Australian Solo Championship goes to a last race decider at Gillman

As predicted the 2018 Australian Speedway 500cc Solo Motorcycle Championship went down to the wire at Adelaide’s Gillman Speedway on Sunday night (14 January) with the result not decided until the final race of the series.

After Brady Kurtz wiped out an 8 point deficit on early series leader Rohan Tungate in round three in Mildura on Friday, Tungate and Kurtz were equal on points going into the final round, and they were still equal after 12 heats after both won their first three rides.

In the fourth round of heats Tungate was beaten by Max Fricke in heat 13, but Kurtz won his ride to take a one point lead but as fate would have they were drawn to meet in the last heat of the series, with Kurtz in red and Tungate in blue in heat 20.

It was a must-win race for Tungate and there was a nervous moment for him when he jumped the start but it was all four back for the restart of what was one of the best races of the night, befitting the occasion. Kurtz got ahead going through turn one, but Tungate was under Kurtz out of turn two to take the lead down the back straight, Then it was Kurtz back in the lead but Tungate right with him. At the end of the second lap Tungate went under Kurtz and Kurtz clattered into the fence. If he’d fallen the refereeing decision would have been an interesting one, but he stayed on, albeit losing some momentum which gave Tungate a handy break. Kurtz regained a lot of lost ground, clocked the fastest lap of the race on the last lap and only lost by 0.096sec, but the series scores were now level again with just the final to come.

Unfortunately there was no repeat of the heat 20 fireworks in the final. The gate positions were the same as heat 20, Kurtz in red and Tungate in blue, but this time Kurtz got crossed up slightly in turn one and found himself back in last place behind Tungate, Jack Holder and Fricke and that was basically the championship over.

Holder, who qualified by winning the semi-final, raced around Tungate down the back straight and through turn three and led the rest of the race for a good win, his second round win in succession after winning at Mildura, but Tungate was comfortable in second and the championship was his with 62 points to Kurtz’s 60.

Max Fricke finished third in the final and third overall, with 53, two ahead of Holder on 51.

Defending champion Sam Masters had a disappointing end to his reign as champion when he had to withdraw from the meeting with a foot injury sustained in practice. Victorian teenager James Davies crashed spectacularly right in front of Masters who had no chance to avoid a collision with his bike and badly knocked his ankle. He later came out for heat one but only lasted half-a-lap before he had to pull out of the race, and the meeting, because of the pain.

Young Davies was also out of the meeting, as he was knocked unconscious and was treated on the track for a very long time before he was able to be taken to hospital where latest reports indicated he had some fractures to his neck and some bleeding on the brain.

The four finalists, not surprisingly with their British League first division experience, dominated the meeting, but there was plenty of exciting racing from the others.

Mildura teenagers Jaimon Lidsey and Jordan Stewart were the next best on the scorecard with 10 apiece, and they did very well to outscore Mason Campton and Josh Pickering (both 9) who have had good results at Gillman before and both rode well again in this meeting.

Amongst their highlights, Stewart beat Fricke in heat three; Campton beat Holder in heat four; Pickering had an exciting race against Fricke in heat eight; and the races between Pickering and Stewart in heat eleven, and Stewart and Campton in heat eighteen were amongst the best of the night, alongside Fricke and Holder in heat nineteen, and Tungate and Kurtz in heat twenty.

The next best was Jye Etheridge on 7 points, who was perhaps unfortunate not to make the semi-final because of a fall in heat 18. He was in front, with Campton second and Stewart surprisingly relegated to last after initially leading, when Campton made an inside pass and Etheridge came down. Spectators had differing opinions on who should get excluded, depending on where they saw it from, but it was Etheridge who got the gong.

The rest of the riders all put on some close racing amongst each other, but in general were not a threat to the top nine, with Josh Coyne’s ride against Pickering in heat fourteen the best effort in that regard, when he led Pickering for two laps until Pickering’s experience got him by into second behind Holder.

Full heat results and the final series points are on the Gillman Speedway website under the results tab.

Australian Championship to go down to the wire at Gillman Speedway Sunday night

The 2018 Australian Speedway 500cc Solo Motorcycle Championship will go down to the wire at Adelaide’s Gillman Speedway on SUNDAY night (14 January) after a dramatic turn of events in round three in Mildura on Friday night sees Rohan Tungate and Brady Kurtz equal on points going into the final round.

This season’s form rider, Rohan Tungate, held an eight point lead over 2016 champion Brady Kurtz after the first two rounds, and after three rides at Mildura the lead was still six points but while Kurtz won his final two heat rides to finish with a 15 point maximum, Tungate was only able to score 1 point from his last two rides.

With only 8 heat points, Tungate was fortunate to scrape into the last semi-final berth on a countback of heat placings ahead of Josh Pickering and Jye Etheridge, but the heat was on him to win the semi-final or surrender the championship lead to Kurtz.

Having never been a finalist (in Australian Championship rounds) at Mildura, and riding against Mason Campton and Max Fricke who had both beaten him in the heats, the odds were against Tungate, but he pulled out a massive ride when it was needed most to lead home Fricke, Campton and Jordan Stewart.

The line-up for the final was the unbeaten Kurtz, defending champion Sam Masters (13 points), Jack Holder (also 13) and Tungate.

In a surprise result it was Holder who led all the way to take the win ahead of Kurtz, Tungate and Masters which left Tungate and Kurtz equal on 45 points, with Max Fricke 38, Sam Masters 37 and Jack Holder 36 in a close contest for overall third.

Although Kurtz showed on Friday night, it is possible to wipe out an 8 point deficit, Kurtz only had to reel in one rider, whereas Fricke, Masters and Holder will need both Tungate and Kurtz to drop a lot of points and it is unlikely both will fail, so the title appears to be a shoot-out between Tungate and Kurtz and both have previously won championship rounds at Gillman.

