Brandon Blanding - Round 3

Let me start off by saying....I’m back!!! I went into this round telling myself to kick my season ending crash from last year out my head and send it and I did! Had 5 races this round and signed up for a 6th race mid day Saturday for some extra seat time but unfortunately we got rained out. I needed this round to go as it did so I could get my head back into the championship.

First race of the weekend (Novice GTU) I took 3rd place 🥉!!! I was in second for just over half the race right on the rear wheel of LJ Elder who I couldn’t get around to save my life, his defensive lines were on point. I would eventually concede to Stephen Townsend who was showing me a wheel all race so I played it safe a backed off. Can’t win a championship in one race and not worth crashing out trying to battle at this point in the season. Us top 3 finished 20+ seconds ahead of the pack battling for 4th. There was an issue with how the starting marshall did the starting lights which did effect the start for many racers. Second race (Nov GTO) I knew I would have to work since it would be my 600 against 1000s. I did just that and battled with the 1000s and I was the only 600 to finish in the top 6 and took 5th. I was in 3rd for half the race till CJ Walker on a BMW RR finally got by. Even though the 1000s would easily pull on me on the near half a mile front I wouldn’t let him get away. As the race went on, his bike was having electronic issues so I capitalized and reeled him back in and on the last lap I got right on his rear wheel in the last turns hoping he would mess up his drive out of turn 10 so I could beat him to the finish line but he got a good drive so I just kept the throttle pinned and then out of nowhere another BMW beat me right at the finish line (Dang 1000cc bike power 😫). I’m still happy cause my little R6 was putting in work!!! Third race (Middleweight Endurance) I finished 10th. I had a horrible launch on the start but I still managed to gain 3 positions. It was definitely tricky navigating through lap traffic while still racing with teammate Christopher Jaech who I must say we had one hell of a race battling each other 🤣. On Sunday it was time to mix it up with the experts. 4th race (Amateur GTU) I had a good battle going on all race couldn’t get around a group of 4 that I knew I was faster than so I finished 10th. Even though during the race I was trying to be patient and safe I still could have done better at making those passes. 5th race (Am GTO) started in wave 2, a few 1000 bikes shot by at launch so I had to work to get through and away from wave 2 so I can reel wave 1 back in and gain some positions. During lap 1 made a pass on the inside coming out of turn 7 as was trying to carry a little extra speed into turn 8 so I could catch Kevin Madden on the drive and make sure the guy I just passed didn’t pass me back on the inside and carried a little too much speed and ran off the track for some off-roading 🤣, luckily I kept it up because everyone knows that PMP terrain is not forgiving. Well all of wave two shot by and I had to fight from 25th and finished 17th. Not exactly what I had planned but outcome was better than crashing from the off track excursion. Overall great weekend even though I didn’t beat my PR and was at least running consistent lap times.

I want to thank my sponsors VAST - Vortex Athlete Support Team for the numerous parts but especially for the Superbike carbon brake pads which gives great feel while trail braking, Sol Performance/Pirelli Group for giving me tires that gives me confidence while at race pace, Motul for oil that keeps my 30k+ mile engine running like it’s only 1k miles on it, GoPro for giving me the ability to capture amazing action footage, Sidi Racing for high quality footwear, Central Florida PowerSports for the clutch kit that is pulling strong, 64 Degree Racing for the undersuit that keeps me cool especially during that Pueblo heat and last but not least for my team Legion of Speed Race Team for all the trackside support!