11/07/2009 - 2009 Round 3 ReportBack
MRRDA round 3 report
Mac Park, Mt Gambier, South Australia. Well actually about 10km's outside of Mt Gambier, down a dirt road and in the middle of nowhere. Since I’ve got back I've found out that they expect 280 days of rain a year. That will not come as a big surprise to those of us who ventured there for round 3 of the 2009 MRRDA series.
As I came into Mt Gambier I asked a local, can you tell me where Mac Park is please. He said drive straight through town and about 2km's the other side you'll see a "Big" sign saying Mac Park to the left. Follow the signs. The sign was so big I drove straight past it the first time! Having found the track I saw that the QLD contingent were already there and set up with a camp fire going and well and truly settled in for the weekend. It was trying to rain. Forecast for the weekend was occasional showers on Saturday and fine on Sunday. They should have stuck with occasional showers all weekend!
Saturday morning is the usual bedlam of unloading, checking all the gear and going through Scrutineering. I have to admit that I pulled promoters privilege and having never seen the track I did a couple of laps in the van to see where it went. Although the track was wet, the van stuck to the track well enough and as all the VIC's were telling me that it was a really sticky track, it all seemed to fit.
First practice was a drying track. The VIC's all had slicks on, so clearly it was slicks weather. Off we go and tip toe around the track. The last 2 corners seemed pretty slippery as did the first corner. Corner 3 you go under a pine tree that seemed to be taking great joy in dropping needles on the track. Mental note; that might get slippery later as well. The back straight has a couple of kinks in it to make it interesting and is quite bumpy. Off the back straight there's a 90 degree right that I can honestly say I didn’t get right once!
Just when you thought the track was going to be nice and dry, in swept a rain bearing cloud which dumped enough for the track to be wet, but not enough to keep it really wet for long. This pretty much went on all weekend. The Juniors on their 4 strokes were laughing as they didn’t have to bother changing tyres. The rest of us (except for Steve Tozer and Chas Hern who remained on slicks the entire weekend) were left changing between wets and slicks every hour or two. Nightmare.
Fortune favours the brave or that's how the saying goes. In the 400's it seemed that if you braved it out with slicks, then you did well. I have no idea how Steve and Chas did it, but they certainly put on a good show of how to go fast in the rain with slicks on. Both of them won their respective classes and neither of them seemed to break a sweat all weekend. Fighting for QLD honours as their sole representative was Dean Turner. Like me he had never seen the track before, so we struggled to learn the track under difficult circumstances, while the VIC's seemed to treat the conditions with utter contempt. My fellow NSW teammates Daniel Hallsworth and Steve Byrnes put up a mighty good show up the front with Daniel leading races on occasions, even crashing out of the last race while in the lead, only to remount and fight back to a good position. Tim Podt was adamant that it was his track and slicks is all he needed…he was right! At the end of the day, the State of Origin battle was a foregone conclusion. With only 3 of us from NSW and 1 from QLD, the VIC's took the weekend with ease and with it a healthy 1000 point margin in the overall series.
With this being the second round of the Nippers in the series, all eyes were on Zac Zanesco to see if he was going to be able to give the Junior 2 strokes a bit of a hurry up again. Well he didn't let us down, all weekend he harried Mitch Levy on his 80cc Moriwaki, coming to within .2 of a second in the last race. What Zac lost down the back straight he made up for big time in the last 3 corners around the water tower. Mitch and Zac basically cleared out from the rest of the nippers and 2 stroke Juniors, leaving Michael Lockart and Brad Shaw to wage a war of their own while Brandon Demmery got quicker and quicker each race. Matt Barton seemed to have trouble in staying on the track in race 1, but he managed to finish every race.
In the mixed 125gp/250gp mono races the 125's seemed to get the edge in race one, only for the 250's to find their feet in the difficult conditions and end up on top in the last race. Local boy Levi Day was a stand out in Race 1 on his 125 with a 7 second win over 125 mounted Jack Miller. Race 2 however saw Michael Jones take the win on his 250 from Jack Miller, Levi finishing way down the field. Race 3 was a wet affair that saw Levi day exit the race on lap 7 of 10 and Lincoln Gilding leading home the trio of 250's up the front and Jack Miller again the fastest of the 125's.
