Kahuna Kawasaki Race Report: Schouten finishes season on a high note!

September 8, 2008

September 1, 2008- Labour Day weekend saw the final round of the Parts Canada Superbike series held at Shannonville Motorsports Park and Kahuna Kawasaki's Vicki Schouten was ready to take on the action.

Schouten arrived at Shannonville Wednesday evening in order to take advantage of some Thursday practice hosted by the GoLo Racing/ HotLap Events crew, who always put on great track day events. Schouten spent the day testing her Kahuna Kawasaki ZX-6R and, with help from Accelerated Technologies' John Sharrard, dialling in the suspension for Shannonville's Pro track.  With laptimes increasingly getting faster, Schouten was pleased with how her ZX-6R was running and was looking forward to further practice on Friday.

In typical Shannonville fashion, Friday's weather brought about an unpredictable mix of rain and sunshine. Schouten was able to test for a few sessions in the afternoon but opted to spend the better part of the day resting up for a busy qualifying schedule for Saturday.

A busy schedule indeed it was, with Schouten entered into the premier AM600 class as well as the Women's Cup Challenge.  Schouten achieved one of her best qualifying positions to date in the highly competitive National Armour Bodies Amateur 600 field where she qualified in 10th position with a career best time of 1:09:77, placing her on the third row for Sunday's races. She qualified in 4th position in the Women's Cup Challenge, narrowly missing third place but still on the front row.

By Sunday morning Schouten was well rested and feeling strong on her Kahuna Kawasaki ZX-6R. Both bikes were dialled in and ready to go with some suspension help and a few other minor adjustments from Accelerated Technologies' John Sharrard.  Opting to turn just a few quick laps in the Women's Cup practice, Schouten proved the fastest female of the morning and was focussed on putting the Kahuna Kawasaki on the box for Sunday afternoon.

Sunday afternoon proved to be busy, with so many championships on the line in so many of the National classes. With some much appreciated pit crew help from Ken Fisher, Schouten was able to relax and think about the afternoon's race schedule. First up was the Armour Bodies AM600 race. With a good start in hand, Schouten was sitting in 8th position for most of the race, she was eventually passed by only one other rider-fellow friend Sean Huffman, who was sitting 4th in the series-and Schouten rode her Kahuna Kawasaki ZX-6R home to a career best 9th place finish in the National AM600 class with a time of 1:09:622.

With the Parts Canada national series completed, Schouten is pleased to report that she finished a career best 12th place overall in the AM600 class. Her goal for the season was to finish top 15 at the National level and she achieved this by taking her Kahuna Kawasaki ZX-6R to 12th place overall in the series.

In the women's race, Schouten did not have the start she was looking for, and had to overcome a few other riders to put her in podium contention. Making some daring passes on the outside of turn one, and again on the brakes at the end of the back straightaway, Schouten was able to pull away from the competition and maintain a comfortable third place position. She was closing the gap for second place when a red flag was called, forcing the race to come to a stop. While Schouten and many of the other riders had seen the halfway flag, which typically would indicate that the race was completed under a red flag, Parts Canada and Women's Cup officials deemed that the race had not run its course and a full re-start was announced. It would be a 4 lap "dash for the cash". Schouten knew that with so few laps, she had to get a solid start and maintain her position. Unfortunately for Schouten, she was 4th off the line and the competitor in third place, armed with the knowledge that Schouten would likely make a pass on the backstraight, did a good job at blocking Schouten from taking third place position. "Nathalie is difficult to pass on a good day", explained Schouten, "and with a poor start and only 4 laps to pass her it was difficult to say the least." Schouten is sitting 3rd overall in the Women's Cup Challenge series and will be competing in the two final rounds at Shannonville at the end of September.

It has been a positive and successful season for Schouten thus far and she could not do it without help and support from John Sharrard, the Christie family, Jim Brooks and Ken Fisher who took the time to help her at the final National round.

Schouten also wishes to thank Kahuna Kawasaki, Canadian Kawasaki Motors, Bell Helmets, Accelerated Technologies, Performance Under Gear, Komodo Gear, Compulsion Racing, Vortex, Giro Eyewear, Auto Trim and Signs and Bickle Racing for all of the continued help and support.

She wishes to congratulate all of the racers and championship winners from the past weekend. In particular, her friend and fellow racer Jodi Christie who had an amazing championship run this year.  It has been a wonderful season for all and Schouten is looking forward to returning to the Parts Canada Superbike tour again next year to contest the AM600 championship and the Women's Cup Challenge.

Schouten will race her Kahuna Kawasaki one final time this season at the RACE Superseries final at Shannonville, September 26-28. She hopes to see you there!