Track designer revels in thrills and spills

LOCAL motorbike maniac Ben Clark hit the treble on Saturday night at the Tamworth Stadium Cross at Oakburn Park.

Clark won the first Shoot-Out event of his life, at the first Stadium Cross event in Tamworth, on the first track that he ever designed.

Unfortunately the home track advantage did him no favours when he crashed on the second corner of the main Pro Open event, but that is all part of why he does it apparently.

“I had a good win and a good crash and that is a fun night,” Clark said.

“It was a great day with great crowds.”

“That’s the most I have ever seen at Oakburn.”

In the Shoot-Out, 20 riders race one lap one on one with the winner staying on.

The order is drawn out of a hat, and Clark drew rider number seven.

His first race was against fellow Tamworth rider Jake Ridley.

“That first one was very tough and I had a few really close ones at the end,” Clark said.

Ridley recovered from that loss and went on to win the Senior Lights class.

The new-found course designer couldn’t be happier with how his premier track went.

“I wanted to make it for all ages and levels so there was nothing too hard or too easy on it.

“I also wanted to allow some room for overtaking.”

“The hardest part was fitting it inside Oakburn Park.”

The course took a few nights to design before the Tamworth Motorcycle Club built it over twoweekends.

The club and Clark chose to use granite sand instead of the clay used at other venues.

“It packs in a bit looser and gives a lot of grip when it is wet,” Clark said.

The club had to remove the track on Sunday but the success will mean the event will run again next year and may become an annual attraction.

“It took a couple of days to design and two weekends to build, but only one day to flatten,” Clark said.

Clark will now break for Christmas but will start the year at another stadium cross in Coffs Harbour before hitting the state and national circuit again.

“Riding in front of that sized crowd and winning the Shoot-out on that track was a good way to finish off the year.”

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