During February 2012, Think Bike was contacted by the organisers of the Full Throttle sponsored Northern Regions Racing who organize and present motorcycle racing in the northern provinces of South Africa. Their request was that Think Bike become involved in their sport and specifically as race bike scrutineers.
Full Throttle Northern Regions Racing, one of the few sectors of motor racing showing an increase in competitors, the need has arisen to introduce more proactive measures to ensure the safety of all competitors. One of these areas is scrutineering. Safety starts at scrutineering with the emphasis moving away from simply policing and moving towards the education of competitors as to the whys and whats. The better educated the competitors are, the safer the bikes will be, resulting in greater standards of safety on the track. The Northern Regions Sub Committee is always seeking ways to elevate the racing experience for competitors. By offering scrutineering at the Official Practice and an increased number of Scrutineers to deal with increased competitors numbers, the scrutineering process will be more effective and efficient, expediting the process and making for less stressed, happier competitors.
Think Bike, who passionately believe in safety for motorcyclists, off track, saw the opportunity to further spread our message in an environment that could not possibly be more biker orientated. Motorcycle racing! Apart from the obvious enjoyment of being closely involved with racing, this was a perfect area to spread our message and thus the partnership between Full Throttle Northern Regions Racing and Think Bike was born.
12 Think Bike Scrutineers were trained on Tuesday 6th March by the Regional Technical Consultant. Lyndhurst BMW very generously hosted the Scrutineer Training and provided the perfect environment for the event. The 12 Think Bikers were soon thinking racing and getting down and under the race bikes. The Training was a massive success. On-going training will continue at the Full Throttle Northern Regions Races with mentorship by experienced Scrutineers, Andre Venter (Regional Technical Consultant) and the National Technical Consultant – Kevin Bidgood. A second group of Think Bikers was trained recently at Red Star Raceway bringing to the number of Motorsport South Africa Licensed Think Bike Scrutineers to 18.
The partnership between Full Throttle Northern Regions Racing and Think Bike is an exciting one and the perfect relationship between two organizations who share in the philosophy, “creating awareness, saving lives”.
Northern Regions Racing encompasses the following classes.
|NSF100||Moto 3 / 125GP||Formula Extreme|
|150 Cup||600 Supersport||Battle of the Twins|
|250 Cup||1000 Superbikes||Breakfast Class|
Racing takes place at the four northern tracks of our country. Zwartkops Raceway, Kyalami Raceway, Phakisa Raceway and the new kid on the block, Red Star Raceway which was designed to be used in both direction, making it two very different tracks
The Think Bike Scrutineers work from 15:00 to 18:00 on the Friday preceding the race day in an attempt to scrutinize as many bikes as possible. We then do a full day shift, 06:00 to 18:00 on race day. These are usually very busy days as after normal scrutinizing is done, we need to check bikes after races that they still comply with race regulations and safety regulations. We also impound bikes that crashed, keeping them in Park Ferme* until the rider is declared fit and healthy. Bikes are often held in Park Ferme while protests are resolved, or for special checking such as ECU’s, air boxes, etc.
Since we have started this new venture we have established ourselves as Race Scrutinizers doing a professional job. We have made friends in the racing fraternity. We have worked hard and we have had fun. We have been instrumental in improving safety, but also in disqualifying a rider. We have watched great racing and presented medals to competitors and we have wiped a tear with a shirt sleeve from the eye of a young competitor who crashed. We have loudly cheered a deserving win and we have stood in quiet disbelieve watching a medivac chopper take off for hospital with one of “our” young riders aboard.
* Parc Ferme - Literally “closed park”, a French term used in motorsport worldwide to refer to the designated area where race vehicles are brought to undergo pre- and post-race scrutineering.