North Coast Road Racers vice-president Ken Shephard with the Honda CB125T he will be racing at Mountainview this weekend.
North Coast Road Racers vice-president Ken Shephard with the Honda CB125T he will be racing at Mountainview this weekend. Debrah Novak

Time to shed tag and beat Swift

GRAFTON racer Ken Shephard hopes to lose his four-year-old “bridesmaid” tag under Warren Swift this weekend.

He has just one big problem.

“With a name like that, what chance have I got?” Shephard laughed.

“Hopefully this year I’ll take it to him.

“I’m trying to extract a little bit more horsepower out of my poor little machine.”

Shephard and Swift, and about 20 other riders, will resume battle at Mountainview’s Grafton Kart Club today and tomorrow for round two of the North Coast Road Racing Club Championships.

Beating Swift is not Shephard’s only mission.

“Road racing tends to be on tracks that are four to five kilometres long. The track at Grafton is 562 metres, and there are nine corners,” said Shephard, a 10-year racing veteran, who expected to complete a lap in 32 seconds.

“You don’t have any great horsepower, so the way to get up there is to control your corner pace and braking markers.

“The shorter track sharpens your skills.”

While Shephard’s 18-horsepower, 150cc ride can’t compare to some high-powered machines, he said the lure was still there for youngsters.

“I like going fast. But if you go fast on the road the coppers will ping you,” he said.

“So he who has the biggest guts wins in this sport.

“I just wish I could get more kids off their high-powered bikes. We want to get a lot of youngsters into the sport.

“The problem you run into is people’s ages. These guys turn up at the track and think they are great riders already.”

Racing starts at 10am today and 11am tomorrow at Clarence Way, Mountainview.

North Coast Road Club Championships

Round 3

Coffs Harbour, May 14-15

Round 4

Lismore, June 18-19

Round 5

Stanthorpe, July 23-24

Round 6

...Coffs Harbour, August 13-14

National champs

Goulburn, September 17-18




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