Race Report - Shannonville Rd 7 - Freedom Cycle
September 5, 2007
(Shannonville, ON) - Freedom Cycle Kawasaki Racing put the finishing touch on their inaugural Parts Canada Superbike Championship season on Labour Day weekend at Shannonville Motorsports Park. Terry Steeves on the number 38 Freedom Cycle Kawasaki ZX-10R managed to wrap up his first year on the National tour in a difficult race on Shannonville's Pro Circuit.
In their first season on the national tour, and their first visit to Shannonville Motorsport Park, Steeves and his team knew the challenge before them would be tough. "We've had a lot of tracks to learn this year, and we knew this would be one of the toughest, we weren't worried about being off the pace Friday and Saturday, just about getting ready for Sunday" Said Steeves of their outlook for the final round. Team Freedom arrived ready with the intention of using their "B" bike, a 2007 Freedom Cycle, Turner Engineering prepared Kawasaki ZX-6R in the Yoshimura Pro 600 class to become better acquainted with the layout at Shannonville. "We haven't raced in the 600 all year but we need the time to figure this place out, so Terry will run it until qualifying, then in Superbike practice we can work on set-up for the superbike" explained Team Manager Andrew Murray of the change in tactics for Team Freedom.
The set-up of the Kawasaki ZX-10R progressed on schedule over the course of the weekend and with one final change following Sunday morning warm-up, the team felt they had a bike and a rider that could compete in the top 15 in the premiere Parts Canada Superbike Championship class. Starting from 24th place on the grid was not a grave concern for the Halifax resident as he explained "with decent start, I hope to catch up to where we need to be, there are a lot of 600's in the class that we should be able to catch on the back straight in the opening few laps." On lap one it appeared as though things were going according to plan and Steeves was moving up in the field, until a small tank-slapper in the "Esses" pulled the right handlebar tight against the tank. The only hope to salvage the day and get back on pace would be a race stoppage and a restart. "I'm never going to wish for a red flag cause someone is usually hurt when we get one, but we needed to pull that bar out, and we needed tools to do it, that's all that would save us" Steeves limped around as fast as possible, in the event there might be a stoppage and a restart, but unfortunately with the limited control they would be well of the pace. "I was stunned, it didn't seem like a big snap, but all of a sudden my bar was against the tank, and I couldn't push it back out" Steeves explained to his crew following the race. "Everything was tight, nothing was overlooked, even the guys couldn't move the bar without loosening it first after the race" Freedom Cycle would settle for 19th on the day and give up two positions in their final year standings. Despite disappointment in the final round Freedom Cycle Kawasaki Racing takes a great deal of knowledge into their preparation for the 2008 season. "This is just the beginning for us", explained Andrew Murray, "we needed to get this year in to learn how to be successful next year. Preparation for our 2008 season starts following our last regional in a few weeks."
Next up for the Freedom Cycle Racing #38 machine is Round 4 of the AMCRA Atlantic Championship at Atlantic Motorsport Park, September 15-16.