Tungate won the Gillman round in 2014 but, perhaps more tellingly, he has been in the first three in four of his six appearances and in the other two rounds he finished fifth (second in the semi-final), so he has a very good record at Gillman. His two fifth placings were in his first appearance in the championship, in 2012, where he quickly became a crowd favourite with his full throttle, never-give-in riding; and last season when he rode injured after a heavy crash in his first ride.

Kurtz has only ridden in two rounds at Gillman and although he had a poor meeting last season and only scored 5 points, he won the final in 2016 – leading home Tungate in the final, so it is even money who can come out on top at Gillman.

Although Fricke, Masters and Holder are unlikely to win the championship there is still everything to play for if they have World Championship aspirations.

Australia has four places in the World Championship (Grand Prix) qualifying rounds and only the first two in the Australian Championship are guaranteed a place. The other two places are chosen by the Motorcycling Australia Speedway Commission, in conjunction with MA, so third and fourth are not guaranteed a place, but unless a star rider has missed the national championship because of injury or other mitigating circumstances, the selectors more often than not reward the riders who have supported their national championship so a podium finish is very important.

The Championship points going into the final round are: Rohan Tungate 45, Brady Kurtz 45, Max Fricke 38, Sam Masters 37, Jack Holder 36, Mason Campton 30, Josh Pickering 28, Jordan Stewart 25, Jaimon Lidsey 21, Jye Etheridge 21, Matthew Gilmore 16, Cooper Riordan 14, Robert Medson 12, Joel Coyne 8, Declan Knowles 8, James Davies 4.

Some of Australia’s leading Sidecar riders will also compete at Gillman on Sunday night, including current Australian Champions Trent Headland/Darryl Whetstone, current Australia #2 Andrew Buchanan/Denny Cox, former Australian Champion Mark Mitchell/Dale Knights, Byren Gates/Michael O’Loughlin and Damien Niesche/Mitchell Spear.

Top photo: Current series leaders Rohan Tungate (left) and Brady Kurtz pictured after the final of the 2016 Gillman round. Photo: Judy Mackay.

Bottom photo: Rohan Tungate (yellow), Brady Kurtz (blue) and Max Fricke (white) in the 2016 Gillman round. Photo: Judy Mackay.

Everything you need to know:

Meeting Date: Sunday night, 14 January 2018

Venue: Gillman Speedway Stadium, 65 Wilkins Road, Gillman – near the Port Adelaide area.

Gates open: 3 pm. Entry via Western and Eastern gates. Off-street parking areas near both gates.

Racing starts: 7.30 pm. Free spectator access to the pits between the finish of practice and the riders’ briefing, approx. 5pm to 6.30pm.

Riders (alphabetical order): Mason Campton (NSW), Joel Coyne (Qld), James Davies (Vic), Jye Etheridge (NSW), Max Fricke (Vic), Matthew Gilmore (NSW), Jack Holder (NSW), Declan Knowles (Vic), Brady Kurtz (NSW), Jaimon Lidsey (Vic), Sam Masters (NSW-defending champion), Robert Medson (SA), Josh Pickering (NSW), Cooper Riordan (Vic), Jordan Stewart (Vic), Rohan Tungate (NSW). Reserves: Josh Coyne (Qld), Brayden McGuinness (SA).

Format: 16 riders x 20 heats plus a last chance semi-final and a final. The 4th to 7th highest scorers go into the semi-final; and the winner of the semi-final and the highest three scorers from the 20 heats go into the final.

Sidecars: Australia 1 Trent Headland/Darryl Whetstone (SA), Australia 2 Andrew Buchanan/Denny Cox (NZ/NSW), Mark Mitchell/Dale Knights (SA), Byren Gates/Michael O’Loughlin (NSW), Damien Niesche/Mitchell Spear (SA).

Australian Solo Championship Round 4 Sponsor CBS Bins : CBS Bins is a family owned and operated businesses which commenced in 1975 when Graham and Marion Baker started in business with the purchase of a model 610 Bobcat. As the years progressed they were joined by their sons Steven, Mark and Darren, and today CBS Bins has grown into one of South Australia’s leading waste and rubbish removal companies. Sadly Graham passed away in January 2013, but his family continue to support Gillman Speedway and Graham’s past support has been remembered by the western end terraced area being named The Graham Baker Terrace. Website [www.cbsbins.com.au]

Admission prices: Adults $30, Pension and Student Concession $25 (*), Children aged 12-15 $10, Under 12 FREE, Family Tickets $70. Car Parking free. Souvenir programme $5.

(*) Concession is limited to holders of the Centrelink Pensioner Concession Card and Student Concession card holders only. A family ticket covers 2 adults and children under 16.

Programmes: The souvenir programme includes colour action and portrait photographs of the 16 riders and a detailed history of the Championship going back to the 1920s.

Seating: Grandstand seating, large grassed viewing mounds and terracing suitable for deck chairs.

VIP Area: The V.I.P. area is available to anyone who would like to treat their business colleagues, family or friends to the best view of motorcycle speedway action in Australia. Spectators can enjoy the elevated view overlooking the track, either from inside the temperature controlled room, on the timber decks, or the enclosed lawn area, for a very reasonable price per person. A fully stocked bar and a variety of food to suit all budgets is available and you can book the whole room or part thereof. Ring Gillman Speedway Manager David Parker on 0403 364 658 or e-mail dave@gillmanspeedway.com for more details.

Food and drink: Full bar and catering available. Food includes hot chips, hamburgers, chicken burgers, pies, pasties, sausage rolls, Chiko Rolls, dim sims, hot dogs, doughnuts, coffee, cold drinks, sweets. “Gillman has far and away the best speedway tucker” [Peter White’s Speedway World]

Bar facilities are available but please note a condition of our liquor licence is no byo alcohol or glass can be brought into the venue. Security will check at the gate.

Pets: No pets, other than guide dogs, are allowed into the venue.

Souvenirs: There is a well-stocked souvenir shop. Eftpos available in the souvenir shop. Souvenirs can also be purchased online (see the Shop tab on the Gillman Speedway website).

Weather Forecast (as at 13/1/18): Maximum 25, minimum 14. Sunny afternoon. [www.bom.gov.au/sa/forecasts/Adelaide]

Directions:

The best way to get to Gillman Speedway is off Hanson Road.

