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Round 2 report

by Carl Brewer last modified 2009-11-01 17:53

A top day at the races

Round 2 report

Swervin Merv escapes from Nicole Holt

Leading up to round 2 the weather forecast had been a bit iffy, and the day dawned grey and drizzly prompting the organisers to bring drying equipment in case the track needed some help if it got wet.  As luck would have it and for the second time in as many rounds this season, the conditions ended up perfect for racing.  Desite the perfect conditions a few riders who had pre-entered didn't show up to race, leaving the field at 25 riders in total to contest the day.

Not a breath of wind met the riders lining up for their qualifying flying 200's.  Notable performances were from Andrew Steele, resplendant with his newly painted disk wheel and aero helmet, Steelie had announced earlier that he was going to shave 0.5 off his last time, and he did that with change, ripping out a 13.237, taking 0.7s off his previous time set at round 1 just a month ago.  Newcomer Peta Stewart put the wind up the boys with a quick 13.967 that placed her in B grade and Marc Wilson also found more speed to record a 13.338, much faster than his round 1 time (ridden on a club bike on junior gearing).  Regulars Gary Jackson, Brent McKenzie and Barry 'The Wizard' Woods weren't present and only Chris Ray was able to go under the 13 second mark, recording the fastest time on the day of a 12.591, followed by Stuart 'V-Train' Vaughan with a 13.145 and he was closely pressed by Alex Santagada.  In C grade Junior champion Emily Apolito qualified fastest with a PB time at Blackburn, ripping out a 14.811 and James Dann made the jump to C grade after clean sweeping D grade in round 1 with a 15.233.  Claire Campbell was the rider in D grade to record the fastest time with a 15.713 but Alex Vaughan wasn't far behind.

And so the racing got underway after Sue Dundas, the series commissaire, gave the briefing to all riders before the start of the rounds.  This certainly sped up proceedings through the day.

Outstanding performances from the two JI riders who were matched up early saw Emily Apolito narrowly keep James Dann behind her after a touch of handlebars that had the spectators gasping, and in D grade Alex Vaughan upset Caroline Page with a well timed jump.  Nicole Holt rode with cunning and skill to topple the faster qualifying Pat Dougherty while Chris Dann went down early to Peta Stewart, Peta rapidly showing the boys how it's done once she got the hang of Blackburn's banking.

In A grade Andrew Steele gave Chris Ray a shock as Chris jumped hard and got clear, but Steelie, with a roar, set off in pursuit and almost got around his stunned antagonist.  Alex Santagada had a day he'd rather forget, the series until now had been crash-free but Alex, when matched up against Rob Tidey, ran into Rob's back wheel as the two rounded the clubroom corner and came down hard.  No broken bones but some bark removed from the youngster who then missed his last round and a very shaken Rob Tidey.  Alex had qualified third and was in great form on the day.

The V-Train snuck through the rounds undefeated, Stuart had told the organisers he was there to win the series and he put himself in the right place to do it, setting up his A grade final race against Chris Ray, who also got through the rounds undefeated in A grade.  B grade was more complex, with a gaggle of riders finishing tied on points and flying 200 times used to split the riders for their finals.  Wayne Arazny rode well, but perhaps suffering from the aftereffects of racing the previous day and also in the morning at Glenvale he was lacking in punch a little.  Neil Robinson and Dino Apolito had a rematch of their thriller from round 1 and this time it went to Dino by a tyre, putting Dino into the finals while Neil won commentary duties.

The third set of heats saw the closest finish of the day going to Chris Hickey over Carl Brewer, putting Chris into the B grade 1v2 rideoff against Chris Dann and relegating Carl to racing for 3rd against Peta. D grade was dominated by Claire Campbell who won through with a clean sweep.

Into the finals and in D grade Caroline Page was too strong for Penny Robinson to take third and Claire Campbell was just a little too quick for Alex Vaughan, giving Claire first in D grade.  In C, the contest for third was between Nicole Holt and Swervin Merv Tracy, Merv just a little to quick for Nicole at the last, and John Lewis reversed the result of their previus meeting, just beating Emily Apolito to take first in C grade.

In B grade the race for third between Carl and Peta saw Peta draw the lead and despite Carl's best efforts, Peta kept the sprint short and very sharp and won 3rd by a good length, the race for first in B between the Chris's Dann and Hickey had Mr Dann take the top spot on the podium.

And so to A grade.  Dino Apolito matched up against Marc 'Willo' Willson in a keenly contested matchup, Willo taking the spoils.  The race of the day, the undefeated, Chris Ray and The V-Train.  Stuart, the previous weekend had regained his masters world title in the pursuit, Chris, a half-second faster in qualifying.  How would it pan out over three laps?  The V-Train had the leading position, would he make it a long one or keep it short? Chris was content to follow.  With 250 metres to go it was still slow, Chris had enough and jumped at the 200m line and gapped the big V Train and won at a canter.

Chris did enough to win the daily aggregate and taking home a pair of Bontrager Race-Lite tyres, with Claire Campbell getting second and a pair of Jack-O sprint gloves.

Round 3, the 6th of December .. Be There!


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