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Historic Motorcycle Roadracing Championship

April 11-13, 2014

Greg Parish was on the podium to collect the Trophy for 3rd with a weekend’s best lap of 1.09.882, slower than previous years but considering the weather it was a good result.

This year the Championship was run over 4 races with practice on Friday, practice and Qualifying Saturday morning, 1 race Saturday and 3 races on Sunday. Broadford Motorcycle Complex is situated approximately 2 hours drive north of Melbourne in a very rural area of central Victoria. The circuit itself is a favorite for many racers. Its undulating terrain, fast back straight and tight chicane make it very technical and challenging for the riders with little room for error. The end of the back straight is colloquially known as ‘crash corner’.

But there are very few amenities at the roadrace track; one toilet block with three shower cubicles, a concrete rainwater tank for drinking water and a take-away food cafe. The pit shed area is constantly being expanded but is still inadequate for the number of entries for this popular event and many teams choose to camp in the open area behind the pits.

“After driving in the pouring rain for two hours we finally got to the track to set up our tent and pit area. Our little 2KVA portable generator ran all day to power the tyre warmers and charge the lithium battery on the ‘total loss’ ignition on the DAMCR Laverda. Some of the interstate teams had arrived the night before and the tent city was already bustling by the time we got there. We had a pretty good spot but heavy rain during the day nearly washed us away.”

Greg borrowed a spade from the neighbouring campers and dug trenches around their tent to drain  away the water.

Earlier in the week Greg’s son James had presented him with a new helmet sporting new graphics.

“This one has the removable cheek pads so if you do come off and knock your head around, the ambos  (i.e. paramedics) can get your helmet off without disturbing your broken neck.” James said laughing.

Not a nice thought.

The venting in this helmet proved invaluable in the rain and the usual fogging up of the visor was not as big a problem as has been in the past.

Friday practice was done in heavy downpours of rain and the paddock turned to mud. Once back in the pit it was a dirty business for Angus to clean down the tyres before fitting the tyre warmers and then getting the mud off the engine ready for the next session. It rained most of the night but by morning the racers were greeted with a sunrise that promised better weather for Racing. Greg Qualified 17th on the grid of 23 Starters, a mixture of Period 4 and Period 5 bikes.

Race one started badly for the DAMCR Laverda. Having the camp pit so far away from the main event often meant that the  PA system couldn’t be heard by the team. After negotiating his way through the slippery mud Greg was late to the dummy grid and the rest of the field were already on their warm up lap.

“I was worried that the steward would make me start from pit lane so I went like a cut cat to catch the rest of the field before they lined up on the grid. Having caught up I was a bit flustered and forgot the race shift of ‘1 up 4 down’ was the opposite of what I’d used all my life. I coasted up to the start grid with the clutch pulled in pressing the gear lever down through the gears and  started the race in 5th gear!”

A simple error had cost Greg a good start and he was last by 50 metres going into the turn one. By the time the Last Lap board came out he had worked his way to third position, then another mistake was to cost him dearly.

“Coming into the second last turn on the final lap I really wanted to get the drive out so I changed down early to have the revs up throughout the turn.”

“I was hard on the brakes with the rear end really light and the engine braking locked the rear wheel. It was my error, I tried something different and it didn’t work.”

Greg’s family had come to watch the  ‘fun racing’ at that turn and saw the whole incident from 70 metres away as bike and rider hurtled toward the tyre-wall.The bike went sideways with smoke pouring of the rear tyre, bounced the rear end up and nearly highsided him before running off the end of the straight onto the wet grass.

“I managed to get back on the track and still finished 5th but it wasn’t the best race I’ve had.”

Race two was postponed to Sunday after a sidecar incident at the end of the front straight. The 1972  832cc Honda powered sidecar of Doug Flack and Lloyd Todd ran off the track hitting the tyrewall. Lloyd could be seen from the pits heaving tyres and debri off Doug who was trapped in the sidecar. The Air Ambulance helicopter arrived and landed on the hill near the accident. After some 25 minutes Doug was airlifted to Melbourne with multiple injuries although information received at the track was that no operations were necessary. He had fractured several ribs and had severe bruising.

Races two and three saw a regular battle between the DAMCR Laverda and a Garry Kallalea with Greg getting past under brakes at crash corner in race three and finishing just 0.24 sec ahead of the 4 cylinder 1015cc Kawasaki Z1B. The D.A.M. Classic Racing Laverda finished fifth in race one on Saturday and third in all three races on Sunday to take the trophy for 3rd place in the Victorian Historic Road Race Titles for Post Classic Unlimited Solos.

“ There was no way we could catch first or second placed bikes,” Greg shrugs and smiles, “We were the fastest of the slow bikes!”

Many thanks to the Laverda Owners Victoria subcribers for their support, thank you. And thanks to those Laverda owners who continue to bring their bikes to D.A.M. Classic Racing for parts and service, you keep us racing Laverda.

Greg and Angus Parish

Unless credited, all photography by Angus Parish

(Any omissions please let us know)

Greg Parish on the D.A.M. Classic Racing Laverda #83 finished 3rd outright in the HMRAV Historic Road Race Titles, Post Classic Unlimited Class at Broadford Raceway.

Laverda at the HMRAV Road Racing Championships 2014

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