Each year there is the Champion Cup Series – CCS Awards Banquet to honor racers, family, mechanics and friends. At Lake Lawn Resort, this year’s event took place in January. I usually pass on this banquet, opting instead for riding hard at the Jennings GP for multiple weekends. Jennings GP is a paved sports bike race track in northern Florida. Why be in town for some awards banquet when I can be out riding sportbikes at Jennings GP and riding motocross during that week; with an additional perk of soaking up the warm Florida sun. That always makes for a great break from the long Chicago winters. To boot, my father is 82 and still rides motocross so it makes for a great time in warm weather. Last year in 2014, I won the #1 plate and three championships so I managed to get to my first CCS banquet. Last years event was worth sacrificing my sun tan so I attended this year again… and this year I won five championships.
Bart Brejcha Championships 2015
Expert Heavyweight SuperBike
Expert Heavyweight SuperSport
Expert Middleweight Grand Prix
Expert Middleweight SuperBike
Expert Middleweight SuperSport
Truth be known, Design-Engine has me busy traveling and teaching design and engineering workshops all January and I couldn’t go hang down south anyways. Plus, due to new noise restraints the neighbors don’t allow racing at Jennings GP in Northern Florida any longer so no need to practice Jennings brake markers. This 2015 season was my best year racing with five championships! I honestly enjoyed the CCS banquet and all the racing friends instead of enjoying that winter Florida sun. I always try to talk my dad to come up from Georgia for races and or CCS Banquets. He is not to into traveling like most kids over 80 years.
You have to experience CCS
If you have never witnessed a CCS race day, it’s quite an experience. Most of us are real characters as you can imagine. From the racers making jokes at the riders meeting to racers making long standing wheelies after their race. Lots of track day enthusiast perspective as well as there are lots of Track day riders from Sportbiketracktime.com hanging at the track. Some are racing. Im relaxed on starts, however I imagine if you’ve never raced motocross the start of a CCS sportbike race can offer quite a bit of anxiety. All the bikes are lined up side by side 4+ rows deep. Everyone is watching to see who gets into turn one. The armature racers brake way to early off the start braking at their normal brake markers at speed. The expert know to brake at differnt markers off the start because the bikes are going much slower off the start. I often wheelie all the way to the turn at Blackhawk and tip in into T1 as the wheel drops. It’s fun watching Jason Farrell start 3rd or 4th row and almost get the hole shot. Im not sure of my precise heart rate off the starts but I would be surprised to see it over 80 beats per min. Racing is often exciting in ways that one would not expect, not only on track but in the paddock. Watching TSE – Trackside Suspension Engineering make changes to racer’s bikes or Jason Farrell of Farrell Performance mount tires in between a race in less than a minute is all a part of the fun.
Practice usually starts promptly at 8:00 AM. Racing starts near 10:30 AM with a lunch and racing all afternoon till 5:30 PM. If you’re a motorcycle enthusiast or a track day rider you must come out and enjoy a Sunday CCS race day. The CCS race schedule is linked below.
Repair after a crash
The racer of the crashed bike is okay but needs to get back out for his next race which is in 20 minutes. If you have never been to a race before, it’s a must to experience competitors helping work together to get racers back out to race. You will see dads and friends and people who are not friends all coming together to get a bike back together after a crash. It’s like preparation for war. If your racing for points like many of us do, you simply don’t miss races. Many have two bikes just for this reason. In the past even my competitors have come to my mechanical assistance to get the bike back up and running in time for the next race. Some repairs which are common, changing master cylinder + beading brakes all in under 9 minutes. Whats really cool is to witness two people whom everyone knows does not like each other come together to help a fellow racer get back out for their next race.
We are all friends off track, but once the helmet goes on it’s war again. In the paddock it’s mostly friendly and supportive thus the friends you make at a race weekend are amazing! If you’re thinking about racing there are so many people to offer mechanical assistance some of which are mechanical engineers. Engineers… that’s the demographic we look to take our Solidworks and Creo training classes at Design-engine.
What I enjoy the most from racing is the strenuous mental and physical activity that we subject ourselves to. Although not as physically intense, road racing like motocross requires specific physical and mental endurance. When you hit bumps on the course they are much bigger and more noticeable at 140 mph. Like motocross, intense concentration is necessary. It’s the ‘Flow of Optimal Experience’ as I often like to quote from this book that every racing athlete should read. There is nothing better than the feeling of utter exhaustion after a long race day of intense focus. I never have a problem sleeping.
The preparation before the race season starts for me involves engine preparation work, graphic design for the bike graphics and an intense exercise program of running, weight lifting, yoga and as much motocross as one can fit into a schedule. It’s a lot of work hanging off the bike and running a 1:10 laptime at Black Hawk Farms raceway. I want to get into the 9’s in 2016!
Typical Race Day
There are as many as 18 races in a typical day of sportbike racing.
There are sometimes two or more races all going on at once at different start intervals on the same track. Sometimes the race has liter bikes (1000 cc) going first followed by Formula 40 middleweight races lined up further back. Behind them there is another race. Once all these different classes are started they are all out on the course at the same time running their individual races. Many of the races have both expert and amateurs in the same race where the experts go in a first wave then the amateurs go in a second wave. It is like playing chess when the experts start lapping the amateurs. Closing speeds need to be calculated just right to leverage a pass on another expert. The battle continues around the amateurs leveraging them to make passes is legal.
Unless it’s an ASRA race (ASRA is the governing body that is responsible for the Daytona 200 now days) where the grid is dependent on qualify time like MotoGP, the grid is organized by when you sign up. For example, if a racer signs up in January there is a good chance they start off in the front row.
Most of the races are about 10 minutes long with the exception of the GT races and those are 25 minutes long. It’s far more exhausting racing in longer races as one could expect. The most competitive races seem to be the 600 or middleweight races; others may argue that point. Consider coming out to watch a race in 2016. Many camp out while others secure a hotel. You may just find it irresistible. You will first want to get your race licence. Here is a link to the approved race schools. http://www.ccsracing.us/schools.html Also below is the link to the 2016 CCS racing season so you can choose the date for watching a race.
Consider a pot of coffee or a tea and spend some real time on this CCSRACING.US website links below.
Get more of Kyles 2015 CCS Awards Banquet Photos presented in larger resolution on Facebook
Beyond this Midwest banquet there are four other regions each with their own banquet galas complete with an awards ceremony. Photos below are from the Midwest region banquet held Saturday night January 16, 2016.
Racing has become an integral part of my life allowing me to keep a balance between work and play. If anyone has interest in learning more about this sport or just coming to a track day, just call or email me. 312.226.8339 Work @Design-engine firstname.lastname@example.org Racing is a way to keep yourself mentally and physically fit and my fellow designers & engineers can attest that being in the office all day designing the next “award winner product can take a toll. I see my race friends post on social media “another hard day at the office” and it’s a photo of them smiling under the tarp at a race track.
Bart teaches many of the Creo classes & Creo Surfacing training courses @designengine http://proetools.com/category/courses/pro-surface/
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Banquet Photo Credits: Kyle Escamilla email@example.com Get more of Kyles 2015 CCS Awards Banquet Photos