Colin Rosewarne reports in from Baskerville Historic 2×4 ‘Blast from the Past’

Tasmania’s newly resurfaced Baskerville Raceway saw some great racing in somewhat testing weather conditions ranging from warm and sunny, cold with heavy rains thru to hot again with high winds. Credit goes to the riders for a relatively incident free weekend especially when battling the wet conditions on Day 1 and the strong head winds when tipping into the tricky blind apex, left handed Sucker Corner on Day Three.

The approach to Sucker Corner
The approach to Sucker Corner

Chris McGrath on his approach to Sucker Corner
Chris McGrath on his approach to Sucker Corner

The largely off-camber Baskerville track handled all of the conditions well with times only 3-4 seconds slower than in the dry on the twisty and hilly circuit seeing some very positive racing right from the beginning by Dave McCullagh and Brett Simmonds setting the scene for a great weekend.

Locals there mentioned that the camber issue was improved marginally after encouragement being given to the road plant operators to push as much of the new surface to the outside of the track as possible without breaking their specs.

Brett Simmonds Honda RS2 leads Julian Winlow Honda CR500 through Sucker Corner
Brett Simmonds Honda RS2 leads Julian Winlow Honda CR500 through Sucker Corner

Brett Simmonds Suzuki GSX-R750 leads Dave McCullagh Yamaha FZR1000 onto the Front Straight
Brett Simmonds Suzuki GSX-R750 leads Dave McCullagh Yamaha FZR1000 onto the Front Straight

Day One was a lovely, warm spring day with a mild, breeze that allowed the racers to give the new track a good try out. Racing amongst the smallish fields saw two classes being set namely Under 500cc and Above 500cc. The evergreen Tim Lester put on some quick laps on his Suzuki GSX1160 and saw the younger racers like Katie Abdilla relishing the really lovely conditions on her tidy little Honda CL175.

Chris McGrath Yamaha R6
Chris McGrath Yamaha R6

The sprint to Sucker Corner in the Open Class
The sprint to Sucker Corner in the Open Class

Brett Simmonds Suzuki GSXR-750
Brett Simmonds Suzuki GSXR-750

Tim Lester on his sweet Suzuki GSX1160
Tim Lester on his sweet Suzuki GSX1160

Katie Abdilla on her neat little Honda CL175
Katie Abdilla on her neat little Honda CL175

Day Two saw the sun and warmth disappear with a day of wet, cold and miserable conditions (for this mainlander anyway). The rain and drizzle hung around pretty much all day and saw an early postponement to bike racing due to a couple of big engine lunches from the cars earlier in the day.

Pretty much sums up Saturday's racing
Pretty much sums up Saturday’s racing

Josh Van Der Putten Yamaha TZ125 leads the Up to 500 Class on to a wet Baskerville track
Josh Van Der Putten Yamaha TZ125 leads the Up to 500 Class on to a wet Baskerville track

Saturday's racing was wet wet wet
Saturday’s racing was wet wet wet

Brett Simmonds Suzuki GSX-R750 in the wet
Brett Simmonds Suzuki GSX-R750 in the wet

Saturday's racing was wet wet wet
Saturday’s racing was wet wet wet

Katie Abdilla on her neat little Honda CL175
Katie Abdilla on her neat little Honda CL175

Day Three saw the gloves coming off on a really nice sunny day but with strong gusty winds. Racers enjoyed the dry all day with the very quick Brett Simmonds cleaning up in the Under 500 Class on his Honda RS2 losing his main competition Josh Van Der Putten blowing the clutch on his Yamaha TZ 125 on the warm-up lap.

Brett Simmonds Honda RS2
Brett Simmonds Honda RS2

Brett Simmonds Honda RS2
Brett Simmonds Honda RS2

Mark DeJong on his Honda RS250
Mark DeJong on his Honda RS250

Matt Carey Honda CB350
Matt Carey Honda CB350

Simmonds didn’t have it all his own way in the Open over 500 Class racing his Suzuki GSXR 750 taking second prize to a very quick Dave McCullagh on his Yamaha FZR1000 An ecstatic McCullagh set a new historic track record of 56.9 along the way and was overjoyed to topple the very fast Simmonds. The high winds saw a lot of buffeting and was even responsible for lifting the front wheels on a few chargers alarming a couple of overzealous track officials. Really good weekend of racing with pretty good fields considering that there was two other competing historic meetings on the east coast on the same weekend.

Dave McCullagh Yamaha FZR1000 on his way to setting a new historic lap record
Dave McCullagh Yamaha FZR1000 on his way to setting a new historic lap record

Julian Winlow taming his Honda CR500
Julian Winlow taming his Honda CR500

Mark Hemsley on his Two Heads Racing Ducati 860
Mark Hemsley on his Two Heads Racing Ducati 860

Drew Roberts Suzuki GSX-R600 leads Harry Seller on his Yamaha R6 onto the Front Straight
Drew Roberts Suzuki GSX-R600 leads Harry Seller on his Yamaha R6 onto the Front Straight

Dave McCullagh left and Brett Simmonds enjoyed some spirited racing
Dave McCullagh left and Brett Simmonds enjoyed some spirited racing

McCullagh leads the Open Class into the Esses
McCullagh leads the Open Class into the Esses

Next up is the Tassie Two Hour also at Baskerville on the first weekend in December so why not venture down? You won’t be disappointed.

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