I decided to give Elvington near York a bash and with my last race at Jurby being only a week before the Elvington meeting meant I had a fairly busy week to get things sorted.

The bike needed a change of race number and a change to the gearing followed by a head to toe check over making sure every nut and bolt was tight. My generator had decided to start playing up at that last Jurby meeting with a cracked plug cap and split ht lead meant I had to order a new one before leaving for Liverpool on the Saturday. Thankfully by the end of the week I got everything sorted, thanks to Kev for his help with the front sprocket nut, I couldn’t shift it but between the two of us we got the job done!

Crew Chief Quilly arrived on Friday evening and once again thanks to Jock and Laura for the loan of their van for the weekend, we set about loading her up. We decided it would be easiest if I stayed at Quilly’s on the Friday night in Douglas as we had to check in at Douglas harbour for 6.30am on the Saturday morning, so a Chinese takeaway was ordered and I got a reasonably early night.

Saturday morning was glorious weather wise, and before long we watched the Isle of Man disappear into the horizon as the Manannan made steady progress across the Irish Sea heading for Liverpool. Team John Batty were aboard the ship too, after a chin wag with the guys, and before long (3hrs) we docked in Liverpool. Heading off the loading ramp I put the coordinates for York into the borrowed Sat-Nav (thanks Julian). It took a little for our Tom-Tom to wake up, but soon enough we were getting steady directions heading east out of Liverpool.   As we climbed the Pennines the weather started to go downhill and before long it was chucking it down.  

After a couple of hours we arrived at York, were heading for the train station to collect Simon my Big Brother only to find out the main rail signal box had been struck by lightning, delaying all the trains! By this time the rain was bouncing off the roads and not doing anything for my pre-race nerves…Gulp! Eventually his train dropped Him off and we went for a bit of sightseeing around the City of York, a beautiful City it is too. The rain continued to fall and after a while it was time to find Elvington Airfield, just to find our bearings and work out how long it would take to travel from there to Julian’s house as we would need to get to the circuit nice and early on race day in the morning.

It worked out to be 60 miles from Elvington to Julians house where we are staying for the weekend, and the journey took us an hour, it was tea time by the time we arrived at our accommodation, and as soon as we’d arrived we were heading back out to a very nice country pub for our dinner in the company of Julian and His good Lady Wife.  After a really good meal is was time to turn in for me, a big day ahead tomorrow.  A massive thanks to the two of them for their hospitality this weekend, it really was a home from home and we were made to feel very welcome, cheers mate!

I woke up on race day at about 5.30am and looked out of the window to find a really nice sunny day, what a result! By the time we’d all got up had breakfast it was 6.45am and time to hit the road, we’d got our fuel the evening before so just had to head straight for the track. After checking in at the gate we hit the main runway of Elvington, this place was vast. Rolling up in the paddock we found the familiar faces of John Batty and His crew, and Manx racers Ali Foster and Steven Beale, a Manx invasion of Elvington! We’d been warned to arrive early as Sign on and Scrutineering would all take place pretty sharpish.  Fair play to Club Auto 66 everything ran like clockwork and as the threat of rain was expected to hit after 3pm, the club made sure we would get through the program without delay!

It’s fair to say with the arrival of Team http://www.roadracingsupporters.com/ I’m proud to say I had a healthy team of supporters, who’d all made the effort to make the journey to come along and cheer me on, thanks guys it was much appreciated.  Matty Boy travelling from Lincolnshire bringing chairs and awnings, Louise and Ady bringing the Jaffa cakes, and Jude travelling from Blackpool bringing Her camera to capture the moment, thanks also to Mr Messy from SV650.Org for coming along, will see you at the Manx mate , no pressure then!

I was in the first practice session of the day, and I’d only seen a diagram of the circuit before, all I knew was it was a clockwise circuit with a length of 1.3 miles, mainly right hand turns meaning I’d be using the opposite side of the tyre to what I was used to at Jurby.  As the session got under way I was to learn that not only the Jurby circuit likes to use traffic cones as I clipped one with my knee. We seemed to get a reasonable amount of time on track, I started to learn my way around very slowly, and made a mental note of how good the surface was back at home in Jurby as the stone chippings bounced off my helmet, on very tight horse shoe right hander was immediately causing me problems, and would continue for the rest of the day!

