Last weekend, the Varley Electric Superbike team competed in Round 4 of the FX Super Bike series, held at Wakefield Raceway in Goulburn. With the circuit at Wakefield known for tricky weather conditions and being a tight and short track, the Varley team were confident of a good performance against the higher powered unit that is leading the series.
Friday practice went well; Varley set the pace early and completed the day’s practice with no reliability issues, demonstrating that the improvement work carried out in association with Tritium after the last round at QLD had paid off. Early lap times were in the low 1minute 10 second area.
Friday afternoon saw Qualifying cancelled as the weather played havoc with the circuit and schedule. This ultimately saw the itinerary changed, and Qualifying was set for Saturday morning. With the forecast looking dark for Saturday as well, we still prepared and got ready to go out for Qualifying. Heavy rain came 10 minutes prior to the start, and Varley decided that with a small grid and slick tires the risk was too great to go on track and, as a result, sat out of the Qual session resigning ourselves to a 4th place start on the grid.
The first race saw a very wet, cold track and light rain. The bike was prepared to control any water ingress into the batteries and our rider rode out to meet the track. With one bike on wet tires, it was a clear winner in this race and Varley fought hard to maintain 2nd place until the last corner where we were passed and finished 3rd.
The second race had much safer track conditions with a mostly dry but still very cold track surface. The RP1 (Varley’s code for our bike) took an early lead on lap 1 into turn 4 and lead the rest of the race with a clear and very welcome win.
Race 3 on Sunday morning saw good track conditions, and although the track was cold, it was a stunning day. The first lap had RP1 and Voltron (our competitor) battling hard for the lead, with Voltron over shooting the last corner onto the straight and dropping the bike. Thankfully the rider was OK, and he managed to pick the bike up and continue. Varley again romped home to a decisive win.
Race 4 saw perfect track conditions and our rider, Jason Morris, was full of confidence in both RP1 and his ability to get the existing track record of 1:09.4. We rolled out onto the track to grid up in pole position for the last race of the weekend, knowing that we needed to finish ahead of the Ripperton machine to take the first Varley round win in 2 years. The first lap again saw a massive battle up the hill, with Ripperton out-braking himself in turn 6 and going into the grass before recovering to the track.
This was RP1 and Jason’s time to shine! Jason never looked back and unleashed the full potential of our 450Volt 132 Horse Power electric machine. With good track conditions and determination matched with rider skill, the track record fell by the thick end of 2 seconds with a fastest time of 1:07.2! To drive the point home, every lap (after the standing start) was below the old track record.
Varley’s Electric Superbike team smashed the lap record and charged home to a major victory! What a massive achievement!
Massive congratulations to the Varley Electric Bike team and Tritium for getting RP1 to the front of the field. With Winton the next round in 4 weeks being another tight track, hopes are high that we can replicate this result.