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Intense Season of Dirt Bike Racing in Canada and the United States for Team Tenacious
Colin number 27T of Team Tenacious at starting line
Te-na-cious - tending to stick firmly to any decision, plan, or opinion without changing or doubting it.
Nigel number 81T of Team Tenacious
That's an altogether appropriate description for the Heggarty family, or Team Tenacious from, London, Ontario, Canada. Currently the team consists of Nigel (number 81T), Colin (number 27T) and Mike, "dad, the mechanic, manager and mentor."
"We had a tough first year in the AMA Pro Singles competition. We found it to be even more seriously competitive racing than first anticipated, but we learned a lot, made new friends and had great fun. In spite of bad luck that seemed to happen at the worst times, we proved to ourselves we are in the hunt. With a little more fine-tuning, we can definitely do this and win," says tenacious leader Mike.
"This past season was by far our most intense yet, it was totally up and down. This was our first year as pros in the United States and our first time ever seeing any of the tracks. It was a ton of work but a lot of fun in return. The level of competition this year was insane," adds Nigel.
Nigel and Colin battle it out on the track
In 2009 both Nigel and Colin were top contenders in the CMA National Series in Canada as well. In his first year as an Expert, Colin ended up 4th overall with 450 Expert and Open points, in spite of missed races and competing against Canada's best and current AMA GNC riders.
In some cases he was racing his lone 450 DTX Kawasaki against big motors such as Rotax's and even 750 twin Harley's. They did not have the luxury of backup, or class specific bikes last season and it cost them.
The team's Pro Singles bikes are KX450 Kawasaki motocross bikes converted for dirt track. The motors have been thoroughly gone though in an effort to extract the maximum horsepower and torque. The suspension has been recalibrated for each rider and is specifically set up for dirt track competition.
"I'm hoping to address these issues for next season with our new Kawasaki 650 twin and perhaps even a spare 450," says Mike.
Despite this being the team's first season in the new Pro Singles class, Nigel and Colin were the only two Kawasaki's to consistently make main events.
"The most important thing when you're at the nationals down south is the qualifying. In order to do well in the main, you have got to qualify well, or you are just doing it the hard way all night and coming from the back of the pack and working your way through, which we seemed to do a lot of this year," explains Colin.
"We consider 2009 to be a learning year. We raced Mile, 1/2 Mile, Short Track and TT events with the same two bikes. We spent a great deal of money and effort just keeping the bikes together and competitive. In their first season at this level though the boys demonstrated they can ride with the best riders in North America. Our green-machines and their riding ability got noticed," says a justifiably proud dad.
"In his debut at Indy, where we finally met Johnny Jump from K&N and talked briefly, Colin placed tenth in the Mile in front of a full house. He ran as high as seventh, before his inexperience with drafting pushed him back. His was the only Kawasaki to make the Main event. Nigel would have been in it as well had it not been for a main bearing failure discovered that morning."
In this their learning year, they discovered very quickly that even qualifying, at this level can be difficult, as there are usually 50 to 60 top teams and riders attempting to do the same. Both Colin and Nigel consistently proved they were up for it nevertheless. Colin was third fastest at Daytona and Nigel was fourth fastest at Hagerstown.
"As it turns out our K&N equipped bikes were the fastest Kawasaki qualifiers and have had the best Kawasaki finishes in all the races we entered. Our K&N supported bikes were the only Kawasaki's in he Pro Single Main events most of the time. We ended up being the highest ranked Kawasaki's in AMA GNC Pro Singles competition - in spite of all the missed races."
"We use K&N oil filters and air filters in our GMC Duromax crew cab pickup, our E350 Ford Diesel van, as well as in all our race bikes. We also use K&N grease and foam oil. We like the K&N products for their protection, performance and durability. We are very happy to be part of the K&N "team" and endorse their products at every opportunity. We look for every edge in our race program and K&N gives us just that," adds Mike.
The team's focus next season will be AMA Pro Singles competition and making it on the podium consistently by qualifying in better position.
"If we can start the Main Events in the front row - I know we can be a threat."
In addition to AMA Pro Singles competition the team will also campaign their new Kawasaki Twin in select AMA National Hot Shoe Pro Twin events.
"We got a new Kawasaki Verseys last year and have been busy building it up for dirt track competition. It's a very cool bike and should get its share of attention, as it is the first one in Canada. And of course it is K&N equipped," adds Mike.
"We are also nearing completion on our new KX450 Kawasaki road race project. My roots are with road racing so I am really looking forward to seeing the boys try it out. They got their road race licenses a couple of years ago, but our focus so far has been winning dirt track races, so that has taken a back seat. This bike will be ready for 2010 as well. We hope to run some road races in both Canada and the United States, when the dirt track schedule permits," concludes Mike.
Tenacity blended with mad-skills, a simple yet powerful recipe for racing success. The safe bet indeed is on the Heggarty boys.
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K&N Engineering, Inc., with headquarters in Riverside, California, has been the world's leader in performance filter technology since 1969, serving the needs of the automotive, motorcycle, marine, industrial and military markets. K&N is heavily involved in nearly every form of motorsports from off-road and powersports to drag racing, stock cars and road racing. For more information about K&N Filters, please contact K&N Engineering, Inc., P.O. Box 1329, Riverside, CA 92502-1329, (800) 213-4182 for a dealer near you, (800) 858-3333 for technical service/questions, (951) 826-4001 Fax, e-mail email@example.com, or visit www.knfilters.com.
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