Hamilton’s Nick Cole leads the 2013 Suzuki Series after the opening stanza at Hampton Downs , held under changeable weather conditions.
Cole took his Red Devil Racing Kawasaki ZX-10R to a clear F1 victory in race one ahead of a charging Dennis Charlett, of Christchurch (Underground Brown Suzuki GSXR1000), who made a bold late-race pass for second on Wellington-based Sloan Frost, riding his Fujitsu TSS Red Baron Suzuki NZ GSXR1000.
A rapidly drying track from recent rain caught many riders out, who fitted ‘wet’ tyres, leaving most of the international field and local racers struggling for corner speed as the race progressed. Former Australian enduro expert Phil Lovett and his 23 year old Australian daughter Sophie both pulled out of the race with resultant tyre issues on their respective Kawasaki ZX-10R Superbikes.
David Hall of Te Awamutu put in the ride of the day by capturing a surprise fourth place on his Suzuki GSXR1000 during his first major race on a Superbike, and Craig Shirriffs (Feilding) ended the challenging race in fifth position on his AJ Boss Racing Suzuki GSXR1000.
Race two was held under sunny skies at frenetic pace. Sloan Frost lead a rampaging pack after the first lap and went on to win by 0.3 seconds from Nick Cole, who pressured Frost the entire race.
Frost said after race two, “For the first race we made the right call and fitted slicks, it was definitely the right move. After they warmed up I got into a good race with Dennis and we traded paint a few times! I came third which I’m bitterly disappointed about as I made a small mistake on the last lap. I need to redeem myself in the second race. Nick got past me at one stage in turn one, and I got him back into turn two and then he tried to come past me again but we bashed fairings a bit going around turn one, but I had the inside line. I didn’t run him off, I gave him a bit of room - I don’t think he’d do the same for me? We race so close to each other all the time, so we trust each other.”
Australian Linden ‘Magoo’ Magee found the dry track more to his liking and finished third on an M1 Motorsport BMW S1000RR machine.
Scott Moir, Taupo (MotoTT Promoto Suzuki GSXR1000) crossed the line fourth, with New Plymouth rider Hayden Fitzgerald fifth on his Team RGM Suzuki GSXR1000.
Cole says, “We had a positive weekend, a lot better than I expected to do. To come up with a first and second is fantastic, and leading after this weekend is great.”
Cole explains his close passes on Frost at turn one, “I went up the inside the first time and he cut back on me down the straight, and then next time I had a go around the outside. Sloan said he felt my elbow in his boots, so that’s how close we were! We’ll approach Manfeild with an open mind, we’ll go there to win but we’ll just take it as it comes.”
Magee said, “In the first race we went the wrong way and chose a wet. I knew on the warm-up lap I would struggle because it was drier through the back of the circuit than it looked on the front straight” He finished twelfth.
“I didn’t get the best start in race two but I got past a couple of guys and got into fourth, behind Scott Moir. I had to put a brave move on him into the dipper hairpin, but once I got around him I got away. All in all I’m pretty happy coming to a new track where I hadn’t ridden the bike before.”
For his efforts Cole earned 48 points for the day but Frost is only three points behind on 45, Charlett has 37, and Moir is fourth in the Suzuki Series with 32 points.
The F1 category, which includes four Australians and one German, will regroup at Manfeild on . Joining them will be Australian Chris Seaton aboard a Motul Aprilia RSV4 Superbike. Race fans have to wait until Boxing Day to see if TV star Guy Martin (UK) can outride our local racers around the streets of Wanganui’s famous Cemetery Circuit.
The 600cc Formula 2 class provided plenty of action in wide-open field where any one of a number of riders could capture the F2 title.
Manuaku racer Toby Summers (R&R Power Sports Yamaha R6) stepped up to the plate with a win and second placing to lead the F2 series with two rounds remaining. Summers also won both Supermoto legs on his R&R Power SportsYamaha YZF450.
Adam Chambers (Clive) enjoyed a well deserved second place on his Honda CBR600RR in the opening rain affected F2 heat, finishing ahead of Wanganui’s Jayden Carrick (GJ Gardner Homes Suzuki GSXR600) and Tauranga’s Rhys Holmes (Yamaha R6). However, it was Carrick who crossed the line first in a dry race two, followed by Summers, Aucklander Daniel Mettam (Honda CBR600RR) and Chambers.
German Thomas Kreutz recorded a sixth and firth placing aboard his Yamaha R6.
With 47 points in F2, Toby Summers holds a narrow one point lead over Jayden Carrick, on 46. Adam Chambers has 40 points with Daniel Mettam on 36 and Rhys Holmes with 33 points.
The F1 Sidecar duo of Aaron Lovell/Dennis Simonson won both races, but had to earn their second victory after Adam Unsworth/Stu Dawe on their F1 Windle (Auckland) made some brave passes going into Metalman corner. Race two was decided when Unsworth missed a gear at turn 5, allowing Lovell to charge ahead and take the chequered flag several laps later.
Adam Unsworth/Stu Dawe finished second in both heats, although third place was shared between Barry Smith/Robbie Shorter (race one) and the charging Chris and Richard Lawrance brothers (Auckland) on their Anderson R1 in race two.
Lovell says, “We had to fight for the second win, it was well earnt! We had a slipping clutch but, no excuses as Adam and Stu are riding really well.”
Craig Trinder didn’t ride in the Formula 1 class however, the 51 year old Australian won the first BEARS race on his Motul Aprilia RSV4. Fellow Australian Linden Magee finished ahead of his compatriot in race two. The last time Trinder raced in the Waikato he won at the Hamilton Lake street circuit, in 1985!
$23 ‘early-bird’ tickets for the Wanganui final are still available at www.cemeterycircuit.co.nz and go in the draw to win a Suzuki GSR750 after the last race – you must be present. Stand Superpasses in front of the big screen are $65.00.