With Thursdays practice sessions not adding much value due to constant rain showers proving constantly changing track conditions the K-Tech Irving Vincent Team did not have any real quality track time to set up the thundering Period 4 and Period 5 bikes, along with the Period 5 sidecar for the Sydney Motorsport Park layout. Despite the limited laps completed during the day confidence was high in the garage with Beau already lapping under the existing P5 Sidecar lap record and within a second of the existing P4 lap record despite only completing four laps during the day.
Stunning results considering Beau only made his sidecar debut at the corresponding meeting twelve months prior and was only having his second outing on the Period 4 machine after it had been on display for nearly 10 years.
With 59 races to be held over the weekend Friday’s action got straight into qualifying for all classes.
Qualifying for this event would only determine the grid positions for the first of five races for each class to be held over the two and a half days of competition, races two through to five would be progressive grids based on the results from the previous race.
First up was the Unlimited Post Classic class and Beau taking to the track on the thundering Period 4 Irving Vincent on a drying surface. Adopting a cautious approach with the class not able to run wet weather tyres, Beau still managed to secure second on the grid behind the Period 5 TZ750 of veteran Queenslander John Allen and first in the Period 4 class by over 1.6 seconds.
The Period 5 1300, or unlimited class, was run in conjunction with the more modern Period 6 machines, despite being
considerably down on power to the 1000+cc four cylinder P6 bikes Beau was able to use the nimble handling of the Period 5 Irving Vincent to secure a second row starting position sandwiched between his two main rivals for class honours over the weekend, Jed Metcher and Dean Oughtred with less than .8 covering the trio. Lap times were around six seconds off Beau’s existing P5 lap record due to the still drying track surface. Despite qualifying well, Beau and the team decided to concentrate on the premiere Superbike Shootout class rather than the combined Period 5 and 6 Unlimited.
Sidecars were the last class to qualify and the track was the wettest it had been all morning as the sidecars made their way out onto the western Sydney Circuit. Beau managed to secure a front row grid position for the first race next to class rival Steven Bayliss and ahead of the modern F1 and F2 machines.
Period 4 Unlimited Post Classic
Starting from second on the grid in the huge forty-four bike field that also contained the more modern Period 5 and Period 6 750cc machines, Beau launched the 1972 1300cc Irving Vincent off the line thundering into turn one with a handy lead over the combined field. By the completion of lap one Beau and the K-Tech Irving Vincent held a lead of over three seconds but pole sitter Aaron Morris, on a 1989 Ducati 888, had got past Craig Ditchburn and Michael Blair’s TZ750’s and was starting to close in. Beau kept the hammer down and took 1.1 seconds off the P4 lap record on the first flying race lap of the weekend but could not hold off the more modern, slick shod, machine and both Morris and Blair used their top speed advantage the go past on lap three. Beau held onto third place and first in the P4 Unlimited Post Classic class to get the weekend off in lap record style.
Race two held on Saturday morning was almost a carbon copy with Beau slicing another half second off his lap record from the previous day and taking third outright and first in class after a highly entertaining duel with the rapid TZ750’s of current ASBK star Michael Blair and P5 stalwart Craig Ditchburn. A mere .07 was separating the trio as they crossed the line after lap three, unfortunately the race was red flagged due to an oil spill on lap four.
Saturdays final race was held on a dry track with track temperatures over 43 degrees, Beau took the class win by over 10 seconds to secure maximum points once again.
Sundays Period 4 class was completely dominated by the thundering K-Tech Irving Vincent, Beau winning in convincing style in both races while dicing with the more modern P5 and P6 machines. To top it all off race four saw another lap record on the way to securing the fP4 class overall win for the event. Over the five races Beau and the K-Tech Irving Vincent Period 4 machine took almost five seconds off the lap record for the class.
Period 5 Forgotten Era Sidecar
The P5 and P4 sidecar field were joined by eleven modern F2 machines this weekend. After a wet qualifying Beau started from the front row of the grid in race one held on Friday afternoon and was immediately into his stride opening up a massive 6.5 second lead on the first lap over the more modern F1 and F2 machines. Unfortunately, the race was red-flagged on lap three with the race declared after two laps, even with only one flying lap Beau and Noel Beare had taken over half a second off the existing P5 sidecar lap record.
Race two held on Saturday morning saw a repeat of the pace displayed the previous day in the first of five legs over the weekend. Starting from pole due to the progressive grid Beau was into a close dice with veteran sidecar racer and former Australian Sidecar Champion and Isle of Man TT racer Mick Alton from the exit of turn one. Only .4 was separating the pair at the completion of the first lap, Beau stretched that out on the second lap whilst shaving another 2.9 seconds off his lap record set the previous day, but Alton had managed to reel the K-Tech Irving Vincent P5 machine in and get past by the completion of lap three. The final lap saw Beau get in front and pull away, despite a top speed deficit to the modern F2 machine to take the outright win by .335 and class win by nearly thirty seconds.
Saturdays second race, the third overall and last race on the days program was run on an extremely wet track. The race was dominated by the P5 outfits with Beau and Noel taking the win and class rival Bayliss finishing second ahead of the modern F1 and F2 machines.
Sunday dawned fine and clear with huge crowds coming to witness complete domination by Beau Beaton and Noel Beare aboard the crowd pleasing P5 outfit. Race four of the weekend was not even a contest from half way around the first lap, Beau simply left the field in his wake, leading the field by 1.5 second after the first lap and going on to win the race by over seven seconds along with taking another half second off his lap record from the previous morning.
