Some action from last weekends first round of Preston MCC Pirelli Victorian Road Race Championship at Winton Raceway in country Victoria.

I have entered in BEARS F2. Run to exactly same rules as our BEARS including Formula classifications and progressive grids.

My first visit to the track. Arrived Friday lunchtime and unloaded and setup for the weekend. Was able to get in a session to work out which way the corners go.

Very interesting tight little track with really good traction and technical corners that are quite deceiving at first go. Set out on a second practice session ready to really have at it and three laps in……running out of fuel. So excited to get to the track we didn’t worry about fuel. At least I made it back to the pits and avoided the crash trailer ride of shame.

Friday afternoon is scrutineering and it’s done at your pit box. Preston’s have their shit together on this as it removes one of the major causes of stress and drama at Eastern Creek.

Admin stuff out of the way it’s time to whip the wheels off and get new tyres fitted then throw down a few cleansing ales and talk shit with the other racers. The sidecars guys we are pitted next to us are crazy!

Saturday we are 4th category up for qualifying one. More learning and now at least I am getting some lap times to work on. Starting to figure it out and tagging on to the back of the fast guys to copy and paste.

Afterwards, I track down a couple of quick guys and ask their advice. It’s a really collegiate group in BEARS and club level racing in general and guys like Fergus on his KTM Superduke are keen to share their tips and insights and genuinely want to see you go quicker.

Armed with some experience and intelligence I set out for Q2 and really start getting to grips with the track and no longer feel like I’m going to be a mobile chicane as the “new boy”.

Race one on Saturday after lunch is usually, a hectic affair. It’s a short run from the grid to turn one and the grid is actually uphill so starts are a real challenge. As a result, the big boys don’t get an opportunity to scarper and it’s all elbows and knees and fairings and tyres at turn one and continuing on down into turn two. Rubbings Racing. Just got to remember to keep your head up, look up, be looking for the holes, not reacting to the being bumped, and yell! I find yelling at the other riders close to me keeps me focussed and loose. It’s an old motocross tactic. It is surprisingly quiet in the first turn after all the noise of the bikes screaming away from the grid and then shutting off for braking and turning.

Started out of position eleven finished in nine. More tagging on to the back and picking up quicker lines and deeper braking points.

Back in the pits and it’s all tyre warmers and fuel……….then chill.

The rest of the weekend’s races were a constant improvement in lap times and enjoying the racing.

Finished second overall in F2 and was in front of a few Pani F1 bikes to boot.

On to the next round at Broadford in May then Phillip Island in August then back to Broadford in early November. These last two form part of BEARS National Series.

In the meantime there is the Formula Extreme Pro Twins meeting at Eastern Creek in March, BEARS Club meeting at Wakefield and lastly another Formula Extreme Pro Twins meeting at Eastern Creek late November

It’s going to be another fun year in the saddle.

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