Which of course brings us to the Junior 4 strokes. Local boy Daniel Falzon was super keen to take the win at his "Home" track and was one of the few that had ever seen the track before. However not to be undone, Brody Nowlan managed to take out Pole Position and all 3 wins extending his lead in the series. That’s not to say that he had it all his own way. Daniel, Kyle Buckley, Luke Martin, Ben Leonard and Billy Hermans all made life tough for him. Luke Martin showed amazing courage and corner speed to get stuck in with the leading pack, unfortunately managing to crash out while chasing the lead every time. He did manage to get up and going again on one occasion to ensure that he scored some points for the weekend. The last race saw the rain start to tumble and Billy Hermans come from nowhere to chase the leading duo of Brody and Daniel down. He took the lead and as he rounded the water tower for the last time he looked like he had it won by a nice margin. Unfortunately Billy wasn’t aware of his lead so pushed a little too hard coming out of the last corner and slid off. He remounted to finish in 6th, but you heart just went out to him! As always great racing.
The good news is that everybody seemed to have had a good time and went home in one piece, although I did see Royce Rowe nursing a sore wrist after Saturday practice. It's a long trip to Mt Gambier. It's a nice little track, that if we'd got dry conditions would have been a lot of fun. For me the weekend was a nightmare from start to finish, but that’s another story again.
Next Stop on the MRRDA road train is Warwick in QLD. Let's hope it is sunny QLD. We look forward to seeing you all there.
News items in this section:
02/04/2013 - 2013 series Round 1 report ...more
13/02/2013 - Round 1 entry forms ...more
12/02/2013 - New Series Partners ...more
11/02/2013 - Chris Vermeulen Joins the team ...more
11/02/2013 - Australian Championship ...more
09/02/2013 - Ian Tomlinson ...more
12/01/2013 - RBMA and MRRDA in 2013 ...more
09/01/2013 - AMCN and SPEED TV Media partners for 2013 ...more
12/12/2012 - Watch MRRDA kids on TV ...more
01/10/2012 - We launch the MRRDA Mobile App ...more
05/09/2012 - 2012 MRRDA Series wrap up ...more
27/06/2012 - 2012 round 3 report ...more
11/06/2012 - 2012 round 2 report ...more
07/03/2012 - Personal Sponsorship ...more
01/09/2011 - Final Round Broadford Report by Woody ...more
25/07/2011 - Round 3 Morgan Park Report by Tim Sells ...more
24/05/2011 - Tim Sells reports on Round 2 Phillip Island ...more
27/04/2011 - Chris Baker reports from round 1 at Mac Park ...more
23/03/2011 - Interview with MRRDA Graduate Mike Jones ...more
17/03/2011 - 2011 Prizes ...more
03/03/2011 - Calendar update ...more
24/01/2011 - Jed Metcher fund raiser ...more
07/01/2011 - Adrian Nestrovic ...more
13/12/2010 - Junior National Cup winners for 2010 ...more
07/12/2009 - 2010 Calendar ...more
25/11/2009 - Rookies Cup goes from strength to strength ...more
10/11/2009 - Junior National Cup winners for 2009 ...more
07/10/2009 - Brody Nowlan into the 2010 Red Bull Rookies Cup ...more
17/09/2009 - A new Chairman for the MRRDA ...more
16/08/2009 - 2009 Round 4 Report ...more
» 11/07/2009 - 2009 Round 3 Report ...more
28/05/2009 - 250GP 2009 National Championship ...more
08/05/2009 - 2009 Round 2 Report ...more
07/04/2009 - Andrew Lawson ...more
05/04/2009 - #99 Judd Greedy ...more
29/03/2009 - 2009 Round 1 Report ...more
16/03/2009 - Season starts this weekend ...more
24/02/2009 - Memberships and Forums ...more
20/02/2009 - Junior Trainng Day in NSW ...more
17/02/2009 - MA backs Juniors in the MRRDA National Cup ...more
29/01/2009 - 2008 MRRDA Junior Josh Hook to head overseas ...more
23/01/2009 - Born to RACE DVD now available ...more
22/12/2008 - Born to Race TV series to start on New Years day ...more
16/12/2008 - Chris Vermeulen becomes Patron of the MRRDA series ...more
15/12/2008 - ASC Local Sporting Champions grant program ...more
09/12/2008 - MA announce Junior National Cup Status for the MRRDA Juniors ...more
05/10/2008 - MRRDA in 2009 ...more
22/01/2008 - MRRDA and Landcare Australia enter into a Partnership ...more
18/01/2008 - Championship Status for 2008 ...more
08/01/2008 - 250GP Mono's approved for 15 year olds ...more
20/12/2007 - 2008 MRRDA race dates now available ...more
15/12/2007 - National Championship - The facts ...more
04/11/2007 - 2007 Honda - MRRDA Seminars ...more
01/04/2007 - Round 1 at Oran Park to be filmed for Fox Sports Pilot ...more
02/03/2007 - Amendments to the Supp Regs ...more
16/01/2007 - AMCN and MRRDA extend partnership ...more
04/01/2007 - Reece Bancell Memorial Association Partners with the MRRDA ...more