Ah… I love the smell of a two-stroke in the morning.
After more than 12 years, the Queensland Early Motorcycle Sports Club (QEMSC) secured the Motorcycling Australia track license needed to host a sanctioned race at Lakeside Park (Formerly Lakeside International Raceway).
The 2014 Australian Historic Road Race Championships.
The build up to last weekends racing was encouraging, with over 340 bikes entered. Bikes ranged from Indians with suicide shifts, though to modern era classics, as well as 38 sidecars: Which from all reports, has come close to breaking the Australian record for sidecar entries in a historic road race championship.
Word from QEMSC is the event was over subscribed, with reserves eagerly waiting for a last-minute call up.
There were some really nice bikes at the event with some rare examples coming out to play at a track that was once Australia’s favorite. All of the 120 pit bays were booked, with the overflow spilling into the paddock.
Motorcycling Australia modified a part of the track affectionately known as the Bus-Stop, effectively moving the turn in point east. This creates a slow point before heading under the bridge and on to Hungry Corner.
Many spectators, including me were bewildered as to why Motorcycling Australia moved/ changed the Bus-Stop from its old configuration.
Because of this “modification”, I now have a new respect for riders with suicide shifts. Seeing those guys gear down on the approach to the New Bus-Stop is something to behold.
They have some serious skill and cojones the size of basket balls!
Previously riders would exit the Karrassel onto a short up hill straight, then turn left into the Old Bus-Stop, through the esses and onto Hungry Corner.
Now the bikes continue past the Old Bus-Stop and take a sharp left right flip-flop (Noted as “New Bus-Stop” on the map) before continuing on to Hungry Corner.
If the change was meant to stop bikes pulling wheelies down the back part of the course and under the bridge, it didn’t work .
What it does do, is cause a bottleneck just before the New Bus-Stop, plus bikes exiting the flip-flop have to feather their clutch to get going again. This in turn causes problems for the following riders, in that they need to take care not to run up the back of the rider in front.
Yes, it really does wash off that much speed, it’s a very sharp, narrow pair of corners. Fortunately, the side cars don’t have to negotiate this abomination.
Can you imagine the carnage if they did?
I’m sure there is some “safety” reasoning for the change, but I really hope that who-ever invented this slow point reconsiders. It really does look, and probably is, more dangerous than the previous configuration.
Be that as it may, it was a great weekend of racing with a fantastic atmosphere. Everyone I spoke to hopes that this is the first of many events to return to Lakeside.
I’ll leave you with a few happy snaps from the weekend.