Max Fricke wins round one

Six days after winning the South Australian Championship at Adelaide’s Gillman Speedway, Max Fricke backed up with victory in the first round of the Australian Championship at the same track on 3 January. The win was Fricke’s first in an Australian Championship round.

Fricke and defending champion, Rohan Tungate, top scored in the heats with 13 points each and then had a thrilling dice in the final, Fricke winning by just four metres in the closest finish of the night.

Five-time champion Chris Holder trailed in third in the final, nursing a hip injury, while one of the stand-out riders of the night, Jordan Stewart, fell in the first attempt to run the final.

Stewart was the standalone leader in the qualifying heats after four rounds, with 11 points, one ahead of Fricke, Tungate and Jack Holder on 10, with Sam Masters 8, Jaimon Lidsey and Chris Holder 7, and Brady Kurtz and Nick Morris 6.

Fricke easily won heat 18 against Ryan Douglas, Kye Thomson and Justin Sedgmen to move to 13 and a guaranteed final berth, before Stewart, Tungate, Jack Holder and Masters met in heat 19 to determine the other finalists.

Masters was the early leader but Tungate took the lead on lap two to win from Masters, Holder and Stewart, putting Tungate in the final with 13 points, and leaving Holder and Stewart tied on 11 points. Despite finishing behind Holder in that race, Stewart won the count-back for the remaining direct place in the final with a second place to Holder’s two third places.

The semi-final make-up was Holder with his 11 points, Masters, Lidsey and Chris Holder all on 10.

Chris Holder had started the night disappointingly with a retirement in his first race, reporting at the presentations that the problem was faulty fuel, and, after losses to Jack and Tungate, had only one race win going into heat 20 but then came from behind to beat Brady Kurtz, which decided which of the two went into the semi-final, and then won the semi ahead of Lidsey and Masters, with Jack falling while a close second behind Chris.

Ten points and second in the semi-final was a good result for Lidsey but early on he looked like a potential meeting winner. He looked the fastest in practice, and won his first two rides in fine style beating Jack Holder and Masters, but had a pointless third ride behind Stewart, Fricke and Brady Kurtz, followed by a third place behind Tungate and Chris Holder, before winning his final heat.

That second place behind Stewart was one of Fricke’s two dropped points, and the other was to Jack Holder. Tungate dropped his points to Brady Kurtz and Fricke.

Kurtz was one of several fancied riders pre-meeting, and looked well on track for at least a final berth with an easy win over Tungate in heat two, but failed to win another race and was lucky to escape injury with a spectacular crash while dicing with Ryan Douglas in heat 15.

The racing was keenly contested right through the line-up but of the non-qualifiers for the semi-final/final, two that caught the eye were Zane Kelleher and Ben Cook. Cook scored a good win over Masters, Todd Kurtz and Sedgmen in heat 11, while only inexperience cost Kelleher a race win over Fricke and Tungate in heat six.

Kelleher only had his first speedway race in December 2015, and being based in Rockhampton, has done very few meetings, but he was a clear leader ahead of Fricke and Tungate until he fell after a hard passing move by Fricke on lap three. Fricke did nothing wrong, it was just a classic case of a rider with hardened British/Polish/Swedish League experience against an inexperienced rider. He showed he is a quick learner, however, with a hard pass of his own on Nick Morris on the run to the line in heat 17, hard enough to earn a little rebuke from Morris on the way back to the pits. Although he is already 25, he looked like he could still reach a high level with overseas league experience, and is eligible for a UK work visa this year.

