Eastern Creek Race Report: 1st-3rd July 2011
WNR Kawasaki joined the Australian Formula Xtreme Championship last weekend at Eastern Creek and did so with force finishing in 3rd place amongst the fiercely competitive FX600 class. It was the first time for our team in the Formula Xtreme series and our first opportunity to race our newly prepared ZX6R Superstock machine. The Sydney circuit also played host to WNR Kawasaki’s first home race for 2011 and we welcomed many of our sponsors who were unable to attend the previous interstate events this year.
The winter chill was far from enticing during Friday’s free practice sessions with all competitors struggling for grip. Track temperatures remained around 25 degrees causing cold tearing of the mandatory control tyres. Glenn Scott made the most of the day by building speed around the soon to be modified layout staying out in all sessions until the chequered flag. It’s almost common now for Glenn to be the first out of pit lane and the last to come back into pit lane.
Saturday morning dawned with fog and a damp track providing an entertaining qualifying session. Position swapped at the top of the timing monitor right up until the session was complete with the top 8 riders setting their fastest lap on their final lap. Glenn Scott and the WNR Kawasaki team had to be satisfied with 5th position and a second row start alongside factory Yamaha star Kevin Curtain. The qualifying session also presented a small gear selection problem for Glenn which would later worsen.
Race 1 proved Glenn Scott is now a serious threat in the Australian Superstock category with the 19 year old challenging at the front as soon as the lights went out. Positions reversed lap after lap as the leading trio made a break on the pursuing pack. Glenn however was thwarted by the morning qualifying sessions gear selection problem and finished in 3rd place.
Race 2 was a mere test to further diagnose the gear selection fault and after several laps, Glenn dropped to 5th position and was unable to improve. At the completion of Race 2 a decision was made to carry out the necessary work in order to be ready for Sunday’s 3 main races.
Kawasaki’s race heritage is no more apparent than with the ZX6R. The cassette style gearbox can be removed in a simple procedure making diagnoses and repairs very straight forward. This allowed everyone to rest easy on Saturday night in preparation for Sunday.
Once again the most popular category faced a wet track for Sunday morning warm-up however that did not deter our team nor our web footed rider! Glenn proved once more that he can master any conditions and led the morning warm convincingly for almost the entire session. Most importantly, Saturday’s gear selection problem was resolved.
Sunday’s Race 1 resembled classic 600cc racing as a ferocious battle unfolded with Glenn leading the freight train through the corners and along Eastern Creek’s main straight. Former World Supersport star Kevin Curtain had his hands full as the green ZX6R showed superior speed against the Yamaha along the main straight as well as breath taking corner speed. Glenn Scott was clearly the fastest rider all weekend through Eastern Creek’s infamous Turn 1. The two riders put on a great display of heroics yet professional racing. Curtain took the lead around 2/3rd’s race distance and Malaysian ace Abdullah Syahrin also managed to find a way past Glenn in the closing stages. Curtain won by a mere 0.7 seconds with the following 5 riders covered by 1 second.
Race 2 was almost identical to Race 1 however Curtain was not taking any chances this time and felt one battle with Glenn Scott was enough! The blue Yamaha set a small gap which he maintained until the end of the race. Abdullah Syahrin finished 2nd once again after escaping the battle behind him. Glenn prevailed for the final spot on the podium ahead of Yamaha’s Mike Jones.
Race 3 was going to be a crucial battle for overall honors and it proved to be a little more intense than the team would have liked. Glenn made a small mistake on the start grid by slightly moving before the lights went out. Even the smallest of movements, which is captured by television cameras, results in a 10 second penalty. The race carried on with an epic tussle at the front of the field consisting of Kevin Curtain, Abdullah Syahrin and Glenn Scott. The trio pulled a small margin on the rest of the field however Glenn was shown the Jump Start penalty board. Undeterred Glenn hounded the rear wheel of Abdullah Syahrin and they crossed the finishing line in the same order they had done all day with just over 1 second separating the most consistent finishing order all weekend. The 10 second penalty placed Glenn in 6th position on corrected times however it was still enough to gain 3rd place overall for the WNR Kawasaki rider.
Glenn Scott: “I really enjoyed this weekend. I’m so focused on improving and winning that I just had to lead the races this weekend. It was a great feeling and I’m looking forward to doing it again. The team did a great job to give me a good bike and it shows that we are moving forward. It was good to beat Mike Jones who has won so many Superstock races this year. My level is improving and I want to keep it going”.
Mark Maguire (Mechanic): “I think Glenn made big steps forward this weekend. On Friday we were not so fast but after we made a few small changes to the suspension, he really got on with the job. We worked hard to prepare the bike for this weekend and have proved we can run with the factory Yamaha ’s ”.
Warwick Nowland (Team Manager): “It was a nice feeling to see our bike leading. Not only leading but when Kevin passed us, we could get back in front of him. The Kawasaki is a great bike and we are planning to win with the ZX6R before the end of the year. I must thank Mark, Sam, Marcelo and the rest of the team for doing a great job. Oh, and of course I thank Glenn! He was very impressive through turn 1 today”.
WNR Kawasaki are now looking at the possibility of competing in the Formula Xtreme Championship for the remainder of 2011.