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February 2008

The Summer Nationals at Western Sydney International Dragway on the 15th and 16th of February saw yet another New Zealander in the winning seat. Athol Williams and crew, won the first ever “Christmas Tree” for New Zealand, when they defeated the Australian Harley rider, Brett Stevens in a close final round.

Athol was number one qualifier after three rounds with a personal best time of 6.562 seconds for the ¼ mile at 197mph out of a ten bike qualifying field.  Leonard Azzopardi was sitting second with Brett Stevens and Troy McLean, third and forth respectively.  The elimination rounds gave Athol an easy win against Phil Parker, then a semi with Troy McLean – a very strong contender.  Times for that round, Athol 6.569 sec (201mph) to Troys 6.87 (181mph) putting the Stud Racing team into the final against Brett with a result of Athol 6.65 sec at 199mph to Bretts 6.71 sec at 208mph…..a very close and awesome race to watch! Go Kiwi – who said Kiwi’s can’t fly-Athol sure can.

The Stud Racing team is absolutely ecstatic with the win.  It has been a hard slog, a lot of hours and a lot of money to get that trophy.  We spent five solid months of completely rebuilding the motor after it decided to turn into shrapnel at Willowbank, Brisbane in September 2006.  We are lucky to have such a dedicated and skilful crew with very special thanks to our crew chief, Roger Bloor of R B Performance for his expertise in building our latest motors.

Since the rebuild we have contested the Winternationals at Brisbane last June, plus the first four rounds of the Australian Championship and are currently sitting third in the point score series, with three more meetings still to go – that is a huge achievement!

The new motors are very strong and we haven’t suffered any major damage since installing the RBP engines.  Maintenance is a lot easier and less stressful.  The crew are grinning from ear to ear and we are looking forward to racing in Perth on the 1st and 2nd March.

A big thanks must go to Stud Welding New Zealand Ltd for all the financial input, as well as Gates Racing, Hilti and Jackson Electrical for their assistance in keeping us on track so to speak.  It’s a very expensive exercise, and keeping going with the $$$$’s is of course a major issue, especially competing internationally.  The aim is to be the first Kiwi to win the Australian Championship – WOW, that would be something else! 

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