Thursday, August 22, 2013

Camaraderie in the Pits at eRoadRacing Indianapolis - Kenyon Kluge's race report

Kenyon Kluge at Laguna Seca
Yesterday I referenced & summarized a race report from Brian Wismann - today it's Kenyon Kluge's turn.  Kenyon took 3rd place behind the Empulse RR's in Sunday's eRoadRacing race event in Indianapolis.  This makes him top dawg in the unofficial eSuperSport division for two races in a row.

Yesterday he wrote a Facebook posting summarizing the weekend, from his perspective. As for race strategy he described it as "my experience on the Playstation MotoGP game" and "my plan was to twist the throttle as hard as I could from the start and see if I could go faster than everyone else." As he said it - "I know, brilliant right!" (grin)

What can we say, the strategy worked didn't it? 

As for the race, he said that Ted Rich took the lead from the start but on the front straight during the first lap Kenyon "lined Ted up and drafted past."  After that Kenyon simply put in consistent lap times, kept lengthening his lead, avoided getting lapped by the Empulse RR riders, and made it into 3rd place.

What Kenyon closed with by telling of discussion reminding me much of something I've been missing from the 2010 TTXGP season. 
All the riders there at Indy spent a good portion of the weekend talking amongst ourselves about how we can better define, promote, and nurture our sport and grow it into something that can support the riders, thrill the fans, and make the manufacturers want to be a part of it.
I want to congratulate the Brammo team on their first place, Shane Turpin, second place Eric Bostrom, and Shelina who dropped a lot of time from her qualifying session to take 5th place. I was thrilled to have so many honest and productive conversations with the Brammo team and felt like there was more camaraderie at this race amongst all the teams than I have seen at any other race. I hope and look forward to this being the norm and to continue to grow our relationships in the future because I love the people in racing as much as I love the racing itself. So to everyone that was a part of this weekend, THANKS! And till I see you next time, keep the rubber side down.
This sort of attitude was prevalent during the 2010 season, because that year each race felt like huge cooperation between all the members of all the teams.  During the 2010 season, everyone was helping everyone else and there was a palpable feeling of camaraderie.  At least that's how it felt to me, the non-racer who was at every event trying to be a journalist telling the story.

Starting with the 2011 season it was harder to feel that camaraderie.  But, post-race at Laguna Seca it was there, and I'm glad it was there in Indianapolis.  Makes me wish to have been there.

As I wrote yesterday, the real competition eRoadRacing faces is the gas bike racing scene.  

The common goal among all eRoadRacing teams (or, for that matter, any form of electric racing) has to be, at this stage of the game, the mutual effort to publicize what's going on and gain the interest of the fans.

We who have been to these races know that it doesn't matter whether the bike is gas or electrically powered, it's still exciting racing to see riders skillfully duking it out with other riders.  We know that, therefore, there is no longer a need to burn irreplacable gasoline to have an exciting race.  But there's a whole slew of gas bike racers and gas bike racing fans who have to be convinced of these plain obvious facts.

May the day come soon when Indianapolis Speedway has to change its moniker away from Gasoline Alley to something else.

from Facebook
To get there means rearranging the preferences of millions of people through demonstrating the possibilities of different propulsion systems.

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