The weekend was a cracker, sun shining, huge fields and great racing at a fast pace, Morgan Park Raceway turned on it’s finest, a fitting tribute for the late Bill Campbell. Kieran McGeown and Simon Dickson were representing Team Tiger, with Gary Dickson still working on getting his hand back back to 100% fitness. In memory of Bill pole position was left vacant for all races on the weekend – this combined with the change to 3 riders per row instead of the old 4 meant there were only 2 spots available on the front row!
Qualifying got off to a shaky start for both the boys. Simon experienced a fuelling issue in the first session – although managed to solve the problem in time for the second session on track, a blocked breather hole in the fuel cap was the problem. Kieran’s chain came off on his out lap, the regularity of chain links coming off has forced the boys to change their chain lock method – now lock-wiring the joining link to ensure the clip does not drop off.
The second qualifying sessions were far more successful for the team, Simon managed a 1:27.617 for the 250/300 Production class to get himself on the front row and the leading Production bike, Brian Houghton aboard his Honda Moto3 bike taking second with pole left free in honour of Bill Campbell. In Formula 4 Simon’s lap of 1:27.396 was good enough for position 4, Jason Hermann (#727 Honda VFR400) and Tony Carroll (#4 Honda VR400) claimed the 2 vacancies on the front row.
Qualifying has been Kierans Achilles heal for some time, so it was great to see him pull his finger out and get the job done! 1:31.184 for 250/300 Production was enough to get him on the 2nd row, in grid spot 6m making him the 4th fastest Production bike in qualifying. Formula 4 he managed to find a little more morning pace for a best lap of 1:31.102, 3rd row in 8th!
250/300 Production race 1 was a long 9 laps in 30 degree heat. Simon had to work for his lead with Glenn Chandler (#22 Honda CBR250RR) and Matt Bushell (#146 Honda CBR250RR) hot on his tail. With 5 laps to go Clint Clarke (#18 Honda RS125) caught up. Simon stayed close on the tail of the GP bike for a number of laps. A best lap of 1:27.784 on the way to class victory was a good start to the weekend. Kieran got away cleanly and stayed hot on the tail of the lead group, eventually finishing 5 seconds in arrears of Matt Bushell to take 4th in class. A best lap of 1:30.576 a very promising first race for Kieran!
“Simon, Glenn, Matt and I were in a group for a couple of laps until Clint jammed it up the inside of me into turn 6, and I got a terrible drive off the corner, which opened a gap to the others. Out of the tow of the group and unable to close back up, I looked back and saw that I had a rather large gap between the next set of riders. So I just managed that gap for the rest of the race.” – Kieran McGeown
A number of incidents in the Formula 2 and Sidecar races caused the day to end early. Jason Hermann was one involved in one of the red flag incidents and received a shoulder injury and concussion, leaving him unable to complete in the Formula 4 races. Team Tiger wish Jason and all the other riders who received injuries over the weekend a speedy recovery. Kieran’s was blowing bubbles into the cooling system, most likely a head gasket leak. For the remainder of the meeting he rode Gary’s spare bike.
Sunday was another beautiful day, the first event for the guys was Formula 4 race 1, reduced to 6 laps. Simon broke away with Tony Carroll and Michael ‘Mojo’ Webb (#777 Honda VFR400) and they had a fantastic race going all the way to the line. Simon finished in 2nd with a best lap of 1:27.431, Tony taking the win by 0.8 of a second, and Mojo 4 seconds behind. Kieran found clear air in 5th and bought it home with a best lap of 1:30.844 proving Gary’s spare bike was running like a dream.
“I had to work super hard to get past Mojo in that race, I tried everything I could to hassle Tony, but he is keeping some pace in reserve so is unfazed by me, when I do manage to get past he can just cruise back past me again. Very enjoyable race and I’m happy with the pace considering the track is hotter than optimum.” – Simon Dickson
6 laps awaited the competitors for race 2 in the 250/300 Production class. Simon took the class win with a best lap of 1:28.092 on the final lap. Kieran found his way in the 29’s with a best lap of 1:29.763 while trying to hang onto the leading trio. A solid 4th place keeping the points rolling in, and his pace improving every time on the bike.
