1999 Vittoria Winter Grand Prix!
Weather conditions started out clear skies, cold and windy but during the third race they degenerated to conditions similar to that of the 1998 Winter event (cold, windy, rain and sleet.) The turnout was good with 10 Postie bikes and 1 XR80 in race form.
The program for the day was a short one, 2 x 5 Lap Sprint Races, a 12 Lap Relay Race and the 2hr Enduro which was shortened to 1hr due to weather conditions.
The first couple of races were pretty good. The track was grippy but soft and the layout was modified slightly to bring the jump into play. Jess was disqualified in Race 1 for wimping out and going around the jump. Young Jeremy on the XR80 came in third both times.
During the 12 Lap Relay race the weather turned bad and no one was prepared for it. We were all ducking for cover and at the end we were all so busy trying to get out of the rain that nobody knew who won!
The 1 Hour Enduro was an epic battle in adverse weather conditions. 6 Bikes started, they were, No.1 - Parko & Andrew, Techni-colour yawn - Wayne & Dean, Mono-Cross - Craig & his brother, Young Guns from Blayney - Tony & Tim, Black Maggot - Jess & JR, Almost Stock Standard - Ray & Donna.
Right from the start it was Tony 1st and Dean 2nd putting laps on the rest of the field. (Craig 3rd, Parko 4th, JR 5th). Dean was right on Tony's rear for about 40mins before he finally got in front. By this time they were 3 laps ahead of 3rd place (which was changing all the time between Craig and Parko). JR was the first to breakdown which is when the dreaded Bike B came into play. Jess & JR opted for JR's "P plate" P for Postie bike. Not long after Dean got in front of Tony, Tony's bike began to faulter. Tony pitted, but not long after Tim got on, the bike was going slower and slower. Dean pitted and Wayne got on. While Tim was having problems Wayne passed him and almost got to 2 laps in front before Tim pitted and got on their Bike B. 10 mins to go and Wayne was still catching Tim when disaster struck! The chain came off and jammed in the crack case. Dean raced over to help Wayne to no avail. Tim went by, Wayne and Dean tried furiously to get the chain unstuck. As Tim came around the 2nd time and to take the lead back, he lost control and did an enormous face plant right next to where Dean was trying to fix his brother's bike. (very entertaining stuff!) Meanwhile, Wayne was trying to get their Bike B (Dean's Violet Crumble) started. Tim staggered to his feet and got going again, Dean raced over and started the Violet Crumble and raced after Tim. Tim was 1/2 lap in the lead (approx 300 metres). Both riders were still at least 1 Lap ahead of 3rd. (alo alo alo, someone is missing!) Craig is OUT! At the same time Wayne's chain jammed so did Craig's on another part of the course. Nobody saw it because of the action happening with Wayne and Tim. Craig was out of the race. Neil was now in 3rd and about 1 Lap ahead of Jess who was ahead of Ray & Donna.
The final result was controversial with the winner of the Enduro & the day being Neale Parko ("The Protestor") who actually finished in 3rd place but was bumped up to 1st after it was agreed that 1st, 2nd & 4th should be disqualified for using a Bike B. 2nd place went to Ray and Donna who would have been 5th otherwise. And what an excellent effort by Donna the only female willing to have a go! There was no third place.
Explanatory Note: In the past B Bikes have been used but only when it was discussed before the race. The fact that it wasn't discussed this time, (according to Parko) meant that it wasnt on. The Riders all agreed so that was it... Parko was the declared the Race Winner.
Click here to read Deano's version of the day.
Copyright ©1999 - Warren Leadbeatter
Last Updated - 19 June, 1999