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1999
..... Isle of Man
..... Chronicles 1999
1998
..... Isle of Man
..... Chronicles 1998






Racing Overseas - 1999


Isle of Man 1999
• Racing Archive Chronicles 1999 •




5/2 5/4 5/10
5/21 5/22 5/23 5/25 5/28 5/29 5/31
6/2 6/3 6/4 6/5 6/6 6/7 6/8 6/9 6/10 6/12

May 2, 1999 Update

Hello everyone! Welcome back for those who followed our racing exploits on the web last year. Some of you might have seen us on Speedvision, and others still in race magazines here and abroad. For those your who are tuning in for the first time you might want to catch up by reading last years detailed journal first. (1998 Journal) Eveyone else follow along to see what's in store for us this year.

The Circuit

The Isle of Man Tourist Trophy (TT) is the world's most famous motorcycle event. It is raced over a 38-mile mountain circuit of ordinary roads and attracts competitors and fans from every corner of the globe. The race has been run every year since 1907 and only a handful of Americans participate in this event each year. It is arguably the most unique of all motorcycling experiences. This year marks the return of an organized US team to compete in the TT races. Not since Indian entered over 80 years ago has a organized US team competed. .

Preparation

1) Hi I'm Dwight Mitchell. For those of you that I met on the Isle last year I am staying at the same place as last year. It's an excellent location in Douglas, located right around the corner from the main grandstand / pit area.

The residence is:
"Thie Bane"
40 Ballanard Road
Douglas
Isle of Man, IM2 5HE Tel: 44.01624.676.811


2)This year we are fortunate to have our team garage space located at Mylchreests Motors. Dealers in luxury automobiles like Rolls Royce, Jaguar, MG, Volvo, Land Rover, and Rover. The owner David Mylchreests, has graciously allowed our team the use of some of his free space.

The Location is:
Mychreests Motors
Westmoreland Road
Douglas, Isle of Man

2) At the suggestion of a friend we contactd and selected Emery Worldwide Express as the shipper of our motorcycles this year:

Hugo Lopez
Emery Worldwide Express
100 Port St.
Newark, NJ 07114
Tel: (800)443-6379


Cost: $800 per crate times two equal $1600. I will put as much as I can into the crates. This prices includes customs, filing fees, and taxes.

3) We're flying on Continential Airlines once again, and we made car rental reservations with Ocean Ford.

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May 4th

4) Well, Emery came and picked up the motorcycles today. Garett and I spent the whole weekend crating and preparing our motorcycles for shipment. All the fluids must be drained from the bikes, and we enclosed the metal frame crates with plywood. I went to Home Depot to have the plywood sides cut for the crate. Even though I got a metal framed crates from Boundbrook Cycles, the dealer that sponsors me from Boundbrook N.J. the sides are cardboard. I wanted more security for my motorcycles.

This morning we had a photo shoot with a couple of very lovely models and our motorcycles. Pictures will appear in Longriders 2000 Calendar. I'll let eveyone know when the calendars will be available. We also did some shooting with our lovely models in bikinis for the video of the behind the scenes look at Team USA. This is going to be a "HOT" video. Look for it to be available around the middle of August.

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May 10th

I picked up my new 10 foot sponsorship banner from the sign shop. I also had a little 4 foot sign that says "1999 Team USA Isle of Man TT Race" made also. I going to put the banner up at Mylchreests Motors. I must show my sponsors that I'm keeping my part of our agreement. Spent the evening sorting out what I was going to bring with me, and what I was going to ship. I found out from a friend on the IOM that there is a Cyber-Café. I contacted the place and found out that I have a place to connect to the Internet. They also scan pictures. So I'll bring my laptop and update my TT chronicles on my website daily. I'll also take pictures and scan them in for anyone who's interested.

Emery called today and advised me that the motorcycles had arrived, cleared customs and would be one the Isle in 2 days. This was wonderful news considering all the trouble I had last year with the shipment. The motorcycles would be there when we arrived.

