Abdullah Karim and Rodney Baxter battle in round two of the Wheelchair Grand Prix

Tight turn: Racers close in on a turn at the Whalan Reserve track for round two of the Quickie Wheelchair Grand Prix. Picture: Supplied
Tight turn: Racers close in on a turn at the Whalan Reserve track for round two of the Quickie Wheelchair Grand Prix. Picture: Supplied

Abdullah Karim and Rodney Baxter have moved to the top of the standings after round two of the Quickie Wheelchair Grand Prix.

The racing was closely contested with some surprises from newcomers taking the fight to the sports veterans.

The Wheelchair Grand Prix includes two speed categories: WF1 and WZ2.

WF1 enforces a total speed limit of 14km/h and WZ2 has a total speed limit of 10km/h.

In the WZ2 class, a surprise saw Nick Nguyen take out heat two on debut, but the rest of the WZ2 spoils was fought between series veterans Rodney Baxter and Abdullah Karim.

Baxter won heat one and the final, with Karim stealing the pre-final off him.

The final saw Baxter’s growing fan base on the edge of their seats, as it came down to the final corner, the pair separated by less than half a second.

With a great turn-out of spectators, there were cheers for Baxter as he crossed the line.

In the WF1 class, Karim reasserted his place at the top of the series, only 1 point off a perfect round.

Karim won both heats and the final. However, Baxter fought hard throughout the day.

Baxter won the pre-final by over 10 seconds, showing Karim that this season won’t be as easy as planned.

Wheelie: Rodney Baxter in action during round two of the Quickie Wheelchair Grand Prix. Picture: Supplied

Wheelie: Rodney Baxter in action during round two of the Quickie Wheelchair Grand Prix. Picture: Supplied

The final was another gripping fight between the two, with the penultimate corner being the decider.

Karim took the lead going into the second last corner, which was met with cheers from his fan base, and equally disappointed sighs from Baxter’s fans.

Debuting in round two, Nick Nguyen and Jess Irwin also impressed. Nguyen took out WZ2 heat two, and Irwin was on pace all day, rounding out podium spots in several different races.

Jess Irwin announced her arrival to the series in spectacular fashion.

Battling with WZ2 series leader, Rodney Baxter throughout the heats, Baxter and Irwin came together on turn 10, both showing each other that they’ll fight to the last corner.

Series rookie Steve Shadlow looked to lead the charge of the newcomers, only to have to retire from the day after mechanical issues in heat two of WF1.

Matt Quin debuted a new chair after searching for more speed from round 1. He rounded out the podium positions in WZ2.

The results for the day see a change in leadership in the championship with previous series leader Kieran Watts not attending.

Round three of the Quickie WGP is on tomorrow from 10am at Whalan Reserve with races running every Wednesday until May 24.

Championship Positions after round 2

WZ2

1.     Rodney Baxter: 146

2.     Abdullah Karim:145

3.     Matt Quin: 121

4.     Steve Shadlow: 94

5.     Jess Irwin: 86

WF1

1.     Abdullah Karim: 137

2.     Rodney Baxter: 131

3.     Matt Quin: 104

4.     Jess Irwin: 88

5.     Nick Nguyen: 79