If you are coming from the eastern and southern suburbs, get on to Hanson road off Torrens Road or Grand Junction Road, travel north on Hanson road over the train line then take the first road on the left, which is Wilkins road.

From the northern suburbs, travel down the new Port Adelaide expressway and take the Hanson Road exit. Once on Hanson Road, take the first exit on your right, this is Wilkins road.

From the western suburbs, Wilkins Road is the continuation of Bedford Street, north of Eastern Parade.

For interstate visitors flying into Adelaide and getting a hire car, Gillman is about 20kms, and 30 minutes’ drive (depending on traffic lights) from the airport.

The easiest and most direct way from the airport, if not going to your accommodation first is:

On leaving the airport, turn left onto Sir Donald Bradman Drive. Continue along Sir Donald Bradman Drive until you reach the end of the airport grounds and turn right onto Tapleys Hill Road. Once you are on Tapleys Hill Road you can’t really go wrong. You only have to make three or four turns and most of those are simple. Just keep going on Tapleys Hill Road until you can’t go any further. That’s Port Road. Turn left onto Port Road (you can only turn left, so pretty easy to this point). Continue down Port Road for about 1 km to the first intersection which is Grand Junction road and turn right. You only go 700 metres along Grand Junction Road over a bridge over a railway line. Stay in the left lane because at the bottom of the bridge you turn left into Gray Terrace. Go to the end of Gray Terrace and turn right (you can’t go straight ahead) onto Bedford Street. Just keep going on that road until you get to the speedway. About 2 kms.

Accommodation: There is plenty of accommodation in Adelaide and suburbs, within 20-30 minutes of the Speedway, ranging from five star hotels to caravan parks and backpacker hostels. The Pavlos Motel on Main North Road, Pooraka offers a discount to speedway fans but you must ring the motel direct and ask for the Gillman Speedway discount. Full details are on the Gillman website under the information/accommodation tab.

Live results: download the MYLAPS Speedhive app to your phone or tablet. Free to view. Gillman programme also available to download from the Gillman Speedway website (under the Shop tab) for $5.50 payable by credit card or PayPal.

Contact for this meeting: Speedway Manager, David Parker 0403 364 658

Rohan Tungate extends his lead in the Australian Solo Championship

Rohan Tungate last night extended his lead in the Australian Solo Championship with victory in the final at his previous “hoodoo” track, Undera Park in Victoria.

Tungate had never reached the final in five previous attempts at Undera, but went to the track relatively confident, saying “It hasn’t been my best place, but I am due for a good one there. I am in good form. When you’re racing well, you can ride well anywhere.”

If he wasn’t already, Tungate must now be the favourite to clinch the title, his first, at Gillman Speedway on Sunday night.

He said: “It’s possible. I am in a good position, and that’s what I really want. It’s what I’m in the Australian series for, so we’ll just keep plugging away and go for it. I just have to take it race by race and keep doing what I am doing. There’s nothing I have to panic about. I just have to enjoy what I am doing and keep it simple. Hopefully it will work out well.”

Tungate started round 2 at Undera with a loss to Jack Holder in his first ride, but had a confidence boosting win over the second and third placed riders in the series, Josh Pickering and Max Fricke, in his second ride, and then won his next two rides before going down to Brady Kurtz in heat 20 which was a preview of the final with the top three scorers on the night, Kurtz, Sam Masters and Tungate meeting.

All three had already qualified for the final after only four rides, but Series points were on the line and Kurtz continued what had been an unbeaten run to that stage by winning from Tungate and Masters.

A countback was needed to decide the starters in the semi-final with Max Fricke (11 points) and Jordan Stewart (9) joined by Matthew Gilmore (8) and Jack Holder (8), with Mason Campton and Jye Etheridge, both also with 8 points, missing out.

Round 1 star Josh Pickering was further down the scorecard on 6 points after suffering two infield exclusions which may ultimately cost him an overall top 4 finish.

After just scraping into the Semi-Final, Jack Holder beat Fricke for the other place in the final and gained a vital two points by finishing third behind Tungate and Masters.

The maximum man from the heats, Brady Kurtz, was excluded from the final for bringing down Holder in the first attempt to run the race and for the second time he has reached the final but failed to collect any bonus points. He now has the unusual record of 12 rides for 9 wins, a retirement, a fall and an exclusion. He is still in second place overall however, so those slip ups in the two finals might be the difference between winning and losing the title, which he won in his first attempt in 2016.

Series points after two rounds: Rohan Tungate 35, Brady Kurtz 27, Max Fricke 26, Sam Masters 23, Josh Pickering 20, Jack Holder 19, Mason Campton 18, Jordan Stewart 16, Jaimon Lidsey 15, Matthew Gilmore 14, Jye Etheridge 13, Cooper Riordan 9, Robert Medson 9, Joel Coyne 6, Declan Knowles 5, James Davies 3, Matthew Pickering (reserve) 0.

Round three is at Olympic Park Speedway in Mildura on Friday night and the fourth and deciding round is at Gillman Speedway in Adelaide on Sunday. Gates open at Gillman at 3pm and racing starts at 7.30pm, with the Bureau of Meteorology predicting a pleasant maximum of 25 degrees.

Photo: Rohan Tungate after winning the Jack Young Cup at Gillman in November. Photo by Judy Mackay.

Australian Solo Championship decider at Gillman Speedway Sunday night

The 2018 Australian Speedway 500cc Solo Motorcycle Champion will be crowned this SUNDAY night (14 January) at Adelaide’s Gillman Speedway.

The Championship is being run over four rounds, in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, and the Gillman meeting, presented by CBS Bins, will be the fourth and deciding round.

With only one round completed it is too early to single out any rider as a favourite but this season’s from rider, Rohan Tungate, has continued his impressive start to the season by winning the first round, and holds a three point lead going into tonight’s second round at Undera Park Speedway in Victoria.