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May 21th

Garett and I have arrived! We went straight to Mylchreests Motors to meet our sponsor of the garage David Mylchreests. He was very plesant and accomadating. We are very lucky because there is a service station at the dealership so we don't have to go out for gas. The octane on the pump gas is 95, so we don't need race gas, but it is very expensive. It costs 30 pounds to fill two 5 gallon fuel jugs, thats $50. Considering you get 2 laps per 5 gallons of gas on your motorcycle you spend quite a bit of money on gas between practice and racing. Our goal is to do 80 practice laps before qualifications even start, you people do the math.

The rest of the day was spent the day arranging the garage at Mylchreest Motors. The garage is quite large and private. It's attached to the main buildng and we think it might have been a paint shop for automobiles at one time based on the ventilation equipment inside. It needed a coat of paint with the aid of a few of the local lads we gave it a going over. (I'm starting to write in Manx. *smile*)

 

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May 22th

Today we uncrated and reassembled our motorcycles. We also had to refill all the fluids since it is a requirenment to drain them for all air shipments. We laughed and joke as we went along and the day went by very quickly. We hope to get out and ride tomorrow.

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May 23th

Today we spent the whole day practicing on our motorcycles. We went out in the morning with a few our local friends Geoff, Mark, and Matt, and had a wonderful time. Garett was amazed after his first time aound the track! We all laughed because everyone has the same first impression, one of awe and wonderment. He said, "this is what I'm seeing in the tapes, this is sick, but great! I nothing else I'm having the time of my life." Geoff, Mark, and Matt will also be part of our pit crew for the races.We'll spend the next week trying to get in as many laps as possible. (Click to read Garett's first impresions)

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May 25th

Donnye Vance and his wife Lena arrived from Austin, Texas. He said it took him 17 hours to get here. He went from Austin, to Chicago, Chicago to Manchester, Manchester to the Isle.

Garett and I help him uncrated and reassemble his motorcycle. We wanted to get him out doing laps as quickly as possible since he was also a newcomer to the TT. He had the same reaction as Garett after his first lap around the course. His hands were actual shaking a little. We advised him this was normal and that after a few more times around he would feel more comfortable. It takes time to get adjusted to this road course. It's fast and twisty with all blind corners.Your riding on the left hand side of the road, and there is no run off anywhere.

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May 28th

Not much new to update today. We have practiced everyday except today. It's been raining hard, and foggy all day. Donnye notice oil leaking from his crankshaft seal today. He hopes it doesn't get worse because he must remove and disassenble the motor in order to replace it. Donnye also replaced his rearsets with the new attack performance rearsets. The new sets look sweet, but they are expensive.

We had the Mayoral reception today and that went fine. The new Mayor was a pleasure to speak with, and was a loyal TT fan. He advised us that he would be coming to our open house next weekend. Photos were taken and a good time was had by all.

Paul Speller from the Manx Independant newspaper came by the garage today for a team interview. He advised us that he was planning on running two articles on the team in this years newspapers.

Garett and I did a few laps in the car today. We got alot of practice riding in the fog. We found out that we could go quite fast following the lines in road. They get closer together as you approach a corner, you just have to know which corner is approaching. We found that we have a pretty good handle on the course now.

Four additional members of our crew from the US showed up today. James for Texas, Clark, Ted, and Wayne from Pennsylvaina.

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May 29th

Well the rest of the racers Steve, Alex, and Wade arrived today. Needles to say the rest of their time was spent in preperation of motorcycles for Monday's practice session.

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May 31st

Well today was the first day of practice. The team was up and out the door by 4:00am on a cold, gray day. Practice starts at 5:15 in the morning so everyone was a little tired. It rained the night before so the ground was very wet and slippery. This does not make for a very good first practice session on this course and I told Garett, Donnye, and Alex to take it easy.

I decided not to go out in the mornings practice session, but to help the three new team members get sorted out. Practice was delayed for 30 minutes because of fog on the mountain section of the course. As if the water was not bad enough, now everyone had to contend with the fog also.