Heat points: 2-Max Fricke (Vic) 13 (3-3-2-2-3), 6-Rohan Tungate (NSW) 13 (2-2-3-3-3), 12-(Q2) Jordan Stewart (Vic) 11 (3-2-3-3-0), 13-Jack Holder (NSW) 11 (1-3-3-3-1), 15-Jaimon Lidsey (Vic) 10 (3-3-0-1-3), 4-Chris Holder (NSW) 10 (R-3-2-2-3), 3-Sam Masters (NSW) 10 (1-2-2-3-2), 5-Brady Kurtz (NSW) 8 (3-2-1-FX-2), 1-(Q6) Nick Morris (Qld) 7 (2-1-1-2-1), 8-(Q8) 16-(Q1) Ryan Douglas (Qld) 6 (0-0-2-2-2), 14-(Q5) Todd Kurtz (NSW) 6 (2-1-1-1-1), Ben Cook (NSW) 5 (1-1-3-F-0), 10-Zane Keleher (Qld) 5 (2-F-T-1-2), 11-(Q7) Zach Cook (NSW) 3 (1-1-0-1-0), 7-(Q4) Kye Thomson (Qld) 1 (0-0-0-0-1), 9-(Q3) Justin Sedgmen (Vic) 0 (0-R-0-0-R), 17-(Q9) Josh Pickering (NSW) reserve 1 (1), 18-(Q12) Brayden McGuinness (SA) reserve did not ride.

Series points: Max Fricke (Vic) 17, Rohan Tungate (NSW) 16, Chris Holder (NSW) 12, Jordan Stewart (Vic) 11, Jack Holder (NSW) 11, Jaimon Lidsey (Vic) 10, Sam Masters (NSW) 10, Brady Kurtz (NSW) 8, Nick Morris (Qld) 7,  Ryan Douglas (Qld) 6, Todd Kurtz (NSW) 6, Ben Cook (NSW) 5, Zane Keleher (Qld) 5, Zach Cook (NSW) 3, Kye Thomson (Qld) 1, Josh Pickering (NSW) 1, Justin Sedgmen (Vic) 0

Top photo: Max Fricke (blue) and Rohan Tungate (blue) dicing for the lead in the final. Photo by Judy Mackay.

Placegetters, left to right, Chris Holder (third), Rohan Tungate (second), Max Fricke (first), Jordan Stewart (fourth), Photo by Judy Mackay.

 

 

 

 

Australian Solo Championship Qualifiers

Qualifiers:

Ryan Douglas (Qld) 14 (3,3,3,3,2)

Jordan Stewart (Vic) 13 (2,2,3,3,3)

Justin Sedgmen (Vic) 11 (3,3,2,3,T)

Kye Thomson (Qld) 10 (1,3,2,1,3)

Todd Kurtz (NSW) 10 (3,3,1,2,1)

Nick Morris (Qld) 9 (2,2,T,3,2)

Zach Cook (NSW) 9 (1,1,3,2,2)

Ben Cook (NSW) 8 (2,0,1,2,3)

Non-qualifiers:

Josh Pickering (NSW) 8 (0,1,2,2,3)

Matthew Gilmore (NSW) 7 (1,2,1,1,2)

Robert Medson (SA) 5 (0,0,3,1,1)

Mason Campton (NSW) 4 (3,1,0,0,0)

Brayden McGuinness (SA) 4 (1,2,0,0,1)

Jack Morrison (Vic) 4 (2,1,0,1,0)

Jacob Hook (Qld) 2 (0,0,1,0,1)

Cooper Riordan (Vic) 0 (0,0,0,0,0)

Fraser Bowes (reserve) 2 (2)

Seth Hickey (reserve) 0 (0)

 

World Champion heads stellar line-up for Australian Solo Championship

Former World Champion Chris Holder heads a star-studded line-up for this season’s Australian 500cc Solo Championship which starts at Adelaide’s Gillman Speedway this week with a qualifying meeting on Wednesday night (2 January) and round one on Thursday night (3 January).

Recent seasons have seen some thrilling Australian Championships with the winner not decided until the final race of the series, and this season’s series looks like it will be another thrilling affair which will go down to the wire.

The strength of this season’s line-up can be seen not just in the list of seeded riders, but in the riders in the qualifying meeting which includes seven established British League riders.

In total there are four previous Australian Champions in the line-up – Chris Holder, Brady Kurtz, Sam Masters and Rohan Tungate – and another three riders – Jack Holder, Nick Morris and Justin Sedgmen – who have won rounds of the championship.

There could well be different winners in every round this season, as there was in both 2016 and 2017, in which case consistency in making the finals will be the key to winning the title. In 2016 Sam Masters did not win a round but he qualified for every final and went within one point of winning the title. The only other rider to reach every final was the eventual champion, Brady Kurtz.

