01 Track – 12th October

The first Track Racing session for the 2016-17 season saw fifteen competitors eager to resume racing at the Bundadome. The event attracted two new riders (Alison Hale and Roger Wheatley), in addition to a bunch of regulars from last season. The weather was cooler than ideal, with a fresh breeze that slowly dissipated as racing progressed.

The 8-lap A grade scratch race was led out, initially, by Steve Jones. The bunch settled to a good tempo until around lap 5 when Chris Thompson took the front and cranked the pace up several notches. No breaks were established. However, as the bell lap approached it was clear that the bunch was getting toey. Riders were splayed across the track, ready to accelerate. Michael Langdon took the initiative and accelerated into the bell lap with Steve Jones stuck like a limpet on his tail. Ultimately Steve Jones took the win by a tyre width. Alec Millett took a creditable third place just off the torrid final pace.

The B Grade scratch race largely followed the A grade script. The bunch held together at a good tempo with one or two riders dropping off the pace. All the action was delayed until the final acceleration though the bell lap. Steve Dean proved too strong for the field and took a comfortable win from Ross Scutts and Ian Drayton.

The evening’s second event was a 1-lap time trial from a standing start. This event requires maximal initial acceleration for the best time. Michael Langdon showed great form with easily the best A grade time of 27.21 seconds. The next best A grade times were 29.19 seconds for Steve Jones and 30.01 seconds for Alec Millett. The A grade times were all quite competitive with Ed Garnett, Chris Thompson and Kerry Knowler all in the 30 –31 second range. For B Grade, the time spread was greater. However, Roger Wheatley’s time of 29.70 seconds would have seen him place third in A grade. The next best times for B grade were a creditable 30.85 seconds for Steve Dean and 32.11 seconds for Ian Drayton.

The track session closed with an all-in, Italian pursuit. Alison Hale led out Team 2 but suffered a misfortune when she pulled out of a cleat. Thankfully, Alison stayed upright. However, the dislocation allowed the two lead riders on Team 1 (Graeme O’Neill and Ian Drayton) to gain an initial 20 metres lead. Despite the best efforts of Team 2, they could not peg back this lead, allowing Michael Langdon to take a comfortable win for Team 1. This would likely have been a close race without Team 2’s early misfortune.

Major place getters were as follows:

8-Lap Scratch: (A Grade) Steve Jones, Michael Langdon; Alec Millett (B Grade) Steve Dean, Ross Scutts, Ian Drayton.

1-Lap SS Time Trial: (A Grade) Michael Langdon (27.21s), Steve Jones (29.19s), Alec Millett (30.01s); (B Grade) Roger Wheatley (29.70s), Steve Dean (30.85s), Ian Drayton (32.11s).

Combined Italian Pursuit: Winner Team 1 (Graeme O’Neill, Ian Drayton, Ross Scutts, Kerry Knowler, Chris Thompson, Alec Millett, Michael Langdon).

Season Point Score Update:

Michael Langdon (19), Steve Jones (17), Alec Millett (16). Ian Drayton (16), Roger Wheatley (15), Ross Scutts (15).

Graeme O'Neill