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Winternationals 4th to 7th June 2009 - Brisbane

Reading material in the pit area
Reading material in the pit area


The season's catch
The season's catch


We got the whole team on stage
We got the whole team on stage


That's nice guys, you deserve to hold those trophys
That's nice guys, you deserve to hold those trophys


A fireworks finale
A fireworks finale


Spectacular
Spectacular


Awesome crowd
Awesome crowd


Looking down the track in the final
Looking down the track in the final


Bonus (Chris Porter) in staging lanes
Bonus (Chris Porter) in staging lanes


Us waiting in the staging lanes
Us waiting in the staging lanes


Startline
Startline


Friday night waiting for 1st qualifier run
Friday night waiting for 1st qualifier run

Well, here we are at the “Grand Finale′”.  The Winternationals  - our last ANDRA meeting in Australia.  The team cannot afford to carry on.  We knew this was the last time that we would all be together and we wanted to go out on a high!  The team had set some goals – very, very high goals and the planning was in place.  Bruce was deserving of being the crew chief for this meeting and Roger took a back seat.

 

When Friday came around we were prepared for racing early in the piece – our round wasn’t until a bit after 6pm.  Willowbank always has great track apparel and some of the crew took advantage of the time and got in early to make some purchases – especially as we all thought we may never have the opportunity again – THAT WAS BIG ON OUR MINDS.  That caused trouble in the pits, the crew weren’t being serious enough – well never mind we got our mementos

 

 

 

 

 

Roger had flown over the previous weekend and as per usual had worked like a Trojan setting up and preparing the bike.  Everyone else arrived on Thursday and started straight into work, it’s an intense exercise every time.

 

 

 

 

The first run was as expected for the air and track temperatures (16°C and 23°C respectively) and atmosphere (101% humidity) – we had a rain storm earlier, including a tornado (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuqFjVi383s

) and the resulting run was 6.337 @230.89mph.  Hey that mph bettered our previous track record of 223.55mph set in January!  WOW – that’s great!  There’s always a nervous build up to the first run and we were glad to get it under our belts.

 

 

 Couldn’t believe we had dinner so early and a relatively early night.  The team felt organised.

 

 

 Saturday dawned with a lot of fog, which delayed the start to racing for other classes by two hours.  We were conscious of the fact that we were part of a “Kiwi” eight bike contingent at Willowbank and our comrades were scheduled for 8am racing – that went out the door with the fog.  Never the less they were enjoying themselves and were preparing for the Trans Tasman Challenge which was the next event on our calendar.

 

 

 Anyway, back to our racing, our second qualifying  run took place at 1.40pm.  We were first out with Neville Smith in the other lane.  Air and track temperatures were better than yesterday, in fact were probably perfect.  It was not a great pass, the bike lost a cylinder not far off the start line.  Well a motor change had to get done so decided to go easy and not do the third qualifying run.  Panic brings on mistakes, and it wasn’t necessary for us to do a third run.

 

 

 Number One qualifier yet again – how many is that for this season? – six of eight?  Not bad going, when one meeting was totally rained out with no qualifying rounds.

 

 

 Rain the next morning – oh no, don’t say that’s going to cancel eliminations!  No it didn’t, the bad weather was short and brief and the day turned out fine.  Our round was running to schedule, any weather delays were only going to affect the lower classes.  Great.  Only six bikes in the elimination field – the first meeting we hadn’t encountered a full field or more.  Had we driven away the competition?

 

 

 Quarter final with Alan Herriman on his funnybike, a bit of a mismatch, but not to be taken for granted – who knows what can happenon the line – it’s not ours until we’re first at the other end!  Another 6.3 run, this time at 229.47mph, so that backed up our Friday track record run.  Good stuff!

 

 

 Two and a half hours later and out again – a solo run so nice and easy, not looking for anything too way out – just get down the track without injuries – result, a 6.41 @ 228.54mph. Into the final without fuss.

 

 

 Chris Porter (bones) in the final – he’s on the ex Brett Stevens bike, so we know that can goooooo.

 

 

 The air and track temperatures were exactly the same as the first qualifying round, but the humidity was down (altitudes were also similar).  The air wasn’t really there for a good E.T.  The lights came down and Chris was out first and looked like he had it won for a while, but Athol always picks up speed in the second half of the track and he overtook Chris resulting in a win of 6.339 @ 226.02mph to Chris’s 6.777 @ 202.89mph.  A great crowd pleasing run, and the third gold Christmas Tree of the season and the fifth in our cabinet in total.

 

 

 Well that ended the day, the season and the ANDRA racing for the Stud Racing team.  Prize giving was a way off, as other classes still had to run (group one had been kept to their timeslots for safety and tuning reasons), so we laid out the hot ham and beef, crackers and cheese, and people turned up and we began our celebrations.  It was great having so many kiwi comrades in the pits.  THANKS All

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Achievements

  

 

Event Win                                                                              

Top Mph (bonus points)

 

Improved the track mph record                                                 

Gained a further 110 points

Won the Winternationals for two consecutive years             

Finished the Championship with 700 points

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number One Qualifier                                                            Top ET (bonus points)