The third round of the inaugural 2017 GP Juniors Cup will take place alongside the first round of Southern Downs Road Racing Championships at the recently resurfaced Morgan Park track this weekend (June 17-18) in Queensland, and it is shaping up as another exciting outing for the youngsters.
Before racing starts, competitors will partake in four days of coaching at the property of three-time MotoGP winner, Garry McCoy. McCoy has a sprawling 1800 acre, purpose built training facility, near Warwick, the Garry McCoy Coaching establishment at Cooyar. Some of the youngsters will be taking up his offer of free coaching on the Tuesday and Wednesday before they reconvene at Morgan Park for a further two days of professional instruction.
The opening round of this historic new racing series was conducted in atrociously wet conditions at Wakefield Park (NSW) in March, with the second round at Winton Raceway (VIC) at the end of April. Hopefully, the weather shines on these young up-and-coming racers at Morgan Park, who are chasing their dreams to follow in the footsteps of many great riders before them.
Series leader Tom “Tom-E-Gun” Edwards from Swansea (NSW) will be keen to stretch his lead in the GP Juniors Cup. The 15-year-old has a lot more experience than the rest of the field as in 2016 he competed in the ultra-competitive Asia Talent Cup, contested on standard Honda 250cc Moto 3 machines, a stepping stone into the European Championship and Grand Prix World Championships. His experience provides a perfect benchmark for the others to judge their progress throughout the seven round series that culminates at the final round in South Australia in late November.
Edwards explained; “I am really looking forward to Morgan Park and seeing if we can improve on what we did at Winton. The GP Juniors Cup is a great series to be a part of and there are a lot of good riders in there so I will have to be on my game to win all three races. Hopefully, it will be dry for the entire weekend, but saying that, riding on the control tyre, I learnt a lot in the wet conditions of Wakefield Park in getting the feedback from the tyres.”
“I am also really looking forward to receiving coaching and tips from Garry McCoy. He is one of my all-time heroes and one of Australia’s greatest riders, so it is going to be very special to be getting some tips from someone like him. This is so exciting and it is what makes GP Juniors Australia the special race series that it is.”
There will be some great duels throughout the field as the teenagers gain more experience and understanding of the complexities of road racing. One in the field who has a wealth of experience in his corner is Max Stauffer, the son of multiple Australian Superbike Champion, Jamie Stauffer. For Max this will be his third road race after learning his craft in dirt-track racing where he won an Australian Championship.
Over the course of the weekend there will be two free practice sessions on Friday, while on Saturday there will be two qualifying sessions and one race on Saturday with two races on Sunday. Featuring at the round will also be 70cc and 85cc two-stroke classes with one of the racers a young Queensland girl, Taylah Morris joining the likes of regular class competitors, Tom Browne, from Toowoomba, and brothers, Travis and Joshua Hall, who also hail from Queensland.
PROVSIONAL SERIES POINTS
1 Tommy EDWARDS (NSW) 138
2 Joel KELSO (NT) 121
3 John LYTRAS (QLD) 114
4 Ben BAKER (NSW) 102
5 Luke POWER (VIC) 84
6 Max STAUFFER (NSW) 81
7 Harry KHOURI (NSW) 77
8 Jack COUSENS (VIC) 70
9 Reece OUGHTRED (VIC) 40