Round four of the PCRA Club Championships on July 19th got underway on a cold and windy winters day on the Gardiner GP circuit. Notwithstanding a southwester gusting up to 50kmh and the temperature struggling to make it to 15 degrees there was a full field and plenty of excellent racing.
Group 4 featured a competitor list of 22 bikes. Battling with the strong winds Chadd Slade took pole on his P6 ZXR750 with a 1:49.9. Making up the rest of the front row were John Mckenzie and Steve Anderson both on P6 GSXR750’s and Marcus De Caux on his Forgotten Era Yamaha TZ750. True to the grid order, Slade took the wins in both race one and two while Steve Anderson settled for second in both races and John Mckenzie and Rick Kwok each shared a third. In the older classes of this group Matthew Burton (Norton 500) and Bob Sayer (Norton Atlas 750) each grabbed a race win in the Post Classic 750, while Bruce Ireland (Yamaha 750) and Terry Mckinnon (Yamaha 750) shared the spoils in Forgotten Era 750. Wayne Gow (Moto Guzzi 1000) seized both race wins in the Forgotten Era Unlimited.
Several of the riders commented that despite finishing midfield it was some of the best racing in which they had been involved.
A field of 33 riders in Group 7 started the first race which was soon red flagged as Martin Ball high sided off his Suzuki at turn eleven. In gusty conditions Stephen Ward ( Suzuki 750) took both race wins, Wade Lewis (F2 Honda CBR600) both race seconds and Ryan Young (F1 Honda CBR900RR) and Daniel Birch (F1 Kawasaki ZXR750) each taking home a third. Murray Garlin took both the P6 Unlimited wins on his Yamaha FZR100 while Troy Galvin ( ZXR750) grabbed both seconds and Zoltan Petri had the thirds covered.
In the Motorlites, Jason Dunn (Honda RS85cr) led flag to flag to win both races, Tyler Bradford (BBE CRR150) was a little slow on the getaway but quickly took second and there he stayed, owning that position for both races. Anthony Marsden had a bunch of work to do in reclaiming third back from both Lawrence and Wilcox, but eventually secured it and took the bronze in both races. Lawrence ended up succumbing to overheating from a blown water pump seal but you cant keep a good man down, and Ken got it fixed and completed race two to his satisfaction.
Commuterlite Pro race one was the epitomy of what spectators love to see. Evenly matched Nick Wendan
(CBR125) swapped the lead with Jack Robinson ( CBR125) every lap for the entire race, with Nick eventually grabbing the win by the smallest of margins. Minding his own business ready to pounce if the opportunity presented, Ron Pulido locked in third. Race two was almost anti climactic. Both Robinson and Pulido made poor race starts, and virtually handed Nick a free pass to the chequered flag. Second to Robinson and third to Pulido.
The Commuterlite AM class brought more fingernail biting racing. A breakaway group including Jason Blanch (CBR125), Adam Cameron (CBR125), Oliver Higgins (CBR125), Nicholas Miller (CBR125), Ron Wenban (CBR125), and Andrew Martin (CBR125) all were so close that they were swapping the lead at every corner. This was edge of your seat stuff. Commuterlite AM at its very best. Fun and great racing. When the dust settled Adam Cameron took the black and white, Wenban second and Higgins third. Race two was a testament to clever patience, with Andrew Marting steadily climbing through the field to steal the win by two tenths from under Camerons nose. Third went again to Higgins.
Thanks as always to the people who made this event happen, the flaggies out in the arctic conditions, the bike pick up crew, the medics who were kept a bit busy, the race officials, the office staff, the timing team and all those that take care of countless ancillary tasks.
By Rob Annesley
Thanks to Jim Murphy and John McKenzie for their valuable assistance with the details of this event. Also thanks to Rick Krasitki for the use of his photos from the event.