Feb 18, 2013
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Danny Kelsey (34). Photo by Joseph McBain, courtesy of RPSRaceTeam.com
KELSEY TAKES MSRH WITH 4 ACES
RPSRaceTeam.com lead rider Danny Kelsey started the 2013 season with 4 big wins during CMRA Sprint Championship Series action at MSRH [MSR Houston] in Angleton, Texas. Faced with sorting out a new GSXR-1000 and the teamâ€™s first use of Pirelliâ€™s new Diablo SuperCorsa and Superbike tires, some anxiousness was present as this was also the first time Kelsey and the team had been on the track since November of 2012.
Kelsey and the team were relieved when the first sessions of practice showed that he was immediately on pace despite the lack of off-season track time and a lot of new hardware on the two Suzukis. The team spent the Friday CMRA practice session(s) fine tuning the setup of the teamâ€™s new GSXR-1000 equipped with a JRi Shock and GP Suspension Cartridges, while getting a grip on the new tires to gain a maximum advantage for Sundayâ€™s main races.
New for 2013 is the CMRA Formula One class that promotes breast cancer research awareness and features a qualifying structure held at the end of Sunday morning practice sessions. The team was caught out a bit as they did not have a spare set of wheels yet for their new GSXR-1000 and participated in qualifying on tires that had over 60 laps of hard practice on them. The Diablo Superbike tires held up well and Kelsey was still able to qualify third out of 30 entrants despite the tremendous wear on the tires.
The first race of the weekend was 750 Superstock and Kelsey wasted no time in posting his first win of the season for the team and its sponsors. Kelsey took the point early and managed the race until the checkered flag waived.
The second race of the weekend was the Open Superstock class. Kelsey would be able to finally test the pace of the teamâ€™s GSXR-1000 with new tires. Kelsey wasted no time and put the big Dynojet tuned Suzuki into the lead as lap one completed, but a red flag quickly erased the effort. On the restart Kelsey was third, with the first place rider putting a small gap on Kelsey and second place. Kelsey however put in his fastest lap of the day up to this point and the fastest lap of the race to take his second win of the day.
Kelsey would again be â€œcaught outâ€ with the Formula One race just 15 minutes after Open Superstock and no spare wheels. Despite the hard laps on the Pirelli tires during Open Superstock race, Kelsey was again able to better his lap times after posting a 1:33.529 and taking second place to Ty Howard during this inaugural premier CMRA event.
Kelsey regrouped and posted his third win of the weekend in 750 Superbike while battling Derek Wagnon. The two riders distanced themselves quickly from the field with Kelsey leading the entire distance despite constant pressure from Wagnon. Kelsey posted the fastest lap of the race with a 1:35.392 on the final lap to win by nearly one second.
The final race of the day for Kelsey would be a rematch with Formula One race winner Ty Howard in the Open Superbike race. Kelsey was able to mount a new rear tire for this race. Kelseyâ€™s strategy for the race was simple, get out early and run as hard as possible. As the green flag dropped Kelsey executed his plan to perfection. Kelsey cleared the field on his M4 Exhaust equipped GSXR-1000 as Howard worked through the pack. By lap three Howard was clear of the pack, but was now over three seconds behind Kelsey. Howard posted a 1:33.349 to start to close. Kelsey responded with a 1:33.487 on lap four to put the race on ice and take the win by 2.5 seconds.
â€œThis was an incredibly tough and rewarding weekend. I canâ€™t remember working this hard for some time, but the Pirelli tires were incredible and all of our sponsors helped out so much to make sure we had â€œtop notchâ€ equipment. I canâ€™t thank my team enough and special thanks go to John Hutchinson with South Central Race Center helping us get the Pirelli tires to work their best on our first weekend of use. Lastly, thank you to my crew chief Marcus McBain for putting all the machines together. He stayed up until 5:00am Friday morning finishing the last build outs of my GSXR-1000 right before the CMRA practice started. I pushed him really hard this event, but he as usual responded with what I needed to winâ€, reflected Danny Kelsey.
Kelsey will contest the entire CMRA series in his efforts to regain the number one plate. The team would not be able to compete at this level without the special efforts of KMC Controls, RS Taichi, Pirelli, Dynojet, Vortex, Motoliberty, South Central Race Center, Motopia, M4 Exhausts, DP Brakes, Kâ€™s Motorsports, GP Suspension, JRi Shocks, Lone Star Track Days, Shoei Helmets, Hotbodies Racing, Silkolene, and Chicken Hawk Racing. Kelsey will resume racing action at Texas World Speedway March 23rd during the second round of CMRA Sprint Championship Action.