This track is well known for a smooth surface and good times, but it's only half the usual length at 1/8 of a mile, which presented some unique challenges.
Barkley had thoroughly prepped his turbocharged Suzuki GSX-R1000 ‘Eleanor’ in hopes of at least eclipsing last year’s record-setting times, but it sure wasn't starting off well for him and the team. Off the trailer in the opening rounds of testing on Saturday morning Barkley was well off-pace, only mustering a 5.5/148 mph pass. Ethan frantically worked in the pits for the upcoming qualifying rounds, but his next two runs weren't much better and Ethan found himself in the unusual spot of third qualifier going into round three late in the afternoon.
Barkley made some drastic tuning changes trying to keep up with the ever-changing air density. In the final round of qualifying the bike left the line slowly but began to gain steam as the boost came in. However, the bike was pulling hard to the right and came dangerously close to the wall as he crossed the finish line. Barkley knew he had to go for it if he wanted to improve his qualifying position, and he did so with a vastly improved 5.18 at 152 mph. This would be good enough for second spot going into Sunday.
On Sunday Ethan felt he had a good grasp on some of the tuning issues that hampered the times in qualifying. In the opening round of Sunday's test session the bike left the line much better and pulled hard the entire run, recording a 4.96/154! This was a massive improvement and put Barkley in winning contention. In the first round of eliminations, Ethan lined up against EB Speed supported rider Leith Darrach from Australia. Leith had been struggling most of the weekend and this run wasn't much better as his bike stalled right at the start while Ethan cruised to a round 1 victory with a 5.13/149. In round 2 Ethan had a bye run but used the opportunity to gather data and try to get back into the fours. The bike left great and the time reflected this with a solid 5.06/149, so the team knew they were on the right track.
In the finals Ethan was against another EB Speed-supported rider and newcomer to the Pro Street class, Dan Green, aboard his turbocharged Suzuki Hayabusa. Dan had been making steady progress all weekend and was running in the 5.1 range, so Ethan couldn’t take him lightly and needed to leave the previous tuneup in the bike.
As the two left the line Ethan gained an instant advantage with a better reaction time, but that was soon eaten up as Ethan lost traction about 10 feet into the run, allowing Dan to jump ahead. Ethan regained traction and was gaining on Dan, but the reduced 1/8-mile track didn't allow him much time before the finish line, and he came up short. Even though Ethan finished second, he was excited to have two EB Speed bikes in the final as well as a great deal of pride seeing Dan take his first Pro Street win!
Ethan's next CMDRA event will be CMDRA Northern Nationals in Prince George, BC on August 12-13