Your First Race

So you’ve completed your qualifying session and you’re heading out on track to race.  Where to from here?  Out of the gate and turn left!

Race Starts

The type of start will be briefed during the riders briefing – start lights and the way they will be operated, or flag starts. Line up at your allocated grid position and get ready to go. If at any stage during the starting process (from the time you line up in your spot) if you have an issue with your machine, it stalls or dies etc then place your arm up straight and an official will notice this. This is so that the start does not go ahead with you stuck stationary at the start point. The riders behind you will not know that you are not taking off and could rear end you.

Problems on the start line

The officials will either send someone out to assist you or they may signal you to push your machine off the track. This is for your safety and the safety of others.

The Race

Do your best, keep safe – a White flag will be shown on your last lap.  You need to LOOK for it, it is very easy to miss. After the checkered flag you are to continue at a race pace until turn one then signal and slow down. You will complete the warm down lap (or part lap), the procedure/track being used of the warm down lap (or part lap) will be detailed at riders briefing.

Any questions about warm down lap (or part lap) please ask support staff.

At the end of your race the results and timing sheets will be in the sign on area, which is the place where you got your qualifying results.

Order of the Day

Racing usually stops for lunch, this is so the flaggies can get out of their marshal points and into the warm for lunch. You usually get half an hour for lunch however if it starts to rain near lunch, they will break to allow people to change tyres and setup. So bring some food that you can eat easily and quickly. You may not get a lot of time around lunch, so food and drink that can be “nibbled” during the day. Drink a lot of fluid, you are carrying out a sport wrapped in a cow suit… need to drink, lots, and take on electrolytes.

The Race order or laps per race may change during the day so keep an ear out as this will be announced over the loudspeaker. If in doubt ask someone in a high vis vest.

Completion of Your Day

At the completion of the last race in each class officials will be lined up in pit lane ready as you return back to the pits, they are there to take back your rented transponder. Stop if you have a rented one. Pack up and head off – make sure you have everything, you need to pick up your Race Licence from the sign on office before you leave.

If the Bad Stuff Happens

The Good

You have a breakdown on track – at riders briefing you will be told what you are to do while on track. If you can’t maintain race pace: signal (arm up or leg out) and get off the track as quickly and safely as possible. Park you bike and get up on the tire wall etc.

You will be picked up between a race, when it is possible by a friendly super quad man towing trailer. If its something simple ask around the pits, bike racers are really helpful and usually have spares and are willing to help competitors get back on the track.

The Bad

If you have a “small” crash – again at riders briefing you will be told what you are to do while on track. Safety is paramount! If you are not hurt then get yourself away from the accident area: to a tire wall. Do not try and recover your bike. It is always a good idea to Tell the staff that come to help you that you are ok or give the flag point a thumbs up if you are ok – again they will get you and your machine back to the pits. If your machine goes through a crash, it needs to be checked by an official to ensure its safe to go back on the track. Only then will you be allowed to continue racing that day.

The Ugly

If you have a decent crash where you become hurt and need medical assistance. The less you move post crash, the more immediate the staff will respond. Lying still gets the attention of the officials very quickly. People will be with you as soon as possible. The ambulance is available immediately and can be released on the track while bikes are on the track if it is required. Communicate as best you can with the VMCC staff and they will get you the help you need. If you have the capacity to tell the VMCC member where you are pitted that is awesome, they will return your machine to your area.

The Ambulance will return to its parking spot (in Pit lane) with you in it and assess you there. Family can “pop” in to ensure you’re ok but don’t invite people into the ambulance. If you require medical transportation but it is not urgent or life threatening another ambulance will come to the track to transport you. This is so the track Ambulance can stay at the track for racing to continue. If you are removed from the race track because you are injured MNZ (governing body of motorcycle racing) will keep your race licence until a doctor signs off that you are fit to race again.

Other Bits

VMCC tend to run BBQs and raffles at most meetings so bring some small change as you could be into win a new helmet!

There are also hot dog vendors and coffee carts at the track so small change can be used to boost morale if it is all going terribly!

Winter racing can be quite cold and wet, so warmer gear for when you are not on the track is a good idea. Also throw a towel in case it is wet so you can dry off between races.

Have fun and welcome to the racing fold. Once bitten you’ll never look back!