Well practice finally got underway and I video taped the start with our guys going out. Well everyone came around after the first lap of 38 miles and I breathed a little easier. Everything seemed to be going well, but this was not to be the case on the second lap of two that you get for practice.

The fog had set back in on the mountain section of the course and it was thick as pea soup. Both Alex, and Donnye over shot the corner and came off the track at Windy Corner. This corner is a sharp right hander as you come down out of the mountain section. Fortunately neither was hurt. This is the only section of the course that has a gravel trap. Donnye was able to save his get off and didn't lay the bike down, but Alex was not as fortunate. The damage to Alex's bike was only cosmetic and both were out in the evening practice session.

All went well in the evening, and we all got 4 laps of practice, I started with the 600 in the first two sessions and later switched to the 900 for the second two. All went well and it appears that Garett had the fastest time of the 3 newcomers in our group. I suppose the extra 10 tens days of practice is paying off for him.

It felt great to be back on the TT course. The sun was shining, the course dry, and I was in the zone. I was ripping through the course on my 600, and felt 10 times better than I did at the end of last year. I was taken turns flat out that I was heistent on last year. I can't wait to see my practice times tomorrow. Things also went well for Steve John and Wade Boyd. I didn't see them after practice because they both had things to do.

The 900 was a little different story. The clutch started slipping at 10,000 rpm so I was down on power. This was a little strange because this is a brand new motorcycle with only one race on the motor. I'll change it tomorrow and see what my times are like. The motorcycle has so much power I'm having to wrestle it through the corners, and after more two laps I was exhausted. I'll probably lower the front by 6mm for tomorrow and see what this fells like in the corners.

We all went to dinner after the practice session was over and laughed and joked until 11:00pm because we didn't have an early morning practice session.

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June 2nd

Well, I finally received my clutch today from S & S Motors in Castletown. It was scheduled for an overnight delivery but hadn't arrived because the airport was closed due to fog, and Monday was a holiday.

Practice was good today, everyones lap times are getting better and we are starting to get the suspensions set up. I changed the front and rear springs in both my motorcycles. I went from a .95 spring in the front to .90 and probably would go with a .85 if I had a choice. I also changed the rear spring from 550 lbs to 450lbs. I was advised by the local suspension Guru that everyone else was running a 425 lbs spring. Suspension is critical here, the course is fast and bumpy. If you don't get it dialed just right you won't be able to go fast. The suspensions felt better, but there is still work to do.

 

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June 3rd

My wife and son arrived yesterday from Spain. It's good to have them here. I haven't seen them in weeks. Today was the best and the worst of day's for me. I got the suspension on the ZX-6R dialed in. I was lapping the course at an average speed of 104 mph. The bad news is that I clipped a curbed at about 100 pmh and crashed my bike. I escaped the accident unharmed, but the damage is none repairable while I'm at the Isle of Man. The bike was sliding on it's side when the foot peg caught and sent the motorcycle into the air tumbling. The frame is bent, and the plastic is damaged. I'm going to try and find a ZX-6R for rent.

Alex McLean crashed again today. This time it was more serious than the first, his helmet was split down the middle. He was also knocked out for 10 minutes. He has been put on medical suspension, and will not be able to race.

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June 4th

Well today was the last day of practice and qualifications and I qualified for all my races. All I have to do now is find a 600 to race in the Junior class. Because I crashed I had to take a race physical. It wasn't to hard, I had to do push ups, and stretching exersises.

Because Donnye Vance was unable to qualify for the Formula 1 race, and Alex McLean was not able to race because of his medical suspension we will not be able to compete for the international team award during the Formula 1 race.

Eveyone else qualified for their races. I race the Formula 1 race tomorrow, Steve John and Wade Boyd race 250's Monday. Garett King, Steve John, and myself race 600's on Wednesday, and Wade Boyd and myself race in the production class on Friday.

