Racers Edge Performance shines at sunny Queensland Raceway in round four of 2015 Swann Series.
Racers Edge Performance North Coast V Twins Craig McMartin Racing team rider Beau Beaton stood on the top step of the podium for the first time aboard the teams Ducati Panigale, after taking round honours in the Formula Oz class at round four of the 2015 Swann Series at Queensland Raceway over the weekend of 15-16 August.
The team spent the weekend focusing on the development of the 1199 Panigale that Craig McMartin had debuted in the Pro-Twins class at the last round; this particular bike has many upgraded parts from the 1199 Superleggera.
Running in the Formula Oz Class meant the team was able to run Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa slick tyres to gain a base setting, this was to be made easier as the Panigale was developed using Pirelli tyres as used in the World Superbike Championship.
The team had also opted to run in the Formula Oz class the weekend to hasten the development of the bikes that made their debut at the last round. With more outings on track over the Superbike class this was seen as a major advantage as they work towards a strong setup to allow the Ducati Panigale, and its pilot to be able to challenge the front runners in the Superbike class.
Beau immediately got to work with Team Manager Greg Maher to establish settings for the weekend, with the teams suspension guru Steve Mudford from Race Dynamics, and the teams master spanner man Mark “Doc” Downie both working hard between sessions to fine tune the setup.
Multiple changes to the suspension, gearing, wheelbase allowed the team to drop laptimes by a massive four seconds from first practice to the all-important Friday qualifying session for Saturdays AFX-SBK championship. Beau was able to lap the simple but technical Queensland circuit in 1:10.6 to secure second place on the grid.
Race one on Saturday got off to a great start with Beau blasting the 1199 Panigale off the line to lead the first three laps. On lap four Paul Byrne was able to stay in the slipstream and find a way past on the brakes with Beau glued to his tail. A second place finish after eight hectic laps was a great start to the weekend.
Races two and three were all about Beau Beaton and the impressive Racers Edge Performance North Coast V-Twins CMR Panigale. Leading every lap of both races Beau took top points resulting in the round victory in the Formula Oz class.
Luck was not so much on Beau’s side in the Pro-Twins category on Saturday. After taking victory in the first race on Ken and Barry Horner’s bespoke Irving Vincent 1600cc Pro-Twins machine, oil surge issues were discovered and the Horner brothers spent the remainder of Saturday looking for a solution to the problem to ensure the crowd pleasing motorcycle would be able to continue on Sunday.
Sunday was another perfect day for racing and the three Formula Oz races did not disappoint the healthy crowd that turned out to watch the action.
Beau fired the Panigale 1199 off the line and led the three bike battle around the paperclip for the first five laps of the eight lap duration. On lap six Paul Byrne was able to get past with Beau and the Panigale in hot pursuit. The penultimate lap saw Matt Harding, also a former multiple victor in this class, get the better of the only twin cylinder motorcycle in the Formula Oz field to relegate Beau to third, the position he would greet the flag in.
Race two was almost a carbon copy with Beau leading the first five laps with Byrne getting past along with Ben Henry, Beau and the Racers Edge Performance Panigale once again third.
Race three was the most exciting of the day however, Beau led off the line but Byrne came past on lap two. Harding then got past on lap three relegating the North Coast V-Twins rider back to third. Beau surged back into second on lap six and then back into the lead with two laps to go, a position he held to the flag to take victory by .312 of a second.
Second place overall for the round was a great result for the team, back racing at the front, increased exits out onto the track to improve the setup of the motorcycle and a happy smiling rider.
Unfortunately things would not run as smoothly in the Pro-Twins class. Whilst leading the first race on Sunday the booming 1600cc Irving Vincent developed a misfire and Beau was forced to limp back to the pits.
To ensure he continued to score valuable points in the class the Racers Edge Performance North Coast V-Twins Craig McMartin Racing 1199 was shod with the required control tyres for the Pro-Twins class and fired into action.
Race two saw Beau take outright victory in the combined class and he repeated that in race three, setting the fastest laps in both races. Both of those laps were around one second per lap slower than those in the Formula Oz class due to the change in tyre.
Those two strong rides ensured a third place finish for the round and most importantly second place overall in the Pro-Twins and combined Pro-Twin and Naked Bike championships.
The team is now looking forward to the fifth round of the championship at Goulburn’s Wakefield Park in September.
“I am really stoked, it was a great weekend for the team and great to be back in Pirelli’s” explained Beau Beaton. “It is always good to win, no matter what the class you are racing in but to be able to win, have some close races and move the development of the bike along so much is great for the whole team. The Formula Oz races were tough going with Paul, Ben and Matt all riding fast bikes really well, so to be able to mix it with them shows how good the Panigale is. I really feel for Ken and Barry Horner though, I know how much work they put into the preparation of the Irving Vincent so for it to have a small problem that ruled it out of Sunday races was disappointing for them. Still, I am pretty sure they will take the opportunity to go away, make some more changes and come back stronger at the next round. As always a big thanks to Greg and Julie from Racers Edge Performance, Craig McMartin, North Coast V-Twins, Muddy and Doc for all the work over the weekend, we wouldn’t be here doing this if it wasn’t for them and our loyal sponsors so thank you to all of you. I can’t wait for the next round to get underway and continue this feeling”.
“We are really happy and it’s fair to say we all have a pretty big smile right now” said Team Manager Greg Maher “We decided to run in Formula Oz this weekend to get more races, and chances to change the bike after each one as we try and fine tune the setup. The fact we could also run on the Pirelli tyres was a bonus and the bike seemed to respond to the changes too. We probably didn’t get many laps in total as what we would have in Superbike but we were able to make much better use of the laps we had. Unfortunately the Vincent had a few issues and we were able to get even more laps on the Panigale. However changing to wheels with the control tyre, the required fork spring change to compensate for the different tyre, changing the transponder and fuelling it up ready to go meant a lot of work for the team, my thanks to “Doc” and Steve for all their hard work over the weekend. We have some pretty special memories from this place so to see Beau doing big stand up wheelies and on the top step of the podium was great and sure rekindled some of those memories”.