THE Le Minz 24 HOUR SCOOTERTHON, 2012: The seventh running of the Le Minz 24 Hour Scooterthon, sponsored by INSURE MY RIDE, hereinafter referred to as 'IMR', was held at Parklands on the Gold Coast, Queensland in December, 2012. The endurance test (race) was open to Scooters with a maximum capacity of 50cc and there were two classes, stock and modified.
Australia's Mark 'Brownie' Brown entered the race as the then current World and Guinness Book of Records holder for the furthest distance travelled on a Scooter in a twenty four hour period, 1,189.685 kilometres, a feat unlikely to be beaten as solo record attempts have been banned in Australia. Clearly Mark was not going to be nobbled by the new rules, he entered with two team mates! The team mates needed no introduction to Motorcycle Racing, Messr's Troy Bayliss (three time World Superbike Champion and MotoGP winner) and Jason Crump (three time World Speedway Champion). The greater part of the event went well for the team, entered in the stock class they led the entire field at one point, however innumerable crashes, electrical gremlins, a broken hand for Jason and a black eye for Troy ultimately led to their forced retirement.
My coverage starts with the #1: 'TEAM JACKPOT' - DREAM TEAM of 'Brownie, Baylisstic and Crumpy', although they retired late in the event the effort put in by Brownie, Crumpy and critically the high speed cornering by Baylisstic was fantastic to watch. Intensity, the image below depicts #1: Baylisstic, totally committed.
THE 'TEAM JACKPOT' - DREAM TEAM: Officially entered as 'Team Jackpot', BROWNIE, BAYLISSTIC and CRUMPY, for mine were the 'Dream Team'. How could they go wrong, a total of Six (6) World Championships and the 24 Hour Record Holder, Solo on a Scooter by Brownie, arguably the greatest Endurance Scooter Racer of all time!
SATURDAY MORNING'S LAST MINUTE ISSUES: It didn't start well, I 'discovered' the Team in the Parklands Main Building, just hours before the race. A spare rear wheel/tyre combo was late arriving, a front tyre needed fitting, tyre levers, a compressor, someone must have one??, they were all needed! Baylisstic was asking people about the likely speed of the opposition, the potential lap times etc., that seemed fair enough. Then there was the matter of the air filter housing, leave the foam screen in or not, was it oiled? I soon realized these guys were not closely acquainted with their 50cc powerhouse till, well, now!
BOOTING UP AND PRACTICE: Somehow the #1: plated Scooter was made ready, it actually revved above idle! It had two wheels fitted, but wait, the Rider's briefing dictated 'above the ankle' protection, Brownie was equipped with Sneakers, a quick check with the Organizing Committee decreed a change was mandated. Baylisstic just happened to have spare pairs of SIDI Race Boots, only problem was Brownie had apparently never worn such clobber, Baylisstic provided the fitting instructions! Practice was already underway when Crumpy appeared as the first Dream Team Rider to test the #1: machine...
RACING, CRASHING, REPAIRS AND ULTIMATELY RETIREMENT: A collection of Dream Team images throughout the 24 Hour, or more specifically the 21 Hours of their participation. I was most impressed with the steady riding mandated for this type of Event by Messr's Brown and Crump. Baylisstic, he has forever etched in my mind the scariest and most determined Scooter Rider I will ever witness, his commitment and cornering speed was beyond belief, at times it was beyond the tyres adhesion, hence the Scooter was down 'a few times'. GoPro's were either ripped off or tilting wildly as the #1: Scooter struggled on. With respect to Baylisstic, Brownie and Crumpy went down too.
TROUBLE: The first sign of what appeared to be electrical gremlins appeared just after the two an half hour mark.
BAYLISSTIC: Selected images of Baylisstic going for it.
SUNDAY MORNING: I returned early on Sunday morning, a few disasters had hit the Dream Team hard during the night session, Crumpy had a fall which resulted in a trip to Hospital to treat a broken hand. Brownie, he just happened to stop right in front of me for a 'scoop pic' of his condition, he looked like he had been riding 'all night'!
7am: SUNDAY MORNING: Brownie handed the #1: Scooter over to Baylisstic and this is the image I captured as he rounded up four Competitors in one corner. The competitor on the far right of this image just happens to be rather quick on a Motorcycle, #17: Mad Mike Jones!
TROUBLES AND A V8 SUPERCAR DRIVER: The #1: Scooter refused to rev out, accident damage probably was the catalyst for the ongoing electrical issues. With Crumpy injured, V8 Supercar Driver 'Michael Patrizi' joined the Dream Team.
9.39am SUNDAY MORNING, RETIREMENT: Despite the best efforts of the Dream Team and their Mechanics, the #1: Scooter succumb due to innumerable crashes and electrical gremlins. The Dream Team officially withdrew their entry at 9.39am.
THE DREAM TEAM: What a ride, I enjoyed photographing the exploits of these guys, their struggles, injuries, thanks guys for a great effort.
MORE Le Minz 24 HOUR 2012 COVERAGE: For more Race Day coverage of the Le Minz 24 Hour Race 2012 please select from the following pages.
MORE AUSTRALIAN ROAD RACING COVERAGE: Please continue my 'Australian Road Racing coverage' by selecting from the following pages...
I LOVE NEW TECHNOLOGY, TABLETS, LAPTOPS, DIGITAL CAMERAS, MOBILE PHONES/WIRELESS BROADBAND, GPS, ETC. ALL SO COOL AND 'PORTABLE'......