Preparations are underway for the Mt Kembla 2 Stroke Cup. Australia’s one and only two-banger race weekend will be held on October 27 and 28 at Wollongong Motorcycle Club. City Coast Motorcycles has been supporting the event since it began in 2016 and has partnered with Yamaha Motor Australia to sponsor two classes. Here’s our Q&A with Organiser Shannon Ninness.
Now in its third year, the Mt Kembla 2 Stroke Cup has gone from strength to strength to become a national fixture on the MX Calendar. Why do people love it so much?
People love it because it’s not like any other MX race event. Nowhere else has a full weekend of only two-strokes. It’s open to everyone: pros, vets, vintage, women and juniors. People get so excited to see the old two-strokes rule out on the track and hear that sound; its sometimes like a secret society because four-strokes are so much more prominent on the gates today.
How much time goes into planning this event behind the scenes?
This year the Wollongong Motorcycle Club Race Committee started discussing how we wanted to tackle the event in March. By the end of April, we had a bit of a plan. During May I put out a letter announcing the event and to seek sponsorship to our previous supporters and it has spread to a lot of new supporters, too. I had all classes fully sponsored and locked in during July. We all have our tasks that we are working on for different parts of the 2 Stroke Cup, but I do a spend time working on it every night after dinner has been made for my boys. Lately I have been concentrating on submitting the supplementary regulations to MNSW for approval and getting the race order finalised, so competitors are aware of what they can enter when entries open. Things take a lot of time when working with my team, sponsors, suppliers, then rechecking with sponsors and my team, replying to suppliers, making changes, and it all goes around again. It’s all good though, I do enjoy this. I am just a little more under pressure this year as I will be away a few weeks right before the 2 Stroke Cup for a MX event in Tasmania.
We know first-hand events like this don’t happen without the hard work of volunteers; how big is your crew?
It’s hard to put a number to it. There is only a small number of us that are really hands-on at the moment, but the crew grows immensely in the lead up with track prep, getting signage displayed, getting the trophies built, and of course paying the bills!
What is the secret to the Mt Kembla 2 Stroke Cup’s success?
Passion! The team are all moto enthusiasts and love riding. I think that with the team we have and the different strengths we all have, it all works in the end. We have been blessed the last two years with the weather so that is also a big help!
Spill the beans: do you have any big names coming this year?
Well so far I have heard we will see Kirk Gibbs, Jay and Ryan Marmont, Olly Malone, Dylan Long and Josh Brookes. I also expect riders from the YJR team to enter as well. We will see what happens once entries open.
What new things do you have in store for 2018?
We have added an additional 250cc class to the program. This class was in high demand last year and sold out early. It extends the day’s riding a bit but hopefully means the participants are happy and don’t miss out on being a part of the Cup. The Crew are discussing a few little extra fun things to do after racing on Day 1, but I cannot release any info yet. This year will see the event captured with live timing and track video footage thanks to Motowerx Live and I have also gained a videographer to record racing. We have our VIPs in Trade Alley and the fun in the pits over the weekend. Maxima Racing Oils will be in the pits with a lube station where riders can visit with their bikes. I’d particularly love to see some of the vets get out on the track for a display ride – think Anthony Gunter, Trevor Jordan, Paul Grant, Dean Burt, Lyndon Heffernan, Timothy Sim, Michel Constantinou – you know, all those who used to kill it in their day; the ones who rode before I was on training wheels! Surely there’s more guys I’ve never heard of!
Apart from some great 2-banger action, what else will be happening over the weekend?
Bushy from City Coast Motorcycles is rounding up some sponsors to support the FMX show, plus we will have heaps of giveaways in the pits all weekend. Not just for riders, but spectators can get amongst it, too. A band will play tunes for the campers and the Willows Canteen will be open late for dinner. We unfortunately clash with the Moto GP this year, so we are working on getting a screen up to stream the racing for the GP lovers as well.
The event’s open to the general public. What’s the best time for spectators to get to the track?
Ha ha if you want a park arrive early! On Saturday the 27th we will start with practice at 12pm followed with Round 1 of racing. FMX will finish the day (as well as another little project we are working on) followed by music, food and beers around the fire pits. On Day 2 racing will begin at 8am and will finish at approximately at 4pm for the presentation.
Who’s your tip to take the win?
Preferably my husband in the Vets class on his 5-hunny ha ha. But for the 2 Stroke Cup, it’s a 20 minute + 2 lap moto with $1000 up for grabs. Last year saw Ryan Marmont take the win, with young gun John Bova close behind. I am a big fan of John and I’d love to see him take it home this year! It is a very exciting race. 20 minutes is a long time and anything can happen!
When do registrations open?
Saturday the 8th September is the plan, or somewhere around that date. We will put a link to our event on our social media pages and HERE on the City Coast Motorcycles website.