Double Dose of action at Victoria park – race preview

The distinctive Victoria Park, Adelaide. Home of the Festival of Pedal Prix. Photo Hayden Archibald

By Aiden Cale

Round 3 of the UniSA Australian HPV Super Series will host a Festival of Pedal Prix weekend at Adelaide’s Victoria Park this weekend, Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 of June. Community teams will take to the track on the Saturday and schools on Sunday, both races taking place for 6 hours in duration.

The former three day event has returned back to a two day event format, with the longer 1.35km circuit at Victoria Park being reinstated as a result of the covid testing centre having been removed. The longer circuit variant at Victoria Park has not been a part of the UniSA Australian HPV Super Series calendar since 2019, meaning the circuit will be new to a great deal of riders competing.

The Saturday race will see title contenders Wattle Racing and Platt Racing duking it out once again for top honours on race day, with both teams currently tied on 299 points for the Australian Championship. Wattle Racing claimed the overall victory in Tailem Bend, coming out on top over Platt Racing by 2 laps. Trump Trikes Factory Racing will also be contenders for the victory after seeing return to form in Tailem Bend and managing to clinch the last position on the podium. Elliptical Racing are also off to a successful start to their 2023 campaign, as the team, comprised of riders with both youth and experience, claimed a shock result of 6th overall last time out in their customer run Trump Trikes. 

The Sunday race will be headlined by the fastest schools in the country, with Pembroke School being in and amongst the top community teams, claiming 5th overall, with a healthy margin of 5 laps to Norwood International High School at Tailem Bend after trike problems early on affected their race. Norwood’s all-female team have shown they mean business, as they continued on from their 2022 season success, with 14 laps being the difference to second placed Unity College in S3 Female. 

With 200+ trikes taking place over the two day event, the Victoria Park parklands will be thriving to the sound of human powered vehicles all weekend long on. Saturday’s racing commences at 9:30am, and Sunday’s start is scheduled for 10:00am. 

blackfriars Move ahead

 

When Blackfriars Priory School introduced Pedal Prix as a sport in 2019, it was with one cycle and eight students.

Today, Pedal Prix is one of the fastest growing sports at the Prospect-based school, with three cycles, more than 20 students from Years 7-12, four staff members running the program and a small army of parent helpers.

And with that growth has come some serious success. The “Hound #1” team finished 3rd overall in the 2022 Australian HPV Super Series in the S3 (Senior Secondary) category.

The school’s Hound #2 and Hound #3 squads will make their racing debuts during the 2023 season.

Blackfriars’ Director of Development, Patrick Kelly, who runs the Pedal Prix program with assistance from staff members Andrew Castiglio, George Elmassih and Beau Leonard, was thrilled with the growth of the sport.

“When I was recruited to come here, our then Deputy Principal, now our Principal, David Ruggiero, said we want you to start Pedal Prix,” said Mr Kelly, who had run Pedal Prix teams in two other schools before coming to Blackfriars, including winning the all-girls’ category with Loreto College at the 24-hour Murray Bridge race.

“We’ve been very well looked after since. It has grown from nothing to three team cycles in less than five years, and that’s even taking covid into account.”

Promisingly for the future of the sport at Blackfriars, almost 70% of the school’s current Year 5/6 students have expressed an interest in being part of the Pedal Prix once they hit Year 7. Mr Kelly said promoting the sport to the Primary School boys was important.

“I do want to make sure we attract some really good young talent going forward,” he said. “It’s all well and good to have these vehicles, but you need the engine to put in it.”

Emilia Pace, whose son, Thomas (Year 8), is part of Blackfriars’ Pedal Prix team, could not speak more highly of the sport.

“We stumbled upon Pedal Prix by accident,” Mrs Pace said. “Thomas had to pick a co-curricular activity going forward and he chose Pedal Prix. It was the best thing we ever did.”

Blackfriars recently hosted a competition for Year 5/6 students to come up with an eye-catching design for Hound #3. As part of the competition, the boys worked in groups to create the designs – also producing a video demonstrating the process – with eight shortlisted as finalists.

