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Andy Rutkus
09-19-2016, 08:23 PM
Hey everyone, i am trying to gauge everyone's opinion on when they felt they were ready to go racing. Im now a seasoned track day attendee and even before i attended my first track day i knew i was gonna dedicate myself (spend all my money) to achieving my dream of racing. Im just curious as to what times everyone was running before they decided to go for their cmra license. My most experienced track is Cresson CCW so ill use that as a gauge. Were you guys on big bikes running low 20's before you became a racer? Or were you high 20's low 30's and kept improving after you got your license. I guess what im wondering is should i stay just as a track day warrior until my times drop to whats comparable to what you guys are running or do alot of guys start in the cmra a bit off the pace and improve as the year/years go by. Just as a note im not to far off the pace, im consistantly in the low to mid 30's on a 750 at trackdays where you have slower riders and not pushing 100%. Im getting impatient and just wanna start racing already! Im looking to do my cmra course before the year is up, and start first round next year starting my prov nov qualifications. Any advice/opinions would be appreciated, thanks!

Dave Felio
09-19-2016, 08:44 PM
"I'm getting impatient and just wanna start racing already!"

- Andy Rutkus


This is how you know its time.


I didn't even have a laptime before I started racing, and thankfully nobody asked. (I'm pretty sure the rulebook doesn't require you to have one either)

Brandon Orr
09-19-2016, 09:28 PM
Felio is right. You answered your own question.
Time are not as important as other things. Some guys jump in that are barely at an advanced or level 3 track day pace. Others do track days for years and realize they would be one of the fastest novices. You start when you want to really.

Are you comfortable with close passing?
Can you hold your line?
Can you ride multiple lines?

If you want to really be sure get a hold of Jim Dugger and try to do a ECR day with him to get some input.

Michael De Simone
09-19-2016, 09:29 PM
If you are that impatient, just come race. I did all of 2 track days before I started racing. My first race I was lapped twice by a 7 year old. I'm still slow. I still race. I guarantee that you will get faster racing then you ever will running track days. Take your class at TWS and race!

Steven Smith
09-20-2016, 03:21 AM
Also, go look at the results page, if you are the same as or faster than last place, there's your answer.

Casey Brown
09-20-2016, 09:42 AM
come out to TWS and do your class, get your license and you wont ever look back

i grew up racing motocross, then went to shifter karts and then one day i decided to go back to two wheels. i bought the "track day" bike at first, a 2000 SV650 which is underpowered compared to the modern bikes but it didnt matter. I did two track days and decided i wanted to race, so i got my license. I was a back marker but still had the time of my life my first race.

i think ridesmart puts way too much emphasis on "levels" to be ready to race. yes i was a level 2 my first time then level 3 my second track day, but like Brandon said, if you can pass safe, not care if someones handlebar is right next to yours, and be able to change up your lines if someone stuffs you, without running off the track in panic, then come on!!!

and also to piggy back on michael.... i also think you wont ever get as fast during a track day as you would racing, i simply belive due to the "want to"

all in all its about how much you want to spend compared to racing and track days. which by your post, if you have made up your mind you want to race, then the cost isnt the major factor holding you back, its just pulling the trigger and not listening to anyone else tell you when your ready, you know you are!!! :bannana:

Andy Rutkus
09-20-2016, 10:07 AM
I appreciate the input everyone, i look forward to meeting alot of you guys. I will be booking TWS this week :bannana: ill also be at ECR both days for ridesmart if any of you guys will be there. If for some reason TWS sells out before i snag a spot (its lonestars last track day ever) has anyone ever ridden Harris Hill? I know Keith VonHertell does a CMRA class there and ive reached out to him and being from Austin, thats a hop down 35 for me, is H2R a good track to do it on? Why doesnt CMRA race there?

Fox Schaffer
09-20-2016, 10:30 AM
I appreciate the input everyone, i look forward to meeting alot of you guys. I will be booking TWS this week :bannana: ill also be at ECR both days for ridesmart if any of you guys will be there. If for some reason TWS sells out before i snag a spot (its lonestars last track day ever) has anyone ever ridden Harris Hill? I know Keith VonHertell does a CMRA class there and ive reached out to him and being from Austin, thats a hop down 35 for me, is H2R a good track to do it on? Why doesnt CMRA race there?

