Plenty of junior talent on track

May 03, 2017

Winton Motor Raceway held a junior road racing championships recently.

The second round of the GP Juniors Cup was held at Winton Motor Raceway during the weekend, alongside the Australian Superbike Championship.

The youngsters, aged 12 to 15, put on a dynamic and exciting exhibition of road racing, with the three races decided by closest margins of any of the 16 races during the weekend.

That including the premier Australian Superbike Championship category.

It is the inaugural year of the GP Juniors Cup with all competitors riding the dynamic Yamaha YZF R15 and use Bridgestone control tyres to provide a level playing field for the talent to be demonstrated.

The scene for the weekend was set in qualifying as 12-year-old Ben Baker from NSW, claimed pole position from 13-year-old Joel Kelso, of Northern Territory, by just 0.007 of a second.

Tom Edwards, of NSW, the most experienced rider in the field at 15, who also has two years international under his belt, placed third just 0.397 secs off second place.

In the first race the trio was joined by another 12-year-old, John Lytras and the quartet embroiled in a a titanic duel — with the lead changing at every one of the track corners at least once during the race.

With four riders involved in a race-long battle, the lead changing constantly, riders going from first to fourth and back again from one corner to another.

After the five laps were done the four crossed the line with Edwards beating Kelso and Lytras by the closest of margins, just 0.096 secs.

Baker lost the slipstreaming duel to the finish line by 0.320 secs.

The other two races saw more of the same, the second even more intense as Melbournian Jack Cousins joined in for a five-bike freight train before the race was red-flagged as the final lap started after Jack and Joel had a coming together through the second corner, causing Cousins to crash.

The race was taken back a lap with Lytras the winner from Kelso Edwards the trio 0.219 secs apart with Baker 0.417secs.

The third race saw the closest finish of the weekend with Edwards beating Baker by an excruciating 0.012secs.

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