Wakefield Park Set For An Epic Championship

After a total of 838.7km raced in this year’s Australian FX-IPONE Superbike (AFX) and Swann Insurance Australasian IPONE Superbike Championship, the series is still well alive as the best riders in the country get set to do battle at Goulburn’s Wakefield Park circuit on the last weekend of September.

2015 marks the seventh year in a row that the series has gone to the 2.2km circuit, which named after Charles Cheers Wakefield, the founder of Castrol Oil.

Leading the charge in both series is Team Honda Racing’s Troy Herfoss, who seems to be the favourite to walk away with the goods at his home round, as his Honda CBR1000RR SP machine will suit the tight and twisty nature of the 2.2km circuit.

It was no hidden secret that the Honda’s of Herfoss and Jamie Stauffer were going to struggle around Queensland Raceway, due to the lack of top end speed against the Yamaha’s of Wayne Maxwell, Glenn Allerton and Cru Halliday, and even the Kawasaki’s of Mike Jones, Matt Walters, and Sean Condon.

While the 28-year-old Goulburn rider may have finished third in both series at the last time out, he did make mention in a post-race interview at Queensland Raceway that the ‘paperclip’ doesn’t really give any clear indication on who has form.

“I know the speed difference is not an issue at Wakefield Park,” said Herfoss. “I have no doubt we will be challenging for victories in a few weeks’ time.”

However, Herfoss is not getting ahead of himself as he does know everyone is going a lot faster this year.

“Everyone thinks we are going to go to Wakefield and win. But that’s not the case. Everyone has a good bike and is going faster this year. Wakefield is still going to be as hard as Sydney Motorsport Park, as hard as Mallala and as hard as Queensland Raceway.”

Heading into round five, Herfoss holds onto a slim three point championship lead in the ASC over Maxwell, who took out last year’s penultimate round with a 1-2-2 result.

Yamaha Racing Team (YRT) completed a two day test at Wakefield Park early this month. While Halliday and Allerton did two days, Maxwell only did one, but he still walked away from the test quite positive.

“I could have done with a bit more time,” explained Maxwell. “We had a few problems and I did have a crash. Overall it was a positive test. I’m now looking forward to getting back to Wakefield and making the most of it and trying to capitalise on winning some races.”

“The way testing went; it does indicate we will be very competitive,” added the reigning AFX and ASC champion.

One man who will be on fire after his epic win in the AFX and ASC at the ‘paperclip’ will be Allerton. Thanks to his 1-1 result in the AFX, it now sees him sitting in second place, locked on 171-points with Maxwell trailing Herfoss by eleven points, while in the ASC, Allerton’s 1-2 result sees him move into third place in the title fight, seventeen points behind Maxwell and twenty points behind Herfoss.

With the Superbike class going back to the three race format for the remainder of the year, all up there is 225-points up for grabs, so Allerton is well and truly a championship contender.

Talking about championship contenders, the third of the Yamaha riders in Cru Halliday is still within a chance of having a crack at the title, but the front three would need some bad luck to go their way.

Halliday, who broke through for his first Superbike race and round victory at round three at Sydney Motorsport Park carried the momentum into Queensland Raceway. The 27-year-old from Camden played the bridesmaid to Allerton in the AFX finishing with a 2-2 result, and seemed as if it was going to be the same outcome in Sunday’s ASC when he finished .181sec shy in race one.

However, on lap eleven in race two, Halliday lost the frontend heading into turn six which saw him slipping to fourth in the championship. The 2012 Formula Oz champion now sits fifteen points adrift off Allerton and is thirty-five points off the championship lead.

“I got nothing really to lose anymore, as I’m a bit behind in the championship,” said Halliday.

“All I can do from here is improve, as I can’t go any further back than what I am really. It’s going to be hard to crawl myself back towards the pointy end of the championship, so I’m just going to try and go for race and overall round wins and see where it puts me at the end of year.”

The first of Pro-Am riders and fifth in the overall standings is Australian Outdoor Living/Cube Racing Team’s Mike Jones.

Jones’s best result at Wakefield Park in the Superbike class has been a fifth place overall in last year’s AFX round in the second last round, when he scored a 6-5-6 result.

“I'm really looking forward to the challenge of racing at Wakefield Park in such a competitive field of riders,” said Jones.

“Testing has been going well leading into the round and I'm confident that I'll be in for a shot on the podium.”

The battle for sixth place in the ASC championship is hotting up a bit as well. Just ten points is the difference between Sean Condon (BikeBiz/IPONE/Swann Insurance Racing) and Team Honda Racing’s Jamie Stauffer.

The YRD Supersport Championship is also shaping up to be a belter of a round as well. Just twenty points separates championship leader Brayden Elliott (Hankook Tyres/Royan Truck Repairs), round four winner Callum Spriggs (YRD/Allsite Concrete Cutting/Hydro Construction) and Troy Guenther (PI Technical/Motorsure/Fresh Chef).

