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Lap records challenged in round 2 at Mt Wellington

It might have been a chilly winter's day on Sunday but that didn't mean the racing was any less heated!

To see the event results, click here.

F4 A-grade has been sufficiently pre-heated and the season is now set to boil. There's no doubt that this is some of the best race spectating around with non-stop battles up and down the 18 strong field. Aaron took pole position from Nathanael in qualifying by a fraction however when it's that close, pole position isn't enough. Aaron fought hard in race one but it was Nathanael's strong start which sealed it for him over the line by 0.4s. Henk showed strong consistency running ever so close to the 29 second club to take out 3rd with a healthy gap. Steven continued his strong season progress to 4th place in the challenging field.

Race two flashed in the pan and set the smoke alarm off! Racing clockwise at the bottom of the 29s bracket there's practically no clear passing opportunities. So when Nathanael once again got the jump on Aaron, you could almost feel his determination from the viewing stands as he dipped into the 28s during chase. With absolutely ridiculous precision, Aaron made space where there was no space and forced his way up the inside of Nathanael under braking into the midfield horseshoe left. Incredible. This is buckets though and the battle doesn't stop there as the two fought in and around lap traffic in the dying laps. Last lap. Half a lap to go. Aaron pushes for the inside of a back marker on turn 5 whilst Nathanael splits the difference and goes around the outside for a 3 wide sandwich. Nathanael leads for a split second before Aaron parked it next to him on the final corner. Clutches get spanked for the dash to the line followed by yells and hoots from the spectators. No one could call the result with it coming down to 0.002s on the line, points to Aaron. Congrats for taking out one of the closest finishes I've ever seen and for pole position all on your birthday. What a present.

The battle for 3rd place was just about as close, coming down to 0.2s between Steven who took it out and Henk who clearly has a new challenger. Dylan progresses strongly again, sticking it into 5th place in front of Mike, and Wil. It’s incredible to see the battles being had and the times being set in A-grade in the middle of winter. It’s a clear testament to how good bucket racing is as a training ground.

Bucket racing continues to grow with more new faces in B and C grade and just as many heated dog fights. Pete, Paul and John went at it in B-grade with Pete taking out race one followed by John and Paul separated by 0.1 seconds. Paul converted it into a win in race two followed by only 0.6s to Pete. 8 racers made up C-grade with equally tight battles separated by a fraction of a second across the field. Fabiano and Brian traded places in the two races ending up with one win apiece over the day.

F5 racing has me absolutely obsessed. Nathanael has set the bar so damn high, I’m all in scrambling to catch him. Thankfully it went very well for me setting pole position 0.1s off Nathanael’s lap record. Over the three races, Nathanael and I broke the lap record 5 times in the cool winter conditions. When you only have 14hp and you’re already doing consistent low 30s laps, there really is very little opportunity to pass going clockwise. Even more so when it’s captain smooth himself who doesn’t seem to ever stuff up! He got me off the line in both races despite me getting fairly reasonable starts. I couldn’t find a way past and unlike previous races, I learnt when to pull the pin and take the points without falling off. I’m still pretty chuffed though, a new lap record of 29.914 on a 50 (good enough for 3rd in F4) and every pole position since I got the bike is something I’m proud of. Rick took third place in both races whilst Mark, Henk and Terrene showed good progression through each race.

Sidecars continue to provide some great entertainment, drawing hoots and gasps from the crowd including one wheel and grass karting action. Rick and Henk continue their sidecar dominance with two wins.

To see the current results of the F4 championship, click here.
To see the current results of the F4 B-Grade championship, click here.
To see the current results of the F4 C-Grade championship, click here.
To see the current results of the F5 championship, click here.
To see the current results of the sidecar championship, click here.

New competition ups the temperature in round one

The 2016/2017 AMCC Bucket Racing Championship - Round 1

To see the event results, click here.

