Magic! That is the only word to describe the conditions presented to the riders over the weekend, absolute magic. The bug has bitten Adam Dickson hard and he returned to Morgan Park Raceway with Simon Dickson and Kieran McGeown to see if he could continue to improve on the bike and fill in for Gary Dickson who was relaxing on a cruise ship. Saturday morning, blue skies, cool air and just the right amount of sun to warm the bitumen.
All 3 riders were entered in the Period 6 (1983-1990 model bikes) 250cc Production class and Period 6 up to 500cc class, Adam and Simon were also entered into the Gregg Hansford memorial race, this year there was trophies and prize money on offer for up to 499cc as well as the normal unlimited class.
Qualifying kicked off, and Kieran broke his trend to join in the first session, Simon ensured someone would drop a session by electing to relax for the final session feeling he could not improve his time. With 2 qualifying sessions each for the 250cc class and the 500cc class. Qualifying for the Gregg Hansford was based on the qualifying sessions and the times set in the first race for each class, after which the top 30 fastest riders in all the historic classes that chose to enter would be seeded on the grid for the event.
The Period 6 250cc Production class was joined on track by the Pre Modern (up to 1995) up to 600cc, and there was to be 21 riders on the grid, 13 of them in the 250cc production class. Simon managed to head the 250cc class and claim 3rd on the grid with a best lap of 1:27.875, the Pre Modern 400’s of Chris Dunster (#66 Honda RVF400) and Callum Barker (#47 Suzuki GSXR400) claiming taking the top 2 spots. Kieran was the 3rd of the 250cc bikes, putting himself in the middle of row 3, position 8, with a lap of 1:32.627. Adam slotted into 16th with a 1:37.681, 9th of the 250’s.
Period 6 500cc class was sharing the grid with Period 5 (1973-1982) 500cc, and Period 4 (1963-1972) 1300cc. Simon headed up row 2 with a lap of 1:28.212, Kieran’s 1:34.323 set him up to start from 10th for the weekend, and Adam managed a 1:36.580 to claim 14th out of the 27 riders.
Kieran started the weekend and race 1 in the Period 6 250cc Production class with a great start, getting in front of Tony Carroll (#4 Honda CBR250RR) to turn one. Kieran was building a gap until getting caught with larger capacity Pre Modern bike that slowed Kieran, allowing Tony to close back the gap. Second last lap Tony made an overtake into turn 1, and then Kieran caught a lapped rider at turn 7 allowing Tony enough gap to hold the lead to the finish line.
Adam’s first race for the Period 6 250cc Production class saw him continue to get more comfortable on the bike, and with his first meeting out of the way he was starting to get into routine for his race prep. Unfortunately for Adam, his final outing on track Saturday for the Gregg Hansford race the FZR250 gave up on the very last lap, Adam was lucky to roll over the finish line, and score points in the Gregg Hansford!
Simon was able to take class victory in the first race for the Period 6 250cc Production class, however the second race didn’t go to plan, leaving the pit the rear stand caught on the rear tyre and tangled with the bike. Upon arriving at pit gate he noticed his rear tyre was flat. A quick dash back to pit and the tyre pumped up, Simon was able to start the race from pit lane, and worked his was up to 3rd in class. After the race the tyre pressure had dropped so the loss of air was most likely a puncture rather than being caused by the rear stand incident. Thankfully the ART tyre guys at the track were able to do a quick tyre change to an old tyre so Simon did not miss any races. With Simon not making the grid, Kieran spent race two attached to Tony, and Matthew Edwards (#65 Aprilia RS250), plenty of position changes through the race however Kieran crossed the line 0.1 behind Tony to take 2nd in class.
Sunday morning Adam had to prepare and Gary’s spare CBR250RR and get it scrutineered. He was feeling nervous about getting used to another bike with only one 2 warm up laps to feel the differences. He set out with a plan to take the first race Saturday morning easy. The CBR turned responded to input extremely well and by turn 1 the plan to go easy had been shelved, and replaced by exuberance. Adam was having a great time with the bike and found himself chasing Michael Cullen (#64 Honda CBR250RR) and finished with a new PB of 1:33.093.
Races 3 and 4 for Period 6 250cc Production were incident free for Simon, however lap times were affected by the old tyre, with a best lap of 1:28.699. Most importantly Simon was able to keep the bike upright and win the class in both races, cementing first place and holding onto the Queensland Championship for the Period 6 250cc Production class.
Kieran continued the fun racing with Tony, the pair giving each other plenty of curry! Kieran was not able to finish any of the races leading Tony, but with solid finishes in each race was able to pick up 3rd place in the championship, and take home the honour of a rostrum in the Queensland Historic Road Race Championships!
Races 3 and 4 continued with Adam and Michael trading places and Adam continued to chip more time away, setting a new PB of 1:32.832. While he was not able to beat Michael in any of the Period 6 250cc Production races he made huge steps forward and learned a lot!
The Period 6 500cc class saw Simon having lots of fun on track with Chris Dunster (#66 Honda VFR400) and James Parker (#91 Kawasaki ZXR400), race 1 Simon was able to keep in front of the Chris and James, and managed to claim 2nd behind Tony Carroll (#4 Honda VFR400) after Callum Barker crashed out of second position. The following Simon was running the old rear tyre and with a saw his pace reduce, the difference of a couple of 10th a lap enough for James and Chris to better him. Results of 5th, 3rd and 5th in the other 3 legs allowed Simon to take 4th outright.
Kieran enjoyed a weekend free from issues, punching home 6th, 4th, 6th, 7th results having battles with Chris Dunster aboard his VFR400 and finding Adam on his tail once he changed to the CBR. With Adam managing to finish close behind Kieran a couple of times meant he was able to take a close look at the way Kieran navigates the circuit, and absorb as much of Kieran track knowledge as he could.
The Masters of Morgan Park features a special race, the Gregg Hansford Memorial Race, with 3 legs to decide the winners. To be eligible your bike must be built before 2000, the top 30 fastest riders from the historic and pre-modern classes are selected to complete based on their fastest lap from qualifying and the first race. This year the race featured a sub class for bikes up to 499cc, as well as the main open class.
The first leg of the Gregg Hansford saw Simon in a close race with Tony Carroll, Chris Dunster and Richard Farquharson (#570 Yamaha FZR1000). With lots of exciting overtakes the larger capacity bikes were able to take advantage and Simon finished 3rd in class. Race 2 Tony was unable to start do to a leaking water pipe, James Parker took his place in the battle and Simon was able to claim another 3rd place. Race 3 Simon was only able to watch Tony, Chris and Richard from a few seconds behind, the others stepping their pace slightly and Simon was unable to follow. The consistent finishes mean Simon would take 2nd place outright.
“It was a real honour to finish in second outright in the Gregg Hansford, the mix of bikes on track means your strengths and weaknesses are amplified, and you have to plan further ahead to make a move stick. It was a lot of fun, it was great to see Chris have a bit of good luck after the last few meetings where he has had a number of mechanical failures.
The weekend ended with a bit of excitement, the caravan throwing a wheel on the trip home, luckily Gary returned from cruising the Pacific Ocean and was able to go for a drive Monday morning to do some repairs and rescue the stricken caravan.
Team Tiger would like to thank our sponsors, we love the support they give us. 2fiftycc.com, CaraData, Xcite Bikes, Penrite, Kaiser Baas, and Litetek. Special thanks to Simon and Adams dad, Gary for having everything ready for them to race, especially the loan of his spare bike so Adam’s weekend didn’t end early. King Images has done a fantastic job of taking shots of the team, and we love being able to show the on track action.