Holder is a five-time national champion but hasn’t competed in the competition since 2015, when he was forced to withdraw due to injury. But in his only appearance in Australia this season, at NSW’s Loxford Park Speedway on Boxing night, Holder showed his rivals he’ll still be the favourite to claim his sixth title.

Holder went through the Boxing night meeting unbeaten, beating three of his major challengers for the national title – Tungate, Masters and Jack Holder – in the heats and again in the final, although Masters and Jack both led until the last lap in the heats, and Tungate was only beaten by ten metres, so Holder will have to be at his best to reclaim the title.

Other riders in top form since Christmas are Max Fricke and Jaimon Lidsey, with Fricke winning the South Australian Championship at Gillman last Friday night, and Lidsey beating Fricke to win the Phil Crump Trophy at Mildura the next night.

British League rides in Wednesday night’s qualifying meeting are Nick Morris, Justin Sedgmen, Mason Campton, Todd Kurtz, Jordan Stewart, Josh Pickering and Ryan Douglas. As well as their British League experience several of these have good Australian Championship CVs as well. Nick Morris has only ridden in two championships but finished fifth and sixth; Justin Sedgmen has made nine appearances and finished in the top eight every year except the first, and Mason Campton finished fifth last season.

Racing on both nights starts at 7.30pm and should finish around 10pm. The weather forecast for Thursday is very hot during the day but it is expected to be quite pleasant during the evening.

Everything You Need To Know:

Meeting Dates: Wednesday 2 January and Thursday 3 January 2019.

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

Gates open: Gates open at 4.30pm. Free spectator access to the pits until approximately 6.00pm.

Racing starts: 7.30pm.

Riders:

Australian 500cc Solo Championship CBS Bins Qualifying meeting on Wednesday, 2 January 2019

As selected by Motorcycling Australia, alphabetical order: Mason Campton (NSW), Ben Cook (NSW), Zach Cook (NSW), Ryan Douglas (Qld), Matthew Gilmore (NSW), Jacob Hook (Qld), Todd Kurtz (NSW), Brayden McGuinness (SA), Robert Medson (SA), Nick Morris (Qld), Jack Morrison (Vic), Josh Pickering (NSW), Cooper Riordan (Vic), Justin Sedgmen (Vic), Jordan Stewart (Vic), Kye Thomson (Qld). First reserve: Fraser Bowes (SA); second reserve: Seth Hickey (SA)

Australian 500cc Solo Championship CBS Bins Round 1 on Thursday, 3 January 2019

As selected by Motorcycling Australia, alphabetical order, Max Fricke (Vic), Chris Holder (NSW), Jack Holder (NSW), Zane Keleher (Qld), Brady Kurtz (NSW), Jaimon Lidsey (Vic), Sam Masters (NSW), Rohan Tungate (NSW) plus highest eight point scorers from the qualifying meeting.

Admission:

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

Thursday night (Round 1): Adults $30, Age Pension & Student Concession $25, Children aged 12-15 $10, Under 12 free, Family $70, Parking free. Programme $5. Grandstand $5.

Concession is limited to holders of the Centrelink Pensioner Concession Card and Student Concession card holders only.

Seating: Grandstand seating for 216 people. Large grassed viewing mounds and terracing suitable for deck chairs.

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, tea, 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. Also note no pets, other than guide dogs, are allowed into the venue.

Souvenirs: There is a well-stocked souvenir shop, including 2019 Australian Speedway Championship T shirt (full colour, $40, all sizes Adults and Children). Eftpos available in the souvenir shop.

Weather Forecast: (As at 31 December) Wednesday Maximum 34, minimum 16. Thursday Maximum 41, minimum 19. [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. 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). Continue down Port Road for about 1 km to the first intersection which is Grand Junction road and turn right. 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 onto Bedford Street. Keep going on that road until you get to the speedway. About 2km.

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: Live results are free to view on the MYLAPS phone app. (www.speedhive.mylaps.com). The Gillman programme is 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

Top photo: Chris Holder. Photo by Jesper Veldhuizen.

Max Fricke scores his first State Championship win

As expected, international rider Max Fricke won the Littlehampton Clay Bricks and Pavers South Australian Solo Championship at Gillman Speedway on Friday night (28 December).