Those finalists then had to present their ideas to a panel of judges, including Australian International Pedal Prix Inc Chief Executive Officer Marcus Lacey and Jason Nottle, from Trump Trikes.

Also on the panel were Mrs Pace and her husband, Greg, graphic designers from WhoYou Creative, who will now work with the winning team to fine-tune their design before it is applied to Hound #3.

back To The bend – race preview

 

By Aiden Cale

The UniSA Australian HPV Super Series is returning to The Bend Motorsport Park for Round 2 of the UniSA Australian HPV Super Series. The 6 hour event will see 164 trikes take to the startline at the renowned motor racing venue. 

A shortened 2.8 kilometre layout will be debuted, with riders diverting off the main straight, cutting into the infield for a tight and technical section before merging back onto the original layout for the remainder of the lap. This change in layout adds more variation into the seasons calendar, further testing each rider’s abilities.

In C7 Open, Platt Racing and Wattle Racing proved in Mount Gambier that they are the teams to beat, separated by a mere 24 seconds, and finishing 8 laps ahead of series debutants, UniSA Pedal Prix Team. 

Platt Racing have also announced the entry of a second trike, which will add further depth to the competition for the podium positions at the top end of the field. 

Wattle Racing’s all-female team look to be a strong force in C7 Open Female once again, clinching an overall top 15 finish in Mount Gambier. They will be joined by Fast Cats Racing who will be making their season debut at the Bend. 

S3 Senior is shaping up to have a close battle for the top position this year, as long-time stalwarts of the sport, Pembroke School, won the category in Mount Gambier, with the additional result of 9th in the overall classifications. Their gap to Norwood International High School after the eight hour event was 3 laps, igniting a rivalry between the two schools that will be sure to resume in Tailem Bend.

The Bend will also see Norwood’s all-female team make its series debut. As reigning National Champions in S3 Senior Female, they look to be the heavy favourites, vying for a repeat of their 2022 success.

The stage is set for Round 2 of the UniSA Australian HPV Super Series, on Saturday, May 20. The racing will commence at 10am local time, with teams racing through the day with the leader taking the chequered flag at 4pm.

Eight Hours ahead for Nelson

Nelson Harris’ C7 Solo trike. Picture: Nelson Harris

 

By Aiden Cale

In the midst of all the rider and team changes that the off-season usually treats us too, a rider has flown under the radar and has announced his plans of racing in the C7 Solo category at the City of Mount Gambier 8 Hour in the first round of the 2023 UniSA Australian HPV Super Series. 

The C7 Solo category is a subcategory within C7 Open and is where a trike can only be ridden by a singular rider in an event. The rider competing can pull into the pits as many times as they please, although rider changes throughout the race are prohibited. 

21 year old Nelson Harris will be the first entrant into this category for 2023, racing in the number 244 trike for Old Concordians Racing, which will be named Raptor (Pictured above).

When asked about why he chose McNamara Park, Harris said, “We only had 9 riders for Mount Gambier, as a joke my dad said why don’t you do a solo attempt and then the other trike will have 8 riders which is perfect. 

“A few days passed and I actually started to think about it. I was speaking to Kyle [Lierich] and we figured out with the time I had left to train that it was possible. I also knew that no one had ever done it before [at McNamara Park], and it would be really cool to be the person to do it.”

The inspiration as to why people enter the C7 Solo category varies, with Harris’ inspiration stemming from an endurance runner and his personal coach. 

“My inspiration for this solo ride mainly came from a guy named Nedd Brockman who ran across Australia to raise money for the homeless. That really inspired me to push myself harder and really find out what I could achieve. 

“Another inspiration for this ride has also been my coach Kyle [Lierich]. Some of his solo records he has set in a trike are incredible and that made me really think about what the human body can do.” 

Harris began training seriously for HPV racing at the end of September last year, which has led to a painful few months in preparation for the 8 hour event. 

