Team Tiger attended Round 2 of the Queensland Road Race Championships with riders Simon Dickson (8) and Gary Dickson (73) on their CBR250RR’s. We drove out to Warwick Saturday afternoon to setup before the event on Sunday. After a good feed and sleep Saturday night the Team Tiger was ready for a big day of racing. The weather was once again perfect. The sun was shining, only a slight breeze, and the track was in good condition, the day was looking like a cracker!
Grid positions for race 1 were based on the riders total points from Round 1, that placed Simon 2nd and Gary 7th on the combined 250 Production/125GP/Moto3/Formula 3 grid. A total of 15 riders made the grid, 9 of them on 250 production machines.
A short warm up session was first, and everyone went out to make sure the bikes were behaving. Simon and Gary had been given some tyre warmers to try out. The extra confidence for the first lap was a bonus for the riders, however having the tyres already hot means Simon and Gary did not have to push as hard on the warm up lap to get heat into them, reducing cold tearing and hopefully improving the length of the tyre life.
Race 1 would be a real test of rider and machinery, for a change of format it had been decided to run a 17 lap race, this would require a change of tactic, as neither Simon nor Gary felt they could run a 100% pace for that many laps. The lights went out and everyone left the line, Simon got a great start slotting into 2nd place behind Tayla Relph (Moriwaki MDH250) and tried to set a pace that he would be capable of holding for the 17 laps. The pace Simon wanted to run was too slow for Anthony Carroll (VFR400) and Sam Phillips (CBR250RR) they quickly moved in front, Simon’s plan to hold his pace and hope the others had chosen too high a pace did not work out as well as hoped, Sam and Anthony broke away from Simon and kept a high pace. Simon had a good battle with Ken Croucher (Honda RS125) for the remainder of the race. Ken played it smart, sitting on Simon’s tail until the drag to the finish line when he was able to use the extra acceleration of the GP bike to drive past – it must be noted that he was kind enough to give Simon a wave as he went past. Simon finished the race in 5th overall (2nd 250 Production) and set a best lap of 01:29.120 – 7 or the laps in the 1:29′s, 8 more were 1:30′s so a very good pace and right on the target Simon had set for himself for the race. Gary’s got a decent start, making his way past David Wright (VFR400) on the 4th lap. James Parker (CBR250RR) was Gary’s ultimate target, James had decided to run a very high pace early in the piece. Gary ran a pace that he felt he could continue over the entire race. James tired over the final few laps, Gary shrank the gap but could not close it entirely. Gary finished 7th outright, (4th 250 Production) with a best lap of 1:30.593 on the final lap – not far from his PB, he kept mostly 1:31′s and 1:32 for the body of the race, a good solid pace and a very strong finish from Gary!
Everyone that completed the 17 lap race deserves to be congratulated, it was a serious test of what you could do as a rider and most were pleasantly surprised at the pace they managed to hold throughout the length of the race!
Race 2 was to be 12 laps long. Ready to try to push for the full race Simon got an excellent start from 5th (progressive grids meant you started each race from your finishing position of the previous race) going around the outside of Anthony Carroll and David Wright through turn 1, to slot into 3rd position behind Sam Phillips. The next 3 laps Simon kept close to Sam, the plan being not to make a move until the last couple of laps. Gary got off to a good start, pushing forward a few places into turn 1, the next few laps he was holding Sarah Fairbrother (Moriwaki MDh250) at bay until the red flag came out causing the race to become a 2 part race, part 2 would be 7 laps long, with riders starting in the order they completed the last lap before the red flag came out.
Race 2 Restart had Simon and Sam try to break away in 2nd and 3rd, many changes of position happened over the following laps. Simon had gotten nice and close on the last lap for a planned an attack into turn 10. Simon was not aware of Anthony Carroll’s proximity, he had played smart, sitting close behind and not showing a wheel. He made his move on Simon into turn 9 the last lap join in the fun, Simon had no options but to slot in behind, having to back off meant Simon had lost the drive to make a move into turn 10. Anthony was then able to beat Sam to the start finish line, Simon would finish just under 1/2 a second behind Sam. An excellent race Anthony managed to break away from Sam and Simon managed to close the gap to Sam over the last 4 laps but it was too late, crossing the chequer flag. 4th position (2nd 250 Production), with a consolation prize of the fastest 250 Production lap of the weekend a 1:27.956, only 0.2 off the lap record. Gary once again got away to a decent start and once again Sarah Fairbrother was right behind him, she made a successful pass on the 4th lap and held Gary off across the line; only 0.616 between them. Outright position 7th (3rd 250 Production) with a best lap of 1:30.582, it was a good race for Gary, good lap times on quite worn tyres, running tyre warmers seemed to enable the Team Tiger riders to get down to close to their PBs without feeling like they were pushing too hard.
Race 3 was another beauty Simon slotting into 3nd place behind Anthony through turn 1, Sam took the position back into turn 3, and the two changed positions a number of times over the next 5 laps. Anthony then decided to slot into the middle. Simon decided to let them dice and reserve some energy for the last 2 laps, a average run through turn 7 and they had 50+ metres on Simon. Simon pushed to catch them but could not reduce the gap, instead making more errors and allowing them to escape further. Although the mistakes cost Simon a chance at a 250 Production victory he was happy to have completed 9 laps in a row ranging between 1:28.910 and 1:29.589 a spread of only 0.679 of a second, consistency to be proud of all within 2 seconds of the lap record. Gary’s final race of the day was an all in 250 brawl, James Parker, Glenn Chandler (CBR250RR), every lap they came across the line in a different order and completed the race with only 0.115 separating the 3 of them! Gary took line honours of the group to hold onto 7th outright (3rd 250 Production) with a best lap of 01:31.752. Glenn managed to get his front wheel across the line before James.
Overall a fantastic weekend for Team Tiger, the longer format races proving an excellent new challenge, some very close racing, and 1st and 3rd places in the 250 Production category for the 2013 Queensland Road Race Championship.
Timing and complete results can be found at MyLaps.
Onboard footage, races 2 and 3 were captured by both team riders.