After two years of Victorian domination by Bendigo Youth Racing (BYR), the overall victory at the 2005 Australian International Pedal Prix (AIPP) is returning to home soil, with Hamilton Secondary College’s ‘BlueShift’ winning in smooth style. BYR decided not to return in 2005, deciding to take some time off as the team focuses on their studies and careers.
The 24-hour race was one of the most exciting in recent history as the overall leaders, ‘BlueShift’ from Hamilton Secondary College and ‘Trend Ice Team Ballistic’ – both in the Open or Community category, shared the lead lap for around 12 hours. The tight and fast duel effectively ended at 10am on Sunday when the toll of the the race began to tell on Team Ballistic’s vehicle (pictured below left).
“We sheared one of our cranks clean off and that’s what happens when you roll a vehicle 10 times.” Team manager Dave explained. This incident lost the team 40 minutes and gave Blue Shift a commanding 13 lap buffer – one which they held to the noon finish.
Blue Shift on the other hand rode a flawless race, as rider Dean Gibson reported: “We didn’t have a puncture, a crash or anything. Reliability was an important focus for us this year.” The team was made up of former students at Hamilton Secondary College, South Australia.
Although rain threatened, the race was run in clear and calm conditions. The overnight temperature dropped to 3 degree overnight and many vehicles suffered fogging problems as a result. It was interesting to see the range of techniques used to reduce the fogging problem – including car-style demisters, computer fans and innovative vents. The problem of fogging continues to support many team’s decision to build ‘head-out’ style canopies – with Team Ballistic and Blue Shift both being of this style.
William Light’s DAS Racing finished fourth overall and suffered severe fogging overnight which slowed them dramatically.
How RACV Energy Breakthrough teams fared:
Many schools entered in the Energy Breakthrough performed well, with Flora Hill Secondary College’s ‘Beefcake Productions’ and Berwick Secondary College’s ‘Firestorm’ winning their respective categories in a highly competitive Pedal Prix. Both schools have entries and are preparing vehicles for the RACV Energy Breakthrough, Flora Hill took out the Junior Secondary (Category 2) and Berwick Senior Secondary (Category 3).
Berwick flies the Victorian Flag…
Berwick’s ‘Firestorm’ flew in the Friday night qualifying and their strong all-male year 11 and 12 team are now in a strong position for Maryborough in nine weeks time. Firestorm finished third overall with a number of scraps down the side of the vehicle, but in winning Category 3 for the fourth year in succession have sent out a strong signal to challengers in November.
The Category 4 entry from Berwick HPV & Cycling Club, ‘Australian Made’, finished just behind ‘Firestorm’ in fourth place overall and fourth in their class.
… along with Flora Hill’s ‘Beefcake Productions’
Throughout the race ‘Beefcake Productions’ was in a close competition with the highly acclaimed Aberfoyle Hub School’s ‘Raging Hubcaps’. A spirited comeback from the Flora Hill team enabled them to achieve an impressive 6 lap category victory. “The Flora Hill team had good camaraderie and I think that went a long way to winning today”, said rider Tim Arnold.
The team also secured the Design and Construction element for Category 2, a remarkable result considering that the vehicle was constructed from scratch in eight weeks. The team comprised of five boys and three girls – even though the AIPP has no gender requirements – in preparation for the Energy Breakthrough. Initially a ’50 / 50’ team was chosen for the event, but when one girl was unable to make the event, an extra boy was ready to take to the track.
The weekend didn’t start as well as it ended with their bus being stopped at a weigh bridge for an hour on their way to Murray Bridge. Speedster Rowan Nankervis also managed to put the vehicle on its roof during the ‘Top 12 Shootout’ on Saturday morning – a closed qualifying session designed to decide the top 12 places on the grid. A few quick repairs to the vehicle and they were back on the track. Rowan made up for the incident during the race, with a strong one hour and 50 minute stint on Sunday morning. “I do prefer to ride in the morning, just as the suns coming up, it’s the best part of the day.” Rowan said before that stint, which brought the team from 3 laps behind the ‘Raging Hubcaps’ to 2 laps ahead. Rowan also managed to roll the vehicle as the pace car came onto the track for the lap of honour at noon on Sunday. Rowan was the only rider to have a rollover and both times were outside of the race – indicating the importance of smooth riding for success.
The school’s category win in Wonthaggi in March, combined with such a strong finish in Murray Bridge is certain to put them in a good position for the Energy Breakthrough. It was a good competition and good practice for Maryborough. It’s also good to set goals that we go out and achieve, such as coming here and racing successfully,” Tim explained after the event. “We’re hoping to make it 3 out of 3 for the year in Maryborough – look out Weeroona, they’ve got no chance!.”
Tim and Rowan rode with Sam Brennan, Jess Doxford, Alyce Heritage, Ryan Pollard, Tristan Tippet and Jess Thomas. They were strongly supported by their pit crew: Rodney Hall, Brayden Mooney, Call Rydge, Cael White, Jayden Wilson and Alex Wruck. Members of Bendigo Youth Racing were also with the team providing support and advice, having won the AIPP overall in 2003 and 2004.
It seems that the competition for Category B at the Energy Breakthrough is heating up, with Weeroona College taking the overall win at the 6 hour Maroondah Grand Prix on September 4 and Flora Hill’s strong year.
Aberfoyle keeps on Screaming
The ever strong Aberfoyle Hub School won Category 1 once again, potentially priming the school for another victory in Maryborough in November.
A number of representatives from the RACV Energy Breakthrough Planning Committee were invited to the event to review and identify aspects of differences between the two events. Andrew McLachlan, Chairman of the AIPP, said “The two events are very different and they will never be the same. There are good points about both events and its good to see that we are working to improve each event.” It is unclear at this stage whether representatives from the AIPP will be in Maryborough in November.