NOLA Motorsports Park is located in Avondale, Louisiana approximately 20 minutes from the heart of down town New Orleans. Sporting 2.73 miles of rubber ready asphalt with 16 turns the track was designed by Alan Wilson and opened in 2011, the 63 million dollar facility boasts some of the most modern advancements available for racing grounds and is easily one of the top three available tracks in the US.
Forward thinking to lay over 100 meters of fiber to offer immediate data acquisition and comforts such as WIFI and Internet for race teams when attending seperate it from other facilities. When you then take into consideration the onsite Speed Shop run by Transportation Revolution, New Orleans premier Triumph dealer, the full facility garages available for rent to teams, the modern bathrooms and concessions facilities and the carting track it really puts NOLA in a league of it’s own. A place you can visit with the family and keep everyone entertained for the weekend when Dad (or Mom) are racing!
A racers life is not an easy one. Driving for hours on end from state to state, burning up more cigarettes and coffee than HST when writing Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, broken parts and bones, the list goes on and on. Throw in cold or rainy weather and you start to think you might be a postman, required to perform no matter how bad mother nature tries to deter you.
Well, for Martin and Scott was no exception. The old spirits of New Orleans tried their best to rock our racers off the track with hurricane class winds, rain and even a little hail. To say the least, Friday was a dampening day on the spirits. Non-the-less though, as one racer said this wet and dreary weekend:
“This is AHRMA, not AMA. We’ll race if the track is covered in water or lit up in flames. Does’t matter. This is real racing.”
And so they proved it. Friday left almost the entire day in torrential down-pours. However, despite their wet leathers and dampened spirits Martin and Scott took to the track for practice. Thinking they should have had on a life vest and been on a jet-ski, the DCC boys made it through the day with several successful practices runs leaving no incident.
Our own resident “Skip” aka: Scot Fiedler also managed to survive the race class and onslaught of water on the track while racing his borrowed MT125. Way to go Skip!
For Martin Friday brought a few tweaks and adaptions for Martin. After fitting a new set of Ohlins shocks to the rear he had to go through the paces and fine tune them. After a few quick laps they were dialed in and he was ready to the take corners much un-like his situation at Roebling Road! Another change we made to his bike was fitting Avon’s in favor of the Continentals. The Conti’s stick like glue when it’s hot and sunny though we heard the Avon’s take a little more grip for their own when the track is damp or worse, it’s raining. Boy is it true! We’ll be setting up a second set of wheels as soon as we can swing it for sure!
On Saturday he took everyone buy surprise in the 200GP class racing the little heart-of-lion CB175 against all the two strokes holding his own and taking an amazing 3rd place! Then, in the 160 Lemans class, killing it with a 1st place finish. As for the Thruxton, our luck wasn’t as good as at Roebling. He experience front brake fade and was not able to push the bike as fast as needed to keep up with the pole. In the end he worked out a 5th place finish. Which was still amazing seeing as how there was 18 riders in the field, some of which who were pro AMA racers.
And on Sunday the Gods of Speed weren’t as in our favor. (Perhaps it was the spirits we took in the night before around camp.) Either way, in the 200GP class Martin still pulled an amazing 4th place. After all that high-speed paint trading racing with the 2-smokes the 175 lost spark in the last corner of the last lap where he was in 1st with a staggering lead. Unfortunately he dropped back to 8th as the flag went down. A quick analysis post race in the pits showed that a simple wire connector cover had slid back due to vibration and was grounding out on the chassis. Such is life! As for the Thruxton Cup, he finished 8th as his brake fade continue to increase.
Once the rubber cooled we chatted and a few more modifications are in the hopper for coming weeks. Modifying the rearsets to get them higher (scraping on tight corners) in addition with installing a new Nissin master cylinder and replacing all the controls with 7/8″ items to help with fatigue from riding hard with the fat 1″ grips.
Despite the complications, Martin took everything in stride and simply said “That’s racing!”
Veteran champ and reigning Sportsman 350 Series Champion Scott Turner had a great weekend despite a little spill in the mud on Saturday during the Sportsman 500 race. All in all he was happy with the ways his machines performed. We attribute his wins to not only being one of the fastest guys in the circuit, but to the high he was still on from receiving the “Builders Award” previously at Roebling Road. Given only for one year and then passed on to another racer, the builders award brings notice to racers who build their bikes and race them all under their own umbrella. Congrats to Scott for taking that baby home!
On Saturday Scott took 2nd behind teammate Martin in the 160 Lemans race and in Sportsman 350, no big surprise here, he took 1st place beating out Mike Mathews and Derek Stoot. Both of which are extremely seasoned and well tuned racers. Then in the Sportsman 500 race he accidentally missed a shift and hit the grass. Well, it looked like grass anyways. With all the rain the grass areas off the track turned into swap and aside from having a ski mounted for a front tire, there was nothing Scott could do to keep the 350 upright. Nothing was damaged everything was just a little dirty and smelled less than pleasant from the mud. No big deal though, this is AHRMA right?
On Sunday Scott took 4th place in the 160 Lemans race almost keeping a pole finish for team DCC. Back on his favorite steed he then proceeded to take a strong 1st place in Sportsman 350 leaving Mathews and Moore in his dust. And surprisingly, because the Sportsman 500 class bikes are so much faster than Scott’s 350, he took 2nd place in the lineup and last race of the weekend for team DCC. Guess that ego was a little hurt after the swamp spill, after all!
And as for DCC’s own Skip, despite being his first official race on a borrowed bike he actually took 1st place in the Formula 125 class on Saturday and 2nd on Sunday. Guess there’s a racer in there after-all! Way to go Scot!
All in all our weekend at NOLA was a success. With some strong finishes and some fun in the dirt we had a great weekend and enjoyed all the festivities included in the weekend. There was a live band and open-house party at the TTRNO Speed Shop, a huge vintage swap meet was organized with tons of old parts and bikes for sale and the Crescent City vintage moto club even showed up with a tent and swag to represent the next generation of customizers. Even the CEO of Triumph showed up with two of his top marketing staff to race in the Thruxton Cup series. Talk about putting your bike where your mouth is! Could the weekend get any better?
Be sure to head over to Facebook and checkout our full photo gallery from the weekend here – [http://on.fb.me/1eFcMcn]
And if you think you might be interested in racing visit the AHRMA website. It’s fun, doesn’t cost a fortune and with the production class series you can get your feet wet with a basically stock bike. More details here – [http://bit.ly/1eqn2dE]
Current placement standings for Scott Turner and Martin Milanese:
CB160 – 5th Overall
Sportsman 350 – 2nd Overall
Sportsman 500 – 2nd Overall
200GP – 4th Overall
CB160 – 1st Overall
Thruxton Cup – 3rd Overall