Test pilots

Did something today you don’t get to do very often. Test out a brand new criterium circuit, at the Newington Armoury near Homebush in Sydney. My club has been negotiating to race at the heritage listed site for years, and after much back and forth the paperwork finally came through last week. Huge kudos to the LACC Committee for their vision and perseverance. It could be the start of something beautiful on the local club racing scene.

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Sydney turned on a belter of a Winter’s morning for the 50 or so riders who showed up for the first of three Club-only test events. First impressions from pretty much everyone – riders, officials and spectators – were highly encouraging.

Aside from a couple of unfortunately-placed but easily removed and/or covered (heritage listed!) obstacles, it’s a great little course. Fast, short and 100% closed to traffic, at just 1.1km it’s generally flat, but does boast a testing false flat from the tight final corner (in reality the only corner) all the way to the finish line. You won’t want to be too far back on the last lap, that’s for sure.

Everyone took it pretty easy today, and rightly so. Lap times will no doubt get a lot faster as riders get to know the circuit better (and yes, it’s already up on Strava). That said there were still a few locked up wheels and the odd sketchy moment. But that’s racing anywhere.

So far so very good. Can’t wait for the next hit-out on September 15. Again it’s a test event for LACC members only. But the masterplan is for the club to hold Thursday night twilight racing right through summer. Watch this space.

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