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Your Most Exciting Race

Discussion in 'Racing, Motorsports, and Track Days' started by rc36, Aug 6, 2005.

  1. OK, peoples, what's the most exciting race you've ever seen? (Also like to hear about the most exciting race you've been IN too)

    After watching the 250GP from Donnington the other night I got to thinking was there any other races that I can remember that were as exciting as that one.

    A few spring to mind, but my all-time favourite goes back a long way, and, since I've been going to road races since 1975, that's a big ask.

    It was Oran Park, the short circuit (the GP extension hadn't been built yet) and it was the final of the Rothmans Pro Series in August 1976. A huge crowd was on hand to witness another confrontation between local favourite and Sydney boy, Warren Willing on the Adams and Sons Yamaha TZ750 and dashing import and race favourite, Gregg Hansford on the Team Kawasaki Australia KR750.

    But, on the day, a third rider was added to the mix. A totally unknown lanky New Zealand rider named John Woodley, who was riding his own Suzuki RG500.

    The main race was scheduled for 25 laps around the South circuit. To begin with, the bikes were a bit strung out, with Hansford leading Willing and Woodley.


    But Willing quickly raced to the front and the pack closed up. They remained this close for the remainder of the race distance. It was nail-biting stuff with the bikes seemingly glued together. Amazingly, Woodley, 250cc's down on the leaders, seemd to be easily able to stick with them.


    Note that there are, in fact, 3 bikes in this picture.

    The race drew near its conclusion and the crowd was hanging over the fence screaming their support, especially for Willing as it looked like a boil-over was in the offing.

    But with just over a lap to go, Hansford made his move. Braking later than either of his rivals, he threw the Kawa into BP corner, the last corner before the straight, and with the rear tyre smoking, he forced his way through under Willing. Down the straight and round the back of the circuit they went, still as close as anyone dared. In the run to the flag, Hansford won by less than a bike length from Willing, with Woodley equally as close in third.

    REVS, the motorcycle magzine, in reporting the race, actually credited Hansford with the daring pass on the last corner of the race, and it took another fortnight before they printed a correction and put it back a lap. Such was the excitement that it seemed everyone at the track had completely missed this fact.


    Here is (left to right) Willing, Hansford and Woodley at the presentation ceremony.

    I count it a privilege to have witnessed (and photographed) that race. It sticks in my mind as the most exciting race I have ever seen.

    (Note the knee-down attitude of Willing in the 2nd picture and the size of the front tyre on the TZ. They were very brave men.

  2. One I wish I'd seen, Swann Series in the late seventies, (I think). I believe it was at Pukekohe, NZ.

    Gregg Hansford bent a crankshaft in his Kawasaki 750 in practice, and raced and won the first leg race on his Kawasaki 250 against Yamaha and other 750 GP bikes. Jan Blizzard said that he never got his chin off the top of the tank for the whole race!

    A 250, in the dry, beating a field of 750s, Murray and Jeff Sayle and a couple of Japanese riders as well. I doubt if this had ever happened before, and I doubt if it could ever happen again!
  3. Well, with me only been 17 i wouldnt have seen too much, but most exciting race ive seen is 96 or 97 grand prix in the 500cc final race at phillip island and both honda bikes were comming 1st n 2nd..doohan was leading and the other guy was just behind him, comming round a corner on the last lap when they were a mile ahead of everyone, the guy comming second clipped doohans back wheel and they both went skidding off i think?...doohan ended up comming third i think..

    Also, the motoGP a few weeks ago in london i think itwas, the 125 race when it was pissing down and half the field crashed..
  4. The race you referred to was in 1996 at Eastern Creek. Criville took Doohan out at Turn 9, but bother rejoined to finish, Criville in 6th and Doohan in 8th. The race was won by Loris Capirossi on the Yamaha from Tadi Okada and Charlie Checa both on Hondas.
  5. i knew it was something like that..i guess it was only 9 years ago...so i was 8years old :shock:
  6. Great memory for an 8 year old!!!