Round 2 Formula Xtreme Oran Park
Having totally rebuilt the bike after a round one failure, the day was spent getting the suspension dialled in. Because the suspension was all new and had only landed days before it did prove to be more difficult than we had hoped. None the less we did learn a lot in the time available and were happy to be inside the top ten on day one.
Our best times for the day were high 1,14s achieved late in the day with fresh tyres.
Saturday Qualifying and Race One
Struggling with a good setup and lack of time we still managed to finish qualifying in 10th place which was not quite where we would like to be but given our lack of setup and track time, it was a good starting point to work from. Cameron was a bit frustrated knowing that on a good day he would be in front of most of the field.
Our main focus for this weekend then turned to maintaining good consistent results, finishing every race and collecting points to stand us in good stead for the rest of the series.
Saturday Race One
Cameron got a good start and settled into 8th place where he was never headed. He posted a best time of 1,13.43. Traction was proving to be a big problem though, as he could not get the power on early enough and was fighting some big slides mid corner, finishing 8th outright and 4th privateer.
Sunday Race Two
It was good to get one race under our belt yesterday as it gave us a gauge as to where we were in relation to everyone else. We continued to make small changes to the bike and again Cameron got a great start to be in 5th place at the end of the 1st lap. By the end of lap 2 he had dropped one place but was managing to hold his own. By mid race he had lost another place, though he was consistently lapping in the mid 1,13 bracket. We did have a little bit of luck when Kevin Kurtain crashed while leading the field bumping us up on place to finish 6th outright and 3rd privateer
Sunday Race Three
We fitted a fresh set of tyres for this race and made some more minor changes to suspension. This race turned out to be a cracker and was a battle between Cameron Donald, Nick Barton, Jason Kain and Ben Attard. Cameron got a great start to be 5th at turn one but could not make a break managing to hold a concerted attack, with a best lap of 1,12.66 on lap 3 of 8. The suspension changes, though improving the bike was to much for the tyres to cope with and by the end of the race he had dropped 2 places to finish 7th outright and 3rd privateer.
Sunday Race Four
As the track temperature was at it's highest we struggled for grip and Cameron settled into the race in 8th place which he maintained bring the bike home in one piece and 5th privateer.
Given the lack of track time and tests, the results were encouraging. We finished 3rd privateer for the weekend ahead of Aluma Light team rider Ben Attard who has the advantage of riding for a big budget team. By the end of the weekend we were only 1.5 sec off the pace. The bike has plenty of speed to match the others, we simply lack some set time. Over the next two weeks we will be addressing this, culminated in a test at Winton on the Friday the 28th of March, followed by the 1st round of the Vic Camps on April 5th and 6th.
Round 3 Formula Xtreme Winton
For the past 2 weeks we have been working hard on the engine in an effort to bring it up to speed. Therefore the day was spent setting up the fuel injection with the help of a data logger. As the day progressed this proved to be critical in achieving a smooth delivery of power driving off the turns.
We fitted a new set of Pirelli tyres for last session of the day and posted a best time of 1.24:80. The current lap record was 1.24:6.
Saturday Qualifying and Race 1 of 4
We qualified 4th in the first session putting the R1 on the front row of the grid.
In the 2nd session Cameron maintained his position splitting the 3 factory Yamahas with a best time of 1.24:99.
Cameron got a great start to be in second through turn one and put it up the inside of Kevin Curtain at turn 3
but was unable to hold the lead. Cameron, riding very aggressively broke the lap record on lap 2 with a time of 1.24:20. On lap 5 of 7 Curtain broke it again and started to pull a lead while Cameron had dropped back to third place. By the last lap the 3rd Factory R1 of Brendan Clark had managed to pull Cameron in, and in a drag across the finish line was able to relegate Cameron to 4th by 4000th’s of a second.
Sunday Race 2
We made some minor adjustment for this race and Cameron was determined not to be beaten over line for 3rd. He started well, sitting in third after lap one. Unfortunately we were not able to stay with the leaders and dropped off the back maintaining a 2 second margin over fourth crossing the finish line for third place.
For race 3 and 4 we were using the tyres from race 1 and 2 as we can only use 2 sets of tyres for 4 races.
Cameron got another good start but just couldn’t quite stay with the leaders. The 3rd of the Factory Yamahas was closing in fast and he was unable to hold them off finishing 4th.
Probably the best race of day, Cameron once again had a great start to be in 3rd place by the end of lap one.
By mid race distance Tozer, on another privateer R1, was pushing hard to get past Cameron. The superior drive off the turns gave Cameron a clear advantage and Tozer was not able to pass. Riding defensively for the last lap Cameron secured 3rd place and 3rd overall for this round.
We have now closed the gap between ourselves and the factory teams, though we still are a little shy in top end speed. The bike handled like it was on rails and the Wilbers suspension didn’t need adjusting all weekend. With a little more work on the dyno and some more testing with Pirelli tyres we are sure to improve on these results before the season is over.
Round 4 QLD Willow Bank
The threat of rain was above us all day today with cloudy cool conditions. Cameron was keen to get back on the R1, fresh back from Asia where he had been testing for Sporting Motorcycles on a Yamaha R6 using the new Pirelli Diablo tyres. Having completed some development work on the engine we keen to see if we were still lacking power anywhere. Cameron’s first comments were “Man this thing's fast”. This was visibly noted not just by us but also by others. Having not previously used 190 rear tyres we spent all day work on suspension. The 190 Pirelli had more drive off the turns but was pushing the front hard making it difficult to hold a line. By day's end though we were getting close.
Saturday Qualifying and Race 1 of 4
Struggling in the first qualifier the best we could do was 7th. The front end was pushing hard and Cameron was not confident to push any harder. We made some more minor changes for the second session and pulled a 1.12:57 putting us on the front row in 4th. Half a second covered 2nd, 3rd and 4th, so we were confident that with our horsepower advantage the Dynobike\Gary O’Brien\Pirelli Yamaha would be right there.
Cameron got a poor start for race one and was held up in traffic allowing first and second to get a break on the rest. On lap 4 of seven he moved into 3rd place and proceeded to pull away, chasing down Tony Rees in second place. The final result was a solid 3rd place.
Sunday Race 2
More changes were made to the front end overnight to in an effort to get the bike to hold a tight line mid corner and for the 2nd race we elected to use the same tyres from race one. Cameron’s start was an improvement placing him in 5th place as they went up the back straight. Out-braking everyone in the corners he was in 3rd by the end of lap one. Dicing for second for most of the race he was unable to hold on and finished 3rd.
Determined to improve on his results Cameron got a great start and by the end of lap one was in the lead followed by 2 Nikon Yamahas. On lap 3 they collided with each other ending any chance of finishing and giving Cameron a 1 second buffer. On the last lap second place was challenging for the lead and at the last corner before the finish line slipped underneath Cameron to take 1st place with Cameron second.
Cameron again got a good start and was in 2nd place by the end of lap one. Setting out after the leader it was eventually to no avail and he settled to protect second place and take out the round win rather than push to hard and crash trying to win.
The Yamaha R1 performed faultlessly all weekend and was a match for everyone else in straight-line speed, making Cameron’s job just that little bit easier. To come away with a round win is a credit to everyone who has supported us and proves that the big budget teams can be beaten if you put your mind to it and work hard. We could not have done it without your support and we thank you all for this, it is your win as much as it is ours.
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