Friday, March 4

SON-OF-A-GUN RARING TO GO AT HAMPTON DOWNS

Helicraft Racing looking for Supersport success



Alex Phillis, son of gun Australian Superbike rider Robbie Phillis, is champing at the bit to get stuck into the action at the final round of the New Zealand Supersport Championship at Hampton Downs this weekend.

Phillis is racing a 675 MV Agusta for Helicraft Racing with Mahi Capital and is keen to prove a point.

"We'll be disappointed if we don't get a win at Hampton Downs," says Helicraft team owner Rod Price.

"We know Alex is capable of doing that; after all he comfortably led a race in the first round in January at Ruapuna before it was red-flagged."

And Price ruefully acknowledges the injury the young Australian sustained on the start line at the race restart put an end to the team's championship chances.

"I know that's racing, but until then we really felt we were on the right track for a go at the championship.

As to this weekend, Price is feeling optimistic.

"Alex is injury-free and is familiar with Hampton Downs and likes the track.

"We've also worked through the bike's electronics, too, so that should be a big plus.

He and team IT technician Phil Purdue have used the break "to spend lots of time studying the electronics package".

"The Helicraft MV is unique. We're the only one in the world running to NZ race specs, so that has brought its own challenges."

Price is quick to praise the efforts of Phillis in the bike's development.

"I can't speak highly enough of the input Alex has made. It was a tough ask, but he has more than proved himself.

"A win this weekend will confirm just what this team if capable of."

Phillis is coming off a successful outing in the World Supersport Championship last Sunday where, on an unfamiliar bike, he finished 14th against the sport's best.

Also coming off a successful race day is the other Helicraft technician Dave "Radar" Cullen.

The Queenslander spent the weekend with Australian Ant West, guiding him to a podium position in the WSS race.

"All this success! We just have to hope they've brought the magic touch with them across the Tasman," jokes Price.

And the same meeting, Price spent valuable time with the factory MV team and the Australian MV distributor Urban Imports.

"It was great to establish these valuable contacts and I'm hoping we'll be able to build from here.

"The factory guys were just so helpful and that's given me confidence we're on the right path," says Price.

Free training takes place today, with racing on Saturday and Sunday.

Check in here for live timing: http://www.ctaslive.co.nz