Some much overdue RACE Regional and Atlantic Motorsport Park National Reporting from Kahuna Powersports
August 19, 2009
Vaughn, Ontario (August 18, 2009) - After almost 4 weeks on the road, with 2 RACE Regionals, an Atlantic Roadracing League (ARL) Regional and Round #5 of the Parts Canada Superbike series in Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia under her belt, Kahuna Powersports' Amateur Sportbike and Women's Cup Challenge competitor Vicki Schouten is back home after a successful Ontario and East Coast tour.
Schouten began the four-week long stretch on a high note, enjoying her first Amateur Superbike podium ever at the RACE Regional Round #3, which was held the Saturday of Round #4 as a make-up race due to inclement weather the previous round. Schouten, who has been working hard to get her mechanic, Jim Brooks, an Amateur podium for quite some time, was pleased with the results. "Jim's been working so hard for me all year long," explained Vicki, "that I really wanted to put the Kahuna Powersports Kawasaki on the box for him." Unfortunately, given that it was a make-up race, trophies were handed out unceremoniously at Sunday's Round #5 riders meeting and Schouten did not have a chance to stand on the podium for her first third place finish in the highly competitive Amateur Superbike class. "I guess we're just gonna have to do it again on Sunday!" exclaimed Schouten, who was referring to Round #5 of the Amateur Superbike series. And do it again they did. Schouten had solid start to Sunday's Superbike final and got to the front early. Capitalizing on another riders' misfortune, Schouten was able to move into third place quickly, all over the second place rider in hopes of getting closer to the top of the box. The race had been shortened from 8 laps to 6, however, and Schouten could not close the deal, but was pleased with another third place in the Superbike class, which moved her into third place overall in the RACE Regional Amateur Superbike standings.
From Shannonville, the team headed home for a few days to prepare for the 15 hour drive to beautiful Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia. Atlantic Motorsports Park was hosting an ARL regional event the weekend prior to the National, and Vicki and her team wanted some seat time to get an early set up on her Kawasaki ZX-6R and to learn a few tricks from the talented local ARL racers.
After some time helping around the track and taking in some local sites, Schouten was relaxed and ready for Round #5 of the Parts Canada Superbike series at Atlantic Motorsports Park. According to Vicki, "I always love coming to AMP. The fans and the organizers are always so welcoming, and Terry, Malcolm, Andrew, Veronica, Frankie and the whole crew are always just a pleasure to work with." Schouten worked hard to bring down her laptimes but still only managed to qualify on the third row for Sunday's Amateur 600 race. "Jim had been working really hard all weekend to help me with bike set-up, which is always a bit of a challenge at Shubenacadie, and we eventually got there but a third row start was the best we could muster up." With a 4th place overall position in the championship to defend, Schouten decided to ride safe and finished in 7th place after the race was shortened due to a red flag. "The guys up front were running really fast," said Schouten, "and despite my Kawasaki ZX-6R working perfectly, I just did not seem to have what it took to get into those 1:10 laptimes needed to finish top five." The team was happy to come away with some championship points and maintain 4th position overall going into the final round at Shannonville Motorsports Park in September.
From Shubenacadie, the team started the long drive home to Ontario in hopes of arriving home in time to do some much-needed laundry and head to Shannonville the following weekend for Round #5 of the RACE Superseries. The team experienced troubles with their pick-up truck just outside of Drummondville, Quebec. "We were more or less stranded on the side of the highway", said Vicki, "but then the Christie family came along (Pro#20 Jodi Christie and his family) and helped us out with a tow truck and a ride home. I'm really not sure what we would have done without the Christie's and we cannot thank them enough."
After a long trek home and lacking in sleep, the team headed back out to Shannonville Motorsports Park for Round #5 of the RACE Superseries. For the first time all summer, Mother Nature offered up some sunny and hot temperatures for the weekend. Sweltering heat, in fact. The Dunlop tires were holding up well all things considered and the Galfer brakes were doing their job in the heat. With some small set-up adjustments from lead mechanic Jim Brooks, the ZX-6R was dialled-in and ready for Saturday's hot qualifying session. Schouten managed to qualify on the front row for the Amateur 600 class, and on the second row for Amateur Superbike. For Sunday's races, Schouten had solid starts in both events, and rode both races with the front running group to hold onto a fourth place finish in both Amateur 600 and Amateur Sportbike.
With only one Parts Canada National and one RACE Regional remaining, Schouten goes into the final rounds in 4th place overall in the National Armour Bodies Amateur Sportbike class, as well as 4th place overall in the RACE Regional 600 and Superbike classes, only a few points out of third position in both regional classes. Schouten also heads into the final round leading the Women's Cup Challenge.
Vicki would like to thank Jim Brooks and Dave Shirley for all of the hard work and support throughout the season and to Kahuna Powersports and Canadian Kawasaki for believing in her and supporting her efforts with some of the best guidance and equipment in the paddock.
Thanks go out as always to Canadian Kawasaki Motors, Kahuna Powersports, Bell Helmets, Better Built by Brooks, Accelerated Technologies, Performance Under Gear, Motul, Pit Bull, Galfer, Bickle Racing, Giro Eyewear, Vortex, Auto Trim & Signs and Golo Racing/ HotLap Events for all of their continued help and support.
Look for Schouten at the final round of the Parts Canada Superbike series at Shannonville Motorsports Park on Labour Day weekend, September 4-6, 2009.