I drove down to Sydney MotorSport Park-formerly Eastern Creek Raceway- this morning to go to the Barry Sheene Festival of Speed Historic motorcycle racing meeting. The forecast was for showers but on the motorway going south the rain was torrential and I considered turning round and giving it a miss. I am glad I persisted as although the rain was on and off in the morning it did clear by lunchtime. It is somewhat ironic that after weeks and weeks without rain on the weekend of a motorcycle race meeting it rains.
This meeting is always good although this year's was less ambitious than previous years with no real big name veteran overseas star riders. The entry however was as big if not bigger than ever. The pits and paddock were packed with bikes but the spectators were missing-probably due to the rain. Maybe if the rain clears they will come out on Sunday which is always the bigger day anyway.
There are a few good things about these historic motorcycle race meetings and the first is that the riders and their teams are so friendly. There are no egos on display-well not that I saw-unlike many car race meetings including sadly historic car racing. There are no giant transporters sighwritten with the drivers or team names.
Secondly you can wander the pits and pit lane freely which is great for just looking and really good for photography. Thirdly there is always a wonderful selection of bikes.
Here's the first batch of photos I took today with the header shot of two guys who competed in the sidecar events. Now motorcycle sidecar racing is for the very brave as the rider as opposed to the driver has to move from side to side on the bike at very high speed to balance it through the corners. Insane is a good word to describe it. These two really affable guys come from Bathurst- I'm sorry I did not get their names -and they have an older and well worn outfit-not a carbonfibre, high cost, European outfit like most of their competitors. However on a very wet and slippery track they came home a very safe second in their first race of the day and they were delighted with their effort and so they should be.
|One of many veteran racers. Why aren't these old folk doing gardening or playing golf?|
|Yes it's a girl racer, Stacey, and she was not the only one|
|A quick head job in between races|
|Norton from Team Africa. Africa stands for "Another f.....g race I can't afford."|