Round one kicked off with a grenade! 19 riders entered F4 A-grade on Sunday which just shows how much the pace has progressed in the last few years. About 10 of those riders recently made the jump from B-grade which is always encouraging to see. In the second race, everyone was running 31s or faster which shows how well A-grade pushes you along. Still, the pointy end continues to be sharpened with a few riders (no prizes for guessing who) skimming the bottom of the 29 second bracket. Fierce!

A few congratulations first. One, to Aaron Hassan and the Morgan Engineering team who after a string of national level 'ring in' riders and loads of development, finally took the the maiden #63 win in race 1. Aaron also set the F4 pole position time and swung his dagger well in the 'knife fight in a phone booth' with Nathanael and Will. No easy task that! All of this on Darran's birthday too. Second congratulations to all the riders who set new PBs in the 30 second bracket, I believe there are a few of you. Now you just have to ride at the pace of those little 50s and you'll be onto something. Lastly, congratulations to the 'club bike' which chewed through over 10 litres of fuel on Saturday, almost not stopping at all and was crashed over 5 times. You deserve all the attention Henk's going to give you little feller.

Whilst it was a bit boring for me not to race in F4, it did give me a chance to excitedly watch the blood bath that was A-grade on Sunday. Aaron took out the win in race one in front of Nathanael and Will. Nathanael pulled out a 100% committed hail mary to get in front of Will in the dying laps of the race, otherwise they followed nose to tail, each dicing their way through lap traffic. The gap between Aaron and Nathanael on the line? 0.093 seconds! Seriously impressive riding. There was no stuffing around in race two as Nathanael cemented his position in the front with ELEVEN out of twelve laps in the 29 second bracket. You sir, deserved that win. Aaron picked up second 2.6 seconds behind and Will followed 3.5 seconds behind Nathanael. You all need to run gopros so we can re-watch these prison fights!

F4 B-grade looked a bit skinny with half the field taking a punt in A-grade but good racing was had none the less. Shane, Pete, Daniel and Paul fought a tough one. Shane rode a little too well and dipped under the B-grade cut off time in race one meaning he had a lap cut from the records. Hard luck shane. Pete wasn't far behind however and his consistency got the better of the young whipper snappers on his heals. Shane refined his times in race two and ran right down to the B-grade cut off time with a 32.089 to take the top step.

F4 C-grade continues to entertain with huge enthusiasm all round. Good to see a number of riders are now regulars and it's just matter of time before the times drop.

I rode an excessive amount of laps on Saturday preparing and I took absolutely everything I had to Nathanael in F5 on Sunday. I managed to get pole position which is 1/3 the battle but couldn't convert it. I crashed in race one whilst still holding onto hopes lap traffic would hold him up but it wasn't meant to be. Rick also went down in race one, probably due to his plastic tyres. My rhythm was broken and I got dropped in race two, finally placing second to at least take some points from the weekend. I was chuffed thinking I also at least had the fastest F5 lap of the weekend too but that wasn't meant to be either, Nathanael got me by 0.004s with a 30.204 lap. Damn. Must try harder. Only half a second separated Rick, Mark and Brian in race two showing how close the racing can be across the field. Rick finally picked off the final step on the podium and placed second overall for the weekend. Maybe I shouldn't sort out those new tyres for you Rick.

Aida and Will threw down the gauntlet to Henk and Rick in the sidecar races which lead to some pretty nail biting passing. Aida and Will ran off the track in race one but came back strong in race two to take the win. One a piece with Henk and Rick. Meanwhile, I think you could see the smiles of Karl and Veronica from space!

Photos of the racing over the weekend from Simon and Chris Cain can be found here. Paul Byrne also posted some stunners on the FB page here. Thanks Paul.

To see the current results of the F4 championship, click here.
To see the current results of the F4 B-Grade championship, click here.
To see the current results of the F4 C-Grade championship, click here.
To see the current results of the F5 championship, click here.
To see the current results of the Sidecar championship, click here.