“The lead up to this event has been a huge rollercoaster of emotions and physically punishing myself. There have been so many ups and downs, and it even got to the point where I was thinking about pulling out, but I was so happy I didn’t.”

Although the focus is usually directed towards the top end of the timing sheets, make sure to keep an eye out for the number 244 trike of Nelson Harris, as he embarks on the toughest challenge one can do in Australian HPV racing. The completion of an event as an individual. 

The City of Mount Gambier 8 Hour will be the first round of the 2023 UniSA Australian HPV Super Series on Saturday, April 1 from 9am to 5pm (ACDT).

Mount Gambier preview

Trump Trikes Factory Racing and Unhinged entering turn 2 at McNamara Park. Pic: Turn8Photo

By Aiden Cale

With the beginning of the 2023 UniSA Australian HPV Super Series on the horizon, let’s take a deeper look into the first round of the series at the scenic McNamara Park for the City of Mount Gambier 8 Hour.

McNamara Park, an operating motorcycle circuit, offers 2.4km of fast straights, sweeping bends and technical banked hairpin sections, all of which favours riders with a vast skill set.

This year will see 84 trikes take to the startline at McNamara Park. A significant increase in numbers from last year’s 70 trikes that entered.

There is a certain level of unpredictability heading into the first round, as reigning National Champions, Aurora Racing, have decided to not defend their 2022 title, leaving the number 1 vacant for the 2023 series. With Aurora on the sidelines, there will be a close battle between teams for the overall victory.

Platt Racing have shown strong improvements in their race pace, claiming an overall victory in the Victorian HPV Series at the back end of 2022, and finishing on the same lap as Wattle Racing in the inaugural race of that state’s racing calendar in Casey Fields.

2019 National Champions, Wattle Racing, will also be contending for the overall victory in Mount Gambier, and they look to be the favourites on paper, as they were the only other team to claim an overall victory last year on South Australian soil, clinching the Adelaide event by an 80 second margin.

Trump Trikes Factory Racing have shown that they are aiming to achieve nothing less than to capture an overall win in 2023, after taking home the National Championship in the C6 Under 20’s category and claiming 4th overall in all but one of the races held in South Australia last season.

Peninsula Human Power, GTrikes, and Reload Racing have all been regulars at the top end of the standings in previous years, and they will be looking to claim spots within the top 5 to start their 2023 campaigns off on a high.

Although Aurora themselves will remain off the entry list, their race winning trikes will be raced by BRT [Bendigo Racing Team], and newcomers UniSA Pedal Prix Team. The former placed a respectable 10th overall in their debut outing at the 24hr Australian International Pedal Prix at Murray Bridge last season.

Team Director and Rider of the UniSA Pedal Prix Team, Darcy Strudwick, talked about the team’s expectations for their inaugural outing.

“While we would love to do well, we more want to see a successful application of University level technology and knowledge into this awesome sport. We think we have a really good starting point for it all, however starting a team from scratch isn’t easy!”

“We are in a good position for the beginning of the UniSA AHPVSS. With a FCR Velodrome experience being crucial for testing procedures and practices, we just need to iron out a few organisational challenges. However the vehicle is running incredibly fast and we are feeling very motivated!” Strudwick said.

Strudwick claimed three overall fastest laps in 2022 and is aiming to build on those achievements for the 2023 season.

“Last year was an awesome year for me, racing for Gtrikes and getting the successes that we did was really a big mental step forward. I am feeling the fittest I ever have. However just the implication of the team and completing some of our own internal objectives would feel enough for me. However, I might have to go for a few more fastest laps.”

In the C7 Open Females category, She’s The Man from Wattle Racing look to be the ones to beat based on previous form, as they took home 4 wins and were crowned National Champions last year. Fast Cats Racing will return to challenge Wattle Racing, competing in the C7 Open Females category for the first time at McNamara Park since 2019.

The City of Mount Gambier 8 Hour is the first round of the 2023 UniSA Australian HPV Super Series on Saturday, April 1 from 9am to 5pm (ACDT).

