Victorian team considering Asian entry with triple Australian champion.
Words: Russell Colvin
Next Gen Motorsports will take its first step toward competing in the 2019 Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) when three-time Australian champion Glenn Allerton tests at Chang International Circuit in Thailand next week.
The Victorian-based BMW team has the intention of contesting the ARRC alongside their Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) commitments from next year, as the Asian series introduces a 1000cc category for the first time.
A two-day tyre test will take place next Tuesday and Wednesday following the conclusion of this weekend’s ARRC final round. It will mark Allerton and the Next Gen organisation’s first time on-track at Buriram, also due to adapt from Pirelli to Dunlop tyres in the regional experiment.
“I’m really excited to be heading to the Chang International Circuit, as it’s a new circuit for both the team and I,” said Allerton. “Not only is it a new circuit, being on the circuit with some of the best riders in Asia combined with what looks like to be a great circuit will be a fantastic challenge.
“We have two days to try and get familiar with different tyres, which will also be another challenge to overcome. In saying that, I’m sure the team and I will get a good base setting overall which will help us a lot.”
Next Gen Motorsports team manager Wayne Hepburn said that the team were looking forward to seeing how they would fair against the best riders and teams in Asia: “It has been a lot of hard work to get everything together after the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix and ship to Thailand.
“Shane Kinderis managed to fit our whole van and trailer contents into three flight boxes, which has been a huge task. “Only time will tell [if Chang will suit Allerton and the S 1000 RR]. Our set-up in Australia is based on Pirelli tyres, so we will have our hands full learning all about the Dunlop control tyre.”
At this stage the Next Gen Motorsports team are making all efforts to contest the ARRC in 2019 and the final decision will come down to the partnerships that they secure to make it financially viable to take up a place on the grid.
The lone round of the Asian championship that ‘clashes’ with the Australian series will be the ARRC/ASBK double-header, which will return for a second-straight season at The Bend Motorsport Park in South Australia between 25-28 April. Both calendars are made up of seven rounds each.