The only surprise with Fricke’s victory was, as written about prior to the event, it was the former World Under 21 Champion’s first state championship win at senior level.

Pre-meeting, only defending champion Justin Sedgmen was considered a possible threat to Fricke, but Fricke was never challenged by any rider as he won his five heat rides and the final with consummate ease.

Behind Fricke there were seven riders in contention for final or semi-final berths and ultimately the placegetters were Matt Gilmore, Cooper Riordan and Sedgmen.

An entertaining night’s racing started in sensational fashion when 16-year-old Connor Bailey, who has already developed a minor cult following, led Sedgmen from start to finish. Sedgmen challenged Bailey for the whole race, and leading the defending champion must have had Bailey’s adrenalin pumping but he never put a wheel wrong as he thwarted every move by Sedgmen to win by just 0.069 seconds (or 1.5 metres).

Pleasingly for Bailey, and the fans, he was able to go on with it in his other rides to finish equal third on points with Sedgmen, on 12 apiece.

Ahead of them were Fricke, of course, on 15, and Cooper Riordan on 13.

20-year-old Riordan, from Mildura, has a good record in this event, reaching the semi-final stage for the last three years, but this was his best ever performance, as he was not only quick, but like Bailey he was able to maintain his form in every race and he was only beaten by Fricke and Gilmore.

Fricke, Riordan and Sedgmen were the direct qualifiers for the final, Sedgmen getting in ahead of Bailey by countback. Had it been in New Zealand, Bailey would have been in as they start the countback process with who beat who when the competitors met, but Australia still goes with who had the most wins as the first criterion.

That put Bailey into the semi-final, along with Dakota Ballantyne (11), Gilmore (9) and Robert Medson (8). Again a countback was needed to decide the fourth starter, with Medson in ahead of Fraser Bowes.

All four had a realistic expectation they could make the main event. Bailey, as reported, was in good form all night. Likewise Ballantyne who was very smooth all night and beat the other three semi-finalists in the heats, while Gilmore and Medson had started slowly but got better as the night went on.

With only one point from his first two rides there was the suggestion on the terraces that the twice Under 16 World 250cc champion, Gilmore, had not progressed as well as expected at senior level, but he was sensational in his remaining rides. In his third ride he roared around Riordan at the end of the first lap and went on to score a good win ahead of Riordan and Medson. He followed that with another win in heat 14, and then a very good second place behind Sedgmen in heat 20 after they were wheel-to-wheel throughout the race.

Gilmore carried that momentum into the semi-final, and led all the way to win from Medson, Bailey and Ballantyne; and also into the final where he was a comfortable runner-up to Fricke, while Riordan and Sedgmen battled for third place. Fortunately for Riordan he was victorious which means Gilmore and Riordan are now eligible to apply for a UK work visa.

Outside of the semi-final/final qualifiers, there were several impressive performances, not least of all local teenager Fraser Bowes. Bowes had by far his most impressive meeting yet at the last meeting (Jack Young Cup), but stepped up another level again at this meeting. He started with a surprise second place ahead of Gilmore (behind Fricke) in his opening ride and had Riordan beaten in his next ride only to make a mistake on the last lap which caused him to lose a lot of ground, and momentum, which allowed Riordan to score a narrow win. It was only that slip-up that cost him a semi-final place.

Just behind Bowes were the Queensland teenagers Jedd List (7 points) and Jacob Hook (6).

List would have been disappointed after reaching the final of the Jack Young Cup in the previous meeting, but he had some good rides including a heat win over Ballantyne. 16-year-old Hook started slowly but got better as the night progressed and beat both Bowes and List in a couple of his later rides.

If List was disappointed after his Jack Young Cup results that would have gone ten-fold for Brayden McGuinness who won the Cup so would have felt confident of a good showing in the state title but he had a shocker. He started with a second place behind Ballantyne in heat 4. No shame in that, there is nothing between Ballantyne, McGuinness and Medson as top dog of the local riders, but then suffered bike problems in his second heat, fell in his third, and consequently missed his fourth, before finishing with a third place behind the Sedgmen-Gilmore duel in heat 20.

