International Challenge Race Two
Images Rob Mott
Aaron Morris had to battle hard in order to take victory in the opening race earlier today but that bout also saw both Team Australia and Team USA lose star players from their numbers.
Jason Pridmore suffered a huge highside at turn 11 and Beau Beaton also got caught up in the incident. Both went down hard which saw the red flag produced so they could be treated immediately on the circuit. They were then sent off to hospital for further investigation and observation.
Both machines were also heavily damaged, including that work of art that is the Irving Vincent. I enquired with Ken Horner as to the condition of his machine and he replied with, ‘Trev, you could say it is an engineering project’… Which is a nice way of saying, it is pretty well f#$*ed!
Away we go for Race Two!
Josh Hayes got a blinding start for Team America ahead of Jed Metcher while Larry Pegram was also fired up for this one and right up there in the mix alongside Aaron Morris and Paul Byrne as the second International Challenge six-lap race got underway at 1510 on Saturday afternoon.
Hayes maintained the lead around the back of the circuit but down the main straight to start lap two there was nothing separating Hayes, Morris, Metcher and Pegram.
Aaron Morris took his turn at the front of that pack early on lap two and going with him was Jed Metcher and once that pair wound up to speed they left Hayes and Pegram in their dust. In his quest to take the challenge to Morris though Metcher made a mistake and went down at Lukey Heights. That left Aaron Morris out in front vritually by himself!
By half race distance Aaron Morris had a four-second lead but the man moving up into second place was Steve Martin while Josh Hayes had been pushed back to third place ahead of Paul Byrne and Michael Gilbert. Larry Pegram looked to have rolled to a stop with some sort of problem, a blow for Team USA just as he really looked like he had really found his groove around the 4.445km Phillip Island Circuit.
2018 had been David Johnson’s year to shine at the Island Classic but 2019 was not running quite as smoothly for the South Australian.
Aaron Morris had backed his pace off a little to just maintain the impressive four-second lead for the run towards the chequered flag.
Steve Martin had managed to stretch away from Hayes to a clear second place. Adding further insult to Hayes was Paul Byrne, the Irishman got the better of Hayes late in the race and pulled away to make it an all-Australian podium.
Not sure as yet as to what happened to David Johnson in that one but presumably a mechanic gremlin saw him fail to be a factor in this bout.
International Challenge Race Two Results
- Aaron Morris
- Steve Martin +4.250
- Paul Byrne +6.522
- Josh Hayes +12.386
- Alex Phillis +18.169
- Michael Gilbert +19.390
- Steve Rapp +19.663
- Dean Oughtred +20.641
- John Reynolds +21.154
- Mark Miller +22.281
- Barrett Long +22.611
- Shawn Giles +24.874
- Craig Ditchburn +24.914
- Scott Webster +29.373
- Larry Pegram +35.060
- John Allen +35.607
- Brendan Wilson +44.578
- Rennie Scaysbrook +47.807
- Duncan Coutts +48.568
- Justin Mellerick +50.464