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I have very clear memories of some of the great Six Hour races, witnessing Australia's best 'A' Grade Riders punting sometimes ungainly machinery around the tortuous Amaroo Park circuit, rain changing everything, scrutineering both before and AFTER the race again changing everything. It was a Series with so many variables, Distributor and Dealer support and mostly box stock genuine 'out of the crate' production motorcycles. To the best of my knowledge no one did it better than Willoughby District Motorcycle Club (WDMCC) and by that I mean throughout the world. The Castrol Six Hour stood alone as a true production racing series! 

Having said all that, the 2009 Bel-Ray Six Hour Production Motorcycle Race had a great deal to live up to and in many areas it did. Lets look at the pros and cons of this event versus the 'Castrol' Six Hour era....

PROS: 

bulletORAN PARK'S LAST MOTORCYCLE EVENT:  A huge marketing plus for the Bel-Ray 6 Hour.
bulletBEL-RAY SPONSORSHIP: Tremendous to have Bel-Ray take up the naming Sponsor rights.
bulletTHE ORGANISERS: James Spence and Lyndel Butler did a tremendous job, a dedicated website, links to ticketing etc., all current technologies.
bulletWELL CREDENTIALED ENDURANCE RIDERS: Many riders were very well credentialed in Endurance Racing.
bulletHARLEY DAVIDSON, KTM & BENELLI: Tremendous to see teams entering a machine from each of these manufacturers.
bulletPARADE LAP: A must to link the history of the series to this event.

CONS: 

bulletSPECTATOR NUMBERS:  To my amazement the New South Wales public did NOT see out 'Oran' and support this race in numbers comparable to earlier Oran Park Six Hour Races, in fact on Saturday's Practice Day 'the hill' was almost empty, I did a round trip of some 2,500km, attended Friday, Saturday and Sunday and I was amazed the Motorcycling Public of New South Wales were not at 'Oran' in greater numbers, especially on race day!  Further it was a great weekend for motorcycling with the annual Sydney Motorcycle Show close by in Homebush!
bullet

DISTRIBUTOR SUPPORT: A lack of direct support by the major Motorcycle Distributors was clearly evident.

bullet

TELEVISION COVERAGE: One fixed camera on the main straight and roving cameras, sighted mostly in the pits, (on race day only) did not compare with the excellent, often live Television coverage over so many years of the Castrol backed series. Notwithstanding these comments there was some good coverage given by less apparent 'on bike' cams. The DVD has now been shown on Television and given the circumstances and conditions on race day it is excellent!

bullet

UJM MOTORCYCLES: This is a problem not limited to Six Hour Production Racing, even the Isle of Man TT has this issue to deal with, a lack of variation if you will in Motorcycle brand, appearance and sound. Again top marks to Harley Davidson, KTM and Benelli for masking this increasing problem. Just in case you are wondering what I am on about here, it would have been great to have had a few Ducati's, Triumph Triples, BMW S1000RR's, maybe even an MV or two in the event, read variety!!  Mind you there were two brand new Aprilia RSV4's at 'Oran', on display! The RSV4's sitting 'on show only' reminded me so much of the lunacy that prevailed at Amaroo Park regarding the first appearance in Australia of the Kawasaki Z1R and the BMW R90S, but I digress....

GRID 1~4 & LE MANS START: At 10.30am sharp on the 22 November, teams lined up for the obligatory Le Mans Start on Oran's main straight, the name riders clearly dominated the pointy end of the field, the top four placing's on the grid were BIG KAHUNA RACING #63 (Yamaha R1), DEMOLITION PLUS #36 (Honda CBR1000RR), DEAN EVANS REVOLUTION #1 (Yamaha R1) and THE 6 HOUR #6 (Yamaha R1).

All entrants got away cleanly, without incident and it was some time before any team re-entered the pits, clearly good preparation ensured no early lap machine failures.

BIG KAHUNA: 'R1'

DEMOLITION PLUS: 'CBR1000RR'

DEAN EVANS REVOLUTION: 'R1'

THE 6 HOUR: 'R1'

 

THE LE MANS START, NOTE THE RACE DAY HILL 'CROWD'

THE SPRINT TO THE BIKES, ABOUT DEAD EVEN...

 

BIG KAHUNA RACING #63, DEMOLITION PLUS #36 & DEAN EVANS REV' #1

DAMIAN CUDLIN - YAMAHA R1 #1, AWAY THE QUICKEST

RACE SHOTS: I really had no idea how all the riders could keep the pace up, given the over 40 degree heat throughout the weekend. Dunlop Tyre Technicians recorded anywhere between 50 and 70 degrees C. track temperatures. The following images were taken initially on the main straight and at various corners around the circuit. Page 2 covers Pit Stops and Podium images....

BIG KAHUNA: LEADING EARLY

CUDLIN: WELL PLACED EARLY

TEAM GREEN: ZX10

'NOTHIN YET' GSXR600

 

No.1:  DEAN EVANS REVOLUTION, YAMAHA R1, (Riders: Damien and Alex Cudlin) - Very competitive, but slowed by a fuel cap gasket problem.

 

No.9:  SY's HARLEY DAVIDSON, HARLEY DAVIDSON XR1200, (Riders: David Butler and Dave Fuller) - Amazingly reliable, I'm shocked!!

 

No.19:  AMCN ETC, GSXR750K7, (Riders: Bill Kontominas, Rennie Scraysbrook, Paul Van Noort and Craig Manintyre) A crash, leaking water, all happening...

 

No.26:  TEAM Tsa, SUZUKI GSXR1000, (Riders: Tom Roche, Mark Rossbridge and Gary Peake) - Consistent runner, great presentation.

 

No.36:  DEMOLITION PLUS, HONDA CBR1000RR, (Riders: Russell Holland, Gareth Jones and Craig Coxhell) - 'Demolished em'...

 

No.44:  TEAM TORTOISE, YAMAHA R1, (Riders: Mark Balestro, Tarquin Hor, Sandy Spyrakis and Marco Bortolussi) - 'They finished'...

 

No.45:  POWERHOUSE RACING, HONDA CBR1000RR, (Riders: Fabian Lukken, Jonel Bowling, Chris Deering and M. Chrisostomos) - 'They finished'...

 

No.46:  TEAM CESSNOCK, KTM 990, (Riders: Simon Gallaway, Phil Chapman and Phil Lovett!!) - Very consistent!!

 

No.58:  ITALIAN STALLION, BENELLI TNT, (Riders: Adrian Pierpoint, Paul Roe and Derrick Pastuszek) - Won the 'noise' and 'allen key fuel cap' awards!!

MORE BEL-RAY SIX HOUR 2009 COVERAGE: Please continue my 'Bel-Ray Six Hour coverage' by selecting from the following pages...

Up 6 Hour 2009 Page 2 6 Hour 2009 Page 3

I LOVE NEW TECHNOLOGY, TABLETS, LAPTOPS, DIGITAL CAMERAS, MOBILE PHONES/WIRELESS BROADBAND, GPS, ETC.  ALL SO COOL AND 'PORTABLE'......


Copyright 2013   Derek J. Hanbidge,  (aka Deejay51),  all rights reserved.
Revised: August 25, 2013.

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