Just commit to coming to TWS, HH is amazing training ground, from what I can tell, but we won't ever race there, so there's no way to look at times for your desired comparison. The best thing I can say you'll experience is a safer atmosphere, in a track day setting nobody goes at one time, so you're literally surrounded by all sorts of speeds of riders. On a race day, once the red lights go out, speed of racers sorts itself out, and you'll be near those at your speed, you may end up getting lapped by the very fast riders up front, but they also realize they are 10-20 seconds faster per lap then a lapped rider and respect, for the most part, this fact when they pass you. Not to mention, the yellow prov nov shirt also lets others know to give you a bit extra in the place of where and how close to pass you. (Keep in mind my disclaimer: this isn't a written rule or guarantee, but by and large this is the case...you still need to hold your line because the one who is passing you on your left, for example, might have his closest competitor about to split you on the right side or vice versa.) So if you can be safely passed on both sides and hold your line, you'll be much happier the sooner you take the plunge to race, and your life will never be the same lol

Brandon Orr
09-20-2016, 10:32 AM
I appreciate the input everyone, i look forward to meeting alot of you guys. I will be booking TWS this week :bannana: ill also be at ECR both days for ridesmart if any of you guys will be there. If for some reason TWS sells out before i snag a spot (its lonestars last track day ever) has anyone ever ridden Harris Hill? I know Keith VonHertell does a CMRA class there and ive reached out to him and being from Austin, thats a hop down 35 for me, is H2R a good track to do it on? Why doesnt CMRA race there?

I should make my way to ECR on Sunday. Look for me, #728

Casey Brown
09-20-2016, 11:01 AM
i should be at ECR this weekend also #595, come give a shout

Carter Rossner
09-20-2016, 11:42 AM
I appreciate the input everyone, i look forward to meeting alot of you guys. I will be booking TWS this week :bannana: ill also be at ECR both days for ridesmart if any of you guys will be there. If for some reason TWS sells out before i snag a spot (its lonestars last track day ever) has anyone ever ridden Harris Hill? I know Keith VonHertell does a CMRA class there and ive reached out to him and being from Austin, thats a hop down 35 for me, is H2R a good track to do it on? Why doesnt CMRA race there?

Harris Hill is a good track to practice fundamentals and do your class if you don't have any other option. From what I understand, the CMRA doesn't race there because the track's members don't want it. They also just don't have the facilities/space to host the travelling circus that is a CMRA round.

Robert Lackey
09-20-2016, 12:49 PM
Hi Andy, I'm betting I can give you some hope. I'll go ahead and use this thread as a platform to officially announce to everyone that prior to Round 1 this season at MSR Houston I had only completed ONE TRACKDAY. Granted, I've been racing cars for years but the two are so different it's not even worth mentioning. It's almost scary to think how inexperienced I was (am?), however I told myself if during the Mock Race I felt like I was a safety hazard I would get my *** off the track. To add to the nuttiness of my decision-making, I knowingly jumped in over my head by coming in on a CBR1000. Surprisingly I never really felt uncomfortable on the track this season but I'm certainly learning an incredible amount each event on a trial-by-fire basis. I was fortunate enough to get involved with two Ultra-Lightweight Endurance teams this season and the seat time on the smaller bikes helped immensely - not to mention it's great bang-for-the-buck.

My opinion is if you're a halfway-decent rider and you're running mid-30's at track days you will probably see quite a drop in your times once you get out there and tow off racers. Case-in-point, I ran a track day at Hallett (my home track) two weeks ago and had to run Street class due to Advanced being full when I signed up. My fastest time of the day was a disappointing 1:30, about 4 seconds off my previous race pace at that track. At the races last weekend with no real changes to the bike I turned a 1:25. It's amazing what that extra drive and being surrounded by faster riders does for you. In the meantime I have friends who have been riding trackdays for YEARS that I can't seem to drag out to CMRA events. They could compete, but they're intimidated by the atmosphere and the competition.

With one season in the books I'm feeling very very good. I'm just getting to the point where I feel confident executing passes and pushing harder but I have no illusions of winning or even getting on the podium for quite some time (if ever). At least not on the big bike. If you go out there like I do, with no other expectations than to enjoy the ride and make new friends you will have the time of your life. I've made some amazing friends and memories in a very short time while fulfilling a lifelong dream.

Jordan Pence
09-20-2016, 05:07 PM
You'll get much faster much quicker if you just go racing.

Bryan Hodges
09-20-2016, 08:06 PM
I waited too long before I started racing. Don't do that.

Sent from my HTC Desire 510 using Tapatalk

Robert Lackey
09-20-2016, 10:49 PM
I waited too long before I started racing. Don't do that.