2023 UniSa aHpVSS Is Go!

 

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA – The UniSA Australian HPV Super Series (AHPVSS) is excited to announce the launch of its 2023 season. This year’s series promises to be the most thrilling yet, with a lineup of innovative teams and cutting-edge vehicles set to compete across multiple events.

The AHPVSS is a unique and exciting competition that challenges the design, building and racing of human-powered vehicles. The series attracts participants from around the country and has become a premier event for schools and open teams in the Australian engineering and innovation community.

The 2023 season will feature a number of exciting events, including the iconic 24 Australian International Pedal Prix at Murray Bridge and the popular Festival of Pedal Prix at Victoria Park in the heart of Adelaide. Teams will also compete in a range of other events from Mount Gambier to Busselton, providing a range of challenges to test the speed, endurance, and design of their vehicles.

The AHPVSS is proud to partner with the University of South Australia for the 2023 season. UniSA is a leader in engineering and innovation, and the partnership reflects the shared commitment to fostering creativity and innovation in the next generation of engineers and designers.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with the University of South Australia for the 2023 season,” said AHPVSS CEO, Marcus Lacey. “Their support and commitment is invaluable to the success of this year’s Series, and the sport. We look forward to working together to deliver an exciting and innovative competition.”

The AHPVSS also welcomes new teams to the competition, including an entry from from UniSA Sport itself, and local high schools. The Series is committed to promoting STEM education and encouraging young people to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Other highlights for the Season include:

The southern City of Mount Gambier will host Round 1 of the 2023 UniSA Australian HPV Super Series as the opening event of the year on Saturday 1 April. Ideally positioned halfway between Adelaide and Melbourne, the location offers excellent accessibility for the thousands of competitors spread across the two southern states, and provides the perfect start to the season.

After a lengthy COVID induced hiatus, Junior School teams, Category S1, will again have the opportunity to participate in the 24hr Australian International Pedal Prix at Murray Bridge in 2023.

For 2023, after the first time in four years a full Series has been run, the previous year’s seven category winners have been awarded the coveted single digit race numbers to adorn their machines, signifying their top performances.

The 2023 season promises to be a showcase of innovation, teamwork and engineering excellence. The AHPVSS invites spectators to come along and witness the excitement firsthand, as teams battle it out for the coveted title of 2023 UniSA AHPVSS champion.

For more information on the 2023 UniSA Australian Human Powered Vehicle Super Series, including event dates and locations, visit the AHPVSS website ahpvss.com.

 

The full calendar for the 2023 UniSA Australian Human Powered Vehicle Super Series is:

Round 1               1 April                   McNamara Park                               Mount Gambier, SA

Round 2               20 May                  The Bend Motorsport Park              Tailem Bend, SA

Round 3               17-18 June            Victoria Park                                     Adelaide, SA

Round 4               5 August               The Bend Motorsport Park               Tailem Bend, SA

Round 5               20 August             Geographe Bay                                  Busselton, WA

Round 6               16-17 September   Sturt Reserve                                    Murray Bridge, SA

bekker Joins board

Experienced Pedal Prix designer and racer, Richard Bekker has joined the Board of Australian International Pedal Prix Inc, organisers of the UniSA Australian HPV Super Series.

Bekker brings a wealth of knowlegde and experience to the organsiation, with over 10 years of active particiaption. He is currently Team Owner and Manager of Wild Boar Racing which competes in the Masters category.

“I’m looking forward to giving back to a sport that has given us so much. As a current competitor, I’m keen to bring a rider’s focus to the board & to be a voice for all riders, particularly from our community teams,” he said.

“Richard’s thoughtful approach and detailed knowledge will be of significant benefit. His passion for the sport and enthusisam to see it prosper will make him a valuable contributor as we move forward,” said CEO Marcus Lacey.

Bekker is the developer of the innovative side by side tandem HPV raced at Victoria Park in 2021. The wide body vehicle provides the opportuniity for a second person to sit alongside the driver and experience the trhrill of “seat of your pants” racing. The team used the opportunity to provide track time for children with disabilities.