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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.