The 2020 season is officially on the horizon!
We’re four weeks away from kicking off the Asia-Pacific Tour with a new addition to the World stage: Yarra Ranges Downhill Festival near Melbourne, AUS. Yarra will bring the FIRE with six-person heats; guaranteeing close and strategic racing!
Racers will then start the Pac-Asia tour’s Northern migration. First stop, Australia’s most notorious motorsports race track, Mount Panorama, for Newtons' World Cup - a premier gravity venue for the last TEN years!
Next, they’ll continue to the Sunshine State of Queensland, AUS for Tame the Taipan. This event is downhill legend Adam Yates’ baby, and arguably one of the most demanding tracks on the circuit!
Lastly, the Pac-Asia finale will take place in one of the largest Archipelago Nations in the World: the Philippines. It’s here that top racers will battle it out for the Pac-Asia titles at the 2019 SEA Games venue, Seaside World Cup!
We caught up with some of our top Pac-Asia riders to get their thoughts on the tracks.
Zak Mills-Goodwin, a Melbourne resident who has played an integral part of Yarra’s organization, offer’s insight into this new and exciting race:
ZAK: To explain Mt. Donna Buang, it is one of the hidden mountain road gems that Victoria has to offer. Being only 2 hours to the East from the city of Melbourne it is a downhill skateboarder's blessing. It features 17km of downhill road from peak to the Yarra River, which equates to 20 minutes on board for a full run from the top to the end. Including sweeping turns and the surrounds of sub temperate rainforest and flowing streams, it is in a truly stunning location.
The race itself is held on a stretch of road that for many skaters in Melbourne has been their first introduction to downhill. This is the section of road featuring the highest quality, smoothest pavement across the entire mountain. It has top speeds of 80kmh after an intense drop from the start of the run, which leads to a long sweeping, left then right. Line choice will be key as the left has waves in the pavement which means line choice will be crucial to remaining in the fastest position for the upcoming straight.
Throw in 5 other people around you for racing in 2020’s Yarra Ranges Downhill Festival, and this is a recipe to test even the most confident of skaters. Strategy is going to be crucial to success as this track will be almost full tuck, ensuring sore legs from a run length of 2 minutes and 10 seconds, along with round-robin racing to qualify. After the 80kmh left-right sweeper there are 2 corners leaving many opportunities for people to draft and make passes on straights and emphasizing the importance of line choices and positioning.
Also being in March and the road being extremely covered by foliage from the surrounding forest it is also likely that conditions may be patchy and extremely testing. Whilst most people seem to be anticipating a full tuck, easy race, do not underestimate Donna, as she is looking to be a true test of racing skill and strategy whilst showcasing its beautiful surroundings.
Newtons World Cup
He may not be the king of Newtons, but rumor has it he’s already there and out for BLOOD! Davis Lanham is one of Australia’s leading riders and is no-push-around when it comes to competition. His track breakdown...
DAVIS: Newtons, Mount Panorama, Bathurst, New South Wales, is possibly the most iconic track on the IDF World Circuit. It is one of the shortest tracks on the circuit and yet one of the most adrenaline-pumping at the same time. The track starts at the top of what would be the downhill section for the V8 supercars.
Straight away, you feel the steep gradient combined with the butter race track pavement accelerating you into the first slight right. As you enter this right, you are already blown away by the speed reached. You've got a concrete wall only a few inches from your inside and your mind is focused on my favorite part of the track - The Dipper. You don't have much time to prepare for the dipper, and before you know it, you’ve dropped a few meters in elevation and it's spat you out at the other end, hurling towards a wall of hay. Once you make it past the dipper, you could almost say you get to relax for a moment, but only briefly, as the acceleration is so great that before you know it, you pop over the crest and face the daunting task of picking the right line on an oh-so wide but tight Forest Elbow.
If you successfully navigate your way to this point in the track, there's nothing left to do but to buckle up, squeeze into your truck, and hope you get dealt a good card in the draft game. Just watch out for those side winds…
Tame the Taipan
Longtime Aussie legend and Tame the Taipan’s FIRST Gold Medalist, Josh Evans, is originally a Kiwi… but word on the street is that he’s getting an Australian passport? This year, Jevans will be looking for redemption after being “Tamed” himself in the 2019 consolation finals. Josh has experienced it all on this track; here’s some of the insider knowledge he’s willing to share:
JOSH: The Gold Coast hinterland is home to what’s likely the most intense and respected event on the IDF tour. Tame the Taipan really has it all. It’s incredibly steep and narrow, boasts hairpins, straights and a chicane that terrifies even the best, and at under a minute long she will make you pay for even the slightest of hesitations. Once you step on your board you’re immediately accelerating dumb fast and heading into the first of three hairpins. This left is the most drawn out of the three which makes gripping possible, but tight. Exiting this left at full speed spools you straight into a left kink followed by the second hairpin, this time a right. This is the tightest on the track and with even more gradient then the others you’re fighting for grip and line during entry and exit.
Seaside World Cup
Newcomer alert! December’s SEAgames introduced us to Abigail Viloria, PHL, who was one of their Nation’s top picks and should definitely be on your watch list. Displaying an immense amount of skill and dedication to the sport, she gives us a breakdown of her feelings of Seaside:
ABI: Speed defines everything. When you partner it up with good vibes, it's the perfect solution for a really great day. This is Seaside. It gives you that feeling where at times you just want to go fast, but at the same time, you want to take it slow so that you can bask yourself in its sunset glory and waters that don't seem to have an ending.
Seaside is everything, and everything is history. Pavements have been skated by the best and those who made themselves World Champions and now, bragging itself as a World Cup. Walking the track just hypes you up and Seaside gives you the feeling of empowerment - that you can be one of the best someday. The track can let you reach up to 90kph on the first straight, then down to the S's where you'll meet coaches kane, and a view like no other.
If you have the skills to share the thrill of the track or some vibes that connect everyone together, come to Seaside. Come and feel what everyone has been talking about. Show what you've got and been part of something that will become history.
With such variation in tracks and a quantity of highly-skilled riders, we expect a gripping battle for the Pac-Asia throne. Stay up-to-date with all the action at @idfracing and Facebook. We look forward to seeing you on the track! #idfracing