Carrick roars into contention at home

By Andy McGechan

It was always going to be a big day for Wanganui's Jayden Carrick, but the Boxing Day races on the streets of his own city could be something very special this year.

The 30-year-old bike and boat mechanic is in prime position to claim the trophy in the Formula Two category after a brilliant performance at the second round of three in the series at Manfeild on Sunday.

Carrick (Suzuki GSX-R600) finished fourth and third in the F2 class at Manfeild, elevating him to third in the series with just the Cemetery Circuit races around the streets of Wanganui on Boxing Day to wrap it up.

Auckland's Jaden Hassan (Yamaha R6) leads the class, 18 points ahead of Invercargill's Jeremy Holmes (Honda CBR600RR), with Carrick another 12 points further back.

"I'm a little surprised at how well I'm going," said Carrick.

'I had not raced a 600 until this season. I finished third overall in the Suzuki Tri Series last season riding a Suzuki RM-Z450 dirt bike in the super motard class.

"My new bike is the bike that Christchurch's Dennis Charlett rode to win the 2012 national 600 supersport title ... so there are no excuses really.

"I bought it off him and just peeled the No1 off it and plastered my own No55 on to it.

"My favourite number is actually five but I have not earned that national ranking and didn't want to put it on my bike and be a bit of a dick."

Hassan has now announced he will race the final leg of the series in Wanganui after previously deciding just to focus on the first two.

"I wasn't going to chance it on the streets but I'm going so well at the moment that I have decided to give it a go," he said. "I'll ride it for fun really and not take too many risks."

Charlett now leads the headlining Formula 1 class after disaster struck four-time reigning champion Andrew Stroud on Sunday.

Hamilton's Stroud crashed out within sight of the finish line while leading the day's first of two F1 races.

He was taken to Palmerston North hospital with a suspected broken right collarbone and dislocated left knee, his series prematurely ended and a dream of making it five consecutive titles in tatters.

Charlett (Suzuki GSX-R1000) leads the F1 class by just seven points from Wellington's Sloan Frost (BMW S1000RR), with a trio of Suzuki stars Auckland's Ray Clee, New Plymouth's Hayden Fitzgerald and Feilding's Craig Shirriffs just a handful of points further back.

In the F2s, Carrick is just pleased to have moved up from fourth overall to bring himself into contention in his own territory.

"I'd like to think I'll go well at Wanganui. I know I'll have plenty of home-town support there.

"I know I'll hear the fans calling out and see all the banners and flags. I feel guilty if I don't go well at Wanganui. I don't want to let the fans down and they'll all be there watching.

"There is always a danger factor to consider when racing on public streets.

"It's always in the back of your mind and you'd be kidding yourself if you think you're not scared.

"I'll be thrilled to finish third overall in this series and anything better would be a bonus."

Sidecars, formula three, pre-89 Post Classics, Bears (non-Japanese) and super motard bike categories will also be racing on Cemetery Circuit.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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