Racers Edge Performance ~ North Coast V Twins ~ Craig McMartin Racing team riders Beau Beaton and Craig McMartin both stood on the top step of the podium after taking round honours in the Formula Oz and Pro Twins classes at round five of the 2015 Swann Series at Wakefield Park over the weekend of 26-27 September.
Development of the new Ducati 1299 for Pro-Twins rider Craig McMartin continued in mixed conditions on Friday morning whilst Beau Beaton was once again at the helm of the Racers Edge Performance North Coast V-Twins CMR 1199R Panigale that he had piloted to second place in the Formula Oz Class at the last round in Queensland.
Running in Formula Oz for the second round this year Beaton was able to continue the development of the Ducati 1199R on the Pirelli Diablo Super Corsa slick tyres finding further enhancements to the base setting to cope with the unique demands of the tight and bumpy track. Beau was also once again doing double duty riding in the Pro-Twins class on Ken and Barry Horner’s thundering Irving Vincent 1600, this weekend fine tuning a slightly updated version of the all Australian built machine.
Craig McMartin was busy working with Team Manager Greg Maher and master spanner man Mark “Doc” Downie to establish settings for the weekend with the control tyre required for the Pro-Twins class on the teams new 1299, which was back in action on Friday morning for practice.
Having had experience with the different set-up requirements of the 1299 earlier in the season the team was able to avoid multiple changes to the gearing and wheelbase which allowed attention to be focussed on the suspension setup for the all-important Friday qualifying session for Saturdays AFX-SBK championship.
In the Pro-Twins Class Beau was able to lap the fastest of the pair on board the bespoke Irving Vincent 1600cc Pro-Twins machine to secure pole position with Craig only 0.43 of a second behind. In Formula Oz qualifying Beau scorched around the circuit to record a stunning 59.555 second lap on the Pirelli Diablo shod 1199R, securing second place on the grid.
With Saturday’s racing program affected by wet and slippery conditions for all races neither rider took to the track. The risk of damage was ever present in the treacherous conditions and the team decided the televised races for the main program on Sunday were a far higher priority.
The team’s strategy was proven to be the right one with perfect conditions on Sunday as the Formula Oz Class hit the track. Beaton, on board the Racers Edge Performance North Coast V-Twins CMR 1199R Panigale, would start from the rear of the grid due to not recording a racing lap on Saturday. Beau blasted the Ducati 1199R off the line and carved through the field to be sixth at the completion of lap one. Lapping faster than the rest of the field Beau moved into second position on the final lap greeting the chequered flag in that position, but had clearly demonstrated the potential of the Racers Edge Performance North Coast V-Twins CMR 1199R Panigale.
Race two and three in Formula Oz were all about the pace of the Racers Edge Performance North Coast V-Twins CMR 1199R Panigale. Starting from the front row due to the progressive grid format Beau jumped off the line and led every lap of the race. Close to one second ahead of the field on completion of the first lap Beau reeled off three sub one minute laps, the only rider to do so, to be over 2.5 seconds ahead by the completion of lap three. Beau eventually won the race by over two seconds after backing the pace off with a three second lead a few laps from home.
Race three was more of the same for the Formula Oz field. Beaton and the Panigale simply dominated the race. The Panigale pilot the only rider to lap in a sub one minute lap times and was the eventual victor by over seven and a half seconds. The two wins and a second place from rear of the grid securing his second race win of the day and overall victory for the second round in a row.
Meanwhile Craig McMartin was dominating the Pro-Twins category on the Racers Edge Performance North Coast V-Twins CMR Panigale 1299S with Beaton also staring on the booming Irving Vincent.
Mc Martin blasted off the line and from the third row of the grid and led the field early in the first lap. Lapping over a second faster than any other rider on track the multiple Pro-Twins Champion simply dominated the race winning by over nine seconds. Beaton meanwhile was involved in a battle of his own from the fourth row of the grid. Beau was up to seventh by the end of the first lap, improving another three positions on lap two as the Vincent charged its way through the field. Eventually moving to third at the completion of the third lap Beau held that position to the flag lapping consistently for the entire race distance.
Race two saw both riders start from the front row and secure great launches off the line and into the tricky turn two. McMartin led the field with Beaton already looking more comfortable on the Vincent after some tweaking of the setup by Barry and Ken Horner following the mornings opening bout. McMartin stretched out a lead of just under four seconds over Beaton who was in a titanic struggle with rapid South Australian Liam Wilkinson on an Aprilia RSV4R special holding down second place until lap five. Wilkinson used the straight line speed of the Aprilia to slip past on lap six and Beau kept as close as he could before backing off a fraction on the last lap when the gap became too large to mount a challenge. McMartin won the race eventually by over two and a half seconds with Beaton once again third.
Race three saw the McMartin Beaton duo dominate the field with the first 1-2 of the weekend for the team. McMartin led every lap of the race on the new 1299 Panigale with Beaton cementing the awesome Vincent into second with a series of strong laps early in the race. By the end of the third lap Craig led Beau by just under a second with Beau holding a two second gap back to third. McMartin took the chequered flag with a two second margin over the Vincent pilot Beaton, who in turn had nearly a four second gap over third.
McMartin the Pro-Twins round winner with seventy five points, Beaton was third with sixty two and now leads the combined Pro-Twins and Naked Bike championship by six points.
McMartin is fifth having only competed in two rounds and is yet to taste defeat on track in 2015.
The team is now looking forward to the sixth and penultimate round of the championship at Winton Motor Raceway on the 24th and 25th October.
“Great weekend for Craig, myself and the team” explained Beau Beaton. “I am glad we sat out the Saturday, it was definitely the right decision. The only down side from the weekend was the starting grid fiasco in race one of Pro-Twins, I was pretty fired up by the time the race got underway and I had a serious amount of work to do early on starting that far back on the grid. We also had a few little issues with the bike so to finish third was a good result. Ken and Barry sorted the issues for race two and the bike was much better. We even went with a new rear tyre for race three after using second hand tyres in the first two races and the bike felt great, but there is so much more to come from this hand-crafted masterpiece. We also used a second hand Pirelli on the 1199R in the first Formula Oz race and the bike felt good but I had to start back in the field and the track was cold and slippery so we just played it safe. Race two we went with a new tyre and the bike was just superb, the 1199R that Craig has built is a great bike and I really love that engine. To win the class for the second round in a row was great for the team, Pirelli and all our sponsors. The next round is at Winton and it’s a great track, I really like the layout and it is also a bit special as it was the first place I ever rode the 1600 Vincent this time last year. As always a big thanks to Greg and Julie from Racers Edge Performance, Craig McMartin, North Coast V-Twins, Doc and Ken and Barry Horner 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”.