In the supporting Sidecar races, Kym Menadue/Eric Melton were the surprise performers, winning two of their four races against Mark Mitchell/Brad Lawler. Mitchell led the first heat from start to finish but Menadue made a late challenge and only lost by two metres. Menadue then won heats two and three, before his bike unexpectedly stopped while running second to Mitchell in heat four. The sudden stop caused some anxious moments for the closely following Dean Hobbs/Glen Zaworski who ran into the back of Menadue’s bike but fortunately did not crash. Hobbs/Zaworski and Brian Silvy/Cameron White had some close races for the minor placings with the final points Mitchell 10, Menadue 8, Silvy 4, Hobbs 1 and Ricky Adams/Alice Cox 1.

Full heat results are on the Gillman website.

The next meeting is the Australian Solo Championship Qualifying round on Wednesday night, 2 January.

Top photo: Max Fricke (blue) disappears out of frame as Cooper Riordan (red), Matt Gilmore (white) and Justin Sedgmen fight for the minor placings in the final of the Littlehampton Clay Bricks and Pavers South Australian Solo Championship. Photo by Judy Mackay.

Photo below: Placegetters, left to right, Cooper Riordan (third), Max Fricke (first), Matt Gilmore (second) and Justin Sedgmen (fourth). Photo by Judy Mackay.

 

South Australian Solo Championship result

1st Max Fricke (15 heat points)

2nd Matthew Gilmore (9 points, won semi-final)

3rd Cooper Riordan (13 points)

4th Justin Sedgmen (12 points)

5th Robert Medson (8 points, second in semi-final)

6th Connor Bailey (12 points, third in semi-final)

7th Dakota Ballantyne (11 points, fourth in semi-final)

8th Fraser Bowes (8 points)

9th Jedd List (7 points)

10th Jacob Hook (6 points)

11th Kane Lawrence (5 points)

12th Seth Hickey (4 points)

13th Brayden McGuinness (4 points)

14th Blake Ridley (3 points)

15th Declan Knowles (2 points)

16th Steve Graetz (1 point)

Fricke, Sedgmen favourites for SA Championship at Gillman Speedway Friday night

International riders Max Fricke and Justin Sedgmen are the favourites for the Littlehampton Clay Bricks and Pavers South Australian Solo Championship at Gillman Speedway on Friday night (28 December).

This is the 72nd staging of the championship, and there have had 31 different winners and with defending champion Sedgmen the only former winner in Friday night’s line-up there is a very good chance there will be a new winner.

While Sedgmen is one of the favourites, most will have Fricke as the outright favourite.

Fricke is a four-times Australian Under 21 Champion, former World Under 21 Champion, has finished in the top five in the last four Australian Championships and represented Australia in the World Team Cup and in the occasional Grand Prix. An impressive resume and a worthy one to make him outright favourite, BUT for all his achievements he has not yet won a state championship.

Sedgmen, on the other hand, while not having as much success overseas as Fricke, as well as being the current South Australian Champion, is a former Victorian Champion, has never been lower than sixth in the SA Championship, has twice been on the podium in the Australian Championship, and three times been on the rostrum in the Gillman rounds of the Australian Championship, so he is a proven performer on Australian tracks in general and Gillman in particular.

A win by either rider would not be a surprise but it would be major upset if the winner was to come from outside those two.

The rest of the line-up is very even looking so should supply some outstanding racing, as many of them did in the Jack Young Cup at our last meeting, but none have the battle-hardened experience of British and Polish League racing like Fricke and Sedgmen do.

But the door is open for them to get a place on the podium.

After an enthralling night’s racing in the Jack Young Cup, Robert Medson, Jedd List and Brayden McGuinness top scored with 13 points each and earnt direct qualification to the final (which was won by McGuinness), but Dakota Ballantyne also came close to qualifying for the final. An exclusion in his last heat after one the races of the night with McGuinness cost him dearly. A win over McGuinness in that race would have left them tied on 12 points.

