With the demise of my SummerCross campaign ending before I had gotten out of bed, there was nothing to hold me back from a big hit at the Valley Champs. With a new team mate in the form of Laurent Fath of New Caledonia, the Broxy Race Team was back in force. Now we just needed to beat the long list of contenders also going for the win!
Big is Good
Another magic effort by the Patetonga club saw a beautifully groomed track form into a great circuit where I qualified in third place while Laurent gained 8th. The ruts proved to be both deeper and more numerous than what he was comfortable with, meaning his true speed was hidden. So far as NZ race conditions go it was not too bad, but when the race line is ten times deeper than what you are used to, it is only fair that he met it with some trepidation.
We were looking good with a top three start followed by a third place finish. While I was two or three seconds off the pace of eventual winner Hamish Dobbyn, I really enjoyed the conditions and was fortunate enough to stay out of trouble. My race tactics failed in race two where another good start saw me on Daryl Kings tail with John Phillips hard on mine.
I couldn’t find a way past DK for a couple of laps and so let Johnny past in the hope that he could do the hard work and I would then slip through as well. Letting him past took longer than expected and by the time I got back in to my groove, the two of them had made a gap that I was not able to regain, and neither was John able to pass DK anyway.
Normally I get stronger as the day progresses, but not today. I found it impossible to ride to my potential after a mediocre start and finished in sixth place, which gave me an overall position just off the podium. It was a disappointing way to finish the day but you must take the good with the bad, as they say.
A brilliant start in all three races saw Laurent in the top three before dropping back to eighth place in both of the first two races before a twisted ankle took him out of the final. Taken as a part of the learning curve, things can only get better from here. Especially if he can keep getting those starts! A huge thanks to Scott Barr-Smith for his hard work spannering for us both. We hope to get some decent results to show for it.