Ride to The Bend Motorsport Park, 1st September 2018

2 Sep

Once again a forecast of showers probably deterred a few riders on Saturday but also once  again the weather was not too bad. One or two light and brief showers during our trip out to The Bend Motorsport Park at Tailem Bend. Only 9 starters this month comprising, in no particular order:-

Wayne Williams 2008 Yamaha XVS650, Charles Oliver 1967 Triumph T120R,  David Saint 2012 BMW R1200, Rob Smyth 1968 Honda CB325, Charlie Pirot 2006 Honda CBF1000, Tom Robson Kawasaki W650, Graham Riley 2016 Indian Scout, Tony Mitchell 2001 Triumph Bonneville T100, Alan Kernich 1985 BMW R80.

Riders at the start in Hazelwood Park.

We started on our usual route into the hills up Greenhill Road, this time continuing straight on through Balhannah and Junction Road to meet up with the Old Princes Highway at Littlehampton. At Murray Bridge I decided to halt for a regrouping as we seemed to have dropped a few off the tail of the group. This was when we learned that David had been hit by a large Kangaroo near Callington. Luckily the ‘roo was no match for the mighty BMW and David was able to maintain control although the bike suffered significant damage. (Still quite rideable!).

David’s BMW R1200 showing damage sustained to the pannier and crash bar.

(Ed. The kangaroo jumped the fence and the first David Saint knew of it was as it hit the front crash bar. It then bounced off and hit the rear bar, without even touching the rider! The front crash bar is bent back touching the valve cover and you can see the secondary impact damage above. David was most fortunate.)

All back together once more we set off down Jervois Road across the ferry, through Tailem Bend township and on to The Bend Motorsport Park. After a little confusion due to there being many more roadways than signs, we found our way in and to the “Welcome Centre”.

The facilities are something we haven’t seen before in Australia. The Pit area is extremely well equipped. Next door are cafe and bar areas and a big display of classic and racing vehicles. (only 2 modern bikes however). Upstairs are viewing platforms, the control centre and hotel rooms.

Racers in the pit lane.
Riders leaving the pit lane and entering the track.

The main racing circuit, the GT Circuit at 7.77km long is the second longest permanent track in the world. The circuit being used during our visit is 4.95km long and called the International Circuit. Several other track configurations are also available along with Go-Kart, Drag way, off-road tracks, A 4WD adventure park and an all weather airstrip. Some of these facilities are still under construction. There are also handy Hungry Jacks, Subway and OTR businesses on site. In the near future caravan, cabins and camping will also be available. All in all a massive motorsport complex.

On the Saturday of our visit the main activity was practice rounds for the 2018 SA Road Race Championship Round 3 & Cafnix Series  Round 3 which was on the Sunday (Fathers Day). We were a little surprised at the almost complete absence of motorcycle riding spectators.

Riders on one of the spectator earth banks, this one in the middle of the track

After spending several pleasant hours lunching, viewing and generally exploring, the group split up to wend their various ways home.

Alan Kernich

COMCC Club Captain

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