08 Track – 30th November
Session 8 for the track racing season attracted 17 riders. Weather conditions were very good. There was a little cloud and a few drops of rain around on the day. However, by race time, it was quite hot with a mild headwind in the back straight. Attendance was slightly down, but compensated by the enthusiasm of the competitors who showed up.
It is obvious that riders have better form, as the season progresses. The pace in the 10-lap A grade scratch race was hot from the start. No one dared venture off the front until lap 9 when Michael Langdon hauled off with Kerry Knowler in tow. The pair gapped the field by 6-8 metres before Steve Jones sensed the danger and accelerated round the pack, in pursuit. Steve managed to haul in Kerry just before the finish. Michael had made a perfectly timed attack and held on for a fine win.
The 10-lap B grade scratch race also settled into a solid pace. When Graeme O’Neill took the lead on Lap 6, he tried to slow the pace a notch. Tony Beasley took this opportunity to attack. The pack streamed around the lead rider and accelerated into the remaining laps. The furious pace spreadeagled the field. However, Phil Anderson stuck to Tony’s wheel and overhauled him on the bell lap to take the win. Tony Beasley held second place followed by Ross Scutts in third.
The next event was a 2-lap handicap. In A grade, Kerry Knowler lead out from a good handicap and made it clear to the rest of the pack that hard work was needed to haul her in. Michael Langdon put in a big effort from the scratch mark but could not advance to better than mid field. Ben Robey and Tony O’Connor had good rides from mid field to be among the final contenders. At the finish, Kerry Knowler held on for a good win with Ben Robey and Tony O’Connor taking the second and third placing.
The B grade handicap saw close racing and a big effort from all riders. Riders coalesced into a loose group on lap 2 and streamed past the leader in the final bend. Phil Anderson was on form and took his second win for the evening. Phil Coulton had a fine ride to hold second place from Tony Beasley in third.
The handicaps were followed by a 12 lap points race with two intermediate sprints and a final sprint for double points. In A Grade John-Paul DeSousa took the initiative on the first sprint. John-Paul gapped the field handily. However, Steve Jones made a late pursuit and just overhauled JP on the line. The second sprint saw Steve Jones, Michael Langdon and Alec Millett take the points in that order. As the final sprint approached, Kerry Knowler took off and established an unbeatable lead. Steve Jones and Michel Langdon had to be satisfied with second and third on the line. The overall points result saw Steve Jones take first placing followed by Michael Langdon / Kerry Knowler (equal points) and Alec Millett.
In B Grade, the Phil Coulton took the initiative on the first sprint. However, he was run down by Tony Beasley, who took maximum points. In the second sprint, Phil Anderson was too strong for the field. As the final sprint approached Ross Scutts took off and held a handy lead right to the finish. Tony Beasley and Phil Anderson followed over the line in that order. The overall points result saw Tony Beasley take first placing followed by Ross Scutts and Phil Anderson respectively.
There were seven pursuit riders on each team for the all-in Italian Pursuit. The pursuit was a scorcher. Steve Jones, anchoring Team 1, reported a speed reading over 50 km/hr on the lead out lap by Phil Coulton. The pace did not slacken after that. Both team were evenly matched and the result looked close. A brilliant lap by Ben Robey gained a few metres advantage for Team 2. Alec Millett and Michael Langdon were not going to surrender that advantage. They put in fine laps to book a win for Team 2.
Major place getters were as follows:
10-Lap Scratch: (A Grade): Michael Langdon, Steve Jones, Kerry Knowler (B Grade) Phil Anderson, Tony Beasley, Ross Scutts.
2-Lap Handicap: (A Grade): Kerry Knowler, Ben Robey, Tony O’Connor (B Grade), Phil Anderson, Phil Coulton, Tony Beasley
12-Lap Points Race: (A Grade): Steve Jones (18), Michael Langdon & Kerry Knowler (11), Alec Millett (10) (B Grade) Tony Beasley (17), Ross Scutts (15), Phil Anderson (14).
Combined Italian Pursuit: Winner Team 2 (Phil Anderson, Graeme O’Neill, Alec Millett, John-Paul DeSousa, Ben Robey, Andrew Peel, Michael Langdon).
Current Points Score Leaders: Steve Jones (148), Michael Langdon (138), Phil Anderson (120), Ross Scutts (118), Alec Millett (108), Kerry Knowler (97) Steve Hirsler (85), Graeme O’Neill (78).