Tungate’s summer started in spectacular style when he took two reserve’s rides for two wins against some of the Word’s best riders in the Australian Speedway Grand Prix (World Championship) at Etihad Stadium at the end of October, and has just rolled on ever since, winning every meeting he has contested – the Jack Young Cup at Gillman, Phil Crump Trophy at Mildura, NSW Championship and Jason Crump Trophy at Kurri – before winning the first round of the national championship at Kurri last Saturday night.

So Tungate is the rider to beat at the moment but surprisingly he does not have a good record at Undera which hosts round 2 tonight. In five previous rounds at Undera he has never reached the final, and has only reached the semi-final twice, whereas defending champion Sam Masters (who had a poor meeting in round 1) has been on the rostrum in each of the last three rounds, and second-placed Max Fricke has been in two of the last three finals.

It is a similar story at Mildura where Tungate has never been a finalist (in Australian Championship rounds) but Masters and Fricke have been finalists in the last two seasons.

Tungate does, however, have a good record at Gillman where, as well as the Jack Young Cup in November, he has won a round of the national championship and the SA championship, so a lot will hinge on how he can go on the two Victorian tracks over the next three nights.

If he can reach the final tonight and Friday night he’ll go into the final round at Gillman next Sunday brim full of confidence – but slip up tonight or at Mildura and former World Under 21 Champion Fricke (second) and former Australian Champion Brady Kurtz (fourth) in particular will be ready to take advantage.

The Championship points after the first round are: Rohan Tungate 18, Max Fricke 15, Josh Pickering 14, Brady Kurtz 12, Jaimon Lidsey 11, Mason Campton 10, Jack Holder 9, Sam Masters 7, Jordan Stewart 7, Matthew Gilmore 6, Robert Medson 5, Jye Etheridge 5, Joel Coyne 4, Cooper Riordan 3, Declan Knowles 2, James Davies 1, Matt Pickering (res) 0, Ben Cook (res) 0.

The series points will be updated on the Gillman Speedway website on Wednesday night after the second round at Undera, and Friday night after the third round at Mildura.

Some of Australia’s leading Sidecar riders will also compete at Gillman on Sunday night, including current Australian Champions Trent Headland/Darryl Whetstone, current Australia #2 Andrew Buchanan/Denny Cox, former Australian Champion Mark Mitchell/Dale Knights, Byren Gates/Michael O’Loughlin and Damien Niesche/Mitchell Spear.

Photo: Current series leaders Rohan Tungate and Max Fricke riding at Bell Vue Speedway in Manchester, England. Photo: Ian Charles.

Everything you need to know:

Meeting Date: Sunday night, 14 January 2018

Venue: Gillman Speedway Stadium, 65 Wilkins Road, Gillman – near the Port Adelaide area.

Gates open: 3 pm. Entry via Western and Eastern gates. Off-street parking areas near both gates.

Racing starts: 7.30 pm. Free spectator access to the pits between the finish of practice and the riders’ briefing, approx. 5pm to 6.30pm.

Riders (alphabetical order): Mason Campton (NSW), Joel Coyne (Qld), James Davies (Vic), Jye Etheridge (NSW), Max Fricke (Vic), Matthew Gilmore (NSW), Jack Holder (NSW), Declan Knowles (Vic), Brady Kurtz (NSW), Jaimon Lidsey (Vic), Sam Masters (NSW-defending champion), Robert Medson (SA), Josh Pickering (NSW), Cooper Riordan (Vic), Jordan Stewart (Vic), Rohan Tungate (NSW). Reserves: Matt Pickering (NSW), Josh Coyne (Qld).

Format: 16 riders x 20 heats plus a last chance semi-final and a final. The 4th to 7th highest scorers go into the semi-final; and the winner of the semi-final and the highest three scorers from the 20 heats go into the final.

Sidecars: Australia 1 Trent Headland/Darryl Whetstone (SA), Australia 2 Andrew Buchanan/Denny Cox (NZ/NSW), Mark Mitchell/Dale Knights (SA), Byren Gates/Michael O’Loughlin (NSW), Damien Niesche/Mitchell Spear (SA).

Australian Solo Championship Round 4 Sponsor CBS Bins : CBS Bins is a family owned and operated businesses which commenced in 1975 when Graham and Marion Baker started in business with the purchase of a model 610 Bobcat. As the years progressed they were joined by their sons Steven, Mark and Darren, and today CBS Bins has grown into one of South Australia’s leading waste and rubbish removal companies. Sadly Graham passed away in January 2013, but his family continue to support Gillman Speedway and Graham’s past support has been remembered by the western end terraced area being named The Graham Baker Terrace. Website [www.cbsbins.com.au]

Admission prices: Adults $30, Pension and Student Concession $25 (*), Children aged 12-15 $10, Under 12 FREE, Family Tickets $70. Car Parking free. Souvenir programme $5.

(*) Concession is limited to holders of the Centrelink Pensioner Concession Card and Student Concession card holders only. A family ticket covers 2 adults and children under 16.

Programmes: The souvenir programme includes colour action and portrait photographs of the 16 riders and a detailed history of the Championship going back to the 1920s.

Seating: Grandstand seating, large grassed viewing mounds and terracing suitable for deck chairs.

VIP Area: The V.I.P. area is available to anyone who would like to treat their business colleagues, family or friends to the best view of motorcycle speedway action in Australia. Spectators can enjoy the elevated view overlooking the track, either from inside the temperature controlled room, on the timber decks, or the enclosed lawn area, for a very reasonable price per person. A fully stocked bar and a variety of food to suit all budgets is available and you can book the whole room or part thereof. Ring Gillman Speedway Manager David Parker on 0403 364 658 or e-mail dave@gillmanspeedway.com for more details.

Food and drink: Full bar and catering available. Food includes hot chips, hamburgers, chicken burgers, pies, pasties, sausage rolls, Chiko Rolls, dim sims, hot dogs, doughnuts, coffee, cold drinks, sweets. “Gillman has far and away the best speedway tucker” [Peter White’s Speedway World]

Bar facilities are available but please note a condition of our liquor licence is no byo alcohol or glass can be brought into the venue. Security will check at the gate.

