RACE REPORT: Rapp Claims Second 2011 Vance & Hines XR1200 Victory at Barber
NEWS June 19, 2011
Photo by Brian J. Nelson
BIRMINGHAM, AL (June 19, 2011) – Parts Unlimited Harley-Davidson rider Steve Rapp piloted his XR1200 to a second 2011 victory in Barber Motorsports Park’s hot and humid AMA Pro Vance & Hines XR1200 contest. Rapp barely edged out Chris Fillmore (Bruce Rossmeyer Daytona Racing) to take victory by a mere 0.157 of a second. Rounding out the podium was last year’s AMA Pro SuperSport Top Gun Champion Tyler O’Hara.
At the start of the race, J&P Cycles Harley-Davidson’s Michael Beck took the lead but suffered a violent, head-over-heels crash before the end of lap one. (He was checked out by EMTs then released.) Before the start of the second lap, Rapp took over and put his head down, riding an almost perfect race.
"I got a decent start,” said Rapp. “I was in third going through the first couple corners, then got a little bit of a draft going in to Turn 4 and was able to start passing some people. By end of the first lap I was back in the lead, and then I just went as hard as I could without crashing. This class really shows bike skill and rider set-up, that's what I like about it. I had fun.”
Although Rapp was pleased to be out front, it forced him to endure constant pressure from Fillmore throughout the 11-lap race. Fillmore, who lays claim to two wins in this class, shadowed Rapp through every corner but was never able to find a way by.
"In the beginning of the race when Michael got spit off, it was right in front of me and I ran into the grass,” said Fillmore. “I kind of checked out of the race for a second then realized we had to get back in line. I was pushing hard, pushing hard the whole time, but every time I thought about making a move, the front end would push and the rear would come around -- it was really, really greasy out here. I kind of played it conservative. I wish I'd tried some more aggressive moves, but I was pretty much doing everything I could just to stay there. I'm looking forward to going to Mid-Ohio; we kind of struggled here." Despite the struggles, Fillmore maintains the overall points lead leaving Barber, 135 to Rapp's 119.
While Rapp and Fillmore created a gap on the 2.38-mile, 17-turn scenic Southern track, O’Hara put in a solid and consistent ride to his first podium in this class. Although he battled with Travis Wyman on his Harv’s Harley-Davidson XR1200, O’Hara came out the victor.
"In the middle of race, Travis was catching me, and on the last lap he really put some heat on me and passed me going into 4 on the inside. [We ended up] drag racing all the way to the museum turn ... then I just held it wide open and made it work. I'm definitely really happy to be up here."
Behind O’Hara was Michael Barnes (Drag Specialties), followed by Rossmeyer Daytona Racing’s Michael Corbino in fifth. Kyle Wyman, Travis’s older brother, took sixth on another Rossmeyer Daytona Racing GEICO XR1200. Seventh went to David Estock (Black Hills Harley-Davidson), while Chase McFarland finished eighth on a Latus Motors Racing XR1200. Ninth and tenth went to Payton Sassaman (Harley-Davidson of Macon) and Brett Sassaman (Eagle Harley-Davidson), respectively.
The AMA Pro Road Racing Championship next heads to Lexington, Ohio’s Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the July 8-10 weekend, Round 6 on the series calendar. For tickets and information, visit www.midohio.com or call (419) 884-4000.
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