Kelsey sets the record at Hallett
May 20, 2013
Kelsey sets Track Record at Hallett
Georgetown, Texas rider Danny S. Kelsey set the Hallett Motor Racing Circuit motorcycle record during the 4th round of the CMRA Sprint Championship Series. The team and Kelsey entered the weekend realizing from past performances that the goal was attainable, but track conditions and mother nature would ultimately be the determining factor for success. Kelsey and the team inspected the track on Friday and found numerous seeping spots of water. This obviously concerned team, but the time tested track quickly dried up and the team was able to put together a fastest lap of 1:15.9 despite the tricky initial conditions. This provided good momentum for Kelsey and RPSRaceTeam.com entering the weekend events.
Saturday provided the 2nd round of the CMRA's Team 60 event and Kelsey elected to pair up with up and comer Conner Blevins in the Heavyweight Class. Kelsey started the race for the team and quickly got down to business by posting a race fastest 1:15.882 on lap 2. With a one lap lead, Kelsey handed off to Blevins who maintained the lead and the win. Unfortunately for Kelsey during the race, he had hit one of the numerous curbs at Hallett and damaged the internals of the RPSRaceTeam.com GSXR-1000 front forks. With severe weather forecasted for Sunday and damage to the big red Suzuki, Kelsey and the team were concerned that this would be a wasted opportunity to demonstrate the level of performance the team was capable of.
"It was quite a task getting the forks rebuilt. All the mid-valve and compression shims were bent and oil was passing by pistons providing almost no damping. We didn't have all the shims that I needed to get the forks back to optimum shape, but I was able to get them close. In the middle of working on the forks that night, I had to stop several times as lightning, heavy rain, tornado watches, and high winds made me have to stop and wait for safe conditions. I wasn't able to get everything done until 4:00am Sunday morning," noted crew chief Marcus McBain.
It was a small miracle as the wet track quickly dried Sunday morning and the ominous clouds held the rain that was forecasted. Kelsey felt out the conditions and decided to not push too hard in Formula One qualifying, but was still able to post a 1:16.186 on the used tires for 20 laps from the Saturday Team 60 race and 10 laps Sunday morning. "I realized that the Pirelli SC0 rear and SC1 front slicks were going to be up to the task if the weather held. Those tires are amazing. I couldn't believe how little they fell off. I felt that we had at least another second in the Suzuki GSXR-1000 with new tires," stated Kelsey.
The 750 Superstock race was up first and Kelsey made up for missing the warm up lap by posting the fastest lap of the race with a 1:17.061 and a 1.568 second win on his M4 Exhaust and Dynojet equipped GSXR-750 against very stiff competition. Next up was Open Superstock and Kelsey used this as a shakedown to ensure the big red Suzuki would be able to handle the performance needed to set the track record. Kelsey quickly took the point and posted a 1:15.670 on lap two to set the fastest lap of the race. At the checkered flag, Kelsey was able to win by 20 seconds with his DP Brakes equipped liter bike and felt that everything was in place to make a run for the record in the Breast Cancer Research Awareness Formula One race.
As the field gridded up for the CMRA's premiere class, it was apparent that it was all coming together for the former CMRA overall champion. The competition was going to be tough. The class which promotes breast cancer research awareness and generates money for this very important cause resonates within the CMRA racing community and entries were strong.
With the starting lights sending the field into Turn One, Kelsey posted a
1:16.466 from a standing start. As lap two completed, stop watches and scoring were instantly abuzz as Kelsey became the first rider to circulate in the 1:14 range in the counterclockwise direction with an amazing 1:14.706 lap. He then backed up the new record with two more laps below the now previous track record. As the checkered flag fell, Kelsey took a 4.065 second win and was now in the CMRA and Hallett record books.
"It just all came together. When I saw my pit board I couldn't believe it. I wanted to break the track record, but really didn't believe that I was going to get into the 1:14's. This season is really just continually amazing. The JRi Shock and GP Suspension cartridges really perform unbelievably. The M4 exhaust, dynojet power commander, and Silkolene oil really make this engine a rocket ship despite still being in show room shape. The RS Taichi leathers make it so easy to relax on the motorcycle and comfortably ride knowing you are wearing one of the safest suits in the industry. Audrey from Moto Liberty is lifelong industry professional and always provides so much support. Obviously the Pirelli SC0 rear and SC1 combination are just a phenomenal combination. John Hutchinson from South Central Race Center provided a lot of help make sure we got the most out of the Pirelli tires.
Lastly, Hallett is nothing more than a brake dyno. The DP Brakes are incredible at every track, but at Hallett they really shine where you can't hide any flaws in brake performance. It took an incredible group of sponsors to make sure this record happened and we did it," stated Kelsey as he celebrated.
Kelsey still had two tough battles to contend with to ensure that Sunday would be another "perfect day". With A superbike up next, Kelsey would again put the hammer down and post another lap under the old lap record with a
1:15.318 enroute to 4.577 second win. As the day wound down, Kelsey faced one final obstacle from completing a perfect day in the B Superbike race. As the green flag dropped, the team's aging Suzuki 750 looked to be losing compression and Kelsey was finding himself in an impossible situation to win. With races cut to 5 laps and a 1.2 second deficit on lap two, he really dug down deep. On lap 4, he posted the fastest lap of the race with a
1:16.935 and cut the deficit to 0.45 seconds. With one lap to go, he put his head down and on the last turn of the last lap he made a spectacular pass for a 0.295 second win. The win cemented his 5th win for the day.
Danny Kelsey will continue to contest the entire CMRA series in his efforts to regain the number one plate. The team would not be able to compete at this level without the special efforts of KMC Controls, RS Taichi, Pirelli, Dynojet, Vortex, Motoliberty, South Central Race Center, Motopia, M4 Exhausts, DP Brakes, K's Motorsports, GP Suspension, JRi Shocks, Lone Star Track Days, Shoei Helmets, Hotbodies Racing, Silkolene, WRW Racing, Barnett, and Chicken Hawk Racing. Kelsey will resume racing action at NOLA Motorsports Park in June during the fifth round of CMRA Sprint Championship Action.