Pets: No pets, other than guide dogs, are allowed into the venue.

Souvenirs: There is a well-stocked souvenir shop. Eftpos available in the souvenir shop. Souvenirs can also be purchased online (see the Shop tab on the Gillman Speedway website).

Weather Forecast (as at 10/1/18): Maximum 25, minimum 14. Partly cloudy. [www.bom.gov.au/sa/forecasts/Adelaide]

Directions:

The best way to get to Gillman Speedway is off Hanson Road.

If you are coming from the eastern and southern suburbs, get on to Hanson road off Torrens Road or Grand Junction Road, travel north on Hanson road over the train line then take the first road on the left, which is Wilkins road.

From the northern suburbs, travel down the new Port Adelaide expressway and take the Hanson Road exit. Once on Hanson Road, take the first exit on your right, this is Wilkins road.

From the western suburbs, Wilkins Road is the continuation of Bedford Street, north of Eastern Parade.

For interstate visitors flying into Adelaide and getting a hire car, Gillman is about 20kms, and 30 minutes’ drive (depending on traffic lights) from the airport.

The easiest and most direct way from the airport, if not going to your accommodation first is:

On leaving the airport, turn left onto Sir Donald Bradman Drive. Continue along Sir Donald Bradman Drive until you reach the end of the airport grounds and turn right onto Tapleys Hill Road. Once you are on Tapleys Hill Road you can’t really go wrong. You only have to make three or four turns and most of those are simple. Just keep going on Tapleys Hill Road until you can’t go any further. That’s Port Road. Turn left onto Port Road (you can only turn left, so pretty easy to this point). Continue down Port Road for about 1 km to the first intersection which is Grand Junction road and turn right. You only go 700 metres along Grand Junction Road over a bridge over a railway line. Stay in the left lane because at the bottom of the bridge you turn left into Gray Terrace. Go to the end of Gray Terrace and turn right (you can’t go straight ahead) onto Bedford Street. Just keep going on that road until you get to the speedway. About 2 kms.

Accommodation: There is plenty of accommodation in Adelaide and suburbs, within 20-30 minutes of the Speedway, ranging from five star hotels to caravan parks and backpacker hostels. The Pavlos Motel on Main North Road, Pooraka offers a discount to speedway fans but you must ring the motel direct and ask for the Gillman Speedway discount. Full details are on the Gillman website under the information/accommodation tab.

Live results: download the MYLAPS Speedhive app to your phone or tablet. Free to view. Gillman programme also available to download from the Gillman Speedway website (under the Shop tab) for $5.50 payable by credit card or PayPal.

Contact for this meeting: Speedway Manager, David Parker 0403 364 658

Vintage Treloar as he blitzes the first Sidecar Super Prix round

Darrin Treloar produced a vintage Treloar display at Gillman Speedway on Saturday night (6 January) when he and new passenger Jesse Headland blitzed the opposition to go unbeaten in the first round of the Nankang Tyres/Mitch Chassis Sidecar Super Prix.

The four round Super Prix Series has been hyped as being “like four Australian Championships” and the first round lived up to the hype with three of last season’s championship finalists reaching the final, but no one could challenge Treloar who won his five heat rides and the final convincingly.

Joining Treloar in the final were former Oceania Champion Mark Plaisted (13 points), current Australian Champion Trent Headland (12) and current World Cup Champion Warren Monson (9 points and winner of the last chance semi-final).

Although Plaisted was relegated to third in the final, with Headland finishing second, just being in the final was a great achievement after a spectacular crash in his fourth ride.

After three rides each, Plaisted was sitting alongside Treloar as the only unbeaten riders, but at the start of his fourth ride Plaisted cartwheeled spectacularly in turn two. Although it was an alarming looking crash, and he and passenger Ben Pitt required lengthy treatment by the medicos, they gutsily took their place in the rerun, and, despite the after-effects of the crash and riding their second bike, still finished second behind Dave Bottrell but ahead of former Australian Champion Mark Mitchell and in-form Kym Menadue/Eric Melton. They dropped their other point to Treloar in heat 18.

Overall second-placegetters Headland and Whetstone dropped their points to Plaisted, Treloar and Mitchell.

The point score was tight for a place in the semi-final with several riders missing out based on results in the last round of heats.

The fourth highest scorers were the consistent Damien Niesche and Mitchell Spear (10), then came Andrew Buchanan/Denny Cox, Monson and Andrew Summerhayes, Neale Hancock/Brock Gates, and Mick Headland/Brenton Kerr on 9, and Dave Bottrell/Chris Bottrell and Mark Mitchell/Dale Knights on 8.

Going into the last four heats Niesche was on 9, Bottrell, Monson and Mick Headland on 7, Buchanan and Hancock on 6, and Mitchell on 5. Both Bottrell and Mitchell had lost vital points in their third rides, with an infield exclusion for Bottrell, and a crash for Mitchell, while Buchanan had been off the pace of the leading riders in his early rides.

Hancock put himself in line for a semi-final berth with an all-the-way win over Mick Headland, Niesche and Menadue in heat 17. The win meant Hancock would finish ahead of Headland in any countback and that was the deciding factor with Hancock getting in and Headland missing out.

Bottrell, Monson and Buchanan all met in heat 19 and again the finishing order helped determine the qualifiers. Buchanan, after a lack lustre first three rides had won his fourth ride in fine style and again led heat 19 all the way to win easily and with two heat wins guaranteed a semi-final place. Bottrell was in second place for three laps and had he held that place he would have also been in the semi-final on heat wins, but he was passed by Monson on the last lap which meant Monson got in and Bottrell did not.

Mitchell won a close race with Trent Headland in heat 20, but it wasn’t enough, and like Bottrell he was a point shy of a semi-final berth.

The semi-final looked wide open, but although it was a close race between all four bikes, Monson led all the way for the win ahead of Niesche, Buchanan and Hancock.

