Your First Race Day

So you’re all set up with club membersip, an MNZ race licence, a paid up entry, your gear and a bike meeting the appropriate regulations.

First things first, go and secure yourself a pit spot in the large green Scrutineering shed.  That’s the large shed with a green roof that says “Scrutineering” on the front!

Introduce yourself to the scrutineer and the scholorship coaches and they’ll look after you from there.

Don’t forget to breathe!

Basic Format of a VMCC Race Day

If this is the first time you have raced make sure you chat to either a mentor, support staff or the California Superbike School coach before the riders briefing.  They will help and assist with any questions or concerns you may have.

Tip 1: If you don’t know already, ask them where the dummy grid is so you know where to line your bike up when it’s time to go on track.

Tip 2: Also ask about the ‘air fence’.

Sign On

Do this once you have secured a pit in the Scrutineering Shed.

First thing you should do is sign on – you need your license and club membership. You may be able to purchase a day license if you do not yet have a MNZ license. You will need to sign up for each class you have entered. Once you have signed on, then you can go and setup your pit and unload your bikes etc.  MAKE SURE YOUR TRANSPONDER IS FITTED!

Then help with the setup of the air fence (it is expected that all riders will always help with the air fence as it is there for your safety).

Riders Briefing

VMCC will always start the day with a riders briefing – this briefing is usually no later than 8:30am. It is important that you have yourself, your tools and your bike setup BEFORE the riders briefing. This means, bike is setup fueled ready to be started, you CANNOT start your bike until after riders briefing. You also need to be ready to get your riding gear on as you may be in the class which is first up to qualify immediately after riders briefing.  All riders must attend the briefing.

A lot of information will be given at the riders briefing, the safety points will be given in a strong manner and they will be emphasized. This is not to scare you, they are because other riders have made that mistake and some have been seriously hurt. A rider’s representative will be nominated. Safety points such as race starts, number warm up laps, how you are to conduct your selves on track, the flags and their meaning will all be covered. Also the Clerk of the course and Steward will be announced. These are the people who make the final calls on the safe operation of the meeting.

Riders Rep

The rider’s rep is there to be the voice of all riders concerns. If you have an issue with either a competitor’s conduct on or off the track, or an official, or a ruling etc the riders rep is the person you are to voice your concerns to. They will then pass on the concerns/issues to the appropriate recipient. This process works very well as it means emotions do not boil up to the surface.  The rider’s rep is then responsible to get back to you on your matter.

At riders briefing they will cover off everything that you need to know about the racing during the day. Race Starts and how they will be conducted, how you will depart the track once you finish, what happens if you cannot finish the race, or maintain race pace. They will detail how long qualifying/practice will be and if they are combined. They will detail how many races and race laps they are aiming to give to each class, these may change as the day goes on.

If you have any questions on any of the matters raise your hand and they will answer or clarify your point, please DO this if you are unsure of any point during this briefing.

First timers meeting

At the completion of the briefing they will usually ask for first timers to meet the officials for an informal catch up just to make sure you have everything you need to compete. This chat is for you guys and gals to feel like we care – WE DO!! The first race meeting is a very busy day, anything we can do to help we will. However there are some things that you will need to ensure you have with you on the day. A list these items at the end of this document.

Bike Prep and Gridding Up Prior to Racing/Qualifying

Each class will receive a 5min, 2min and final call to grid up at the dummy grid. At the final call they open the gate and riders will be let out on track.

It is best that you are in all of your gears, helmet, gloves boots etc with your bike running at the 5min call. You will need to ridding/on your way to the dummy grid NO LATER than the 2min Call. You do not want to miss the final call as the gate will be closed and you will miss your session or at best have to start from pit lane, once all competitors have passed through the first turn.

You need to grid up and stop on the dummy grid before entering pit lane, you will have your chin strap and your helmet checked, and they will check you have your back protector on under your leathers. MAKE SURE YOUR TRANSPONDER IS FITTED!

Qualifying

The first class’ practice/qualifying session will be immediately after riders briefing, this is why you need to be all setup and ready to go. If your class is straight after riders briefing it’s a smart idea to wear your leathers to the briefing. Plenty of people do this – don’t feel like you’re being too keen. Qualifying is quick, so once you have your bearings on the track, the flag positions, put your best foot forward.

Grid Positions

Qualifying and Race results will be published in the sign on area, you NEED to know where you qualified before you ride out to your first race. If you are in two classes make sure you know BOTH positions. Once you complete qualifying you need to get your results. The people who work on the grid do not know where you are gridding up – so once you have completed qualifying head over to get your results. Remember the POSITION you are gridded i.e. 3rd row, 2nd from the right. This is so you can get into the correct starting position at the end of your warm up lap ready for your race start.

Tip: Place some masking tape on your tank and note down your grid position: this makes it easier for you.

Rinse and Repeat for the Rest of the Day

Once your first race is out of the way, make sure you re-fuel your bike and get it set up ready for your next race. You do not want to be rushing when you are next called up to the dummy grid.

Oh, and breathe.  Again!