Monday, July 8, 2019

Round 4 asbk at Morgan Park Raceway

Lachlan Epis #22 of Team BC Performance Kawasaki
The weather was cold, wet & windy but that didn't stop these top notch riders from giving it their all and transforming this modest little (& bumpy) track into a national televised motorsport event packed with people from over the world. This was Round 4 of the asbk Superbike Championship and being held in our own neck of the woods, we were there working with the BC Performance Kawasaki Factory Team. Stewart was on tools and Lori was track side behind the camera. 
Our little local track before the crowds arrived.
The Bike Whisperer working on Lachlan Epis' #22 Kawasaki Superbike
Many of you may remember that for the first three rounds of this series we were working with Sloan Frost, multiple NZ Champion. He couldn't make it out to Australia for this round and the opportunity arose to help out Lachlan Epis #22 and be part of the BC team with Bryan Staring #67, Callum O'Brien #10 and New Zealander Tom Newton on the #134 bike. It was certainly fantastic to work with these guys.

Team debrief in the Scrutineering Cage 
Probably the only track in the world with a 'Kangaroo Flag' for when those cheekie buggers decide to use the track for their shenanigans! If you look closely, you can see 3 of the hoppers near the tyre wall as Troy Herfoss #1 enters Turn 6.
Media and Crew gathering on the straight
There were some spills...Tom Newton #134 'wearing in' his new leathers. He bounced back up and was right back out there racing again in no time.
Our awesome Data Technician, Val Barker was flown if from Genoa, Italy (but originally from California YAY) and our Bike Whisperer Stewart Gunter looking very candid. You guys rock!
Every team should be well fuelled and this race was no exception with Lori aka 'The Muffin Lady' making sure of that. Normally bringing muffins to the track, qualifying day required something a little extra special so the team was treated to Lori's 'Kwaka KupKakes' and 'Diabetes Dunlop Specials' lol ...they also work as an effective currency for getting into the gates when one doesn't have a vehicle pass! 
Lachie getting ready for the final race of the day
Time to get Lachie's bike ready for the final race of the day.
The BC team heading to the grid while the riders start their warm-up lap.
Not long now before the start of the final race of the day, the asbk Round 4 at Morgan Park Raceway
Generators off, waiting for the signal for the tyre warmers to come off.
Hurry up & wait as the media circus does their thing before the start.
Bryan Staring on his BC Performance Kawasaki.
Lachie coming home with a bunch of points for the series.
Bryan Staring #67 pelting that Kwaka around the track.
Mike Jones #46 (Mad Mike) on his DesmoSport Ducati gets some incredible lean angle.
Last lap!
You can't get closer to the action than this!
Lachlan Epis gains some valuable points for the series, putting him in 15th overall. Woohoo! Go Lachie!!
Mad Mike takes his first win of the season in race 1, gets the crowd roaring in Race 2 as he battled from last place to 3rd...then takes 2nd overall for Round 4. He now leads the championship by 1 point with 3 rounds to go.
Bryan Staring #67 takes 4th in round 4, adding to his points for the series and putting him in 3rd position overall with 176 points! Go Bryan!!!

The next round is at Winton Motor Raceway, VIC 6-8 September so stay tuned!

Check out this link for the televised coverage of the race:

All images by Lori at Images Everything

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Round 3 asbk at The Bend Motorsport Park

This racing stuff is so much fun, we thought we'd do it all over again but this time at the fabulous new The Bend Motorsport Park located at Tailem Bend just about an hour from Adelaide, South Australia for the next round of the asbk.

This track was built by a guy that LOVES his racing and has the dough to do it! Apparently he picked all of his favourite turns and aspects of tracks that he loved from around the world and incorporated them into his very own track design. The plans here are to turn the whole area into a racing precinct complete with accommodation and amenities for avid racegoers...there's already a hotel above the pits that overlooks the track in its entirety. Best seat in the house!

It took some getting here though with a few adventures along the way. We left The Bike Whisperer shop at Killarney, race van all packed with NZ Champ - Sloan Frost's gear and race bike early April 23rd and had two days of driving ahead of us.

We stopped for the night in a little hole in the wall place called Rankin Springs...more like "RANK" Springs! The nearest town was over 50kms away and we were growing weary so this was it. This little dive could've at least had polite shop keepers and clean rooms but no! Our room smelt like a sewer and we had Mrs Cranky Pants at the Diner tell us she wasn't about to get in the kitchen and make us any meals because the kitchen was closed (they didn't shut for another hour) so we wandered down to the pub where the lovely Cheryl served us cold beer and made us toasted sandwiches (their kitchen was shut too lol).

Apart from the bugs all over the walls at the motel, we did have a more welcomed guest in the form of a fuzzy little black cat that came to visit...I wanted to take him with us but Stew didn't think he would make a very good mechanic and would probably just sleep in the tyre warmers all day...I didn't see a problem with that! lol

We arrived in plenty of time to get our pit set up and start getting organised. The pits here are HUGE and we were in a good spot opening out onto pit lane. It felt pretty cool to be in same pit that Aussie Supercars legend, Craig Lowndes pits when at this track.

All set up and ready to rock!

