TAMWORTH is hosting the first of two rounds of the eight-round 2014 North Coast Road-Racing Championships this weekend.
It follows a successful “come and try” day held at Oakburn Park on May 10 for this increasingly popular – and cheap – form of motorcycle racing.
Tamworth Motorcycle Club (TMCC) president Paul Slade said he was very pleased with the turnout at the practice day and was keen to see some more local riders like Steve Nagle (Cycle Tune, Tamworth) have a go.
“There were about 38 riders there, with blokes coming over from the North Coast Road Racers and then the other guys were from Gunnedah, Moree, Armidale and Tamworth.
“It was a good roll-up – we didn’t expect that many for a ‘suck it and see’ day,” Slade said.
Former GP road racer Mark Willis and current Australian Superbike Champion Jamie Stauffer (Cessnock) also attended the practice day and gave some tips to riders.
The North Coast Road Racers had run the series – its very own club series – in a few different formats in the 20 years of the club’s history, club president James Britton said.
“North Coast Road Racers has been going for more than 20 years.
“We have grown from a small bucket-racing club of around 10 guys to now, in the past five years, racing Short Course Australian Road Racing (SCARR),” Britton said.
“Another club in Townsville runs SCARR as well.
“SCARR racing has really taken off in the past couple of years as it’s a cheap form of road racing and a lot safer than racing big bikes, as we don’t do the high speeds they do but, technically, ours is probably harder as you don’t have much time between each corner.
“When you think about it, each lap takes an average of 30 to 40 seconds, depending on the track.
“Most tracks have around eight corners and we average around 60km/h to a speed of about 80km/h – there is no time for rest!
“We were the first club to venture into short-course racing which has slightly different rules to bucket racing.
“Bucket racing is for old bikes, whereas we allow new bikes to race.
“Plus, we’re probably one of the only clubs in Australia to have so many tracks to race on, because we hire tracks from other clubs.”
At the May 10 practice day, the North Coast riders said Oakburn Park had now become their favourite track because the straight was about twice as long as the other tracks on the coast.
Oakburn Park will also host the second-last round of the championship on September 20/21.
Slade said TMCC definitely wanted to continue its involvement with the series beyond 2014.
“With the result of the weekend on May 10, we’ll continue on with it.
“There was enough local interest and Steve Nagle has been riding in the series for a couple of years now.”
Slade said another practice, coaching and feedback day would probably be held in July.
“The track itself is not like the tracks over on the coast because it has a long straight which meant they could get up some speed,” he said.
The series utilises tracks at Grafton, Lismore and Stanthorpe and – for the first year now – Tamworth.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if we got 50 or 60 people over here to race,” Slade said.
This weekend’s round has BYOG and a canteen open for breakfast, lunch and dinner – plus a pig on a spit.