An outstanding weekend at Round 2 of the 2016 Suzuki Series has now wrapped up and it's been a weekend of some incredibly close and exciting racing for all the classes as everyone tries to grab any points on offer before heading into a very different type of racing on Boxing Day for the Cemetery Circuit street races.
Carl Cox Motorsport was fielding a great lineup in three different classes across the weekend, and although the weather forecast was for heavy showers throughout and the clouds did threaten with the occasional heavy sprinkle all of our races saw dry conditions...
Australian historic rider Dean Oughtred #88 popped across the Tasman for the weekend, but unfortunately his normal Suzuki GSXR1100 got held up on a boat stuck in bad weather, but thanks to the help of TSS Red Baron Motorcycles and teammate Jay Lawrence #37 he took the plunge and jumped on a 2006 GSXR600 to instead have a run in the F2 class! Dean had a great ride for his first time at the circuit on a bike he hadn't even seen before the weekend to finish 10th in race 1 after good battles with some of the best Kiwi 600 riders, on one of their home circuits- and was looking in great shape in 8th place in race 2 before an intermittent electrical fault caused him to retire in the closing stages of the 12 laps.
Kiwi Jay Lawrence was on the big Pre89 1981 GSX1100 and bought it to the front pack in both of his races, battling with the quick, later model Bimotas, locking in consecutive podiums on Sunday which now puts him in 4th overall in the series even after a DNF in round one.
The sidecar grid was on fine form with brilliant rides from all the field- our own Barry Smith #73 and Tracey Bryan qualified 2nd to the visiting Holden/Shorter pairing after having their qualifying cut short with a wee bit of a slow grass excursion on turn one in their 3rd lap- there was no damage and they went on to battle with this year's Isle of Man TT winning machine and take their first win as a team, and their first win of the series:)
Race two followed in similar fashion as the last race of the day and again some lead swaps made for some brilliant viewing for the spectators- a very special mention to Spike Taylor and newcomer F1 passenger Craig Pederson who also battled strongly in the front 3 to cross the line in 2nd spot behind Barry and Tracey.
It's all down to the wire for the sidecars in round 3 on Dec 26 with two teams tied for the lead, and also two tied for second spot... And we'd also like to welcome the returning UK pairing of Tim Reeves #77 and Mark Wilkes as they join in the street race festivities under the Christmas sun!
The Superbike class will be also one to watch as Isle of Man TT Michael Dunlop takes to the Whanganui streets...OhYes!