Sydneysider Glenn Allerton has his sights set on the future when he competes in the Laguna Seca round of the 2013 Superbike World Championship on September 29.
Allerton’s aim is to compete in the world superbike (WSBK) title on a permanent basis, and he has labelled the introduction of a new EVO WSBK sub-class in 2014 as a “blessing” to help him get there.
The new EVO class will combine superbike-spec chassis with superstock-spec engines, and is designed to bring down costs and attract more competitors back into the championship. The EVO class will have a cap on the number of engines in one season, there will be restrictions on gearbox and ECU use, as well as price caps on brakes and suspension.
“As a cost-cutting exercise it’s a great idea,” said Allerton from Douglas Park in Sydney’s south west. “Our team is possibly looking at running in the EVO class in 2014, and it’s not out of the realms of possibility. When we look at our budget for racing in Australia, another 100-150 grand will have us on the world stage.
“And the EVO class will also be a great opportunity for wildcards to be more competitive at their local round of the championship, so I think the introduction of the new class will be a great thing.
“I’m hoping a lot of the Australian teams register as wild cards for world superbikes next February at the island. We have the local knowledge, and now with the new rules it’s a real opportunity for the Aussies to show our competitiveness.”
Allerton made a wildcard appearance in the 2013 WSBK opener at Phillip Island in February, but he will now head Stateside with a sharper BMW S 1000 RR at his disposal.
“It’s the same bike that I used at Phillip Island, but it’s now been modified a lot more – it’s now lighter and there’s more horsepower,” said Allerton, a two-time Australian superbike champion. “The biggest thing is the weight loss, which obviously helps to stop, turn and punch out of corners.”
Allerton finished 14th and 12th in the two Phillip Island races, but is now looking to push further towards the front at Laguna Seca – a circuit where he competed in a round of the American superbike title in 2012.
“I really enjoy the Laguna Seca layout, and I know what to expect when I get there. That definitely wouldn’t be the case if I was racing in Europe, so that’s a big advantage,” said Allerton. “I haven’t ridden the bike in its up-specced form yet, as we’ve still got to fit a close-ratio gearbox when we get there. But we already know a lot of the settings required around the track, so we’ll be straight into it from Friday morning onwards.
“Top ten would be great in the races, but if we can put on a show it will help us next year.”
Laguna Seca will be round 12 of 14 in the 2013 WSBK title, which is currently being led by Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes. When WSBK last visited the Californian circuit in 2004, Australia’s Chris Vermeulen won both races on his factory Honda.