Racing at the Westernationals for the first time since returning after a serious motorcycle road accident in 2011 kept the future of his motorcycling days on hold, Ian ‘Rev It’ Read achieved a breakthrough win.
The 44th Westernationals featured a number of interstate invaders including last season’s championship runner up Edgell Mallis and third place getter Joe Khoury joining the seasoned WA racers, many of whom have won local state rounds while two are former Westernationals winners.
“To win at the Perth Motorplex has been a long road for me and to win the state’s premier event in the Westernationals is a dream come true,” said Read.
“Having come so painstakingly close to an event win at my first visit to Willowbank Raceway for the Winternationals in 2009, to lose in the final by the narrowest margin in my only other finals appearance makes this win a very happy experience after many years of supporting motorcycle drag racing.
“Without the support of my drag bike racing friends from WA and across the border and the hunger to get back to what I enjoy this meeting has squashed any self doubts on whether I could be competitive again.”
With a number of family friends present for his first qualifier on Friday night, Read lined up against Mallis whom he broke out against on his first visit to Adelaide in 2014. Unfortunately he experienced shifter problems and did not make a representative time.
“Lucky day two my fortunes changed with two sound qualifiers of 10.406 and 10.408 giving me a consistent time to dial in off. I was very pleased with this having had a number of varied times at previous meetings this season.
“Q3 was against a proven wheelie-barred bike racer in Stuart Dean I then had to race him in E1.
“I lowered my dial in to 10.35 in warm conditions and managed to cut a nice light to give me a decent buffer at the top end and managed to stay above my nominated time for the win. It’s a great feeling getting through the first round and after some early exits this season.”
Read would go on to defeat number two qualifier Mick Day racing in his first event and fellow Hayabusa rider Johnny Ireland in round 4 either side of a solo run in round 3.
“After securing the win in Semi Final I was quite overwhelmed that I had secured my place in the final of the Westernationals,” explained Read.
“I needed a few moments to myself knowing what I have done to come back after the accident and racing against a very tough field and to pair off with Edgell again whom I’d lost to at the 2014 Spring Nationals in Adelaide in a break out race.
“I launched with a green light and then bogged which may have been the clutch again or me breathing out on the green light so with a shake of the head I kept the throttle pinned as hard as I could with Edgell going past me like I was standing still but I focused on my shifts running the bike to the line at 145mph.”
Both riders crossed the line handle bar to handle bar in a memorable race and one fitting of a major final.
“When we parked up I thought I had just got to the line first and broken out again so I firstly congratulated Edgell on a great race and his win after track staff informed him of his win. I was still happy to have come so far knowing I had done my best.
“On the return road the crowd was still awaiting the finals of the Group 1 and 2 vehicles and I always give the kids on the fence a thumbs up and a few revs of the bike as it is seeing them there appreciating our sport that makes it worth our while.
“It wasn’t until I got back to the start line just before the tunnel where I saw my crew with smiles beaming and arms out telling me I just won the Westernationals!
“In disbelief I had to see the time slip with my own eyes. Edgell had broken out by one of the narrowest margins running under his dial in of 9.45 by -0.006 at 124mph.
“Joe Khoury and Edgell’s partner told him the news and he thought it was a joke but being the sportsman he is he was very happy for me and he received a very large runner up trophy and valuable points in his chase for number 1 this season.”
“This Gold Christmas tree will remain very special to me overcoming many obstacles to get back to my beloved sport and for having done this at my home track. Hopefully I can get one more before handing the keys over to my son when he is old enough and who is already keen to race.
“Thanks to Series sponsor Summit Racing, Perth Motorplex and staff for making the 44th Westenationals a success and to the crowds who were there till the end.
“Also I would like to thank Cherie, James Taylor, Glenn Northridge, Jason Hammelswang Gordon Crawford and Mark Lange for their ongoing support.”
Image courtesy Phil Luyer/High Octane Photos.