2015 Island Classic International Challenge Race Three
Shawn Giles takes third bout after Jed Metcher retires from almost certain Victory
Team UK hit the lead and on course for Island Classic International Challenge Victory
By Trevor Hedge
Brendan Roberts appeared to have some problems on the startline, tapping the carburettors on his 1984 Katana but the South Australian got away reasonably well once the lights went out.Jeremy McWilliams suffered from a lot of clutch grab getting off the line once again which allowed Cameron Donald and Jed Metcher to get away to an early lead while Steve Martin, Shawn Giles, Glen Richards and Jeremy McWilliams gave chase.
On lap two however Steve Martin’s Katana dumped its oil at MG Hairpin. Steve remained upright and ran off the circuit but Giles, McWilliams, Roberts, Edwards and Young all either ran off the circuit or went down on his oil. The resulting carnage prompted officials to red flag the race as bikes and riders were strewn across the expanse of MG Hairpin.
Teams were then very busy back in the pits as it was all hands on deck to make some quick repairs to their machines in time for the scheduled full re-start for the six lap duration. Steve Martin excluded from the re-start due to being the cause of the red flag, putting Team Australia one man down for the third bout of the International Challenge.
Jeremy McWilliams busily helped his teammates ready their bikes for the re-start but the Northern Irishman was not repaid with good karma, his ongoing clutch problems leaving him stalled on the line at the re-start. This was something McWilliams had deeply feared this happening and had even been considering starting from the rear of the grid to ensure his, and other rider’s safety, and reported this to us in an interview we conducted with McWilliams after race one. (Link Here). He quickly pushed his bike to the pit wall after it stalled and could only watch as the rest of the field streamed past. McWillliams did manage to eventually get going again and caught the back of the field before managing to pass 15 riders and push himself up to 17th place by the end of the six lap duration and was recieved with great applause on his return to the Team UK pit garage for his efforts, which actually could play a major factor in the incredibly close International Challenge battle between UK and Australia.
Australian riders also suffered some drama and heartbreak in race three. Firstly, with Steve Martin out of the running after an engine failure in the first start, then Jed Metcher suffered the agony of having to make the decision to return to pit lane with one lap remaining after building a brilliant two-second lead over Shawn Giles.
Jed Metcher – “I felt a lot of oil on my boot a lap and a half before the end, enough to make it hard to change gears and I just thought to myself this is too dangerous for the other riders if she lets go at the wrong place.
“It’s really disappointing, I likely could have finished and still perhaps even won, it was not pumping lots of oil out but it was enough to be a serious worry, I just thought to myself it just isn’t worth the risk.”
Shawn Giles thus inherited the lead and brought the big TBR/D&D Katana home for his second victory of the weekend, the team replacing the troublesome wiring loom overnight that put him out of yesterday’s second race. Giles had not experienced an easy contest however, the long-time Suzuki stalwart earlier having to fight his way past Glen Richards, Brendan Roberts, Paul Young and Cameron Donald.
Brendan Roberts brought home second place 1.5-seconds behind Giles. The South Australian may not spend much time racing motorcycles these days but has obviously lost little speed since what was effectively a forced retirement after competitive rides overseas started to require a rider to bring money to the teams. His last major international success coming in 2008 when the then 23-year-old won the FIM World Superstock Championship on a Ducati 1098R. His speed and consistency this weekend however sees Roberts lead the Ken Wootton Perpetual Trophy for individual honours by five-points over Ryan Farquhar and Conor Cummins with only one bout to go.
Paul Young managed to pip Cameron Donald for the final place on the rostrum.
Cameron Donald – “I was battling with Glen Richards early on, his Harris Suzuki was bellowing a lot of smoke on a closed throttle which was a bit of a worry, he put a hard move on me at MG Hairpin and I paid him back between turns 11 and 12 then he made a mistake.” (Glen Richards went out of the race on lap four)
Donald continued, “I just fried my tyre and had no drive so didn’t really have an answer for Youngy when he made his challenge.”
By our very unofficial calculations, Team UK are now 23-points up on Australia heading into this afternoon’s final stanza and are now odds-on favourites to take the Title.
NB: All points scores mentioned here should be treated as very provisional as accurate scores are at the moment proving hard to come by and we are relying on our own calculations.
The final of the four Island Classic International Challenge races will take place later this afternoon.
Island Classic International Challenge 2015 Ken Wootton Perpetul Trophy Points after race three
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