The 2015 Southern Downs Road Race Series kicked off on Valentines day, what better way to celebrate love than with motorcycle racing. Over the summer break Morgan Park Raceway has received some upgrades, including some new ripple strips, and all of them painted blue and white, they really pop out on camera! Team Tiger were running a 2 man operation consisting of Simon Dickson and Kieran McGeown aboard their Honda CBR250RR’s. Gary Dickson sitting the round out, as he was needing a break to get back to 100% fitness after his round 3 and round 5 crashes last year.
Upon arriving at the circuit Saturday morning it was visible that there were more competitors at this Southern Downs than any prior the team had attended. With over 130 riders entered, all 8 grids were seeing fantastic numbers. The team were competing onboard their Honda CBR250RR’s and as such are eligible for 250/300 Production and Formula 4 (bikes built prior to 1995 and less than 500cc). 22 bikes were entered in the 250/300 Production class, the largest contingent of 250/300’s to show up to Morgan Park yet! The competition was certainly looking good for 2015. As per 2014 the 250/300 Production bikes would share a grid with the 125GP/Moto3 bikes, of which there were 6 entered to make it 27 on the grid. Formula 4 was also looking very healthy with 24 on the grid, mostly a mix of 250’s and 400’s, another fantastic grid with plenty of strong riders.
Qualifying kicked off and the weather was looking to cooperate for the weekend. Simon managed to get up a decent pace quickly, getting down to the 1:27’s in the 2nd 250/300 Production qualifying session, and scored 3rd spot on both grids (1st of the 250/300 Production bikes). Kieran missed the first session, for Formula 4, but managed to find a groove for the final 250/300 Production session. This got him 12th for Formula 4 and 7th (3rd of the 250/300’s) for 250/300 Production.
“I’m pretty happy to have ripped out a 1:27 in qualifying! You really notice the newly painted kerbs, I think it makes it easier to get through the corners. Both the grids are huge and it’s looking like it will be a fun weekend!” – Simon Dickson
Formula 4 race 1 was a 10 lap race, unfortunately there was an incident on lap 6 that caused the red flags to come out. Luckily there were no injuries and the race continued as a 2 part affair, with the first 5 laps being completed, times were combined from the second leg – another 5 laps to decide the winners. Simon was in 3rd place, putting metres between himself and Michael ‘Mojo’ Webb (#777 Honda VFR400) when the red flags came out, the second leg he was unable to keep the pace and finished 5th after a good dice with Wadi Nadzri (#828 Honda VFR400). Kieran ended the race in 8th, 0.002 behind Billy Subasi (#243 Honda CBR250RR) once the times from the two sessions were combined.
“I had a decent rhythm before the red flag came out, although on the 6th lap I had a massive front end fold on turn 6, I managed to pick it up on my knee, but it was clear my tyres were too hot. Once we started the second part of the race I missed a few apex’s in the early laps and lost the tow of Mojo. This allowed Wadi to catch me and we had a great battle, of which he was the victor.” – Simon Dickson
The first 250/300 Production race saw Simon take the win for the class at the conclusion of 8 laps, the first few laps he battled with Glenn Chandler (#22 Honda CBR250RR) who brought it home in 2nd. Kieran finished 4th in class, Matthew Bushell (#146 Honda CBR250RR) just managing to hold Kieran off by a couple of tenths. The class had 20 finishers, meaning the full spectrum of points was awarded for the first time in club history for the class, 25 points for 1st all the way down to 1 point for 20th, exciting times indeed!
“That was an absolute cracking race, Matt and I were glued together until the final lap, we must have exchanged positions 6 times, I thought I had done the job when I managed to get him on the brakes into turn 10, however he got on the gas early and manged to slot back in under my for the chicane. Talk about a sweet battle though!” – Kieran McGeown
Formula 4 race 2 was the last event on Saturday, and was a 6 lap race. Simon held off Mojo for the only time over the weekend, putting in a best lap of 1:28.748 on his way to 3rd place. Jason Hermann taking the win with Tony Carroll in 2nd. Kieran brought home a 7th place, not quite able to hold onto Matthew Bushell. His best lap was a 1:32.586.
Sunday kicked into gear with a 10 lapper for the 250/300 Production and Moto3/125GP classes. Simon took class victory, and was the leading 250/300 Production rider from flag to flag. Kieran had his strongest showing of the weekend, 3rd or the 250/300 Production bikes. He also put in his best lap of the weekend – 1:30.763, finishing only 8 seconds adrift of Glenn Chandler after the 10 laps.
