Southern Downs Road Race Series 2014, Round 4

For round 4 Team Tiger was running a reduced team, Kieran was not yet 100% after his crash at round 3. Gary took part in the Friday track day to test his spare bike, and ensure it felt 100% after making some carburettor and suspension changes. In the second session his weekend came to an end! He lost the rear and high sided out of turn 7, the outcome was Gary suffered a broken left collar bone, broken right hand, as well as a serious concussion and a number of abrasions. We are happy to report he is on the mend.

OSE_8367Simon Exiting Turn 3

The weather for round 4 was excellent – similar to round 3, cool but with a little more wind. Qualifying for the 250 Production class (again sharing the grid with the moto3 bikes) got underway. With the team reduced to just Simon, he set to work. After only 2 flying laps the first session was red flagged, Eshan Aumeer (#169 Honda CBR250RR) crashed on turn 12.  Simon’s best lap was his first flying lap – 1:29.916. With 4 minutes to go Simon didn’t go out for the remainder of the session. In Q2 Simon strapped together a 1:28.574 to qualify in 6th outright, 2nd of the 250 Production bikes, current championship leader Sam Phillips (#26 Honda CBR250RR) occupied P5 also on the 2nd row.

Simon chasing Sam Phillips into Turn 3

Simon chasing Sam Phillips into Turn 3

The Formula 4 grid was reduced in size this round with a number of people out due to injury or work. All the front runners were there however, Anthony Carroll (#275 Honda VFR400) and Jason Hermann (#727 Honda RFV400) meant business, as they were separated by 1 in the championship, with Jason the current leader. Jason fired the first shot by taking pole with a 1:26.585! Tony held onto position 2, and Simon captured P3 with a 1:28.104 in Q1, ahead of Sam Phillips.

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Simon Dickson @ Turn 2

250 Production Race 1 saw Simon get a decent start, on the tail of Ben Leonard (#69 Honda Moto3) and Tayla Relph (#14 Honda Moto3) for the first lap. Sam Phillips got a poor start and was 2 seconds behind at the end of the first lap. The Moto3 bikes broke away on the back straight and Simon spent the next 9 laps trying to keep the pace high enough to prohibit Sam from catching him. Simon posted his best lap of 1:27.676 as the pressure peaked, on the 10th and final lap with Sam just 0.5 behind. Fourth position outright and 1st in the 250 Production class was exactly the start to the weekend Simon needed to try and close up the 20 point advantage Sam had built up.

OSE_0639Simon Dickson waving @ Turn 3

“That race felt like I was in a pressure cooker! 9 laps knowing you are a target, every time I snuck a peek back Sam was a little closer. I made a few errors in the middle of the race, I was feeling the pressure! I stopped trying to force it, and focused on riding clean and fast. I’m not as good at leading as I am chasing, but practice is the only way to improve.” – Simon Dickson

OSE_0538Jason Hermann, Simon Dickson, Michael Webb and Anthony Carroll @ turn 7

Race 1 of the Formula 4 class saw Simon finish in 4th. Anthony Carroll broke away early, leaving Jason Hermann, Sam Phillips and Simon to battle it out. Initially Simon sat in third behind Jason, hoping to get a bit of a tow and break away from Sam, it soon became apparent that was not going to be the case. A few small errors allowed Sam and Jason to open up a 1.8 second gap. Simon closed up the gap with a best lap of 1:27.091 in lap 10 – his fastest of the weekend.

OSE_9114Simon Dickson

“Another top battle, showing just how tight it is at the front, Sam and Jason opened up a bit of a gap on me in the middle of that race. I pushed hard and closed back up on Sam, even getting close enough to attempt a pass on the final lap, but I chose the wrong spot to launch my attack, and had to yield. I love these 10 lap races, it gives enough time to play a bit of strategy.” – Simon Dickson

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 250 Production and Moto3 bikes into Turn 3

250 Production Race 2 Brian Houghton (#17 Honda Moto3) and Sam Phillips headed for the same patch of black into turn 1, they came together and ran off track – luckily they both kept their bikes upright. A lap later Brian caught and overtook Simon, before clipping the wall at turn 3. Brian speared off track out into the grass, once again he kept it upright. It would not have been a pleasant experience for Brian, a few years ago Gary clipped that wall in a similar fashion and cracked a rib! Simon completed the race for another 1st in class finish (4th outright), with a best lap of 1:28.382.

Simon @ Turn 12

Simon Dickson @ Turn 12

“When I saw Sam was a good way back after his turn 1 incident, I dialled it back a bit. I was quite surprised to have Matthew giving me the hurry up in that race, he has really lifted his game, and is not far off the front pack now.” – Simon Dickson

Simon and Matt Bushell @ Turn 7

Simon Dickson and Matt Bushell @ Turn 7

Formula 4 Race 2 saw Simon and Michael ‘Mojo’ Webb (#777 Honda VFR400) swap positions throughout the race. Simon managed to hold off Mojo to finish in 3rd behind Anthony Carroll and Jason Hermann, setting a best lap of 1:28.659 in the 5 lap race.

