Aurora dazzles at pedal prix

Support local, independent journalism

The SE Voice is the Limestone Coast’s only fully digital publication. Locally owned & operated, we deliver all the latest news & sport direct to your fingertips. We're run by a creative team of local journalists all based in the region. News as we know has changed - we're delivering it first and free. Thank you for your support in keeping local news alive.

Lechelle Earl, owner/editor

Aurora dazzles at pedal prix

The annual Uni SA Australian Human Powered Vehicle Super Series eight-hour race at Mount Gambier’s McNamara Park has been done and won for another year.

The region’s home of two-wheel racing usually roaring with motorbikes was taken over by 71 Human Powered Vehicles silently flying around the sweeping 2.4km circuit to start another big year of Pedal Prix racing in style.

For the second time in as many years, Aurora Racing took the chequred flag first.

The 2021 triumph was a troubled affair where mechanical issues almost snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

But this year was a far smoother ride to the top step of the podium as the Victorian team dominated from start to finish.

Despite being shadowed by rival Gunyah from the Wattle Racing stable throughout the afternoon, Aurora claimed a three-lap win after eight hours, one minute and 49 seconds of racing.

Uni SA Australian Human Powered Vehicle Super Series CEO Marcus Lacey said the leaders put on a great show, but Aurora Racing were never headed on their march to glory.

“It is fair to say Aurora Racing and Gunyah were the two standouts,” he said.

“Aurora Racing did very well to win for a second year in a row with Gunyah just behind them again.

“Aurora had a very good run and it was clean sailing all the way.

“This time Wattle Racing that had a few issues which set them back being stopped on track for some time which hindered them.

“But the focus was on the rest of the field that were able to get out there, have some track time and enjoy themselves which was just a big plus.”

Many local schools joined in on the fun by building teams and racing all day to add to the atmosphere.

The leading local was Kingston’s Larry, which completed 124 laps to finish 26th overall and win the S2 category, which included many creative designs and nicknames from Nemo to Spiderman.

The likes of St Martins Lutheran College, Moorak, Yahl, Naracoorte, Mount Gambier High School and Glencoe also competed with flying colours throughout the day.

Caulfield Grammer’s Ashton Marton won S3 by a big margin, where St Martin’s Anything But Orange did well to record eighth in a competitive battle for the minor placings, while Holy Trinity dominated S1 with a one-two finish headed by Thunder.

Only two entries competed in C4 and Pipsqueak Racing finished on top, but all eyes were on the C5 finish.

After eight hours of intense racing, only half a lap separated first and second.

Yet again Pipsqueak Racing finished first, but only two minutes ahead of Random Kids Racing’s Feet First in an exciting finish.

No one could stop the fast-starting Super B vehicle from Peninsula Human Power from winning C6, while the overall contenders battled it out in C7.

It was a perfect day for racing with riders greeted with blue skies and mild temperatures, while the event opened in fine style with City of Mount Gambier Mayor Lynette Martin dropping the flag to let the vehicles fly.

Lacey said it was the perfect way to open the season.

“The weather was brilliant and it capped off a great day and great return to racing for us,” he said.

“Everything ran like clockwork and seamlessly which was great after being away for so long.

“Once the mayor dropped the flag, the event was already a success because the number one priority was to get racing again.

“Although we are exhausted and need to recuperate, it was such a great day and I would like to thank all of the officials, team managers and personnel involved.”

Although the race marked the start of a new year and a new chapter after the 2021 season was cut short by COVID-19, restrictions still had a small impact on the weekend.

Lacey said numbers were slightly down compared to 12 months ago due to restrictions, but still believed it was a successful start to the season.

“We had 71 which was down from 86 original entries because of COVID,” he said.

“During the course of the last two weeks we have had numerous teams pull out because their riders were unable to participate and had to isolate.

“So the close contact rule certainly played havoc with the many teams reducing their numbers, but most of them were able to hand in there and get on track.”

Now the Uni SA Australian HPV Super Series turns its attention up the Dukes Highway to Tailem Bend, which plays host to the second round in May.

Teams will get the chance to ride their vehicles on one of the premier race tracks in the country for six hours.

Lacey said the Blue Lake City provided the perfect backdrop for the series opener and the Pedal Prix fraternity is already looking forward to coming back in 12 months’ time.

“We are now only six weeks away from round 2 and I think a lot of teams were just blowing the cobwebs out after being away from the track for so long,” he said.

“It was a bolstering weekend for all because they are now equipped to ride the endurance races and their systems and machinery work well.

“Mount Gambier has always suited us very well and the people and hospitality in the town and at McNamara Park are always wonderful.”

Why wait? Get more stories like this delivered straight to your inbox
Join our digital edition mailing list and stay up to date on the latest news, events and special announcements from across the Limestone Coast.

Your local real estate guide - every Thursday


You might also like