Proud West Aussie racer Ian Read will make his return to Alice Springs and Darwin next month aboard his championship-winning 2008 Suzuki Hayabusa after making his debut in the NT in 2017.
The Alice Springs Inland Dragway will host the first round of the 2019/2020 Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series, the Desert Nationals, across August 3 and 4 before round two, the NT Nationals, will take place at Darwin’s Hidden Valley Drag Strip on August 9 and 10.
Read, the 2015 Modified Bike Australian Champion, says he is looking forward to making a return to ‘up North’ after making the trip for the first time two years ago.
“These two tracks left a very good impression on my first visit, with both being run over the quarter mile and boasting a good quality of racing,” Read said.
“It will be a fun road trip again heading to Alice Springs from Perth and then up from Alice Springs to Darwin in the Moving Man transporter again with a chance to enjoy a change of scenery, some warm weather and more of Darwin on this occasion.
“The Desert Nationals as the season opener this year has a great racer and club atmosphere; and with the ability to have up to five qualifying runs it will be most beneficial after the winter break.
“This year I will have a better understanding of the track conditions at both events, which are very different to my home track in Perth – I will be putting that to good use while also enjoying the change of both events being held at night.”
When Read visited Alice Springs and Darwin as part of the 2017/2018 Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series, he did so on his 2006 Suzuki Hayabusa.
“This time I will be racing my 2008 1340cc Suzuki Hayabusa which secured me the title back in 2015. It will be a bit of a homecoming for this bike with it originally coming from Darwin,” the Account Manager explained.
“This bike is being raced at a stock wheelbase unlike a number of stretched and purpose built drag bikes, but it still keeps them honest!
“Sadly my other bike suffered some engine damage in January of 2018 which required a rebuild of the 1441cc motor. This rebuild is nearing completion over the coming months but requires some testing before being ready for an interstate trip.
“Given that I am very familiar with my championship winning bike and following a consistent 2018/2019 season, it just made sense to remain on the smaller-engined 1340cc bike for our trip up North.”
Read will be looking for something in particular as he heads to these two events.
“I am hoping for safe and fun racing, and hopefully a first round win. It would be good to start the season well and if luck goes my way, it would be nice to secure another Christmas Tree,” he said.
“My expectations are not too high as these will be both highly competitive Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series rounds. The Modified Bike bracket is always hotly contested and this season will be no different with a number of past and defending winners competing in good field sizes that seem to be increasing each year.
“The photographers on-track will need to be ready for the first qualifying session at the Desert Nationals – I will have a ‘Big Perth Skid’ in store for them as a new tyre has been fitted to the bike!
“Whatever happens results-wise we are expecting to have a great time – the racers and officials make these events to remember along with some Group One teams which are making journeys from across the borders to support the events and the drag racing community and race fans.”
Read thanks the following business for their support and recommends their services: Bunbury Dyno, Tyres for Bikes (Victoria Park), The Moving Man, Quick Lap Performance and MWR Filters.
“I also wish to send my thanks to James Taylor for his assistance in getting the bike ready for the new season and to Gordon Crawford for transporting the bike safely,” he said.
For event information, please visit www.desertnationals.com.au or www.hiddenvalleydragstrip.com.au.
For more information on the 2019/2020 Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series, please visit www.andra.com.au
IMAGE: IAN READ IN ACTION AT THE RECENT GRAND FINALS, PHOTO BY OUTLAW IMAGES