Business feature: Wakefield Park to host racing champs

OFF AND RACING: Wakefield Park will host the Australian Historic Road Racing Championships from November 9-12. Photo: Mark Richards
OFF AND RACING: Wakefield Park will host the Australian Historic Road Racing Championships from November 9-12. Photo: Mark Richards

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More than 350 historic motorcycles from all over Australia will flock to Goulburn on November 9-12, when Wakefield Park hosts the Australian Historic Road Racing Championships.

The meeting will be one of the largest gatherings of historic motorcycles anywhere in Australia during 2017, and will consist of practice on Thursday, qualifying for all categories on Friday, and racing on Saturday and Sunday – each category will hold two races each day, with a number of riders competing in more than one category.

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The race meeting has attracted bikes from the following classes:

Period 2 (Vintage) 

January 1, 1920 to December 31, 1945: This class encompasses pre-war motorcycles.

The oldest bikes at the event will be Stan Mucha and Peter Birthisel’s 1926 Indian Altoonas.

Period 3 (Classic) 

January 1, 1946 to December 31, 1962: This post-war class was the pre-cursor to some of the classic race bike developments to come.

Period 4 (Post Classic) 

January 1, 1963 to December 31, 1972: This class includes all the best of British racers like AJS 7Rs, Manx Nortons and the like.

It also heralds the arrival of the technological masterpieces from Japan, when their engineers created massive horsepower outputs by simply increasing the number of cylinders until the engines could spin anywhere up to and beyond 20,000rpm.

This made them almost unrideable without gearboxes with at least seven or more gears. By the end of this era, the rule makers recognised that the technology needed some limits.

Period 5 (Forgotten Era) 

January 1 1973 to December 31, 1982: At the height of the dominance of the Japanese bike industry, and at the expense of the ailing British business, not only did Yamaha and Suzuki produce some spectacular “over-the-counter” race bikes, like TZs and RG500, but also saw the evolution of the term ‘superbike’ – bikes constructed from big bore, multi-cylinder street models from most Japanese manufactures especially Honda and Kawasaki.

Australia played a significant role in the creation of this continuing class.

Period 6 (New Era) 

January 1, 1983 to December 31, 1990: By this time, refinements in frames, engine outputs and management, and especially tyre and suspension design, allowed the rocketing growth of super-quick high horsepower bikes, best exemplified by the 250 production class.

This is now possibly the fastest growing and easiest entry to classic racing possible.

Sidecars

Sidecars have been competing ever since solo motorcycles and are classed here as Post Classic, Forgotten era or F1 and F2.

The difference is in the frame construction and engine size. The ‘sidecar boys’ are a tight knit bunch who will be happy to talk to you if you find them in the pit area.

The Post Classic Racing Association of NSW (PCRA) is assisting Wakefield Park with hosting the event but numerous entries have been received from other states, including Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania.

Wakefield Park Raceway is the nation’s spectator track, offering clear views of the entire circuit from most spectator areas.

Ticket prices

  • Thursday free
  • Friday $10
  • Saturday $20
  • Sunday $20
  • Three-day pass $40 
  • Under 16s free when accompanied by paying adults
WHEELS SPINNING: There will be a variety of bikes and sidecars on show. Photo: Mark Richards

WHEELS SPINNING: There will be a variety of bikes and sidecars on show. Photo: Mark Richards