Checking out Pit Lane before the action starts
Some cool stuff in the Visitor Centre
Looks a bit heavy...and may have a bit of wind noise

Our next door neighbours
The new track has proved to be tough on tyres so a change of tyre spec was necessary. We also had suspension data for the first time so we could now see what the bike was doing and were able to make adjustments.

Sloan was improving every session and looked to be headed for a top 10 finish...that was until his bike blew a fuse on the second lap of the final race. We were gutted to say the least. Hopefully the next round will be better. Now to pack up and head back to "K" Town.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Round 2 asbk at Wakefield Park

Back at Wakefield Park again for Round 2 of the asbk Championship and it certainly was anything but ordinary! Big crashes, bikes flying over walls...and that was just in the practice sessions!

More on that later...We arrived at Wakefield on Thursday March 21 and set up our pit, squeezed in all nice and cozy with the NextGen BMW Team. As we were gearing up for the weekend's sessions, we noticed that there were some very unusual suspension combinations being used by the other big name teams. It looked like some quite heavy springs were being used and the geometry of bike chassis were set very high in a few cases...most likely due to the asbk spec Pirelli tyres.

The line-up to get our bikes checked over by the scrutineers.

At Scrutineering

A day of set up

Getting ready for action

Speaking of tyres and bike set-ups, we now have a second bike coming on stream. This will give us the opportunity to test different setups during practice sessions…it also gives us a bit of leeway with the weather should the rain setup be needed at the last minute.

The new Pirelli homoligated tyres are very different in the way they are manufactured now and that has caused a few headaches with the set up. Where we were able to trust a certain attitude in the old tyres, they’re behaving quite different to what we’d expect now, leaving us to try and find a new setup protocol.

Sloan was on fire during the practice sessions but the uncertainty of the new tyres led to a few changes which cost us a few positions in qualifying. Coming from midfield in race 1 he managed to pick up 5 positions and was catching the group ahead for a 12th at a very solid race pace. Race 2 saw him repeat his advancement but the race was red flagged due to Lochie Epis high-siding as he exited turn 2…the same turn Aiden Wagner came unstuck in the first practice session.

Ted Collins managed to go unscathed after a massive crash in the 2nd practice session on Friday saw his NextGen BMW go flying like a rocket over the wall at turn 10…arriving in a cloud of dust and unceremoniously planting itself in the middle of pit lane. While bemused and concerned race marshals and onlookers alike were taken by surprise, Ted was seen scrambling over the concrete wall to safety. The NextGen boys had their work cut out for them that night trying to get Ted’s bike ride-able for the next day’s sessions.

Ted's bike launching over the barrier at turn 10 in Practice Session 2

Aiden Wagner's bust up in Practice Session 1

Aiden's bike post crash. Taking a soil sample, perhaps?

We are certainly glad to see these tops riders walk away from their crashes with only minor injuries. Although this is a dangerous sport and we are all competing against one another, we don't like seeing our comrades get hurt.

The bLU cRU Oceania Junior Cup bikes take up an entire shed! So cool to see these kids get out there and race.

Our trips are never without shenanigans and there were plenty on this trip too. As some may know, there is a landmark in Goulburn NSW known as The Big Merino. It's a larger than life sized (15.2 metres tall) concrete sheep at the corner of Hume and Sowerby Streets. We HAD to get a photo of Sloan with it...seeing as he's a kiwi and they're known for their affinity with sheep and all.

Anyway...long story short, this image of Sloan Frost posing suspiciously with said sheep and it's massive testicles goes viral as we end up comedic fodder for the renowned Facebook group, DEAR ASBK...thanks Boris! lol

Security cameras at Goulburn have caught former NZ Superbike champion and ASBK's finest mid-fielder, Sloan M Frost from Sloan Frost Motorsport, performing a bizarre Kiwi ritual on the concrete scrotum of a giant Merino statue the day before the second round of the ASBK series.

"Give me your choice power-juice, O Great God Sheep!" he was heard to be yelling, as pensioners scattered in fright and police sirens could be heard in the background.

It is not clear at this stage just how much "choice power-juice" Mr Frost managed to siphon from the testicles of the statue, but it's possible the Goulburn LAC has Tasered a lot of it out of him and returned it to the big scrotum.

Senior Constable Stree Kibacon said: "Yeah, that kinda stuff just can't be happening in a place where old people come to eat their custard pies and put petrol in their Hyundais. It's just not on."

Sloan and his new partner in crime!

Stay with us for our next blog as we turn our new Suzuki GSXR 1000 into a second race bike for Sloan Frost.

Monday, March 18, 2019

New custom Cafe Racer Project for the missus!

Basket Case in someone's garage...ready to restore to it's 1997 Honda CB360 goodness!
Soooo she said she wanted a 'project'...well here it is! It's got all the makings of a sexy little cafe racer, now lets see what we can make of it.

Sure, it's not much to look at now but with a bit of expertise from The Bike Whisperer and Lori's willingness to get her hands dirty & her sense of style, we have no doubt this little bundle of bits & bolts will transform into something pretty special.

She wants black so these will need powder coating

The motor has apparently been rebuilt so we'll have to go over it and make sure it's all in working order, then pretty it up.

Her inspiration!

We'll keep you guys posted on the progress!

Round 4 asbk at Morgan Park Raceway

Lachlan Epis #22 of Team BC Performance Kawasaki The weather was cold, wet & windy but that didn't stop these top notch ri...