THE experience of a lifetime for two local flat-track racers has ended in unexpected glory.
Peter Lee and David Gras spent a large chunk of last year competing in the Kansas I70 Fair Series in the US, with Lee recently confirmed as the winner of his division.
Racing in the 600cc vintage class, Lee excelled in the first four race meetings in Goodlands, Colby and Stockton, but only found out he finished on top late last year.
Having missed the fifth and final race in Hayes, which was run at the start of September, it was an enormous effort from Lee.
"Pete did well to win it seeing as he wasn't there for the last one," Gras said.
"We didn't get the results and then Pete got an e-mail that said they were going to send the winning flag over."
Gras himself picked up second place in the under 50s class and also in the up to 400cc vintage class.
A broken swingarm in the first race at Goodlands effectively cost him the title.
However, the trip was less about the racing and more about the opportunity to enjoy the sport they love in an unbelievable setting in central US.
Having packed their own Australian motors in their suitcases - which made for some interesting moments in customs - the pair built the engines for their American flat-track bikes in Texas and then set off to begin the series.
All the tracks were half a mile in length with 24-degree banked corners, with racers reaching speeds of up to 160 kilometres an hour.
"Everyone was that friendly," Gras said.
"They welcomed us with open arms.
"Anything we needed, they gave to us.
"In the end Pete and I ended up fixing a couple of blokes' bikes - they didn't know what they were doing.
"We got lots of free beer after that," he laughed.