Island Classic 2017 – International Challenge Race Four

By Trevor Hedge

Alex Phillis was the early leader in the fourth and final International Challenge six-lap bout at the 2017 Island Classic ahead of Jeremy McWilliams, Peter Hickman and Paul Byrne.  Phillis the star performer for Team Australia early in this final bout with a 1m44.02 from a standing start leaving Hickman and McWilliams to chase the youngster.

2017 Island Classic International Challenge Race Four - Image by Andrew Gosling
2017 Island Classic International Challenge Race Four – Image by Andrew Gosling

Hickman took the lead from Phillis’ at Siberia on lap two but at turn ten Hickman got on the gas a little too early and went down, handing the lead back over to Phillis who was now being chased by countrymen Jed Metcher and Shawn Giles, making it an Australia 1-2-3, could Australia stage a last minute coup on the International Challenge Cup after trailing Team UK all weekend…?

Steve Martin was in fourth place as the race broached the halfway marker and was waging battle with Paul Byrne for that position as Derek Sheils tried to bridge the gap and chase them down.

Out front it was still Alex Phillis ahead of Jed Metcher while Jeremy McWilliams had moved past Shawn Giles to take third position.

2017 Island Classic International Challenge Race Four - Image by Andrew Gosling
2017 Island Classic International Challenge Race Four – Image by Andrew Gosling

McWilliams took Metcher for second position as they started lap five, but with two laps to run Phillis had a handy 1.8-second lead.  McWilliams the only man to dip into the 1m37s on that lap, a 37.983 but Phillis’ 1m38.184 was good enough to maintain a handy lead. 

Paul Byrne had moved past Shawn Giles to demote the three-time Australian Superbike Champion to sixth position just ahead of Conor Cummins, Derek Sheils, John McGuinness and James Hillier rounded out the top ten as they got the last lap board.

McWilliams put in a 1m37.56 on the penultimate lap to pull back almost a full second on Phillis, it was game on, as they negotiated the back section of the circuit little separated the pair but Phillis got a great run through turns 11 and 12 to take the win, spoiling McWilliams’ perfect record for the weekend. Still with three wins and a second place McWilliams took out the Ken Wootton Memorial Trophy for the most points earned across the four International Challenge races over the course of the weekend.

Island Classic 2017 – Ken Wootton Perpetual Trophy
  1. Jeremy McWilliams 159
  2. Jed Metcher 147
  3. Shawn Giles 147
  4. Paul Byrne 140
  5. Conor Cummins 133
  6. Steve Martin 132
  7. Derek Sheils 132
  8. John McGuinness 125
  9. James Hillier 118
  10. Peter Hickman 116
  11. Alex Phillis 114
  12. Pat Mooney 104
  13. Chas Hern 100
  14. Scott Webster 99
  15. Hilton Hincks 96
  16. Craig Ditchburn 95
  17. Chris Campbell 86
  18. David Johnson 85
  19. Barrett Long 84
  20. John Allen 83
  21. Glenn Hindle 81
  22. Damian Mackie 78
  23. Danial Weir 64
  24. Glen Richards 62
  25. Derek Brown 61

The question on everyone’s lips was what this result meant for the International Challenge team points standings…?  

It took some time for that question to be answered but the provisional points suggest that this is the final outcome of the 2017 Island Classic International Challenge.

Island Classic 2017 – International Challenge Teams Challenge Standings
  1. Team UK 651
  2. Team Australia 640
  3. Team Ireland 539
  4. Team USA 357
  5. Team NZ 323

Thus Team UK take the win by 11-points over Australia to make it three in a row for the predominantly Roger Winfield backed squad.

Island Classic 2017 – International Challenge Race Four Results
  1. Alex Phillis
  2. Jeremy McWilliams +0.475
  3. Steve Martin +3.25
  4. Jed Metcher +3.42
  5. Paul Byrne +3.56
  6. Shawn Giles +4.92
  7. Derek Sheils +8.40
  8. Conor Cummins +10.11
  9. John McGuinness +11.66
  10. James Hillier +18.24
  11. David Johnson +18.48
  12. John Allen +29.79
  13. Pat Mooney +32.60
  14. Scott Webster +34.21
  15. Barrett Long +36.79
  16. Hilton Hincks +36.97
  17. Craig Ditchburn +37.26
  18. Derek Brown +37.37
  19. Chris Campbell +40.68
  20. Alex Pickett +40.93
  21. Glenn Hindle +45.97
  22. Damian Mackie +58.08
  23. Ben Rea +58.12
  24. Simon Richards +62.45
  25. Dave Crussell +66.70
  26. Danial Weir +67.46
  27. Robert Ruwoldt +72.79
  28. Roger Gunn +72.92
  29. Vince Sharpe +81.51
  30. Duncan Coutts +81.68