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Round 1 report

by Carl Brewer last modified 2009-10-04 19:39

The round 1 report

Round 1 report

John Lewis beats Emily Apolito by a tyre

In the first two series that the Summer Sprint Series has run, round one was one of nervous hope for the organisers. Would anyone show up to race? Round one of the 2009-2010 aboc Summer Sprint Series was an exception to this. Round one in 2007-2008 had nine entrants, in 2008-2009 it was full (30) and we had to turn people away, this year we had 30 pre-entrants, so the field was full before race day. As long as the weather did the right thing it was going to be a bumper day. The weather did the right thing.


Despite a light drizzle in the morning the track was dry and the afternoon saw very light breezes and perfect conditions for outdoor track racing.

The organisers had put together two new features for this season, electronic timing and a computer generated draw, so with machines to do the error prone jobs it was in to the flying 200's for all.


Only two riders managed to break the 13 second barrier, Gary Jackson and Chris Ray stopping the clock at 12.428 (57.93km/h) and 12.545 (57.39km/h). Notoriously slow qualifier Neil Robinson, fresh from a B grade 2nd place at the St Kilda crits in the morning rode a new personal best 13.226 (54.44km/h) to see him and Dino Apolito the last two riders to make the cut into A grade. Newcomers Brendan Bailey and Mark Fegusun joined Alex Santagada and Steve Martin in A grade to make for some exciting racing in that grade. A grade was missing a late scratching, Fast Eddie Wilson had to withdraw but we're hoping he'll be back for round two.


In B grade the top two seeds were Rob Tidey (13.465, 53.47km/h) and Carl Brewer (13.802, 52.17km/h) with Carl having a rerun after a wheel problem during his first flying 200 attempt almost putting him over the fence. Andrew Steele made B grade after a four year break from the sport and one hour's training with a credible 13.921 (51.72km/h). Steelie brought a vocal cheer squad with him which may have helped. Emily Apolito rode a new outdoors PB to make C grade and James Dann was the quickest in D grade.


The draw is set so where ever possible the two top seeds in each grade don't meet until, and if, they make the finals. That's how it panned out in all but B grade.


D grade's James Dann, at his first attempt, won the final over Claire Cambell, with Krissy Dundas a little too quick for Alex Vaughan in the ride off for third after Alex and Penny Robinson had a nail biting finish to decide who earned the final place in the finals in D.


In C grade, Angus Hume, who'd made the long trip up to race from Bairnsdale with Gary Jackson and Baden Nicholls grabbed third from the wiley John Lewis, and then Baden surprised Craig Towers, who had won all his heats, with a sudden jump in the race for first and Craig couldn't bridge the gap despite his best efforts. Craig will be back for round 2 a little fresher and we expect to see him in B grade again soon and Baden's not far off it too. Nicole Holt who'd come from Bendigo to race showed us all how to race with aggression and determination, but a knee injury deprived her of her normal turn of speed. Emily Apolito raced with skill and sense but her restricted gearing meant it was always going to be a struggle and while she relished the day she ddn't manage any wins.


B grade was close all day, 0.8 of a second seperated all the riders in the grade, and as expected this lead to some very closely fought races. Rob Tidey and Andrew Steele won through to the final for first and second places, and Carl Brewer and Marc Wilson raced for third. Marc being too fast for Carl in the end and despite Andrew Steele throwing everything he had at Rob in a thriller, Rob took out a well deserved first place in B grade.


In A grade, Gary and Chris won through undefeated but one of the most exciting races was round 3 with Dino Apolito racing Neil Robinson, it was desperatly close and Neil took this one at the throw.

This set the stage for the last two races of the day, Brendan Bailey too quick for Alex Santagada to take third place and the best of the best, Chris Ray just a smidge too quick for Gary Jackson.


The daily aggregate was won by Chris Ray after a countback to Rob Tidey (2nd place) and James Dann.

The series can't run without its organising team and a big thankyou to Sue Dundas for her race commissare role, John Lewis and Nathan Fraser for the electronic timing gear, Jodie Dundas for video work, Anne Apolito for her managing the scores and results and Alex Iwanov for helping out and cooking the BBQ.  Swervin Merv'n with his help packing up and everyone who helped on the day with setting up, running and cleaning up afterwards.


Round two will be a corker. Pre-enter now to ensure a place....

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