The 2009 Club Championship has been run and won. The final round at Oran Park G.P. Circuit was blessed with fine weather on the practice and set up day, Saturday, but cursed with high wind and constant rain on the Sunday. Many competitors were found wanting, needing extra sets of wheels and full wet race rubber in order to be competitive. The only smile in the pits was John Lyons #88, 999s. He loves the wet, but was to fall victim to it later in the day whilst attacking an 1198 at the infamous Yamaha corner!
Interest in the championship was centred around the battle for second and third place. A year long contest between the 4 valver of Justin Chisholm, #28, 851, and the 2 valver of Ross (Henry) Proctor, #92, 1000SS a handful of points seperating them coming into the final. The 1000SS being easier to ride in the wet, but the 851 able to stretch its legs on the GP track's long front straight. Ross "won" his first ever race on the weekend beating home all the 4 valvers! Well done Ross! A victory for the two valvers. Being on the right tyres and having a "managed risk approach" to the conditions certainly helped.
While all this was unfolding Lyons was out to prove a point for the "sub 1000cc club" by monstering the 1098/1198 brigade. In the pouring rain attacking the outside line at the kink on the main straight, then pressing the pass at Turn 1, again on the outside had pit lane shaking "its" head. A lap later, he came to grief at Yamaha, when again going "round the outside" only to touch the polished square of concrete with his second choice front wet. Down instantly and so muddy he couldn't stand and pick up the bike! On returning to the pits a determined Lyons said, "we'll get 'em in the next one". But John, you'll be on the back row...........................
Justin Chisholm, also "won" a race in the first leg! "It helps to be on the right tyres" he said. Half the field guessed wrong and rolled around slipping and sliding, trying not to fall off. The rain is a great leveller. The 851 looked and sounded fantastic all weekend, and Justin had a grin from ear to ear when it came time for the presentation. This would be the last time many of us would visit Oran Park. I finished my racing there in not such convenient circumstances, in 1984. It claimed many riders, over the years, an interesting but dangerous race track. Most in the paddock see its demise with mixed feelings. Broken back #1,(out of 3) for Lyons, qualifying in '97, for the 6 hour. Bruno Mamone, fell foul of the flip-flops on his 750SS, also. Lets hope it wont claim any more victims at the mooted 6 hour's, last harrah in November.
Fun on the day was seeing "old #88" start from the last position on the grid, to be forth at our pit, second at the kink and first,"round the outside", into Turn one sporting a huge rooster tail of spray! Bruno, shaking his head smiling. Oh well, its our last time.
So, we had 8 regular competitors in this year's championship. Congratulations to each and every one of them, and all those helpers, friends, members and budding racers that lent a hand during the competition. The '09 Club Champion is John Lyons-512pts; Second, Justin Chisholm-361; Third (and winner of the 2 valver award!), Ross Proctor-327;Trevor Pedersen-262; Linden Roth,-184; Steve Hopper-118; Jerry Verhagen-90; and John Cliffton-48.
Yet to be confirmed, however it looks like we will have some television coverage for club rounds next year, stay tuned.
Pinky & Aunty
"ride 'em, don't hide 'em" Aunty Mal