I had entered 2 different classes, the “Northern Junior” and the “Clubmans Lights” you get three races in each class so after the practice session I had 6 races to go, your result in the race would determine your position for the next race. Before long I was called out for my first race, I just tried to keep as cool as possible and ride as smooth as I could, considering it was the first race of the day I actually rode really well. With a local lad on a trick Ducati 749 and a couple 600cc’s in front I was pleased to be in 7th position, in front I could see a couple of Kawasaki ER6’S and I was gaining on them, unfortunately the last lap flag came out and I crossed the line half a second behind them, another lap and I’d of been on them, after a look at the paper work after the race I was running a second a lap quicker than the two ahead, 7th place not bad!

Before long it was my second race of the day, sadly my form was to be short lived as I had a pretty poor run, not only running wide at the dreaded horse shoe but completely running off the track taking to the grass, all of a sudden I was on the bucking bronco on an out of control SV, I couldn’t do a thing apart from hang on, and with the Marshal’s box getting closer and closer I somehow managed to get it back under control and back on track, a sideways glance I caught a rather relieved looking Marshal, I was to finish this race in 11th, Rubbish!

3rd race It was threatening to rain, in fact it was raining on and off, I had a couple of slides and brought it home in 8th place.

After lunch and the weather was looking good, no rain! And with some team talks with my crew and a few words of encouragement I managed some better results and really enjoyed the rest of the days races, I kept my lap times consistent and managed to finish ahead of the Kawasaki’s  I had previously finished behind with a best finish of 6th place, not bad considering I’d never seen the place before.

After the final race while enjoying a celebratory beer some of the local racers I’d been on track with and some of the local spectators came over for a chat and to have a look at my adapted controls on the bike, and of course to take the micky out of my earlier grass track incident!!!

We headed back on the road for our final night at Julian’s house, I only managed a couple of beers before an early night, we had a long journey home to get through the following day, I was knackered but it was all worth it!

I ended up really enjoying the day, it was great to see everybody who’d made the journey to meet up at Elvington, everybody was really friendly and helpful, and http://www.auto66.com/ ran a great meeting too plus another signature towards that all important licence upgrade, I hope it’s not too long before I can make the trip across the sea again and this time maybe try a different circuit, time to start saving (and earn some brownie points with the Wife!!).

With just over a week to go until the beginning of the Manx Grandprix, things are already taking shape for the races here.  Last night was our sector’s DSM Meeting, I’m marshalling for the full two weeks again at the Kerromoar section, as they say no marshals no races, if you’re thinking about it then why not sign up and help the event go ahead.

The best of luck to all involved in this years MGP, Please have a fast and safe one!

If you want to get involved with Team BigMitch Racing and feel you could help in any way or have an idea, doesn’t always have to be financial then please get in touch. You can remain anonymous or you could advertise your business and /or have yours or your family’s name on the bike, you will be welcomed into the team, please get in touch.

Cmmitchell41@hotmail.com

http://twitter.com/#!/Bigmitch_racing

Facebook: Chris Mitchell

Thanks to all the photographers for the superb pictures

Next double race Meeting 24th & 25th of September

31st July Jurby ARA Championship

Posted in News on August 2, 2011 by mitch128

 

After spending a couple of days down Castletown spectating at the Southern 100 earlier in July, watching the boys and girls do their stuff on the road circuit I was more than fired up ready to do my bit on the airfield. The bike as usual was ready for action with a good check over the week before race day and a fresh oil and filter change to keep Her tip top.

Race Day: Waking up to a rather overcast day I nervously packed my wets into the back of the van. Once again Jock & Laura came to the rescue and have kindly loaned me there van again, thanks guys its a massive help! By 8am Crew Chief Quilly had turned up at my house, giving up a Sunday to help get me on track, cheers mate! We finished off the rest of the packing over a brew and hit the road heading for the Airfield. With both the Andreas Club and the local kart club racing this Sunday, the paddock was looking busy from the off. After unloading, signing on and taking the bike and rider through scrutineering it was time for a brew, or that’s what we thought! Turns out the ht lead on the generator had broken in transit, and that’s why we couldn’t start the dam thing. After a bit of running repairs we managed to temporarily fix the problem and at last the kettle was boiling away, few!