“I pushed at the beginning to try and stay with the Moriwaki’s of Sarah Fairbrother (#14 Moriwaki MD250H) and Tayla Relph (#28 Moriwaki MD250H). However they were on a cracking pace and opened up a gap on me. My first lap was decent and did keep me out of Glenn’s clutches. I settled into my rhythm and managed to close back on to Sarah Fairbrother with 3 laps to go. Once I showed a wheel, she stepped it up a notch and I could not stay in front for more than a corner. It was a whole heap of fun though!” – Simon Dickson
Formula 4 race 3, Jason Hermann was unable to start due to a bike problem, leaving Tony, Mojo and Simon to battle for the lead. Tony took the win and Mojo kept a cool head to keep Simon in 3rd even though Simon set his fastest race lap of the weekend a 1:27.867. Kieran had his work cut out for him battling with Matthew Bushell and the ever improving Billy Subasi (#243 Honda CBR250RR). Kieran finished between them in 6th place with a best lap of 1:31.154.
“Another really enjoyable race trying to hold onto Matt. Billy Subasi, John Naffa (#411 Honda CBR250RR) and Peter Iwers (#67 Honda CBR250RR) – the trio from the North, all got off the line well and were ahead of Matt and I. The boys are getting very quick, I did everything I could to try and keep up with Matt but he opened up a gap as he managed to get past the boys quicker than I. There are so many riders at such a high level now it’s fantastic everytime on track.” – Kieran McGeown
Race 3 of the 250/300 Production class started with Simon and Glenn battling it out. Simon put in 3 1:28’s in a row to open a gap and take a 3rd class victory. Kieran found himself in a familiar scenario, Matthew Bushell having stepped it up and holding station in front of Kieran, Billy Subasi hounding him from behind. Kieran held Billy off again to take 4th in class.
Formula 4 race 4 was a 4 lap dash. Jason had sorted the problem with his bike and proceeded to take the win, Tony converted another below par start into 2nd place while Simon and Mojo engaged in another super little battle. Mojo proving he was here to race holding on to 3rd, ahead of Simon in 4th. Kieran started from the back of the grid and managed to make his way through to 13th.
“Mojo and I had a real ding dong in that race, we were swapping places like it was going out of fashion! I put a harsh overtake on Mojo into turn 6 on the last lap and he repaid the favour in turn 7, we swapped a bit of paint, but it there was no malice in either of the moves and we get to have good laugh about them at dinner. I was hoping he would get flustered and make an error to hand me the position, but there was no hope of that. Mojo is a rider that has made real improvements, now I have to work my butt off just to follow him! Formula 4 is going to require I step it up if I want to get on the podium again.” – Simon Dickson
The 4th and final 250/300 Production race had also been shortened to 4 laps. Simon and Glenn spent the race together, it was a close fought duel with Simon coming out on top in the last lap to take a clean sweep of victories. Simon’s best lap of 1:28.638 coming on the final lap. Kieran spent the race with Matt and dropped Billy a few seconds behind. It was a real close race with Matt leading Kieran across the finish by 0.7. Kieran best lap of 1:31.170 coming on the final lap.
“Glenn found another gear in that race, it was only on the last lap when he tried to cover his line into turn 4 that I managed to carry enough corner speed to go around him and exit the corner with enough speed to stay in front when we got to turn 6. It’s great to see Glenn has found more pace and congratulations to him for not only breaking into the 1:29’s, but he is doing them regularly! I had a great weekend on track with everyone and look forward to round 2.” – Simon Dickson
|Simon Dickson||Kieran McGeown|
|Qualifying Time – 250 Production||1:27.961||1:32.114|
|Qualifying Time – Formula 4||1:28.781||1:35.057|
|Fastest Lap – 250 Production||1:28.558||1:30.700|
|Fastest Lap – Formula 4||1:27.867||1:31.512|
|Total Laps (racing & qualifying)||70||63|
|Average race start lap time||1:33.504||1:37.533|
|Average race flying lap time||1:29.196||1:32.643|
|Qualifying Position – 250 Production||1st (grid spot 3)||3rd (grid spot 7)|
|Qualifying Position – Formula 4||3rd||12th|
|Best Finish – 250 Production||1st||3rd|
|Best Finish – Formula 4||3rd||6th|
|Round Points – 250 Production||100||69|
|Series Points – 250 Production||100||69|
|Series Position – 250 Production||1st||3rd|
|Round Points – Formula 4||69||51|
|Series Points – Formula 4||69||51|
|Series Position – Formula 4||4th||6th|
Overall it was another successful outing for Team Tiger, with good results for both Simon and Kieran. However the most exciting aspect was the massive influx in numbers and talent! Team Tiger would like to thank our sponsors Xcite bikes, 2fiftycc.com, CaraData, HEL, Litetek and Penrite. Also thanks to Wayne from Osella Photographics for taking fantastic pictures of all the racers.
We hope you enjoy the videos from this round, we had some issues with leaving cameras at the hotel so not all races were captured. The videos are loaded in order of excitement, we hope you enjoy our trial of picture in picture in some of them, simultaneous front and rear camera angles. Audio from Scotty Mackeller the track commentator has been overlaid to make them more enjoyable. Full timing results available from Mylaps.
250/300 Production Race 4
Formula 4 Race 4
250/300 Production Race 2
Formula 4 Race 3
250/300 Production Race 3