By Frank Wood SHANNONVILLE, Ont- GoLo Racing’s Austin Shaw-O’Leary scored his first podium finish in the Inside Motorcycles Amateur Sportbike National Championship on Sunday with a third place run on the GoLo Racing Honda CBR 600RR at the opening round of the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship at Shannonville Motorsports Park.
O’Leary, of Falmouth, Nova Scotia had qualified for a front row start with a fourth place run on Saturday posting a lap-time of 1:09.471. His qualifying effort was put to the test when on his sixth lap of twenty-minute timed qualifyng session the shock linkage bolt on the Honda’s rear suspension broke, causing Shaw-O’Leary to crash at the chicane unhurt. He was unable to get back on track before time expired.
In the National Championship final on Sunday Shaw-O’Leary launched well from the start and ran with the front pack of four riders who quickly established a lead over the rest of the twenty-four rider field. The stock motor of the GoLo Racing Honda was slightly down on horsepower compared to the race leaders but Shaw-O’Leary stayed with them relying on his brakes and corner speed to keep pace.
As the field crossed the finish line at the half-way mark of the fourteen lap contest, a rider crashed heavily in turn one bringing out the red flag. As all of the riders had received the half-way crossed flags before the red flag came out, CSBK officials called the race complete. “This is a huge step for us.” the fifteen year old beamed from the podium. “To be on the podium in my first national race means so much. I honestly don’t know if I could have done better if the race had gone longer but I am very happy with this result, this is something we can build on.”
In the Bazzaz Amatuer Superbike qualifying Shaw-O’Leary was once again ranked as fourth fastest and would have a front row start for the championship final. With no incidents Shaw-O’Leary was able to put in a full session and recorded thirteen laps. His fastest lap of 1:09.041 came on his seventh circulation. Shaw-O’Leary was on the GoLo Racing Honda CBR 600RR and the three fastest riders were on 1000cc superbikes.
In the final, Shaw-O’Leary once more ran with the race leaders and looked to be heading for his second podium appearance of the day when he crashed coming off the back straight, unhurt but unable to continue. “I can’t explain what happened.” He said post-race. “My braking was complete and I had just set up for the corner when the back end started coming around, before I knew it I had crashed.”
Austin Shaw-O’Leary will be in action once more on the GoLo Racing Honda at round two of the Mopar Canadian Superbike Seris series in St Eustache, Quebec July 6th through July8th.