Elliott says that continuing his championship lead adds to his confidence heading into what he would call his “home track.”

“The championship is certainly close with some key contenders battling bar to bar each race,” said Elliott.

“I feel Wakefield Park will suit my Hankook Tyres Suzuki GSX-R 600 well with the tight and technical layout. I know the circuit well and hopefully I can extend the championship lead a bit more before heading to Winton in October.”

The closest championship by far which is on the menu, and promises to be another bell ringer is the Kawasaki Insurances FX 300 Ninja Cup.

Leading the ASC championship charge is AMCN’s road test editor Paul Young on the SA Kawasaki Bcperformance Ninja 300.

‘Youngy’ has a slender two point lead over JDR’s Jack Dawes, with Tony Jones (XXX Rated Suspension) three points behind him. Two points behind Jones is Hunter Ford (Kelen Kawasaki), while Ryan Masri (Aitkens Bike & Power/Xpress Transport) is seven points behind Ford. How close do you want it to be?

LTR Honda’s Paul Byrne will be looking to extend his championship lead in the Race Tech Formula Oz class. Heading into Wakefield Park, the Aussie/Irishman has a healthy 82.5 championship lead over Australian Outdoor Living/Cube Racing Team’s Ben Henry.

In the AMCN Pro-Twins class, Kris Keen (Netsecure Consulting) will head into round five as the new championship leader, topping the championship fight with 220-points ahead of Racers Edge Performance/Craig McMartin Racing’s Beau Beaton who is on 189-points.

South Australian rider James Arnold (Bcperformance/Little Red Grape) will be hoping for some better luck this time around. At Queensland Raceway his Ducati Panigale had some bike overheating issues on Friday which ultimately lead to a decent high side in qualifying. Despite his best efforts, he was unable to make the bike safe to race for the rest of the weekend.

Arnold now drops to third in the standings twenty-eight points behind Beaton.

Keen is also sitting on top of the Pro-Twins/Nakedbike championship as well. Not by much but, He enjoys a two point margin over Beaton and KTM’s Angus Reekie who are locked on 181-points.

Brendan McIntyre (Western Motorcycles Sydney/Sevenfriday) may lead the Formula Xtreme C & D championship by 33.5-points over Jason Martin (Australian Outdoor Living/Cube Racing Team), but it’s Darren Wilbow (Ric Andrews Motorcycles/D&C Motorcycles) who might just be the man to catch if performance is anything to go by.

Wilbow took a 1-1-3 result in the ASC series at Queensland Raceway, and seems to be on track to make an impact in the championship as it heads into the final three rounds.

All in all, Wakefield Park is shaping up to a ripper of a round. The question is, who will stand tall once the sun settles Wakefield Park?

  • Russell Colvin

 

ASC Points after round 4

IPONE Superbike:

  1. Troy Herfoss 185
  2. Wayne Maxwell 182
  3. Glenn Allerton 165
  4. Cru Halliday 150
  5. Mike Jones 139
  6. Sean Condon 133
  7. Jamie Stauffer 123
  8. Matt Walters 106
  9. Evan Byles 91
  10. Ben Burke 79

YRD Supersport:

  1. Brayden Elliott 231
  2. Callum Spriggs 221
  3. Troy Guenther 211
  4. Michael Blair 190
  5. Rick Olson 171.5
  6. Jay Presepio 171
  7. Paul Young 161
  8. Mitch Levy 151.5
  9. Brad Swallow 122.5
  10. Cambridge Olivier 118 

Race Tech Formula Oz:

  1. Paul Byrne 271.5
  2. Ben Henry 189
  3. Simon Galloway 180
  4. Mitch Paynter 147
  5. Jason Ivkovic 145 
  6. Damian Sutton 140
  7. Kieran Hurrell 94.5
  8. Brett Kitchin 89
  9. Darren Wilbow 82
  10. Brad Swallow 72.5

Kawasaki Insurances FX 300 Ninja Cup:

  1. Paul Young 193
  2. Jack Dawes 191
  3. Tony Jones 188
  4. Hunter Ford 186
  5. Ryan Masri 179
  6. Luke Burgess 178
  7. Ben White 153
  8. Jason Martin 153
  9. Mitch Kavney 128
  10. Sam Davison 112

Pro-Twins/Nakedbike:

  1. Kris Keen 183
  2. Beau Beaton 181
  3. Angus Reekie 181
  4. Adrian Pierpoint 159
  5. James Arnold 143
  6. Darren Jones 135
  7. Mario Gonzalez 110
  8. Paul Dutton 106
  9. Stephen Hopper 80
  10. Craig McMartin 75

Formula Xtreme C & D Overall:

  1. Brendan McIntyre 246
  2. Jason Martin 212.5
  3. Michael Witchard 204  
  4. Darren Wilbow 142
  5. Glenn Birchall 117.5
  6. Dane Purcell 109
  7. Somphot Roesner 82
  8. Peter Stamoulis 62  
  9. Lucas Vitale 61
  10. Hamish McMurray 59.5
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