Motorcycling Australia (MA) in conjunction with MotoStars and Motorcycling NSW (MNSW) are excited to announce that Clay Clegg and Cameron Dunker have both been selected as the Wild Cards to race at the final round of the bLU cRU Oceania Junior Cup (OJC) at Sydney Motorsports Park (SMSP), on the 1st – 3rd November.
The SMSP event will be the third time the OJC program has run a Wild Card opportunity, with the latest two hopefuls making it four Wild Cards in total for 2019.
The OJC Wild Card Selection Event was held at Wakefield Park on Thursday the 23rd of October. The candidates were assessed by MotoStars staff and coaches, including official OJC coach Damian Cudlin, on their own machines and on the MotoStars Yamaha Motor Australia YZF-R15’s, similar to those used in the OJC program.
MotoStars director, Cudlin, was pleased with the progress of the day “It was fantastic to see more young riders who’ve trained with us at MotoStars trying out for the Oceania Junior Cup Wild Card opportunity. The trial was run successfully, and all of the participants did themselves proud”.
“The collaboration between MotoStars and the OJC is evident with the juniors coming through our system and progressing onto the bigger arena of the OJC, and I think this has been a major step in right direction for the future of our sport”.
Cudlin continued “We also endorsed two more youngsters during the day, one just nine years of age, and that’s another road racer for the future. That’s what it’s all about and as a coach I’m proud to play a small role in that.”
Strengths that were taken into consideration during the selection process included the rider’s overall performance, rate of improvement, ability to learn, communication skills, age and attitude.
Motorcycling NSW CEO, Dave Cooke, is a strong advocate of the OJC program and said “The Oceania Junior Cup is a great opportunity for new young road race talent coming through the ranks, and when Motorcycling Australia asked if we’d like to pay for another wild card ride for an aspiring NSW junior to have a ride at the SMSP round in a few months, we were delighted to help.
“We, [MNSW] hope that this will open the door for a new rising star to make their way to the international stage”.
The OJC series has been instrumental in helping the new generations riders to make the next step into competing in road racing, but more importantly, helping them to hone their skills, both on and off the track.
Thirteen-year-old, Clay Clegg #63, had been hoping for a call from MA from the minute he left the track after the OJC Selection Event. When Clay’s parents called him with the news he was “super excited” and barely able to breathe.
Clay said he had an awesome time at the OJC Selection Event and that learning on a new track and riding with current OJC riders was a great experience. He also learnt a lot about race lines, not trying to out brake other competitors but instead be faster in and out of the corners.
He said his biggest challenge on race day will be being up against the best in a big field and that his race plan is to give it his best to get a good qualifying position.
Eleven-year-old, Cameron Dunker #50, came home from school to find a fridge full of orange juice bottles, one of the bottles had the OJC logo stuck on it with the word “Wild Card” written over it.
Cameron is thrilled and is already planning a new training regime, part of which will be being on a bike whenever he can and put into practise the new skills he learnt at the OJC selection event. He’s keen to try out the new lines, reference points and chasing faster riders.
Cameron said the main thing he will need to overcome in preparation for his first OJC race day will be his nerves before the event, to try and stay calm throughout the day and have fun. He’s also hoping for sunny and dry weather because he feels the track is easier to handle and he’s more comfortable racing in those conditions.
If you’re interested in joining the bLU cRU Oceania Junior Cup class for 2021, please submit your expression of interest here.
Make sure to get your ticket for Final Round of the 2019 Motul Pirelli Australian Superbike Championship at Sydney Motorsports Park, on the 1st – 3rd November. For more updates and to purchase, head to ASBK.com.au.
Photo Credits: CM Photography and Linda Middleton