throwing its hat into the professional hillclimbing race circuit this season
for the first time in a lot of years and we’ve asked one of its Pro hillclimb
racers, Cable Willford, to share his racing experiences this season. Willford
competed last season on a Yamaha Nytro but as an independent. This year he has
full race support from Yamaha. Here is his third blog, which will be followed
by post race blog after the Afton Hillclimb. We think it will be interesting to
follow Willford as he helps to try to put Yamaha on the map—hillclimbing wise
Well it has been a very long
couple of weeks between races and unfortunately I have needed every minute of
it in preparation for the RMSHA hillclimb in Afton, WY.
Engine builds (and rebuilds),
suspension swaps, shock calibration, workouts, ordering parts, installing parts
and pounding the practice course has been the normal routine since the
hillclimb at Bear Lake.
I am going to Afton
with every intention of finding some redemption and I feel good about my
chances. As a team, we left a lot
on the table at Bear
Lake, but for me
personally there is a higher degree of expectation that motivates me to
take it to the next level. Our race program is rapidly adjusting to the demands
of this circuit and we hope to apply what we've learned by gaining
some top five finishes along the way.
One of the big changes for me
going into Afton is the move from the 600 Stock
to 600 Improved Stock class. Yamaha wants to pursue further race testing of its
developmental front end and the Improved class will offer us that
opportunity. My Improved class Nytro will benefit from some free breathing
engine mods as well.
Racing Improved Stock was a last
minute decision that was made possible thanks to Troy Johnson at Lincoln County
Customs in Alpine, WY. Yamaha coordinated to have my front end shipped
to Alpine and we will do the install at LCC the day before the race. Troy's affiliation with Yamaha and the proximity of his
shop to the Afton hillclimb made this down to
the wire move an easy "green light."
Afton is a bear of a hill that is relentlessly steep. Chock
full of massive stumps and nasty rocks, every vertical inch of it is downright
spooky. Once you overcome the intimidation factor, the hill rewards you with
some of the most intense racing you could hope to be a part of. I have been
looking forward to going back there since this time last year and it promises
to be a great weekend regardless of the results.