KIWI RIDER 10 2018 VOL.1 - Page 16

-TONY REES

The weekend was not really about winning this race . For me , it was just important to see people enjoying themselves and the fantastic racing was a bonus

-TONY REES

However , the following morning it all became a little more serious , with riders keen to use the separate endurance races as part of their warm-up regime for the upcoming road-race season . Local favourite Scott Moir was the fastest off the start line after the shotgun blast had signalled the start to Sunday ' s premier three-hour race , but 25-year-old Whakatane man Mitch Rees wasted no time , hunting down the Taupo man and snatching the lead near the end of the first of what would eventually become a 104-lap affair . The Moir and Daniel Mettam ( Glen Eden ) rider combination ended up slipping to third position at the 90-minute ( half-race ) distance and eventually settled for fourth overall at the chequered flag . Meanwhile , the Sloan Frost ( Wellington ) and Bailie Perriton ( Asburton ) pairing fought their way through to claim the runners-up spot , while 23-year-old Damon Rees , co-riding with Manukau ' s Toby Summers , earned third step on the podium . All those leading riders were on 1000cc bikes , apart from Summers , who raced a 600cc machine . Hamilton ' s Jordan Burley and Greymouth ' s Ashton Hughes , both riding 675cc bikes , claimed fifth overall , finishing two laps behind the Moir / Mettam combo . " My team-mate Mitch ( Rees ) produced faster lap times than me , and Sloan Frost showed a bit of pace too , pegging me back near the end of the race , but also I was conserving my tyres at that stage and not wanting to take any risks ," said Tony Rees . " I didn ' t want to throw away all the good work and just did what was needed to win it . This weekend was my first time racing since I crashed and injured myself at Manfeild last December , so I wasn ' t exactly race fit anyway ," said the 50-year-old from Whakatane . " The weekend was not really about winning this race . For me , it was just important to see people enjoying themselves and the fantastic racing was a bonus ." Co-winners of the earlier two-hour , under- 600cc race were Whangamata ' s Ben Rosendaal and Auckland ' s Mat Dunlop , crossing the finish line nearly a minute ahead of rival team Michael Patchett ( Auckland ) and Alex Butson ( Kawakawa ). " It was a good turn-out for the ride day on Saturday . It was popular and I think the success of the weekend means there will likely be a few more entries in the endurance races next year too ," said Tony Rees . Rees heads off to Australia shortly , where he will revert to the role of manager / mechanic for his two sons while they both compete in the seventh and final round of the Australian Superbike Championships at Phillip Island , near Melbourne . " Damon is running fourth overall in the 600cc supersport class in Australia , while Mitch is running 15th in the superbike class , despite missing a round of the series . Mitch finished ninth at the previous round and we ' ll be looking for another good result ." After the weekend ' s two-day extravaganza at Taupo , the Honda Track Days will continue with three separate events at Hampton Downs – on December 1 , February 23 and April 27 .
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