So there’s four riders with a very real chance of making the final, but outside of the six riders mentioned, Cooper Riordan and Matthew Gilmore, have a realistic chance of at least a semi-final berth. Riordan has a good record in this event, reaching the semi-final stage for the last three years so he’s a serious contender provided he has recovered from an arm injury from the first meeting this season. Gilmore is making his first appearance in the SA championship but is a twice Under 16 World 250cc champion, so he is another talented rider.

Of the others 16-year-old Connor Bailey is already developing a cult following, and likewise Queensland fans have a high opinion of another 16-year-old, Jacob Hook. New South Wale rider Kane Lawrence rode well at Gillman during some winter meetings, Declan Knowles is a former Australian Under 16 250cc Champion – an event he won at Gillman, and local teenager Fraser Bowes had his most impressive meeting yet at the last meeting but a semi-final place may be a little out of their reach this season.

The meeting also includes Sidecar support races with the first appearance this season of former Australian Champion Mark Mitchell.

Photo: Justin Sedgmen (left) and Max Fricke. Photo by Judy Mackay.

Everything You Need To Know:

Meeting Date: Friday, 28 December 2018.

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

Gates open: Gates open at 5pm. Free spectator access to the pits until approximately 6.30pm.

Racing starts: 7.30pm.

Riders:

SA Solo Championship: 2-Justin Sedgmen (Vic), 9-Robert Medson (SA), 10-Declan Knowles (Vic), 11-Connor Bailey (Vic), 19-Brayden McGuinness (SA), 39-Steve Graetz (SA), 42-Seth Hickey (SA), 46-Max Fricke (Vic), 46-Matthew Gilmore (NSW), 51-Fraser Bowes (SA), 51-Cooper Riordan (Vic), 82-Dakota Ballantyne (SA), 88-Blake Ridley (SA), 111-Jacob Hook (Qld), 197- Kane Lawrence (NSW), 279-Jedd List (Qld). Reserve: 24-Aden Clare (NSW)

Sidecars: 11-Thomas Adams/Katelyn Silvy, 12-Brian Silvy/Cameron White, 14-Kym Menadue/Eric Melton, 35-Mark Mitchell/Tony Carter, 57-Chris Bichard/Michael Bell, 111-Ricky Adams/Alice Cox, 970-Dean Hobbs/Glen Zaworski

Solo 125cc Under 16 on infield track: 26-Jordan Hargreaves, 47-Nicholas Possingham, 193-Aiden Gray, 211-Teagan Pedler, 268-Joshua Beetham (Qld)

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

Concession is limited to holders of the Centrelink Pensioner Concession Card and Student Concession card holders only.

Seating: Grandstand seating for 216 people. Large grassed viewing mounds and terracing suitable for deck chairs.

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, tea, 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. Also note 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.

Weather Forecast: (As at 24 December) Maximum 36, minimum 23. 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. 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). Continue down Port Road for about 1 km to the first intersection which is Grand Junction road and turn right. 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 onto Bedford Street. Keep going on that road until you get to the speedway. About 2km.

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: Live results are free to view on the MYLAPS phone app. (www.speedhive.mylaps.com). The Gillman programme is available to download from the Gillman Speedway website (under the Shop tab) from Wednesday afternoon (26 Dec) for $5.50 payable by credit card or PayPal.

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

Riders announced for major Solo Championships at Gillman Speedway

Motorcycling Australia, and Motorcycling South Australia, respectively have announced the riders who will contest the three biggest Solo meetings of the season at Gillman Speedway over the Christmas/New Year period.

Motorcycling Australia has named 24 riders who will contest the 2019 Australian Senior Solo Speedway Championship CBS Bins meetings at Gillman on 2 and 3 January.

Eight riders have been seeded into five championship rounds, which will commence with round 1 at Gillman on Thursday night, 3 January. The seeded riders are (in alphabetical order): Max Fricke (Vic), Chris Holder (NSW), Jack Holder (NSW), Zane Keleher (Qld), Brady Kurtz (NSW), Jaimon Lidsey (Vic), Sam Masters (NSW), Rohan Tungate (NSW). Chris Holder, Kurtz, Masters and Tungate are all previous winners of the Championship.