I had an interview with BBC TV today. No big deal just a few questions about the TT and our team effort.

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June 5th

I raced the Formula 1 race today. It was not a pleasent experience for me. If it could have gone wrong it went wrong. The crew Garett, Clark, and Wayne did a wonderful job, we just had technical difficulties. We usually pit after two laps, but I had to pit after the first one because the tear offs on my face shield wouldn't act properly. On my normally scheduled pit stop I failed to come to a complete stop before entering the pit area and was assessed a 10 second penalty. Finally, I changed helmets during the pit stop and failed to properly secure it so I was riding the last two laps with a lose helmet. I finished 45 out of 77 entries.

We had our team open house / party tonight for the press and fellow Americans. I was great! We had a full house and ran out of everything. I believe a good time was had by all and we met many new contacts.

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June 6th

Today was Mad Sunday. Garett went for a ride around the course with all the other tourist. There was the street party, fireworks, and club hoping for all. We went to the Marshall's party this evening. (Marshall's are the corner workers for the course, and there are 1400 of them.) The team had a great evening.

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June 7th

Steve John, and Wade Boyd raced 250's today. Steve finished 33rd out of 51 entries, and Wade broke down around the half way point. We don't race again until Wednesday. I had an interview on Radio TT this afternoon. I put out an mass appeal for a motorcycle rental for the Junior race on Wednesday.

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June 8th

I was able to rent a motorcycle for the Junior race. (smile) So that means we will be able to contest the ACU International Club Team Award. This trophy is given to a 3 man club team not affiliated with the ACU to finish the race with the best aggregated time. This is what we came here for. The are many good teams from around the world at this years TT. We'll all know the out come tomorrow.

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June 9th

WE DID IT! We won the ACU International Club Team Award for the Junior/600cc TT! The geometry of the motorcycles I rented wasn't set up the way I like it, but I was still able to lap the course over an 101 mph. This is down from my 104 average. I had to adapt my turn in points because the motorcycle didn't steer as quickly as my own, and the suspension was far too hard. But I was able to do the race and finish. Both Garett King, and Steve John put in solid finishs. Garett said this was the most fun he's had in his entire life. Steve was thrilled because this was his 3rd time at the TT, and the first team he has been on. It feel's great to see all of our hard work pay off. We will go out and celebrate tomorrow night! Everyone has done a fantastic job! Pete Devine on press and PR in the UK. Pete has also doubled as the video cameraman. Mike Kenny and Brendan Doherty of K2 photgraphy (UK) have been on call taking pictures for the team. Last but not least all of our American race crew that came over from the United States and volunteered there services to help make of effort a success. Thanks, Wayne Apple, Clark Luster, George, Ted, Herb, Ben, Rita, Frank, Allen, and the the rest of the crew. Wade and I race the Production race on Friday morning after this we will be coming home!

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June 10th

Speedvision stop by the garage today to do an interview and looked around. They took shots of the crashed ZX-6R, my wife and son, and asked about the team and what it took to put this effort together. They advised me that they had been filming me around the pit area, and that they had caught me on camera when the red flag came out in front on me during the Formula One race.

Well Garett decided to blow off some steam after yesterdys ACU win. He got dressed up as Captain Caos and went down to the promanade and did a few burn outs and wheelies. His outfit was a purple cap, and thong with his helmet. He must have been freezing because it was cold and we all had on coats. On his 2nd pass the police stopped him and asked him if he was cold. To which he replied, "I'm getting there". They told him that was enough for tonight and to go home and change. I told you the police were cool on the island. For photos of Garett in his outfit go to his website:www.guns4hire.com

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June 12th

The motorcycles left this morning on Emery Worldwide for the return trip home. We spent the rest of the day reviewing the slides and photos from K2 photography, and the video footage that Peter shot. At the end of the day we had seen some great shots, and were pleased the way things worked out.

We are putting together a behind the scens video of this event, and it should be available some time next month. Look for us on Speedvision next month! Will see you soon!

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