With both Mick Godfrey and Ryan Farquhar’s machines had expired after race three and thus Team UK made a few last minute changes to their line-up in the quest to take out the 2014 Island Classic International Challenge.
Cameron Donald got a flyer off the line and alongside was Jeremy McWilliams and it was the Northern Irishman that got his nose in front into turn one and kept that lead through turn two as Beau Beaton got the better of Shawn Giles for third place. Beaton then made another move at turn four around the outside to move up to second place, these shenanigans allowing McWilliams to make a small gap.
Beau Beaton around the outside at Lukey Heights on the Irving Vincent to take the lead from McWilliams. Giles then also got the better of McWilliams to push the leading Team UK rider back to third place. Cam Donald looked to be having some sort of problem and that was confirmed when he rolled to a disappointing stop at turn 11.
McWilliams moved back into the lead, Giles moves up to second place and Brendan Roberts joined the party up front also with the leading quartet crossing the stripe with only 0.4 of a seconds covering the whole four. Gary Johnson looked to be suffering from imminent engine failure as he left a trail of smoke around the Phillip Island circuit.
At half race distance nothing separated the top four. Fifth place holder was Steve Martin nearly 7-seconds behind the battle for the lead and just ahead of John McGuinness and Mike Edwards, that pair having their own battle over sixth place.
Beaton started to lose touch with the leading pack with two laps to run after a couple of small mistakes cost him his chance at the podium.
As they negotiated Siberia for the final time it was Giles leading from McWilliams and Roberts. Around turn 11 Roberts tried to get his foes around the outside, Giles had the advantage to claim the win as McWilliams and Roberts headed to the line for a photo finish… The finish line video had to be examined to confirm the close result to decide the podium order.
With Cam Donald out of the running the Individual Ken Wootton Trophy, awarded to the highest points scorer in the International Challenge, that award also went to the wire. If McWilliams was awarded the second place he would have taken out the Individual Trophy but the video review gave the second place nod to Brendan Roberts which handed the Ken Wootton Trophy to Shawn Giles due to Giles being the highest finisher of the pair in the final race. This caused a little consternation as McWilliams had two race wins to Giles’ one, which in some competitions, particularly in Europe, would have seen McWilliams awarded the gong. Discussion between officials after the event however saw the award, presented by Karen Wootton, given to both Shawn Giles and Jeremy McWilliams. However, Karen elected to give her famous cholocate brownies to Jeremy as she gets to see him less than Shawn.
The Phil Irving Perpetual Trophy, for the highest scoring points finisher outside of the International Challenge, went to Murray Seabrooke, who clean swept the 250cc Classic and 250cc Post Classic classes. It is Seabrook’s first Phil Irving Trophy, joining illustrious names such as Wayne Gardner and Donald.
The Island Classic was again a massively popular event, with the vast pit complex bursting at the seams as 340 riders took the reins of 490 motorcycles around the classic grand prix circuit, in classes ranging from pre-war to period 6 (up to 1990).
MCNEWS.COM.AU is a specialist on-line resource that provides motorcycle news for motorcyclists. MCNews covers all areas of interest for the motorcycling public including news, reviews and comprehensive racing coverage.