Last weekend's Shorai International meeting (formally the Barry Sheene) held at Hampton Downs raceway in New Zealand was the first offshore meeting for the Carl Cox Motorsport historic solo race team- normally based in Australia and fresh from a succesful final round of the Australian Historic Championship the boys were excited to get the Period 6 ( or Pre-89 F1 in NZ) out on a circuit they'd never been to to take on an international cast of riders from Australia,NZ and the UK which also included special guest TT winner Cameron Donald who was on board a very special MacIntosh Suzuki in the very competitive Period 5 class.
We were kindly presented an opportunity to also use a local Period 5 ( Pre-82 Senior in NZ) machine and compete in a second class thanks to owner Steve Bryant and regular rider Jay Laurance due to Jay not being able to enter the event as he is currently recovering from injury. The bike is a well prepared GSX1100 and has a strong following with the post-classic crowds.
Practice began on Saturday with some very heavy rain that didn't seem like it was going to ease- and it wasn't until early afternoon that rider Dean Oughtred managed to get out for any laps of the new circuit, and we only managed a handful of laps on both bikes before the sessions were over for the day- and we could only hope the rain would pass completely before qualifying began Sunday morning. The Period 6 GSXR was to be out in the first session!
QUALIFYING SUNDAY MORNING:
The rain did pass, and Dean set a blinding pace for his first timed laps on this track- securing pole position with a 1:10.91 on the GSXR, but unfortunately in the Period 5 class the bike developed a battery fault on the first lap! This meant that Dean was unable to post a qualifying time for this class and would now be starting each race off the back of the grid...
Race 1 Sunday Afternoon:
A full grid of 40 bikes got underway with Kiwi Dave Cole and Dean battling for the lead for the majority of the first race in the Period 6 class- Dean narrowly lost the lead on the GSXR in the final few corners to finish 2nd to the very quick Ducati by 1.04 seconds.
Again the electrical gremlins continued for our first race outing on the GSX1100 in the Period 5 and the battery finally gave up completely forcing Dean to watch the race from the side of the circuit!
Race 2 Sunday Afternoon:
The second race for the day was a completely different story, with Dean leading the pack off the line on the GSXR, and maintaining position until crossing the line with the win and a 1.56 second margin to the second bike.
With a new battery fitted to the older GSX, we finally got our first real run on this bike at speed- although having to start at the back of the grid Dean quickly snuck through the field to complete the race in 2nd position, only 3.25 seconds behind Cam Donald on the MacIntosh :)
International Challenge Sunday Afternoon:
This was the first chance we had to run close to Cameron with a start from two rows behind the leaders- Dean was quickly in 2nd position until a clutch failure caused Dean to lose the bike on turn 3 resulting in a spectacular crash-the bike suffered substantial bodywork damage but thankfully Dean was uninjured and no other bikes were involved! A lengthy night of the team working to repair the bike meant that we'd be ready to go again for the next days 3 races in each class!
Race 3 Monday Morning:
With the day starting dry and confidence building after good results the day before, Dean again managed a brilliant start to lead the period 6 grid, this time taking the flag by 3.73 Seconds.
Again the period five class was fierce racing- Dean navigated his way from the rear of the grid to again chase the MacIntosh and run across in 2nd position...
Race 4 Monday Afternoon:
Racing is always full of excitement! As well as sporting a range of battle scars after our previous crash,the second hand clutch we fitted that managed to get us through the first race of the day started playing up, causing the GSXR to lose pace with Dean managing to hold on for a fourth place finish.
The GSX1100 really proved what a well set up bike it is for it's second to last outing at the meeting- Dean was FLYING from the back of the grid to give the MacIntosh a run for it's money in a massive chase that had him crossing the line only 1.6 Seconds behind Cameron, and locking in an impressive best lap of 1:09.29 !
Race 5 Monday Afternoon:
The final Period 6 (Pre 89-F1) race for the meeting saw the best lap times for the day, with Dean getting a 1:09.30 on the big GSXR- these times saw him managing a race win and secured a First overall in the Pre-89 class :)
Again Cam Donald led from the get-go in the Period 5 race, winning over Dean on the GSX by a comfortable margin and the class win, but even with no qualifying result and a DNF in Race1 our loaner GSX managed a 2nd overall in the Pre-82 Senior :)
International Classic Monday Afternoon:
Now THIS was a race that memories are made of! Our P6 GSXR started two rows behind the MacIntosh 1100 and it very shortly became a two-bike race with Dean getting past Cam in some of the most spectacular racing of the weekend! With a few nail-biting moments and big tank-slappers our GSXR managed to hold off the charging MacIntosh to take the chequered flag by 0.79 Seconds and both the leading bikes with a 22 Second margin over Kiwi Pete Byers GSXR1100.
There is some spectacular on-board footage already available thanks to the awesome team at TT Kiwis on their Youtube channel available at
Also check out the last few corners thanks to CTAS Television, and check out their site for coverage of all the weekends racing!
We'd like to thank all those that supported us during this brilliant meeting, Steve Bryant/ the Organisers/Marshalls/volunteers/fellow racers/commentators/NZ Post Classic/CTAS Timing/ Marktime.co.nz/ Dynoverks Melbourne/ Oleon Oils/TT Motorcycles Melbourne and of course all the photographers and spectators that were in attendance- with special mention and photo credits to JDAS and Doug Cornes photography for their amazing images!
Stay tuned for our facebook updates as we lead into a big weekend of both Sidecar and Solo racing across NZ and Australia- there's some great meetings coming up including the massive Phillip Island Classic in January :)
Coxy ,Gav, Dean & Don