Brisbane’s Jeff Smith opened an early lead in the 1999/2000 Australian Top Bike Championship at the first round of the series, hosted by Ravenswood International Raceway.
Smith, riding a Harley Davidson, took the top qualifying spot, the win and bonus points for low elapsed time and top speed of the event.
Perth’s Ian Ashelford, also on a Harley, ran within thousandths of a second of Smith to qualify second. Brisbane’s Brett Stevens made it into third spot after repairing major engine damage sustained in the first session. Current Australian champion Craig McPhee made the long haul from Townsville, qualifying fourth on a Yamaha.
A full field of eight bikes fronted for the first round and the top four qualifiers all made it through. Smith had run 195 miles per hour (312 kph) in qualifying, which stood as top speed of the event. His win against fellow Queenslander Steve Kitchen in the first pairing took just 7.15 seconds, giving him low elapsed time, and 30 valuable bonus points. Smith beat McPhee in the semi finals to go into the all Harley final against Stevens, after he beat local favourite Ashelford.
The final was something of an upset for Stevens, whose bike slowed in the last few metres of the run to be passed by Smith, just six thousandths of a second in front.