Bathurst competitors earn podiums at Australian Long Track Masters

BATHURST participants were out in force at Saturday’s Australian Long Track Masters in a bid to show what they were capable of on their home track.

Panorama Motorcycle Club president Bruce Morgan said it was great to see a large selection of Bathurst riders contesting Saturday’s event.

”The one race that really stood out was the Over 35s. It was a really tough battle between Ben Grabham and Darren Herrick,” he said.

PODIUM: Bathurst's Damien Grabham in action during an Over 35s heat. Grabham would finish third in the final while Darren Herrick saw off a challenge from Ben Grabham for the title. Photo: PHIL BLATCH

PODIUM: Bathurst's Damien Grabham in action during an Over 35s heat. Grabham would finish third in the final while Darren Herrick saw off a challenge from Ben Grabham for the title. Photo: PHIL BLATCH

“In the final Darren was leading, then Ben got in front but then he lost the lead. They were both riding to the absolute limit.

“Edward went really well too, the youngest of the Grabham brothers. When I went to chat to him he was very happy with how he went.

“It was good to see a lot of local guys there. We only race this discipline once a year.

“We don’t have our own track we can use either. Cowra is the closest track we’ve got, and their club is made up of a lot of Bathurst riders.”

Demonstrating how close the battle for Over 35s glory was, Herrick and the Grabhams all finished level on 72 points following the heats.

Herrick and Ben Grabham exchanged heat wins against one another, building up plenty of hype for the decider.

Ben Grabham went into the final hoping to defend the title he won last year but Herrick had his measure.

Only 0.55 seconds separated the pair at the finish line while Damien Grabham was a further five seconds away.

Another Bathurst rider involved in the Over 35s final, Cameron Beard, enjoyed the intense battle in the category.

“I finished sixth in the final which wasn’t too bad,” he said.

“It was pretty stiff competition. The guys up front were really quick. There were a lot of locals in the 35s and a few of them were right up there with the front runners.

“The track was awesome and it’s one of the best tracks you can race on in the whole country.”

Beard finished third in all three of his heats to finish equal sixth in the standings, and brought that consistency into the final.

Chief Marshall Glen McDonald said there’s no shame for the Grabham brothers in going down to Herrick.

“Darren Herrick is a multiple Australian champion so he was going to take some beating,” he said.

“We probably would have had 15 to 16 Bathurst competitors there. Cameron Board was another who had a really good day.

“Allan Cox did really well. He managed to make it into the semi-finals for the Over 35s. He actually started out in sidecars with one of our marshals, Ted Burrows, but made the jump across to the bikes.

“It was a really great event. Even with a few accidents we managed to finish on time as well.”