“I was content to sit behind Matt and Glenn for a couple of laps, after my poor start let them in front of me. On lap 3 I pulled the pin, made my way past them and upped the pace. They were able to stick close to me, but not make any attempts at overtaking. They are both getting faster and faster, once they stop making a few little errors they will become a real threat. It’s looking like it’s going to be an exciting season!” – Simon Dickson
Formula 4 race 2, 6 laps on a hot track. Tony, Mojo and Simon continued as 3 man train. Mojo proving too strong for Simon to find a way past. Simon ended 3rd with a best lap of 1:27.538. Kieran started strongly, challenging John Carpenter (#519 Honda RVF400) until an error allowed John to escape. Another solid best lap of 1:29.936 on the way to a 5th place finish meant Kierans weekend was continuing well.
“I just made up a heap of ground on John and was right behind him, when I got a little too keen opening the throttle way before the apex of 6, resulting in a massive slide out of 6, bum off seat and feet off the footpegs. Almost a highside. Somehow I managed save it before ending up on the grass just before 7. Then I started thinking to myself ‘calm down, its Garys bike and I don’t want to break it again!’. After that race I calmed down a lot and just enjoyed the rest of the weekend right side up.” – Kieran McGeown
Race 3 250/300 Production was a quick 5 lap sprint. Simon got away quickly and got into a quick rhythm, setting a best lap of 1:27.559 on his last lap to victory. Kieran did what was necessary to hold 4th, keeping risk to a minimum and a best lap of 1:31.989.
The 5 laps of Formula 4 race 3 gave Simon his first chance of victory. However it was snatched away by Tony by a measly 0.03. 2nd place for Simon, and his fastest lap of the weekend – 1:27.051. Kieran claimed more valuable points in 6th, behind John Carpenter, and just keeping abreast of Peter Iwers (#67 Honda CBR250RR) with a best lap of 1:32.912.
The 4th and final race for the 250/300 Production class was another 6 lapper. Simon put in a best lap of 1:27.994 on his was to a clean sweep of class victories. Kieran knocked out a best lap of 1:32.832 on the way to 3rd, finishing 2 seconds ahead of Justin Hall (#11 Kawasaki Ninja 300).
“I got to the front and tried to set a pace to keep me just out of reach. Matt and Glenn had a bit of a tangle in turn 4 on about the 4th lap, Matt low-sided and was unable to finish the race. It was only when I saw him track-side that I realised he was not hot on my tail.” – Simon Dickson
Formula 4 race 4, the final race of the weekend and was 6 laps. Mojo completed his perfect run of Formula 4 hole shots. Tony and Simon stepped up the pace while challenging for the lead. Tony held on strongly for victory. Simon claimed 2nd place with a best lap of 1:27.300. Kieran kept his consistency, finishing between John Carpenter and Peter Iwers, setting a best lap of 1:32.094.
“What a way to finish the weekend, I pushed as close to the limit as I could and tried to really make Tony earn the win. It’s been a fantastic weekend with everying racing really cleanly. I feel I’m ready to bring my A game to Sydney for the Barry Sheene Festival of Speed in 2 weeks time.” – Simon Dickson
|Simon Dickson||Kieran McGeown|
|Qualifying Time – 250 Production||1:27.617||1:31.184|
|Qualifying Time – Formula 4||1:27.396||1:31.102|
|Fastest Lap – 250 Production||1:27.559||1:29.763|
|Fastest Lap – Formula 4||1:27.051||1:29.936|
|Total Laps (racing & qualifying)||62||60|
|Average race start lap time||1:32.409||1:36.086|
|Average race flying lap time||1:28.188||1:32.574|
|Qualifying Position – 250 Production||1st (grid spot 3)||4th (grid spot 5)|
|Qualifying Position – Formula 4||4th||7th|
|Best Finish – 250 Production||1st||3rd|
|Best Finish – Formula 4||2nd||5th|
|Round Points – 250 Production||100||69|
|Series Points – 250 Production||200||69|
|Series Position – 250 Production||1st||3rd|
|Round Points – Formula 4||78||63|
|Series Points – Formula 4||147||114|
|Series Position – Formula 4||2nd||4th|
Team Tiger wish to thank their sponsors for enabling them to continue to improve. Xcite Bikes have stepped up their support to include both Kieran and Simon. So getting your next parts easy and order your OEM and imported parts directly to your door from Xcite! We also appreciate the support we receive from 2fiftycc.com, Kaiser Baas, CaraData, Penrite, HEL Performance and Litetek. Also thank to Wayne from Osella for the fantastic photos. As usual you can find all the results for the meeting at MyLaps.