Motorsport Retro’s VMX adventures: Heaven VMX Rd 1 – Bulahdelah
Another weekend of excellent VMX racing has left us pondering the eternal question. What bike should we buy next?
The weekend didn’t start too well for the Motorsport Retro VMX Team. For reasons I won’t go into, the three bike trailer we had a agreed to borrow fell through at the last minute and we were forced to somehow jam three full size dirtbikes onto our trusty two bike box trailer. Amazingly we managed to make the bikes and all the gear fit and we set off for Round 1 of the Heaven VMX Series at Bulahdelah with the hope of getting in some practice.
On route Muzz’s rather new Mitsubishi Pajero suddenly dropped power and we ended up crawling along the Pacific Highway at 80km/h with warning lights flashing all over the dash. We stopped to piss on the Pajero and that seemed to work enough to get us another 100km or so down the road before we had to stop and piss on it again. I was worried that this would set the scene for the weekend, that everything would go wrong and we were all going to crash and burn and maybe even…… die.
Luckily we made it to the track by about 2.30pm, unloaded and jumped into our flash new Answer gear. I couldn’t kick start the KX to save my life so I pushed it around the paddock until I was exhausted and then it finally fired. Muzz’z XR went first kick as did Sport’s RM 125. Hate that.
The three kilometer “supertrack” was a combination of the grasstrack and motocross tracks and was a real challenge. The MX track was pretty slippery and hard to get good traction, whilst the grasstrack was hard work with lots of braking and acceleration bumps which took its toll on our athletic bodies. Sport had a minor crash on the RM, but other than that we were all in good shape and fired up.
After practice we filled up the bikes, set up our pit and cracked our first beer in preparation for race day. Then we set off for some local Chinese food and more beer.
Race day arrived. A bacon and egg roll, coffee and some two stroke in our nostrils meant the team was now in perfect race readiness. All the bikes passed scrutineering, but it was discovered the front wheel on the XR 500 could use an extra spacer or two. Just as we were contemplating how to fix it, along came “Whisper” who is a good mate of Greg Holmes (#59) and his mechanic. Whisper turned up with a special hand made stubbie cooler holder and when we saw that we knew he could fix the XR. In about two seconds flat Whisper had the front wheel off, and the axel in his hand and set off around the pits to find some suitable washers to get us going. In true VMX spirit he triumphantly returned with enough washes to solve our woes and refitted the front wheel. Thanks Whisper.
It was now time for the serious business of racing and so Muzz (Chris Mullan#77) lined up for the four stroke event for what would be his first ever race. He got a shocker start and was nearly last into the first corner, but he passed a few blokes and then had a good battle with Greg Holmes to come home 6th.
Next up was Sport (Jamie Pollack# 402) on the screaming ’83 Suzuki RM125. Sport didn’t get away too well either and was hit both left and right into the first chicane, but somehow managed to stay upright. By now the dust was pretty serious and he was happy just to make it back in one piece in 9th.
I was now sitting on the start line staring at the gate. I held the KX wide open, the gate dropped and I was off. I was pleased to get the holeshot, but I could sense I had company. I held a narrow lead for the first quarter of the lap before Jody Perry (#515) tried to go ’round the outside of me. I pushed him as wide as possible, but he stayed put and passed me on the inside into the next left hander. We hammered down to the next hairpin with me eating his roost, but I braked hard and took a tight inside line and cut across in front of him to regain the lead. That was fun! Unfazed he blew past me again into the following downhill section and that was it. I couldn’t run his pace and he took a good win with me a distant second.
The Teams second races were much the same as the first, except that Muzz got a better start, but again ended up 6th, this time in the Pre ’85 Open class. Sport and I now lined up together for the Pre ’85 “all powers” event which pits 125cc, 250cc and 500cc bikes together. This time I didn’t get away well and was fourth going into turn 1. A few corners later I managed to pass the holeshot man, Birko (Mark Birkett#76) on his CR480 and found myself in third behind my old mate from mini bike days Justin Wiesemes (#53). By now Jody Perry had again cleared out on his ’84 KTM 250 and I settled into a fun battle with Justin. At one point I managed to pull alongside Justin and we went side by side for a few turns, but I couldn’t get him and after eating his dust for a few more corners, I pathetically gave up the battle and poodled home in 3rd. Meanwhile back in the pack, where it was really dusty, Sport was nursing home the RM which had a cracked pipe. He again turned in a credible performance to finish 11th.
All three of us had an excellent time, so now its back to the garage to prepare for the next event.
Images: Rich Fowler, Jamie Pollack, Emerson Adcock