Todays Circuit is the 1.7 mile GP circuit and as usual I had entered the Singles Twins & Triples race and the 250/400/650 race, with qualifying and pair of races for each class. The race school took to the track first while the rest of the paddock kept looking to the sky’s, was the rain that had already start to fall on the Island going to stay away from Jurby today? Before long I was waiting in the holding area about to take to the track for my first qualifying session.

Qualifying times

Singles, Twins & Triples qualified 15th out of 26 with a best lap of 1.21.594

250/400/650 qualified 5th out of 14 with a best lap of 1.20.594

A positive start with my fastest ever lap of Jurby in the 250/650 qualifying session, and 5th overall puts me on the 2nd row of the grid, The bike felt good and I was up for it!

Race 1: Singles, Twins & Triples

I got a good start and quickly gained a couple of position’s by the end of lap one I was in 13th overall, In lap two I made a move on John Batty (sorry John) and made it stick putting me in 12th position overall , during lap three a steal frame 600 rider took me, and again in lap 4 another two steal frame 600’s (Tim Devlin & Stephen Greg)  overtook me putting me back to 15th overall, I knew John Batty who is in the same class as me would be close behind but I managed to hold Him off to the line on the last lap and finished 15th overall and better still 4th in my class and best lap of 1.20.643!

Race 2: 250/400/650

Again got a decent start and just did my best, the race was red flagged on lap five after Irish Ago (Kevin Murphy) crashed heavily, the race was declared a result I finished 4th in my class with an all time best lap of 1.19.617, my personal best lap and I reached the goal I set myself at the beginning of the year by getting into the 1.19’s. I have since heard Ago is recovering well in hospital, but sadly wont be competing in the Manx this year although He is managing to keep happy with the nurses looking after Him, get well soon Ago!!

During the following races several riders crashed out, one or two being taken to Nobles by ambulance, a rider briefing was held and it was agreed that after a short wait for a replacement ambulance, the scheduled races would continue at a reduced rate of 4 laps per race.

Race 3: Singles, Twins & Triples

With only 4 laps in this race a good start was crucial, and I didn’t get a great one, Dougie Scott got in front of me early on and I was left to follow and try and re-take Him, however a fellow steal frame rider joined the party sitting on Dougies rear wheel. With the final lap coming to an an end the steal frame rider Mark Dougherty put a move on Dougie, for a minute I thought they would both run wide but Mark made his move stick and I crossed the line 3 tenths’s of a second behind Dougie 14th overall and 5th in my class with a best lap time of 1.22.453.

  Race 4: 250/400/650

The last race of the day, again with only 4 laps it was all about the start. The results of this race would either leave me 3rd in the 650 championship or drop down a position to 4th position with John Batty regaining 3rd. Sadly John had the measure of me and I crossed the line behind Him, He in 3rd and me in 4th in our class, and 3rd and 4th in the championship with only 2 points in it, it’s not over yet with the final double championship race weekend on the 25th & 25th of September,  all to play for!!

Reflecting on the day, I put in my best race day yet, Im really happy with my results and my times continue to tumble while I learn more and more about my race craft. I have also managed to ride inside the 110% of the race finisher’s time in all four races on Sunday, meaning I have achieved my “Upgrade” signature a step towards earning my National license, something I have set my heart on gaining by next year.

This leaves me with a busy week to catch my breath, as it all starts again next weekend with a voyage across the Irish Sea, for a race meeting with the Auto 66 race cub at the Elvington Airfield near York, something I’m really looking forward too!

As usual I would like to send a massive thank you to all my friends and family for their support so far, too many to mention but without all their help I couldn’t do it, it’s a team effort.

 Lastly, competing at any level takes huge financial commitment; so far I am largely self funded working hard to make ends meet. If you feel you could help in any way or have an idea, doesn’t always have to be financial then please get in touch. You can remain anonymous or you could advertise your business or/and have yours or your family’s name on the bike, you will be welcomed into the team, please get in touch.

 Cmmitchell41@hotmail.com

http://twitter.com/#!/Bigmitch_racing

Facebook: Chris Mitchell

Elvington Race report coming soon!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 374 other followers