The 5th round of the Victorian Downhill Series made its annual return to Mt Baw Baw recently with the race being a major success as always. With a history of racing dating back to the 90s, the track at Baw Baw is renown for being one of the fastest and funnest tracks on the circuit, and with sections like the infamous Jeep Track it is no wonder why, and for the second time this season the team behind the Gippsland MTB Inc. put together one of the best club run races of the season.
Choosing to remain at home for the weekend, Kona Factory Team rider Connor Fearon took some time off with the international racing season just on the horizon. Series Leaders Dean Lucas and Sarah Booth were both present for Kona at Mt Baw Baw, as was Tegan Molloy and Chris Whitelock, with Chris making a return to racing after a bit of time off.
2013 National Champion Dean Lucas on the way to third in Elite Male.
Practice got underway on Saturday morning and it wasn’t long before the team was up to speed. Having raced the track multiple times over the past few years and with little changes made to the track in that time, it was quite an easy track to remember. With difficulty level varying depending on the speed you were carrying, the track is an easy one to have fun on but a hard one to race at top speed. The Kona Supreme Operators thrive off this kind of high-speed track, and our Mavic wheels managed to remain true all weekend despite the flogging they took from all the rocks on track. Come the end of practice, most riders on the mountain had found their pace and had the track dialed and it was evident that times were going to be falling rapidly come race day.
Sarah 'Boothy' Booth, stomping it home for the win.
Race morning dawned and the high-speed winds through the Alpine region were threatening to dump rain and turn the weekend on it’s head. Luckily the rain managed to stay away and instead delivered a brilliant day for racing. After qualifying it was clear it was going to be close racing with Jack Moir (Yeti) a few seconds ahead of Dean, with 3rd-5th all on the same second. In the Elite Female category, 17 year old Thredbo local Tegan Molloy took out the fastest time in qualifiying, one second ahead of long time Kona rider, Sarah Booth. With racing looming a few hours later, bikes were prepped, bodies rested and the anticipation began to grow.
Foot out, flat out!
With Boothy in the series lead over Tegan by just 9 points, all eyes were on Elite Female as they were the first of Group A racing to hit the track. Both girls performed exceptionally and knocked off serious time from their qualifying times with Boothy prevailing and securing a stranglehold on the series. In Elite Men, Whitelock made a successful return to racing, finishing in 7th place in a stacked field of riders with international experience. In a wild display of skill through the Jeep Track, the top three of Elite Men all finished within half a second of each other, with Jack Moir taking the spoils over Liam Panozzo with Dean Lucas in third. Full results coming here
Tegan on the way to second on the day.
The team now has two weeks off before hitting the road for the final round of the Victorian State Series at the historical Mt Beauty track. With series points on the line and point scores closer than ever, racing is going to be quick! Thank you to our sponsors Kona, Mavic, Race Face, Maxxis, SRAM, Rockshox, Avid, Adidas Eyewear, Fox Head, GoPro, Evoc, Pedros, Straitline, NS Dynamics, Cane Creek, Revolution MTB Mag, Timothy Arch Photography and Torq.
Elite Male Celebrations!