They will be joined by a further eight riders who will be decided by a Qualifying meeting at Gillman the night before, on Wednesday, 2 January. The field includes seven British League riders and at least one other who will be making his BL debut next season. The full line-up is: Mason Campton (NSW), Ben Cook (NSW), Zach Cook (NSW), Ryan Douglas (Qld), Matthew Gilmore (NSW), Jacob Hook (Qld), Todd Kurtz (NSW), Jedd List (Qld), Robert Medson (SA), Nick Morris (Qld), Jack Morrison (Vic), Josh Pickering (NSW), Cooper Riordan (Vic), Justin Sedgmen (Vic), Jordan Stewart (Vic), Kye Thomson (Qld). First reserve: Brayden McGuinness (SA), second reserve: Dakota Ballantyne (SA)

Before the Australian Championship, however, Gillman will host the Littlehampton Clay Bricks and Pavers South Australian Championship on Friday night, 28 December.

Over the same format as the Australian Championship, will 16 riders over 20 heats, a last chance semi-final and a final, Motorcycling SA has chosen the following riders to compete (again in alphabetical order): Connor Bailey (Vic), Dakota Ballantyne (SA), Fraser Bowes (SA), Max Fricke (Vic), Matthew Gilmore (NSW), Steve Graetz (SA), Seth Hickey (SA), Jacob Hook (Qld), Declan Knowles (Vic), Kane Lawrence (NSW), Jedd List (Qld), Brayden McGuinness (SA), Robert Medson (SA), Cooper Riordan (Vic), Matthew Pickering (NSW), Justin Sedgmen (Vic). First reserve: Blake Ridley (SA). Second reserve: Aden Clare.

Photo: Former World Under 21 Champion Max Fricke who will be riding in both the South Australian and Australian Championship meetings at Gillman Speedway over the Christmas/New Year period. Photo by Dave Payne.

 

 

Brayden McGuinness the new Jack Young Cup holder

A new name gets etched onto the Jack Young Cup this week after a mildly surprising, but well-deserved win by 18-year-old Brayden McGuinness.

McGuinness was one of the riders widely topped to reach at least the semi-final stage, but it was wide open as to the winner would be with all the riders who reached the finals having a legitimate claim as a possible winner.

After an enthralling night’s racing amongst a very even field of riders, three riders – Robert Medson, Jedd List and McGuinness – were tied on 13 points and earnt direct qualification to the final.

Medson started poorly in his first ride when he lost his line in turn three and could then only finish third behind Dakota Ballantyne and List, but won his remaining four rides, including close races against McGuinness and Zach Wajtknecht.

17-year-old Queenslander List dropped his two points to Ballantyne in the previously mentioned race with Medson, and Wajtknecht in his second ride before winning his last three rides in an impressive first appearance in senior ranks at Gillman; and McGuinness was only beaten by Medson and List.

The semi-finalists were the three Englishmen, Tom Brennan (12), Zach Wajtknecht (11), and Kyle Bickley (10), and local rider Dakota Ballantyne (9). Again all four had a genuine claim that they could not only win the semi-final but also the final if they qualified. Although Ballantyne was the lowest scorer, his nine points came from only four rides as he was excluded from his final heat which, along with several other races, could not only be hailed as the race of the night, but also be early contenders for race of the season. He and McGuinness rode side-by-side, continually exchanging the lead until turn three, lap three when McGuinness fell. How you saw it depended on where you were sitting but the referee excluded Ballantyne which relegated him to the semi-final and prevented a possible three way tie between Ballantyne (had he won), Brennan and McGuinness on 12 points for the third place in the final.

The semi-final was another close race, especially between Wajtknecht and Brennan but Wajtknecht led narrowly all the way (winning by just 0.36 of a second) to earn a start in the final.

Medson had first choice of gate position in the final and chose gate one. List went the opposite way and took 4, while McGuinness took 3, leaving Wajtknecht with two. It was clear at the start why no one wanted blue, as it was Medson, McGuinness and List three wide into the first corner but disaster was just around the corner (literally) for List. After looking so good all night, he wasn’t quite on the bit of track he wanted to be, and the front wheel came up in the apex of turns one/two and he crashed heavily into the turn two air fence. Fortunately he wasn’t seriously injured but, of course, he was out of the rerun.

