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New Year Series 2

Athol Signing Autographs for Fans
Athol Signing Autographs for Fans


The crowd just kept piling on up to our tent
The crowd just kept piling on up to our tent


Eager moments for the crew, what will he do???
Eager moments for the crew, what will he do???

 

 

First meeting for Top Bike in the New Year and the team arrived at the track to the well setup pit area with lunch already waiting.  Roger and Athol had arrived two days previously and setup the container.  Steve and Margie Paris flew in from Darwin on race morning prior to the rest of the Stud Racing team getting there and Margie did the catering.  It was a very welcoming area and the team were keen to start the days racing.

 

 

 

 

 

The first main objective was to qualify and be number one qualifier.  The secondary objectives were to gain some more records and win the meeting.  We were still feeling rather grand about getting the National Australian mile per hour record at the last meeting in Perth, and we were greedy to better it and to get the ET and track records.  The team blood was running.

 

The bike was sitting ready for racing in ample time – our first run was meant to be just after 5pm.  The day was very hot (37 degrees), humid and sticky, the recorded altitude level was at 2700.  The air moisture levels were way up there, not easy for tuning.  Athol was up for a solo pass – a very wobbly one as it turns out, “this thing is rocking and rolling all over the start line” – as the commentator put it, but a full pass was still achieved at 6.784 seconds and 204.27mph.  That gave us some starting data for the next round.

 

Second qualifying pass, two hours later and Athol had Kim Stevens in the other lane.  The team consider him a big contender and it was great to get a pass with him and what a qualifying race – absolutely awesome the spectators must have loved it.  SOOOO close in ET’s and MPH, Athol at 6.819 and 205.95 mph, with Kim recording 6.917 and 206.04. WOW it was worth going in with a strong opposition racer to boost the psychological factor!

 

Come the third qualifying pass and the air temperatures had dropped a little, humidity was at 91%, but altitude had come down to 1900.  Kim in the other lane again, the lights come down and what comes out of the hat – but a possible new national and track mph record- 231.13mph!  Furthermore, the ET was 6.474 – another new track record!  That was the aim, and the team had half a certificate for ET and MPH on the pit wall, now they had to be backed up for claiming. 

 

Qualifying was over and once again we were placed in the number one position, with top ET and MPH, along with three possible records in the making.  That was something nice to sleep on.

 

 

 

The next morning was relaxing, we had a late breakfast, and enjoyed the middle part of the day doing a few tweaks to the bike.  We were ready and waiting.  First round of eliminations and Sam Parker was our contender.  Sam had got into the six second bracket in Perth and it was a good run, and we knew he could do that again quite easily, so we weren’t going to treat him lightly.  He broke on the line and Athol produced an ET of 6.442 at 223.55mph for the solo run.  That sealed both the ET and mph track records for the team.  Off to scrutineering to make the claim.

 

A quick service, refuel, run analysation etc and the bike was started up again in the pits as usual, all went very smoothly.  The crowd were in awe, kids were constantly queuing for signatures, they wouldn’t leave their spots, tears were streaming down their cheeks after “fire-up” and their ears must have been ringing, BUT THEY WANTED THE FLYING KIWI’S AUTOGRAPH, come what may.  The number of people in front of the pit was unbelievable – they stretched in a huge mass across the pit lane to the pit area on the other side.  We had never encountered that before, not even at the Winternationals when the stands are a lot more chocker!  We were in awe!

 

The semi final was up against Chris Porter, an unknown rider to us, but he rides Brett Steven’s bike and Brett was turning the spanners.  We treat every contender as a possibility and we weren’t going to waste the chance of improving the records.  Athol shot off the start line, to produce 6.372 @ 216.03mph.  The fastest ET ever for the track, could we still better it?

 

Back to the pits, once again a huge crowd gathered, Athol was finding it hard to get out of his leathers and fire suit between rounds, he was a roasting kiwi and his right hand was getting sore from signing so many posters – that’s no problem, we were sure his hand would still survive to pull the throttle wide open and carry on signing as many posters for as long as the kids kept lining up. He and we couldn’t believe it.

 

Now the big one – the final – the last time we were in the final, we weren’t able to start and that will never leave the teams memory bank.  This time we felt at ease and knew that we were going to get a darn good race out of Kim Stevens.  Athol nailed it and came away with a winning ET of 6.324 and 222.88 mph. Not only a win but another record beating time!  We were jubilant!  Kim’s team were very congratulatory on the line, what a fantastic bunch of racers.  Thanks fellas.

 

Achievements

Number One Qualifier                                                            Top ET (bonus points)

Event Win                                                                               Top MPH (bonus points)

ET Track Record set at 6.324                                                 MPH Track Record set at 223.55

Personal best MPH @ 231.13                                                Personal best ET @ 6.324

Gained 110 points to put us first in the points table ahead of Jay Upton by 45 points.

 

Thanks To

Kim Stevens for giving Athol such a great race!

Rocklea Mercedes for the use of the tow vehicle

 

 

Also Thanks For the Continuing Seasonal Support From:

Stud Welding New Zealand Ltd                                  Jackson Electrical Ltd

HILTI                                                                          APS Tools (Lista)

Gates Racing Ltd                                                        Crystal Colour Graphics Ltd

R B Performance Ltd                                                  The Organic Coffee King (Chris Thornton)