Endurance Race @ Summit Point Racway
WERA/N2 Track Days Endurance Series by Dunlop
Although MotoAmerica was at COTA in Austin, Texas, Blake was in West Virginia. The Twins Cup class was not competing at COTA and since it was so far the team decided not to attend. Instead they offered Blake an opportunity to ride their N2/BobbleHeadMoto Yamaha R1 in the N2/WERA Endurance Race by Dunlop. Of course Blake jumped at the chance.
The endurance races were at Summit Point Raceway in West Virginia. Friday was practice in the morning and qualifying in the afternoon. His MotoAmerica crew chief, Shiloh, was there with the Yamaha R7 he races in MotoAmerica. She had done some work on his motorcycle, so he went out on it for one session and said it felt really good. The lap record on a R7 at Summit Point Raceway is 1:16:4, he did a 1:14:7. The changes must have felt really good!
He also did a practice stint on both Yamahas that he’d be racing in the endurance races. He said Alpha Omega’s R6 felt good. However, he was not comfortable on N2/BobbleHeadMoto’s R1. He had only been on a R1 for two track day sessions prior to this weekend and 1000 cc’s is a lot of power and speed. However, he managed to slowly drop his lap times and thought he’d be okay for the race.
ALPHA OMEGA MIDDLEWEIGHT CLASS
The races were Saturday. All classes compete at the same time so Blake had to coordinate with both teams when his stints would be so he wouldn’t be doing back to back sessions. The Alpha Omega team is great to work with!
Blake started the race on Alpha Omega’s R6. For the first 30 minutes he was able to run with the overall leader, but once they started hitting lapped traffic it was harder and he couldn’t keep up with them. A little later, Blake felt the motorcycle bog like it was out of gas and pitted in without warning. The team wasn’t ready for him, making the pit stop slower than they would have liked. He had created a 1 lap gap between him and second place and when Kevin Olmedo went out for his stint he was able to hang on to the lead. Eziah Davis took over after Kevin and then Emerson Amaya brought the team across the finish line first in class (they were ahead by a few laps) and third overall!
N2/BOBBLEHEADMOTO HEAVYWEIGHT CLASS
Emerson Amaya, Brandon Cretu, and CJ Crosslin all rode the Yamaha R1 for the N2/BobbleHeadMoto team before Blake and had the team in 2nd place, just one lap down, in the Heavyweight class. Blake took his turn and with a stroke of good luck, the 1st place team came in for their final pit stop. When they reentered the race, Blake was 35 seconds behind them. He started getting really comfortable on the Yamaha R1, putting down the fastest lap time of the race.
Slowly but surely Blake was chipping away at their lead. It looked like a win might be possible, much of the team was at the wall cheering for him, it was exciting. With 5 minutes left in the race, Blake came around onto the front straight in the lead by 0.08 seconds! Woo hoo! Then, a red flag stopped the race and the officials called the race complete. When all was said and done the N2/BobbleHeadMoto team were declared the second place finishers. Unfortunately, the results were based on the previous completed lap. It was okay though, it was a fun race!
We stayed for WERA’s sprint races on Sunday. The N2/BobbleHeadMoto team thought it would be fun for Blake to do a race on the Yamaha R7 to set the track record. (A track record isn’t official unless it’s during a timed event, so Friday’s practice didn’t count.)
Blake’s friend Emerson Amaya, who is his MotoAmerica mechanic and endurance teammate entered some of the sprint races as well. He had a race first and while we watched him compete, a part on his motorcycle failed and we saw him have a horrible, high-speed crash. Though he has a long road to recovery, praise God he survived!
A first in the Middleweight class on Alpha Omega's Yamaha R6 and a second on the N2/BobbleHeadMoto Yamaha R1 was a nice way to end a race day.
There’s only one endurance race left it will be at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama on October 21st. The Alpha Omega team is going into the last round first in class; they have a good chance of winning the series!
The next race for Blake will be with MotoAmerica at New Jersey Motorsports Park September 22-24. Blake and 2 other racers are all in contention for the championship. The races are sure to be exciting. Hope you can make it!