Sent from my HTC Desire 510 using Tapatalk

Yeah, this!

robert duncan
09-23-2016, 07:28 PM
You can even put by me and I will help you out as best I can

Zach Morris
09-24-2016, 07:52 AM
Hey everyone, i am trying to gauge everyone's opinion on when they felt they were ready to go racing. Im now a seasoned track day attendee and even before i attended my first track day i knew i was gonna dedicate myself (spend all my money) to achieving my dream of racing. Im just curious as to what times everyone was running before they decided to go for their cmra license. My most experienced track is Cresson CCW so ill use that as a gauge. Were you guys on big bikes running low 20's before you became a racer? Or were you high 20's low 30's and kept improving after you got your license. I guess what im wondering is should i stay just as a track day warrior until my times drop to whats comparable to what you guys are running or do alot of guys start in the cmra a bit off the pace and improve as the year/years go by. Just as a note im not to far off the pace, im consistantly in the low to mid 30's on a 750 at trackdays where you have slower riders and not pushing 100%. Im getting impatient and just wanna start racing already! Im looking to do my cmra course before the year is up, and start first round next year starting my prov nov qualifications. Any advice/opinions would be appreciated, thanks!

Will you be at the MSRH Ridesmart day on 10/23? We have a covered canopy and you are welcome to put with us and hang out. We have had both success and a ton of mistakes so we can at least tell you and show you what NOT to do ;)

Andy Rutkus
09-26-2016, 03:24 PM
I guess when people say the motorcycle community helps each other out that phrase is not lost within the CMRA, i appreciate the responses and help everyone.
@Zach im not sure if i will be, Houston is my favorite track but i was stupid and decided to get both days at ECR cause i had never been there, first and last time ill ever go there, i didnt even bother to show up on the sunday because 90 percent rain i dont even wanna be anywhere near that course, wasted 110 bucks for a garbage track. I scheduled my CMRA class for Friday at TWS on the 7th so if i have the funds i may go. Thanks for the offer

@robert duncan, thanks so much, ill be at TWS on Friday! hope to see ya there

Zach Morris
09-26-2016, 04:47 PM
I guess when people say the motorcycle community helps each other out that phrase is not lost within the CMRA, i appreciate the responses and help everyone.
@Zach im not sure if i will be, Houston is my favorite track but i was stupid and decided to get both days at ECR cause i had never been there, first and last time ill ever go there, i didnt even bother to show up on the sunday because 90 percent rain i dont even wanna be anywhere near that course, wasted 110 bucks for a garbage track. I scheduled my CMRA class for Friday at TWS on the 7th so if i have the funds i may go. Thanks for the offer

@robert duncan, thanks so much, ill be at TWS on Friday! hope to see ya there

RS cancelled Sunday and were issuing refunds. You may want to look in to that and see if you can apply some of that money to MSRH. There is a reason ECR is "only" $110 these days.

Andy Rutkus
10-10-2016, 11:36 AM
Bump Update: I took the class on friday, unfortunately we didnt get to do the mock race due to back to back transports in the last 2 sessions right before we were set to do it, (no ems no race) so that was disappointing but they still gave us our certificates. I look forward to getting beat by you guys next year! Question, the class instructor was telling us he recommends doing endurance racing before we do sprints, im 100% sure i will do the solo 30s but how hard is it for a pro/nov to find an endurance team? I guess i should say, how hard is it for a pro/nov that doesnt know anybody to find a team.

Michael De Simone
10-10-2016, 11:49 AM
Bump Update: I took the class on friday, unfortunately we didnt get to do the mock race due to back to back transports in the last 2 sessions right before we were set to do it, (no ems no race) so that was disappointing but they still gave us our certificates. I look forward to getting beat by you guys next year! Question, the class instructor was telling us he recommends doing endurance racing before we do sprints, im 100% sure i will do the solo 30s but how hard is it for a pro/nov to find an endurance team? I guess i should say, how hard is it for a pro/nov that doesnt know anybody to find a team.

Look for people looking for teammates. Make your own team and try to find experienced people to race with you and help you out.

It's great advice but it isn't mandatory.

Joe Lopez
10-10-2016, 12:11 PM
If you don't know anyone.
Just post up.
If no one bites...get busy getting seat time and stashing some money aside for next season.

http://www.cmraracing.com/forumdisplay.php?8-Riders-Needed-Rides-Wanted

Russell Yazbeck
02-22-2017, 06:12 PM
Did you race this past weekend?

Joe Lopez
02-22-2017, 06:59 PM
Did you race this past weekend?

Me?
Hell yeah eff'n right i did.
Well, just Saturday endurance.
Was planning on Sunday novice sprints but, wasn't quite feeling it for some reason.
Ended up loading up during Free Practice 2 Sunday morning and booking out.
As i was on the road got word two of my main peeps got in some pretty good "incidents" on their first races.

How'd you do if you raced?
Hope you had fun and stayed safe.

Michael McGehee
02-22-2017, 08:01 PM
I think he was asking Andy? Last name search on results indicates he didn't race on Sunday...

Andy Rutkus
02-23-2017, 06:26 PM
No, unfortunately life happened right at the new year and i found myself moving, buying an suv to haul the bikes, amongst other things and ran out of funds for a fresh set of tiees and a transponder. It looks like ill be out there round 3 but im desperately trying for New Orleans