Although Hancock finished last in the semi-final, he will be seeded to the remaining rounds for being the highest placed rider who came through from the pre-meeting qualifying races. So again the heat 17 result was again vital as Mick Headland was the other rider in contention for that seeded berth.

Kym Menadue was the best of the rest with 5 points, but there were some disappointing scores for a couple of riders. Shane Rudloff/Scott Morris (3 points) and more so Byren Gates/Michael O’Loughlin (2) would have been expecting to do much better, but for them there is the consolation of being able to write those scores off as only the best three rounds for each rider count in the overall series classification. On the flip side, points don’t always tell the full story as Dean Hobbs, although he only finished two races and scored 2 points, his times were three seconds quicker than his previous best this season which is quite an improvement.

Round 2 of the Super Prix will be held at Gillman on January 27, but the next Gillman meeting is the final of the Australian Solo Championship on Sunday night, 14 January.

Nankang Tyres/Mitch Chassis Sidecar Super Prix result

The result of the final of round 1 of the Nankang Tyres/Mitch Chassis Sidecar Super Prix at Gillman Speedway tonight was:

1st Darrin Treloar / Jesse Headland

2nd Trent Headland / Darryl Whetstone

3rd Mark Plaisted / Ben Pitt

4th Warren Monson / Andrew Summerhayes.

Semi-Final result Monson/Summerhayes, Damien Niesche/Mitchell Spear, Andrew Buchanan/Denny Cox, Neale Hancock/Brock Gates

Sizzling summer of sidecar action starts at Gillman Speedway on Saturday

Gillman Speedway’s sizzling summer of Sidecar action, which culminates with the World Cup on 1 April, starts this Saturday (6 January) with the first round of the Nankang Tyres/Mitch Chassis Sidecar Super Prix, a new event with over $35,000 in prize money over four rounds, making it the World’s richest Sidecar event.

A massive cash injection from major sponsor Nankang Tyres has enabled the promoters to attract the top eight riders from last season’s Australian Championship, and they will be seeded into each of the four rounds.

Those riders are Trent Headland, Andrew Buchanan, Warren Monson, Darrin Treloar, Dave Bottrell, Mark Mitchell, Damien Niesche and Mark Plaisted. (Top photo: Australia 1 and 2, Trent Headland/Darryl Whetstone (blue) and Andrew Buchanan/Denny Cox (yellow) ahead of Darrin Treloar/Blake Cox. Photo by Judy Mackay)

The format for each round will be the favoured format at Gillman of 20 heats, a last chance semi-final and a final, with series points allocated as the standard 3, 2, 1 for the 20 heats plus 4, 3, 2, 1 for the final.

With 29 nominations, Saturday’s meeting will start at 3pm with several elimination races and a qualifying meeting to give every rider a chance to qualify. The formats will be four cut throat elimination heats with just one rider going forward to the qualifying group which will be the traditional 16 riders over 20 heats.

The highest eight point scorers in the qualifying races will join the eight seeded riders in the Super Prix heats which will start at 7.30pm.

With eight of sixteen qualifying it sounds easy enough, but with a very even spread of riders, racing will be close and there will be some disappointed riders.

Barring mishaps, Mick Headland, Neale Hancock and Byren Gates should have no trouble qualifying, and Kiwi Jamie Moohan and Shane Rudloff should also get through without too many dramas.

For the remaining three places, Kym Menadue and Tim Bichard would be on most people’s lists. They have both been in good form this season and both qualified for the finals on the opening night and the Justin Plaisted Farewell meeting, and Menadue won the Group 1 final at the last meeting.

If they were all to get through that would leave just one place and it is impossible to confidently predict who that place would go to.

All of the remaining riders have had good moments at various tracks this season, and could not only qualify but possibly out score some of the previously mentioned riders, but with their good performances they have also had some disappointing races, so the deciding factor is who can be consistently good enough to get the required points, which is likely to be around 8, or 9 to be on the safe side.

Despite there being 46 top class events throughout the afternoon and evening, admission prices have been kept at the normal cost of $25 for Adults, Age Pension & Student Concession $20, Children aged 12-15 $5, Under 12 free and Family $55.

World Cup champions Warren Monson/Andrew Summerhayes (white) and Damien Niesche/Mitchell Spear (blue). Photo by Derick Thomas.

Everything You Need To Know:

Meeting Date: Saturday, 6 January 2018.

Venue: Gillman Speedway Stadium, 65 Wilkins Road, Gillman – near the Port Adelaide area.

Gates open: Eastern gate open from 1 pm; Western (main) gate from 3 pm. The Eastern gate will close at 8pm. Off-street parking areas near both gates.

Racing starts: Qualifying meeting at 3pm; Super Prix heats at 7.30 pm. Free spectator access to the pits before Qualifying, and between Qualifying and the Super Prix.

Riders/Passengers:

Super Prix seeded riders, Australia 1-8 : Aust 1-Trent Headland/Darryl Whetstone (SA), Aust 2-Andrew Buchanan/Denny Cox (NZ), Aust 3-Warren Monson/Andrew Summerhayes (Vic), Aust 4-Darrin Treloar/Jesse Headland (NSW), Aust 5-Mark Mitchell/Dale Knights (SA), Aust 6-Dave Bottrell/Chris Bottrell (Qld), Aust 7-Damien Niesche/Mitchell Spear (SA), Aust 8-Mark Plaisted/Ben Pitt (SA).

Super Prix Format: 16 riders x 20 heats plus a last chance semi-final and a final. The 4th to 7th highest scorers go into the semi-final; and the winner of the semi-final and the three highest scorers from the 20 heats go into the final.