OSE_1142Michael Webb and Simon Dickson into Turn 3

“With Sam having bike issues and unable to compete in that race I wound it back a little. As soon as you ease up at all, there is someone trying to take advantage, Mojo and I had a good battle in that race. It was good to see Mojo get back to a new PB, if he can make a few more little steps he will be a constant threat in the F4 races, which means more fun!” – Simon Dickson

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Simon Dickson @ Turn 6

Race 3 in the 250 Production class, Sam was unable to get his bike sorted in time. With the pressure off Simon got off to a decent start, but did not push to the maximum, as such the GP bikes of Justin Hall (#11 Honda RS125) and Sarah Fairbrother (#14 Moriwaki MDH250) kept with Simon, eventually both finishing in front to give Simon 7th outright, and another 1st place finish in the 250 Production class, with a best lap of 1:28.875.

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Simon Dickson, Justin Hall and Sarah Fairbrother

“We all had a bit of fun in that race, Sarah and Justin kept on my tail in the early laps, where I would normally break away. A couple of laps in Justin was able to make an overtake, we had a decent gap back to Matthew so I engaged in a bit of a scrap without having to worry about position as I was the leading 250 Production bike. Justin played a good game and I could not take the lead back off him for the run to the line. The big surprise was Sarah pipping me across the line, that is the strongest race I have seen from Sarah and was happy to hear she set a new PB in the chase.” – Simon Dickson

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Simon Dickson and Sam Phillips @ Turn 12

The 3rd Formula 4 race Simon got off to a good start, however the 400′s of Jason, Anthony and Mojo all managed to get past over the first lap. Sam then got past Simon, and 2 laps later found his way past Mojo, it took another 2 laps for Simon to get past Mojo and by then Sam had opened up a gap. A 4th place finish for solid points and a best lap of 1:27.688.

Nikki Carpenter

Simon cheering after Race – Photo by Nikki Carpenter

“Mojo, Sam and I had a nice dice in that one, I didn’t think Sam was going to find a way past Mojo, as he was riding really clean. Sam did find a way past and I was not able to follow, I’m pretty happy with this 4th as Sam was riding with real fire after his DNF’s.” – Simon Dickson

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Simon Dickson @ Turn 3

The final 250 Production race was another 10 lap affair, the first 6 laps Sam lead Simon at a cracking pace! Then on lap 5 as they exited turn 2 Sam’s bike stopped. A little evasive action from Simon saw him get past without incident. Another DNF for Sam giving Simon a lead in the championship and a clean sweep of wins in the 250 Production class for the weekend. Simon also set the fastest 250 Production lap weekend a 1:27.256 on lap 6.

Simon Dickson and John Watton

Simon Dickson and John Watton

“Sam and I were having a truly cracking race up until lap 7, he was setting a really good pace at the front, I was feeling very comfortable on the bike and was looking forward to see if I could successfully make a pass on him stick. Now it all comes down to the final round, I have a bit of a points buffer but a DNF or 2 can change everything, so I’ll just do my best.” – Simon Dickson

Simon Dickson @ Turn 6

Formula 4 Race 4 was the final 6 laps of the weekend. A good start had Simon in behind Anthony and Jason after the first lap. Anthony started to open a gap, while Simon, Sam and Jason kept a tight train. On lap 2 Anthony crashed on turn 6 and Sam found a way past Simon. Positions stayed unchanged until the end of the race. Simon’s best lap coming early, a 1:27.892 on lap 2.

Simon Dickson @ Turn 6

 

Simon Dickson @ Turn 6

“That race started out looking like it was going to be a nail biter to the end! However once Tony crashed I noticed rain sprinkles coming down, with Sam and Jason pushing hard and a gap back to Mojo I decided it was not worth the risk to stay with them and backed off to finish in 3rd. I was not sure if the rain was a factor in Tony’s crash, and it had been such a good weekend for me I just brought it home safely so I could drive dad’s car home with the caravan.” – Simon Dickson

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Simon Dickson – Thumbs up

The weekend was mixed one, with excellent results and the 250 Production championship lead for Simon. Gary however, has a long road of healing ahead. Thankfully he can go to the toilet on his own! Once again big thanks to our sponsors. It was great to try out our newly supplied Kaiser Baas cameras, having 3 identical cameras meant Simon just swapped cameras in the mounted cover when memory card ran out. Next round should give the boys time to try out some new mounting positions with the cameras. Penrite, HEL Performance, Xcite Bikes, CaraData and LiteTek. Photos by Osella Photographics – a great job as always!

Meeting Statistics

Simon Dickson Gary Dickson Kieran McGeown
Qualifying Time – 250 Production 1:27.373 N/A N/A
Qualifying Time – Formula 4 1:27.542 N/A N/A
Fastest Lap – 250 Production 1:27.367 N/A N/A
Fastest Lap – Formula 4 1:26.593 N/A N/A
Total Laps (racing & qualifying) 66 0 0
Average 1st lap time 1:32.257 N/A N/A
Average flying lap time 1:28.735 N/A N/A
Qualifying Position – 250 Production 1st (grid spot 4) N/A N/A
Qualifying Position – Formula 4 3rd N/A N/A
Best Finish – 250 Production 1st N/A N/A
Best Finish – Formula 4 3rd N/A N/A
Round Points – 250 Production 100 0 0
Series Points – 250 Production 388 204 169
Series Position – 250 Production 1st 6th 7th
Round Points – Formula 4 76 0 0
Series Points – Formula 4 290 149 95
Series Position – Formula 4 4th 9th 13th

Highlight reel from the video.