#327 Sofia Amadio CVMA Round 1 Sept 15 Race Report
Race Report: It’s been a roller coaster the last year for me. As you know, I am trying to donate a kidney for my mother’s benefit… but earlier this month, my BigHeadz teammate, and very dear friend, Jo Bitter (CVMA #4 & forever88) succumbed to her injuries sustained competing with WERA at Fontanna.
This passed weekend was the first round of the 2016 CVMA Winter Series. I volunteer for the organization by helping in Registration. Registration was disrupted by infrastructure failures throughout the track… Stress and emotions were running high but we managed to get the races started… I was still trying to catch everything up and didn’t get to compete Saturday.
Saturday Night was the 2015 series banquet where Jo was honored the Chuckwalla Valley Raceway by naming Turns 4 & 5 of the track “Bitter” and “Sweet.” Jo’s original number, before earning #4 last year, 88 was also retired. #foreverJoanna88
Sunday was a lot smoother. The Racers meeting was held at Start/Finish where Jo’s husband, Bill McCoy (CVMA #1), chased Jo’s bike one last time ridden by my friend Jen Dunstan (CVMA #70). The racer’s meeting was concluded with a Moment of Noise with all the bikes reving; More tears were shed, as you can imagine.
Jen and I have been friends for as long as I have been racing. We have both been adopted by Aimee and Micky Grana. Emily, my adoptive sister having just passed her New Racer School, would be racing for her first time since her pocket-bike days. Emily raced her Ninja 250, but also had an SV500 prepared by my race coach & mechanic Andy Palmer at AP MotoArts. Andy also was honored at the Banquet Saturday night… the well earned “Sponsor of the Year.” Since neither Jen nor I could have our race bikes ready in time for the Season Opener, the Granas were kind enough to make sure we gridded up. Jen on Aimee’s GSXR600, myself on Emily’s SV500, and Emily on her Ninja.
Due to the difficulties earlier in the event, I missed all of my practice and qualifying. The bike was not on warmers, and I even ran it out of gas getting it from its place in storage down to the paddock. Despite it all, I made the grid. It’s what Jo would have done.
Rolling out for the race, I made sure to warm up the tires with some hard braking and accelerating. Took my position in the back of the grid. Green flag came and I nailed the start… straight into 3rd behind Elaine Carpenter on an R6 and Jen Dunstan on Aimee’s GSXR. I got to swap places with Jen before the race had to have a 3 lap restart when Shannon D tipped over (she is ok!). On the restart, Emily and I both Stalled. It was quietly perfect and I was able to finish with 3rd.
This weekend… with the honor paid at the banquet to our racing community both in the way of championships & accolades as well as the respect paid to our departed friend… capped off with being on Aimee’s Daughter’s bike chasing Jen riding “MommaWalla’s” bike was a beautiful epiphany of what racing should have always been about… it’s the People that make this community a Family. It’s always been a word or a hashtag we have frequently used, but the fundamental meaning has never been so apparent as it was this weekend. We mourned together, cheered together, laughed together, even got angry… but always together. Even in the heat of competition, we do it …Together.
I can’t thank you all enough. My heart, while still a little broken, is filled with the joy of knowing you all; Sponsors and Competitors alike. See you next round.
#becauseRacerFamily #allTheWayOutThere #ChuckwallaValleyMotorcycleAssociation