Kahuna Kawasaki Race Report- RACE Superseries Round #3- Schouten misses AM600 pole by 0.02 seconds!
June 2, 2008
May 16-18 marked the third round of the RACE Superseries at Shannonville Motorsport Park near Belleville, Ontario. The event was held on Shannonville's Long track and Vicki Schouten was on hand with her Kahuna Kawasaki ZX-6R ready to take on the weekend.
In typical Shannonville fashion, the weekend started out with a series of wet and dry conditions with no signs of letting up for the duration of the weekend. With two ZX-6Rs at her disposal, Schouten was fortune enough to have one bike set up for dry conditions, while the second ZX-6R was ready to go at even the slightest glimpse of "liquid sunshine".
Saturday morning practice went relatively well and Schouten was ready to take on an afternoon of qualifying. First up was the Amateur 600 qualifier, with wet conditions but a quickly drying track. Schouten made the wise decision to qualify using her rain bike, with Pirelli turbine rain tires. This proved to be a wise decision given the track was still quite wet in many places. Schouten found herself riding alone and turning some relatively quick laptimes, and she was surprised when she started to reel in Amateur 600 front-runner and top talented whiz kid Jodi Christie. "I thought for a moment that Jodi was slowing down to save his tires", explained Schouten, "But later after speaking with Jodi, he told me he was not trying to save anything, and that I had simply started to catch up with him!" In the end Schouten qualified a career best SECOND PLACE on the competitive Amateur 600 grid, missing the pole position (which went to Jodi Christie) by a mere 0.02 seconds. Schouten was pleased with her results and happy with her Kahuna Kawasaki ZX-6R.
The rest of the afternoon qualifying sessions were rained out, which meant Schouten started mid-pack in Amateur Superbike and in 5th position in the Women's Cup Challenge as laptimes from Saturday morning were used to determine qualifying.
Sunday afternoon was race day and once again Mother Nature was not acting very cooperative. The weather did not bother Schouten however, who was excited to be starting for her first time ever on the front row of the Amateur 600 grid. "It's a pretty nice view from here!" exclaimed Schouten when asked about her starting position, "I hope this is only the first time of many more to come!" The start of the Amateur 600 race happened quickly and Schouten found herself in third position going into turn one. Her Kawasaki ZX-6R was running solid and Schouten was able to remain in the top five for the better half of the race! "I was feeling really good, these guys are really fast but I knew all I had to do was hang on!" About half way through the race some of the faster riders started making their way through the field, and while Schouten fought them off as best she could, she eventually settled a 9th place finish in Amateur 600 with a career best laptime of 1:55.1 on Shannonville's long track. Schouten's 9th place finish was enough to keep position her 7th overall in the competitive Amateur 600 field, and the fastest Kawasaki overall in the series class at the moment.
Next up was the Women's Cup Challenge race. After a red flag, the race was re-started and set to be a three lap "dash for cash". The grid was set as the original starting grid and the track was still quite wet and slippery. Not a fan of the rain, Schouten simply wanted to finish this race in one piece, knowing that she and her bike needed to be in top shape for the Parts Canada Superbike opener at Calabogie Motorsports Park only days later. Wet and cold, Schouten pressed on with the rest of the ladies to restart the Women's race. Off to a good start, Schouten found visibility near impossible when one of her contact lenses came loose during the first lap of the race. "I could barely see through all of the rain and fog, and once I lost my contact, it was pretty much game over", explained Schouten. She managed to finish the race in a respectable 5th place position, despite being partially blinded for the majority of the race.
Pleased to have finished the wet Women's race in one piece, Schouten, who at the time was 11th overall in AM Superbike, chose to skip the wet AM Superbike race in favour of keeping herself and her gear in good condition for the Parts Canada Superbike opener.
Overall it was a great weekend and a career best second place qualifier for Vicki Schouten and her Kahuna Kawasaki ZX-6R. Schouten would like to thank Brad Clarke and John Sharrard for all of their continued help and support throughout the weekend. She also wishes to thank Kahuna Kawasaki and Canadian Kawasaki Motors for the amazing motorcycles! Thanks as well to Bell Helmets-the new Bell Start is AMAZING! And to Accelerated Technologies, Compulsion Racing, Performance Under Gear (for keep me warm and dry!), Komodo Leathers, Vortex, Auto Trim Design and Bickle Racing.
See everyone at the next RACE Superseries June 21-22, 2008!