Barkley Has Tough Weekend At Castrol Raceway

Barkley Has Tough Weekend At Castrol Raceway

Written by  on Thursday, 06 August 2015 14:49

@CMDRA2015 • @CastrolRaceway • @ethanbarkley • (August 6, 2015)- At the prior CMDRA event in Mission BC, Ethan Barkley had some issues with his 500 horsepower turbocharged Suzuki GSX-R1000 "Eleanor" spinning on the 1-2 shift. So coming into the third national event of the CMDRA's national series at Castrol Raceway, Ethan installed a new Penske rear shock in hopes of fixing the issue. The team was excited to make a pass during the hour test session on Saturday morning.

The track was in great shape and things looked promising. Ethan began his burnout in usual fashion until a spike in oil pressure blow the oil filter seal, and most of the Motul 300V engine oil came gushing out. There wasn't any damage to the bike, but there was a significant cleanup of the bike that would eliminate them from making a test pass. Once the bike was cleaned up it was time to get ready for qualifying, but with no test data the tune-up would have to be rather modest. Barkley left the line quickly but the bike pulled hard to the right and he was forced to let off the throttle and get straightened out. This correction hurt the elapsed time considerably, posting a slow 7.97 / 187 mph. Not long after that run the skies opened up to steady drizzle and the day’s racing would be pushed to Sunday.

Normally on Sunday the teams have another 90-minute test session, but due to Saturday's precipitation, testing was eliminated and the second round of qualifying was put in its place. The team quickly got the GSX-R ready for the rung and had a slightly more aggressive tune in the computer and clutch, but again the bike pulled to the right, this time not as bad resulting in a time of 7.75 / 188 mph. This would be all the qualifying passes allowed and Ethan found himself in the unfamiliar second spot, less than a tenth of a second behind Rob Aston.

Next it was time to prepare for the upcoming elimination rounds, with the first being against Dave Burleigh on his newly purchased 650 horsepower turbocharged Hayabusa. As Ethan began his burnout the unthinkable happened...another spike in the oil pressure and another blown seal! It was a painful way to lose as he watched Dave make the single pass. Ethan and his crew chief Tom Bodrovics knew the oil spike wasn't a fluke and immediately began to inspect the lubrication system for any discrepancies. It was determined that a faulty oil pressure relief valve was the culprit, which was corrected in time for Ethan to enter the Gas Shootout race and try and gain some valuable data from the event. The next two passes were decent but the track had lost its previous grip. Ethan would go on to take the win in the Gas Shootout and post a best time of 7.65 / 189 mph.

Ethan will be looking for redemption and valuable points in the chase for a 15th national championship as the EB Speed teams heads to Eagle Motorplex in Ashcroft, BC August 22-23.

Wally Nesbitt

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