Road racing returned to WA with the first round of the State Road Racing Championships at the Collie Motorplex. Words & Images by John Innes, Innesphotografix
After a break of almost 17 months following the closure of Barbagallo Raceway with the tragic death of Chris Adley at the 2016 ‘Kings of Wanneroo’ meeting and the handing down of the Hall Report, road racing returned to Western Australia for the first round of the State Road Racing Championships at the Collie Motorplex.
The Collie Circuit is 216km, 2.5 hour drive South East of the Perth CBD, and there is currently a massive development underway at the Motorplex which will see the existing 1.6 km circuit extended out to 2.55km, but for this round the meeting was held on the existing short circuit.
With an early blanket of fog covering the circuit the riders assembled and by 8.30am the fog had lifted leaving a perfect day for racing. All five championship classes were represented, Superbike, Supersport, Sidecar, 125GP and Production along with ‘B’ Grade and Clubman Series guaranteeing a day packed full with action.
WA State Superbike Championship
In the State Superbike Championship it was simply the Ben Stronach (VRT Signs Yamaha R1) show. He was unbeatable with pole position, and three wins, and he was never headed for the entire day. It would have been a huge confidence boost to the Northern suburbs rider who has made several trips down to Collie in preparation for the return of racing to WA and also for his planned ASBK ventures.
He then set off on the Monday after the meeting to compete in Round 3 of the National Championships at the brand new Tailem Bend circuit in South Australia.
Second overall was Adam Senior (Senior Engineering Yamaha R1) with two second and a third place, he like Stronach headed east for the ASBK at Tailem Bend, and Leigh Boujos (JB Racing R1) third overall. Stronach holds a 17 point advantage over Senior with Boujos 3 points further back.
WA State Supersport Championship
The State Supersport Championship saw brothers Leigh and Tim Boujos (JB Racing R6 & ZX6 respectively) share the victories, with Leigh winning the day with two wins and a fourth. Leigh unfortunately was forced to start the final race from pit-lane as he was deemed to have arrived at the ‘Dummy Grid’ too late following the previous Superbike race in which he competed.
Tim won the final race and sits just two points behind his brother in second place overall. Tommy King (Yamaha R6) had a solid day with three third places for third overall.
Young rider Josh Mathers (JSM Construction Suzuki GSX-R600) spoiled his day with a crash in the first race at the final turn, and while it didn’t result in too much damage to the bike Josh knocked himself about a bit including a broken finger, but still managed to complete the day’s racing although obviously in some discomfort.
WA State Sidecar Championship
The State Sidecar Championship saw six outfits enter the round but only five fronted the starter with the late withdrawal of the Stronach/Marshall outfit prior to the commencement of qualifying with engine failure. This has yet to be diagnosed but will surely be rectified prior to Round 2 in August.
Des Harvey/Ian Menmuir (SLW Transport LCR1000) and Graeme Evans/ Jarrod Scott (RHR ZX-10) battled it out at the front with several lead changes throughout the three races, including Evan/Scott running off the track in the final race, before Harvey/Menmuir took the three wins.
Evans/Scott secured three second places and Mickey Robbins/Karen Dore rounded out the top three with a third and two fourth places. The team of Jero Joyce/Corey Blackman were missing from the round due to work commitments, but will return for the remaining rounds.
WA State 125GP Championship
The State 125GP Championship saw two winners on the day David Manson (Honda RS125) took out race one with Tom Hatton (Hatton Racing Honda RS125) winning the second and third. Manson took the runner-up spot in the other two races.
Both Hatton and Manson have been to the Collie circuit several times prior to this race round. Scott Topping (Honda RS 125), whose family lost everything in a recent house fire was on a borrowed bike courtesy of David Manson and finished in third place overall.
WA Production State Championship
The Production State Championship and it was Callum O’Brien (Banham’s WA YZF-R3) who took three unchallenged wins with Bronson Pickett (M&B Rubbish Disposal YZF-R3) and Lachlan Keogh (Team Keogh Racing Kawasaki 300) shared the minor placings.
Keogh took second spot with Pickett taking the minor podium place. Both O’Brien and Pickett then got early starts on Monday and headed to South Australia for the Tailem Bend round of the ASBK.
WA Clubman 600/1000 Series
Clubman 600/1000 Series saw two winners over the three races Luke Carmona (Yamaha R6) won the first and Sean McHale (Razor Racing Honda CBR1000) took out the second and third.
Overall McHale won the round from Jessica Boujos (JB Racing Triumph 675) with Novice racer Lino Mazzali (Planet Honda CBR1000RR) in third place.
B Grade Race saw Leigh Boujos (JB Racing Yamaha R1) took out the 6 lap race from Terry Teo (Yamaha R6) with David Carroll (Yamaha R6) was third despite having a time penalty for a jump start.
Round Two will be held at the Motorplex on Sunday August 5, 2018.