02 Track - 19th October
The second Track Racing session for the 2016-17 season attracted a total of twenty-one riders, an encouraging start to the season. The weather was still cool with a very stiff headwind in the back straight. Fortunately the wind moderated as racing progressed.
The 6-lap A grade scratch race may have been influenced by the wind, as no breaks were attempted. The pace started easy and progressively increased putting pressure on several riders and spitting two out the back. As the bell lap approached, Michael Langdon put in a very well timed attack leading Steve Jones over the final lap and holding on for a fine win. Steve took second place with Alec Millett maintaining his good form to take third.
The B Grade scratch race also started easy. However, Steve Hirsler hit the front after three laps and cranked up the pace, considerably. As the whole bunch barrelled into the final lap, Phil Anderson and later Ross Scutts appeared at the front. They were, in turn, swamped by the trio, Ian Drayton, Steve Hirsler and Roger Wheatley who finished in that order.
The evening’s second event was a 2-lap handicap. At this early stage in the season, handicapping is a challenge. Nevertheless it was good to see Steve Dean and Paul Robey make the best of their handicaps to take the wins in A and B grade respectively. Peta Brill and Alec Millet took second and third places in A grade. Matt Morgan and Steve Hirsler took the equivalent places in B grade.
The third event for the session was a mystery race with the final (bell) lap called at random, between laps 5 -9, in this instance. In A grade, Michael Langdon sensed the final lap perfectly, with a well timed break. However, Steve Jones put in a maximal effort to just overhaul Michael on the line. Alec Millett took third place. In B grade, Ian Drayton confirmed his good form with a win over Steve Hirsler and Roger Wheatley.
The track session closed with the usual all-in, Italian pursuit. This was a big race with teams having 9 or 10 members. The race was a little chaotic. Team 1 were required to put in a extra lap, being one rider down. However, the pace was so solid, that a rider in Team 2 dropped off early, requiring the anchor rider, Steve Jones to also put in an extra lap. Despite the chaos, Team 2 took a comfortable win.
Major place getters were as follows:
6-Lap Scratch: (A Grade): Michael Langdon, Steve Jones, Alec Millett (B Grade) Ian Drayton, Steve Hirsler, Roger Wheatley. 2-Handicap: (A Grade): Steve Dean, Peta Brill, Alec Millett (B Grade) Paul Robey, Matt Morgan, Steve Hirsler.
Mystery Race: (A Grade): Steve Jones, Michael Langdon, Alec Millett (B Grade) Ian Drayton, Steve Hirsler, Roger Wheatley.
Combined Italian Pursuit: Winner Team 2 (Graeme O’Neill, Phil Anderson, Andrew Peel, Steve Hirsler, Ottmar Weiss, Rowan McMurray, John-Paul DeSousa, Ben Robey, Alec Millett, Steve Jones).