Five women took part as Symmons Plains hosted Round 1 of the 2018 Tasmanian Motor Cycle Club Championships and Round 2 of Tasmania’s Inter Club Championships.
The outstanding rider was Liz Thompson, having her first ride in the Clubmans class. The sales and spare-parts representative at AJL Yamaha in Devonport struck a problem on her YZF-R6. This class is for anyone on any bike but, if you lap under a set 1m06s time, you cop a 10-second penalty each time. She started the day at 1m10.0s and in the second last race she did a 1m05.9s. As far as problems go, it’s not a bad one to have, though.
There were 10 classes of racing, including historics. In perfect conditions, Brett Simmonds (Yamaha YZF-R1) again dominated the Superbike series and Jason Spencer (Honda CBR600RR) was the rider to beat in the Supersport class, despite his detour into the gravel trap in one race.
A strong entry of 125cc machines boosted the popular Lites class but NSR250 rider Jeremy Hudlestone took the main points. Junior rider Mathew Long impressed on his Honda RVF400, carving 3.1 seconds off his qualifying time to end with a 1m11.6s lap around the 2.4km circuit. But Courtney McMahon (Honda CBR250RR) again put in a great effort, challenging
Long in most races. Courtney is the daughter of Tasmanian Motorcycle Club president Gaby McMahon.
The big story for the day was the number of women now racing in Tasmania.
Club Competition Secretary Karen Webb decided to keep the historic Suzuki GSX750 in the shed and bring out a new toy, a Ninja 300, in the Lites category.
Meanwhile, Launceston hairdresser Emma Reader added, er, layers to her burgeoning racing career. After three meetings on a GSX she was invited to race Jason Spencer’s spare CBR600RR in the Clubmans class and was assisted by her father, Phil, a former rally champion. Meanwhile, personal trainer Carla Munday had her first race meeting on a Suzuki GSX-R600 in the Clubmans class, while her partner Jason Wyllie rode his GSX-R600 in the Supersport category.
More women are expected at the next meeting and well as the return of Lites frontrunner Chloe Honeychurch.
The next round of the club championships is at Symmons Plains on 1 September and the inter-club titles at at Baskerville on 24 June.
By Hamish Cooper