The 2014 QBE Barry Sheene Festival of Speed is now done and dusted and what a fantastic 3 days of fine dry weather and fantastic Classic / Historic Motorcycle racing.
The format of the event was changed this year with the start of the racing programme following lunch on Friday; this gave all competitors more events to compete in than they had ever had before.
On hand this year as the special guest of honour of the PCRA was 8 times World Champion Mr Phil Read MBE, who delighted spectators and competitors alike with his superb classic riding style and bike control. When watching him competing on a Yamaha TD3 and riding around the outside of fellow competitors at turn 9 no one would believe that this racing icon is 75 years of age. Phil was keep busy all weekend signing autographs and T-shirts for fans as well as delighting the crowd at the welcome function on Friday night at the track with his jokes which included himself and Barry Sheene. Phil also led the Spectator Parade Laps during the lunch break on Sunday riding a Yamaha TZ 750.
Also competing this year for the first time in Australia was Maria Costello MBE, on a variety of machines ranging from a Honda RS 125, Honda VFR400 up to a Norton 500 Manx. Maria’s performance over the weekend was first class. Considering that she was on borrowed bikes (first time on a 125cc) and on a track she had never seen before she still finished up at the pointy end all weekend. Hopefully she will be back next year to improve on this. As Maria is an FIM Ambassador of Women in Motorcycle Sports it was good to see, not only her and fellow racers Leanne Nelson and Scout Fletcher (NZ) mixing it up in the 125cc events but also all the other ladies on the track riding all modes of machines this year. When not on the track Maria was also keep busy signing autographs / T- shirts and doing press interviews. Before the event Maria had the opportunity to do some laps around Mt Panorama, Bathurst on a Kawasaki road bike and had a tour of the pits complex and National Motor Museum.
This year for the first time we had riders from Japan, Mr Tomoki Adachi and Yuki Terada, riding their superbly built Kawasaki Z1000 and Suzuki Katana 1100 superbikes, these bikes were a work of art, and had people drooling over them all weekend. Tomoki was the best performer finishing well in the top 10 in the entire superbike events he contested. The PCRA would like to thank Steve Leembruggen (Old Gold Motorcycles) for his efforts in arranging for these two riders to travel to the meeting and they are on the list for next year.
The Trans-Tasman Challenge (now in its 4th year) saw 22 competitors travel across the “ditch” to contest the event and the challenge. As usual the Kiwis put on a great show from Chris Swallow (Peter Lodge’s Norton ES2 500) winning all his races to the young Scout Fletcher (Ken Lindsay Honda RS 125) finishing 3rd in her events.
The Kiwis are a great bunch of competitors and put on a grand performance over the weekend despite their mechanical problems and crashes and took losing Round 1 of the challenge on the chin ( 343 to 228 ) but have vowed to make it hard for the Aussie Team travelling to New Zealand in October for Round 2.
The performance of the meeting must go to Cameron Donald riding the 1981 McIntosh Suzuki 1135 and Michael Dibbs on the Harris Honda F1 1150 Superbikes. If you wanted valve for money and entertainment, you only had to watch these two superb riders in action throughout the weekend. You could have thrown a blanket over them they were so close in all the races. Cam Donald set a new lap record for the class 1:36:024, all this using a 5" rear rim and 165 section rear tyre (so much for the need for 5.5" rims and 200 section tyres)
The PCRA would like to thank all our Officials and Flaggies who have keep the meeting running and our sponsors for the event, QBE Insurance, Penrite Oil, Honda, HART Honda, Adams Print, Hawkesbury Honda, Whites Racing Products, VJMC and HELD; for supplying Phil Read’s Leathers and all the Trade Stands and Bike Clubs and a special thanks to Mr Ken Lindsay, Mr Richard Stain, Mr Rob Frances, Mr Steven Kairl and Mr Marcus De Caux for donating their bikes for use by our guest riders and the spectators for there continued support in this event.
Watch this space for the information on next year’s 10th anniversary meeting.
We look forward to seeing you all next year.