It was standing room only in the stadiums as the largest crowd we have seen in years descended on the worlds southern-most supercross last week, putting the future of the stadium sport in good stead for years to come.
No less than six Australians helped bolster the rider numbers, where we were spoilt with a fairly full looking gate in all but the 85cc class. The crazy thing being that its winner was Australian, second best went to Ollie from Havelock North who had only decided to race it a few days before, and the other half of the field came from my tiny field of boot campers. Despite the small numbers, these riders seriously rode their heart out, which helped the work we had done with Kruz and Lewy to shine. We also got to know and respect both Ollie and Sam who were excellent guys.
The junior lites had some real skill in its ranks, led by Josiah Natzke but never too far ahead of local lad, Kyle Hartley. In fact the championship came down to the wire as Josiah crashed in the penultimate race, meaning he really had to suck up the pain in order to get a top five position in both of the final two races to save the championship.
In our Senior Lites class it wasn’t until the last race that I felt the need and confidence to triple into a timing section that some of those junior lads had been doing all day. My first race started like a rocket out of the gates but I didn’t close the door into the first corner enough. From there it was Jay Wilson followed by Rhys Carter then myself, having been gifted third position thanks to a practice crash that had left Micah McGoldrick too sore to ride. Kieran Scheele began to get his head around the supercross thing near the end, even managing to win the whip comp in one extreme jump that had everyone craning their necks to see if he had survived. Sure enough a victory rev was soon to follow.
The Big Boys
The open class was shaping up to be a great battle with three Aussies attempting to unsettle Cody Cooper all through practice. Unfortunately the battle was not to be as Cody’s closest competition, Nick Sutherland had a big get off in the whoops. My respect for the guy was bumped through the roof when he lined up for the next race despite a hand that could hardly push down on the grip, attempting to ride on what eventually turned out to be a broken bone. Toowoomba’s Matty Hayworth took two second places while Sam Duncansen claimed the runner up spot in the final race and second overall for the Championship.
To top off a magic Championship the organizers decided to give each rider back their entry fee. Plus more. They said it was thanks to the big crowds, but was simply a very generous and unexpected bonus. A special congratulations goes to Brent Scammell and Jeremy McKnight for helping to get so many Aussies over. Then there is Noel May, Jim Cooper, the Frew family and the McKnights again for opening up their tracks, along with the many others who helped make this series come alive once again. Well done, and bring on next year!