Qualifying (starts a 3pm) : Peter Adams/Belinda Silvy, Ricky Adams/Alice Cox, Thomas Adams/Katelyn Silvy, Tim Bichard/Derick Thomas, Chris Bichard/Brett Lewis, Steve Browne/Colby Higgins, Nathan Cock/Jack Wilson (NSW), Chris Dess/Cameron Diwell (Vic), Nathan Fleet/Glen Zaworski, Stephen Fowler/Benny Goodridge, Byren Gates/Michael O’Loughlin (NSW), Neale Hancock/Brock Gates (Vic), Mick Headland/Brenton Kerr, Dean Hobbs/Ayrton Canning, Kym Menadue/Eric Melton, Jamie Moohan/Bayley Ogilvie (NZ), Adam Pascoe/Tim Wegner, Shane Rudloff/Scott Morris, Aaron Silvy/Jaron Speyer-Silvy, Brian Silvy/Cameron White, Darryll Woods/Will Walker.

Qualifying Format: Elimination races plus 16 riders x 20 heats. Highest 8 scorers go into the Super Prix heats.

Solo 125cc Under 16 on infield track : Angas van den Berg, Hugh Evans, Jackson Milner (Vic), Nicholas Possingham, Harry Sadler.

Sidecar 250cc Under 16 on infield track : Clay Burnett/Kaidyn Silvy, Harry Hearne/Nate Headland (Vic), Jackson Milner/Adam Niesche (Vic),

Admission: Adults $25, Age Pension & Student Concession $20, Children aged 12-15 $5, Under 12 free, Family $55. Parking free. Programme $5. Grandstand $5.

Concession is limited to holders of the Centrelink Pensioner Concession Card and Student Concession card holders only. A family ticket covers 2 adults and children under 16.

Seating: Grandstand seating, large grassed viewing mounds and terracing suitable for deck chairs.

VIP Area: The V.I.P. area is available to anyone who would like to treat their business colleagues, family or friends to the best view of motorcycle speedway action in Australia. Spectators can enjoy the elevated view overlooking the track, either from inside the temperature controlled room, on the timber decks, or the enclosed lawn area, for a very reasonable price per person. A fully stocked bar and a variety of food to suit all budgets is available and you can book the whole room or part thereof. Ring Gillman Speedway Manager David Parker on 0403 364 658 or e-mail dave@gillmanspeedway.com for more details.

Food and drink: Full bar and catering available. Food includes hot chips, hamburgers, chicken burgers, pies, pasties, sausage rolls, Chiko Rolls, dim sims, hot dogs, doughnuts, coffee, cold drinks, sweets. “Gillman has far and away the best speedway tucker” [Peter White’s Speedway World]

Bar facilities available but please note a condition of our liquor licence is no byo alcohol or glass can be brought into the venue.

Pets: No pets, other than guide dogs, are allowed into the venue.

Souvenirs: There is a well-stocked souvenir shop. Eftpos available in the souvenir shop. Souvenirs can also be purchased online (see the Shop tab on the Gillman Speedway website).

Weather Forecast (as at 31/12/17): Maximum 41, minimum 24. Very hot and sunny. [www.bom.gov.au/sa/forecasts/Adelaide]

Directions:

The best way to get to Gillman Speedway is off Hanson Road.

If you are coming from the eastern and southern suburbs, get on to Hanson road off Torrens Road or Grand Junction Road, travel north on Hanson road over the train line then take the first road on the left, which is Wilkins road.

From the northern suburbs, travel down the new Port Adelaide expressway and take the Hanson Road exit. Once on Hanson Road, take the first exit on your right, this is Wilkins road.

From the western suburbs, Wilkins Road is the continuation of Bedford Street, north of Eastern Parade.

For interstate visitors flying into Adelaide and getting a hire car, Gillman is about 20kms, and 30 minutes’ drive (depending on traffic lights) from the airport.

The easiest and most direct way from the airport, if not going to your accommodation first is:

On leaving the airport, turn left onto Sir Donald Bradman Drive. Continue along Sir Donald Bradman Drive until you reach the end of the airport grounds and turn right onto Tapleys Hill Road. Once you are on Tapleys Hill Road you can’t really go wrong. You only have to make three or four turns and most of those are simple. Just keep going on Tapleys Hill Road until you can’t go any further. That’s Port Road. Turn left onto Port Road (you can only turn left, so pretty easy to this point). Continue down Port Road for about 1 km to the first intersection which is Grand Junction road and turn right. You only go 700 metres along Grand Junction Road over a bridge over a railway line. Stay in the left lane because at the bottom of the bridge you turn left into Gray Terrace. Go to the end of Gray Terrace and turn right (you can’t go straight ahead) onto Bedford Street. Just keep going on that road until you get to the speedway. About 2 kms.

Accommodation: There is plenty of accommodation in Adelaide and suburbs, within 20-30 minutes of the Speedway, ranging from five star hotels to caravan parks and backpacker hostels. The Pavlos Motel on Main North Road, Pooraka offers a discount to speedway fans but you must ring the motel direct and ask for the Gillman Speedway discount. Full details are on the Gillman website under the information/accommodation tab.

Live results: download the MYLAPS Speedhive app to your phone or tablet. Free to view. Gillman programme also available to download from the Gillman Speedway website (under the Shop tab) for $5.50 payable by credit card or PayPal.

Contact for this meeting: Speedway Manager, David Parker 0403 364 658

Keynan Rew winner of South Australian 250cc Solo Championship

Queensland rider Keynan Rew won the South Australian Under 16 250cc Solo Championship at Gillman Speedway on Thursday night (28 December) after a harum-scarum final which, in Rew’s words, “almost ended in tears”.

As expected the four finalists were Rew (11 points), fellow Queenslander Jacob Hook (8), and local riders Fraser Bowes (8) and Liam May (7, and winner of the semi-final).

Rew dropped just one point in the heats, to Hook in heat three and both riders were on 8 points (Hook beaten by Rew in heat 6) after three rides but Hook was excluded from his final heat when his bike failed coming out of the tapes and Bailey Viner clipped him and fell.