Unfortunately for the competitors on the sidecar race the final race of the weekend was the last opportunity for the Beaton Beare duo to lower the lap record and that is what they did. Another half second shaved from the record time set in race four saw them take the outright and class wins to blitz the field. Five wins from five starts and over 3.7 seconds taken from the old lap record in one weekend, all this only twelve months since Beau raced an outfit for the first time. Following the dominating weekend on the P5 outfit Noel Beare goes into the record books as holding the P5 and F2 sidecar lap record at Sydney Motorsport Park.
Superbike Shootout Feature Races
Whilst dominating the Period 5 Sidecar and Period 4 Unlimited Post Classic classes Beau was dealing with a far greater level of competition in the Superbike Shootout races. Comprising the fastest riders from the Period 5, Period 6 and Pre Modern F1 classes the races were a great mix of high profile riders, including dual WorldSBK Champion Troy Corser and 250GP winner Jeremy McWilliams to fast locals like Aaron Morris and Jed Metcher all on bikes capable of blisteringly fast lap times.
Friday’s first race got underway on a damp track late in the afternoon. Beau got a good jump off the line on board the Period 5 Irving Vincent 1300 two valve, to be right with Aaron Morris and Jeremy McWilliams. By half race distance the lead two had got away slightly but Beau held a handy lead over rapid Kiwi Glen Skachill on a Bimota YB8. At the chequered flag Beau took third place outright and leading Period 5 machine by nearly nine seconds.
The second of four legs got underway late on Saturday afternoon, the only Superbike shootout race on Saturdays program. Beau got a great jump off the line but lost time on the first lap to be in fourth place, nearly three seconds behind fast starting Aaron Morris and GP legend Jeremy McWilliams. A quick second lap saw Beau close the distance to third place with another fast lap on lap three bringing him right up onto the back of Skachills Bimota. Pushing his way past early in the lap saw Beau also overtake a slowing McWilliams on the run to the flag to claim second place outright and victory in the P5 class.
Starting race three on Sunday morning from the middle of the front row of the grid Beau completed the first lap in a tightly packed group of five that included Morris, Skachill, McWilliams and dual WorldSBK Champion Troy Corser. By the completion of lap two the group had closed up even further with beau on the tail of McWilliams trying to find a way past. Unfortunately on lap three Jed Metcher on the Harris Honda managed to force his way past relegating Beau to sixth, a position he would hold until the chequered flag for second in the P5 class.
The final race for the Superbike Shootout on Sunday afternoon saw Beau carefully manage the race to ensure class victory for the weekend. Ideally placed right on Metcher’s ducktail at the completion of the first lap Beau maintained a close proximity to his class rival for the entire race distance of six laps to bring the thundering Vincent home in fifth place overall, second in class and overall victory.
“I mean it’s great to have a weekend where everything seems to go right” said Beau Beaton. “We had no issues with any of the bikes which is back to normal, all three bikes were running magic and I can’t thank the boys enough in getting the bikes ready. On the Period 4 Bike, the changes from the Island Classic, the top end horse power was much the same, but before it was hard to get power to the ground. Ken and Barry have worked hard and they have smoothed it out and the times dropped a lot. I’d really love to go back to Phillip Island with the way its running now. I really hoped to get into the 41’s so I was a bit surprised with the big jump to get low 39s, so I’m really happy. With the side car, I owe a lot to Noel & Barry. Barry is making the bike better, and Noel giving me feedback and I am getting more & more comfortable with Noel every time I ride with him, it’s great to have someone that you really trust. In the Superbike Shootout, the racing was fantastic, and we went close to breaking the lap record in the last race even though we didn’t take the win. I’ve looked at the onboard footage from my bike and we probably could have gone a bit quicker but when the racing is so close we can’t use the attributes of our bike to its full extent, we can’t carry our corner speed in race situation. Jed held the line very well and he makes his bike very wide. Also having Jeremy, Glen and Aaron in front made it very difficult to pass. There were so many memories from the weekend but I don’t think I’ll forget that sidecar race on Saturday afternoon in the wet, the bike was flawless and it was so much fun and the only race I didn’t break the lap record in. It was good, close, hard and fair racing all weekend in all classes. It was, once again, a pleasure to ride the Irving Vincent for Ken and Barry and I can’t thank them enough for everything that they do”.
“Definitely one of the better weekends, that’s for sure.” said a relieved Team Manager Ken Horner. “It’s fair to say we had our fair share of problems earlier this year at the Island Classic, even though we came away with good results, winning the Phil Irving Trophy. We’ve worked hard in the time leading up to this meeting to rectify the issues with the period 5 bike and also after ten years of laying dormant up to the spec on the Period 4 Machine which gave it more horsepower. Craig McMartin still held the Period 4 lap record on the old circuit before the modification so we were confident that with more horsepower Beau would be able to set a new benchmark. The amount he did it by was probably the surprise. Considering he only made his sidecar debut here twelve months ago his performance on the outfit was a bit of a surprise especially in the wet. It was also good to see the Period 5 bike run flawlessly all weekend because we had made a commitment to take the entire fleet to the Broadford Bike Bonanza which was celebrating 90 years of Irving Vincent Motorcycles only five days later. It was a great effort by the team this weekend. All the hard work Barry has done on the sidecar really paid off and also the contribution from Noel Beare who now hold two lap records at this circuit. Also, a big thanks to Greg and Julie Maher who are also a very important part of our team”.
Photo credits – Half Light Photography.