Here's Mark Henley's report on the last race of the 2005 California Downhill Series:
California Inline Downhill Series Final conclusion!
November 13, 2005
The IGSA (International Gravity Sports Association http://www.gravity-sports.com) held the final California Downhill series yesterday at Frank G Bonelli Park in beautiful San Dimas, California. The race was held at the Raging Waters
race course. The weather was warm and sunny, with track conditions dry.
The course starts on a 6% incline and drops for about 100 feet into a hard
85 degree right hander. The road then bends to the left and drops into a
straightaway and then into a hard 90 degree right hander with a short shoot
to another hard right hander. You then proceed down the long straight away
to a hard 90 degree left hander and just as you come out of the corner will
be the finish line. The racecourse is approximately 1km (.6mi) in length not
including the run out. Top speeds will be in the (42mph) range. Inline
Downhill typically sprint for the finish line.
#1 World ranked Dave Lambert, a software programmer from Castro Valley,
California fought off a day of intense competition to win race #6 in a best
5 out of 6 series that started in January of 2005. Taking the silver was
Southern Californias #12 World ranked Tim Huber, and #5 World ranked Mark
Henley from Redwood City, California, ended the round with the bronze.
Qualifying times were held first off in the afternoon. #12 ranked Tim Huber
swept the field with an awesome time of 55:692 to place first spot. #6
ranked George Merkert, the big man of downhill Inline, placed second seed
with a ripping 56:585. #5 ranked Mark Henley, showing tremendous improvement
walked away with the 3rd spot with a time of 57:208. #4 ranked Warren Focke,
Bonelli #5 Gold winner, placed 4th seed with a time of 57:777. #1 World
ranked Dave Lambert placed the 5th seed at 58:283. #3 World ranked Scott
Peer followed the crowd with a time of 58.678.
Race time came and the format broke down to 2 three man heats with the first
two from each heat advancing, culminating with a four man final and 2 man
consolation for 5th and 6th spots.
Stepping up to the line first came Lambert, Focke and Huber. Huber broke out
from the start to take the lead with Lambert and Focke catching and passing
him before the turns. As the racers came out of the turns with Lambert
first, followed by Focke and Huber chasing, Lambert was able to maintain
the lead and cross first with Huber showing tremendous fortitude and placing
second with a run from behind. Lambert and Huber advance to the final.
Next up came Merkert and Peer and Henley. All three racers sprinted
furiously from the line with Merkert in front followed by Peer and Henley.
As the racers approached the first turn Merkert stood up, allowing Henley to
duck and draft past him into the turn, carrying lots of speed. The racers
rounded the corner with Henley taking a decisive first and Scott Peer taking
second. Merkert carried a bad line at the finish and ended up with a crash
into the hay bales, but was up and in for the consolation round.
The consolation round came first with Merkert and Focke. Merkert blasted
from the start, but Focke was able to catch and pass Merkert before the
finish, to place fith for the day.
The final four came to Lambert, Huber, Peer and Henley. Peer, Huber and
Henley sprinted out in front with Lambert following. Lambert, utilizing
great skill and experience, was able to draft and pass to take the win, with
Huber, Henley and Peer foot racing for the final 2 podium spots. Huber was
able to maintain his run for second, with Henley coming from behind to sweep
the third spot from Peers grasp.
The California Series ended with a final points total for the best 5 out of
6 races. The final three for the season, concluded with #3 World ranked
Scott Peer taking the Championship series, followed by by #5 World ranked
Mark Henley, who finished just 4 points behind Peer. #4 World ranked Warren
Focke, returning this season after suffering a head on collision with an
automobile, is to be commended for taking the third spot in the Series.
Congratulations to all the winners. Special thanks goes out to Marcus
Rietema and Robert Ozman for organizing and sanctioning the events. Also a
special thanks to Arturo Sanchez for his unselfish participation in the IGSA
events as the official starter.
The California Downhill Series returns in January, where Gravity athletes
from around the world will gather to start a new season. Stay tuned and see
you next season!
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