In the hectic final, Rew was slightly ahead of Bowes through turns one/two, with Hook going wide and losing ground and passed by May. Rew hit some unexpected drive in turn four and lifted slightly coming out of the turn, which took him wide and he clattered into the fence and bounced along it for about 30 metres which enabled Bowes to pass him but, against the odds, Rew managed to regain control near the start/finish line and he and Bowes were side by side on the second lap until turn four when Rew was able to regain the lead. Meanwhile Hook had managed to get around May coming out of turn four on the opening lap and was now just behind Rew and Bowes as they were wheel to wheel. A lap later Hook managed to get around Bowes in turn four and tried hard to pass Rew on the last lap, but similar to Rew earlier, he picked up drive out of the last corner and went into the fence. Again, like Rew, he somehow managed to keep control and at the finish there was only about 5 metres between Rew and Hook, and a further 5 metres to Bowes in third place.

Top photo: placegetters, left to right Liam May, Jacob Hook, Keynan Rew, Fraser Bowes. Photo by Judy Mackay.

While Rew and Hook managed to avoid crashing, several riders were not so fortunate in the heats with a couple taking a ride in the ambulance.

The first to go down was 13-year-old Bradley Page. From Newcastle, the lad was having his first ride at Gillman and fell heavily on the first lap of his first heat. He was badly winded and bruised but with no broken bones he insisted on taking his remaining rides so earned plenty of praise from the spectators.

Patrick Bowes was the next to go down, falling and sliding into the air fence while running third behind his brother Fraser and Liam May in heat four. After being down for quite a while he was able to get to his feet and walk back to the pits but he later went to hospital with a suspected broken collarbone.

The third and final rider to go down was Teagan Pedler in heat five. She was leading a wheel to wheel race with Patrick Hamilton and Bailey Viner when she lost control on the last lap and highsided. She smashed a brand new helmet and suffered concussion so spent the night in hospital for observation. She now has to return to hospital for further x-rays as she may have a fracture in her pelvis.

Keynan Rew (blue) and Jacob Hook (white). Photo by Judy Mackay.

In the senior events the feature race winners were Robert Medson, Kym Menadue/Eric Melton and Andrew Gault/Jack Spear.

The 500cc Solos were down on numbers, with the late withdrawals of Max Fricke and Dakota Ballantyne, but there was some wheel to wheel racing between Medson, Brayden McGuinness and Arlo Bugeja in the Group 1 races. Medson, however, got the better of his rivals with wins in three of their four heats, with only the one loss to McGuinness in heat four, and won the final from McGuinness, Bugeja and Oliver Hamilton.

Brayden McGuinness (white), Arlo Bugeja (blue), Robert Medson (yellow). Photo by Judy Mackay.

It was a similar story in the Group 2 Solos, with close racing between all four riders, Seth Hickey, Tom Dixon, Blake Ridley and Aden Clare but Hickey got the upper hand in the three of the four heats, beaten only by Dixon by 5 metres after Hickey led until the last quarter of a lap in heat two.

Seth Hickey (yellow), Tom Dixon (blue), Aden Clare (red), Blake Ridley (white). Photo by Judy Mackay.

There was a surprise winner in the Group 1 Sidecar Final when Kym Menadue/Eric Melton won after Dave Bottrell/Chris Bottrell had dominated the heats.

Bottrell was unbeaten in the heats (12) but failed to come out for the final after suffering a clutch problem in the pits. That left Damien Niesche/Mitchell Spear (10), Menadue/Melton (8) and Nathan Cock/Jack Wilson (8) at the tapes, and while Niesche was the favourite, the in-form Menadue got the jump and led all the way for the win, with Niesche second and Cock third.

The highlight of the heats was the race between Bottrell and Shane Rudloff/Scott Morris in heat two when they were side by side for most of the race. Rudloff looked a big chance of overall honours after that ride but was off the pace for the rest of the night and only finished with 4 points.

The lowlight was a crash by Aaron Silvy/Jaron Speyer-Silvy in the opening heat. They required lengthy treatment but fortunately neither suffered any serious injuries.

The Group 2 Sidecars produced the closest racing of the night with only Tom Adams/Katelyn Silvy able to get any break on the others but again there was a surprise winner in the final with New South Wales rider Andrew Gault (local passenger Jack Spear) winning after failing to win a heat. Clinton Crabb/Michael Bell finished second and Paul Donnelly/Jake Roberts third, with leading point scorer Adams a non-finisher.

Ricky Adams/Alice Cox and Darryll Woods/Will Walker top scored in the Group 3 Sidecars, but it was first time rider Nathan Fleet who caught the eye. Riding the only speedway BMW in South Australia, Fleet won his first two rides in fine style before being forced out with mechanical trouble. Fleet is a former Solo rider from North Arm Speedway in the mid 1990s, and a third generation rider, a son of former sidecar rider Peter Fleet, and grandson of Rowley Park rider Doug Fleet. Another former North Arm competitor from the same era, Glen Zaworksi, was his passenger.

On the infield junior track, Hugh Evans clean-sheeted in the 125cc Solo events, while Mark-John Papastamatis/- and Jackson Milner/Adam Niesche produced some exciting racing on the 250cc Sidecars but unfortunately both riders lost points through exclusions.

 

Gillman feature race winners 28 December

500cc Solo Final: Robert Medson, Brayden McGuinness, Arlo Bugeja, Oliver Hamilton.

Sidecar Group 1 Final: Kym Menadue/Eric Melton, Damien Niesche/Mitchell Spear, Nathan Cock/Jack Wilson, Dave Bottrell/Chris Bottrell (dns).

Sidecar Group 2 Final: Andrew Gault/Mitchell Spear, Clinton Crabb/Michael Page, Paul Donnelly/Jake Roberts, Thomas Adams/ Katelyn Silvy (exc, infield).

250cc Solo South Australian Under 16 Championship: Keynan, Rew, Jacob Hook, Fraser Bowes, Liam May,

Full report and results to follow.

 

43 events at Gillman Speedway tonight

Gillman Speedway fans will see a full programme of 43 events tonight with Group 1 & 2 Solos, Group 1, 2 & 3 Sidecars, and the South Australian Under 16 250cc Solo Championship.

Slight showers went over the track just after 4 pm, but they have now cleared and everything is ready for the gates to open ay 5pm, and racing to start at 7.30pm.