NHRA Route 66 Nationals
Collis' great light and E.T. goes for naught
Chicago, Sunday: Having found an ignition/electrical that enabled the bike to improve in the final qualifying session yesterday, the Star Racing/G Squared Motorsports team turned their attention to today's eliminations for the NHRA Route 66 Nationals.
The first match up for Fred Collis and the Star Racing/G Squared Motorsports Suzuki was against Michael Phillips.
Both drivers were on top of their game at the lights. Phillips was perfect with a .000 reaction time, while Collis was underway in.004 seconds, outstanding by anyone's standards.
"Michael Phillips' margin for error was a hair," said team owner George Bryce. "If he was a nanosecond quicker, he red-lighted. If he's 15-hundredth later, he loses. But none of that happened."
Phillips covered the Route 66 Raceway quarter-mile in 7.234 seconds, followed closely by Collis in 7.243 seconds.
"At least we ran our best time of the weekend on that run rather than going slower. Fred drove the bike really well and seat time is really paying off for him," added Bryce.
Commenting on his seat time, Collis said, "Nothing like seat time. The more laps you make the more you can refine your techniques. We went to the line knowing there were some things that we wanted to change today as far as driving was concerned and we achieved that. At the finish line we fell a little short but we gave the fans a drag race."
Next up for Star Racing/G Squared Motorsports is the Pontiac Excitement Nationals presented by Summit Racing, the third of five races in a seven-week span. The event unfolds at National Trail Raceway June10-13.
"We'll figure out how to make the bike go quicker and faster by Columbus," concluded Bryce.
Collis saves the best for last, qualifies 10th
Chicago, Saturday: Qualifying for the NHRA Route 66 Nationals ended, albeit late due to intermittent rain, with Pro Stock Bike rider Fred Collis in the No. 10 position aboard the Star Racing/G Squared Motorsports Suzuki.
The bikes fought heat and humid conditions on Friday. Then on Saturday, rain along with a little more heat and humidity was the order of the day. Collis fought an unexplained engine problem both days but rebounded in the final qualifying session when he ran his best pass of the weekend, a run of 7.268 seconds at 181.06 mph.
The team will review all computer data and be ready for eliminations.
In the opening session of tomorrow's eliminations, Collis will face Michael Phillips, who qualified No. 7 with an elapsed time of 7.223 seconds at a speed of 184.25 mph.
Collis is 10th after first day
Chicago, Friday: Up against hot, humid weather, Fred Collis ended the first day of qualifying. Aboard the Star Racing/G Squared Motorsports Pro Stock Suzuki the Americus, Ga., driver put his bike in the No. 10 at the NHRA Route 66 Nationals.
Collis covered the Route 66 Raceway in 7.308 seconds at 176.23 mph in Friday's opening session, claiming the 10th spot.
George Smith, partner, along with George Bryce, in G Squared Motorsports says that they have experience some unexplained engine problems.
"We had some sort of a problem with two engines today," said Smith. "In the early part of the first run we ran at the head of the pack and then dropped off after about 1000-feet. We switched motors and low and behold the same problem occurred with the second motor. This second motor was one that had showed well on the dyno (dynometer) and had never been run on the track. We're going to take both motors apart to see if we can locate the problem."
Collis indicated that he would leave the engine work to the Star Racing/G Squared Motorsports brain trust and concentrate on driving the bike.
"The track is real smooth," said Collis. "He used to have some bumps but those appear to be gone. The tire looks real good after two runs. Both runs today were nice and straight. I'm still working on improving on the lights. Other than that the driving is coming around."
Testing gives Bryce and Collis confidence
Chicago, pre-race: There's an old adage that says, "Win on Sunday, sell on Monday." For George and Jackie Bryce, owners of Star Racing, and George Smith, part owner of S&S Cycle, Inc., and George Bryce's partner in G Squared Motorsports, that saying hits the proverbial "nail on the head."
"Star Racing's reputation was built on winning," said Bryce. "Winning races and championship, especially on the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, along with a lot of hard work, have built Star Racing.
"Now, along with my partner George Smith, we have formed G Squared Motorsports, and will use the same philosophy winning races and hard work to expand that business. G Squared was formed to develop motorcycle engines and bikes, focusing on late-model hot rod V-Twins."
To that end, as the ongoing development continues on the competition V-Twin, the Star Racing team stayed at Atlanta Dragway and tested the Suzuki this past Monday, even after driver Fred Collis advanced to the semifinal round the day before.
"We made seven runs on Monday, which is pretty much unheard of," Bryce said as he discussed Monday's testing. "The result was that we learned a lot and that will help our program in Chicago. We went in the right direction and we picked up a tenth over our semifinal time of Sunday. Conditions and track temperature were the same as they were during the semifinals on Sunday, so we were comparing apples to apples.
"It gave some extra seat time to Fred [Collis, team rider] since he just rejoined us in Houston. He was fortunate in that he was able to put 14 runs together between the race and the testing. That really tuned him up. It was evident in his driving focus. It got better and better. Based on the weekend and testing we look like we should start a march to the front of the pack. I can't control how fast everyone goes but we're going to run better."
"This past weekend definitely helped my game," said Collis, who handles the driving duties for the Star Racing/G Squared Motorsports Suzuki. "A lot of racing is mental preparation, but you can only do so much. That's where this weekend played an important role. I was able to get added seat time, work on the lights and concentrate on going straight and hitting shift points. The extra seat time, along with what was found in the tune-up area, should help us in Chicago."
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