Turn one of the Jack Young Cup final, Robert Medson (red), Brayden McGuinness (white) and Jedd List (yellow). Photo by Judy Mackay.
And turn two. Jedd List ends his night in the Air Fence after an impressive first appearance at Gillman at senior level. Photo by Judy Mackay.

The rerun again saw the riders side-by-side, this time Wajtknecht on the inside, Medson in the centre, and McGuinness on the outside, down the back straight but it was McGuinness who wanted it the most and he powered around Medson through turn four to take the lead which he was able to hold to the finish with Medson second and Wajtknecht third.

Early in the rerun of the final, Zach Wajtknecht (blue), Robert Medson (red), Brayden McGuinness (white). Photo by Judy Mackay.
The placegetters, left to right: Jedd List (fourth), Robert Medson (second), Brayden McGuinness (first), Zach Wajtknecht (third). Photo by Judy Mackay.
Outside of the top seven there was also some close racing from the other riders, and for the early part of the meeting it looked like Connor Bailey might be the one making a few headlines. Only 16-years-old and in his fourth senior meeting, he repeated his effort of the previous meeting by racing side-by-side with former British Under 21 Champion Robert Branford in his first ride, before a narrow win by Branford, and then beat Ballantyne in his second ride to be on 5 points from two rides, and later in the night was wheel to wheel with Bickley and Wajtknecht before falling on the last lap. Ultimately he came up one point short of a start in the semi-final.

Just behind Bailey on the scorecard was Fraser Bowes, who had his most impressive meeting yet in his short senior career, on 7 points, and Arlo Bugeja on 6. Bugeja only has the occasional ride these days but is still always in the mix and his race with Bickley and Brennan in heat 11 was another contender for race of the night as they were three wide for most of the race.

Pre-meeting favourite Robert Branford finished near the bottom of the scorecard after only taking one ride. He won his first ride after that close scrap with Bailey, but then had a dispute with the referee over the start of his next ride and was excluded, and then chose not to take his other rides.

Not to be outdone, the Sidecars also had their own contender for race of the night with an absolutely thrilling final between Shane Rudloff/Scott Morris and Mick Headland/Brenton Kerr. They were scraping paint jobs throughout the race, probably as aggressive as it gets without overstepping the mark and earning an exclusion, with Rudloff/Morris the eventual winners, completing an unbeaten run for them. The minor placings went to Tim Bichard/Adam Pascoe and Brian Silvy/Cameron White. It was Brian Silvy’s first final at this level and although he finished fourth his fastest lap in the race was faster than Headland’s so he was on the pace.

This was the last meeting before Christmas.

The speedway resumes on Friday night, 28 December with the Littlehampton Bricks South Australian Solo Championship. Early nominations include defending champion Justin Sedgmen, and international rider Max Fricke who, surprisingly, despite winning a World Under 21 Championship and having a few Grand Prix rides, has yet to win either the SA Championship, or his home state Victorian Championship.

Jack Young Cup at Gillman Speedway on 1 December

The annual Jack Young Cup is the feature event at Adelaide’s Gillman Speedway this Saturday night (1 December).

The meeting commemorates the memory of South Australia’s greatest rider, the late Jack Young (pictured above), the first rider from any country to win the World Speedway Championship twice (1951, 52), the only Australian to have successfully defended the championship, and the only South Australian winner.

This will be the last meeting before Christmas and appears to be a wide open event with no clear cut favourite, although the only previous winner in the line-up, home track rider Robert Branford is a strong chance to score a second win in the event.

Other local riders who will fancy their chances of making the final are Robert Medson, Dakota Ballantyne and Brayden McGuinness.

The major opposition for the Adelaide riders will be the three young English riders, Kyle Bickley, Tom Brennan and Zach Wajtknecht, with Queensland teenager Jedd List an outside chance, but a very even field means competition will be fierce for the semi-final berths with a number of other young riders determined to make their mark and stake a claim for a place in the South Australian Championship line-up after Christmas.

The meeting also includes Sidecar support races with the first appearance this season of former World Cup winner Mick Headland.

Everything You Need To Know:

Meeting Date: Saturday, 1 December 2018.

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

Gates open: Gates open at 5pm. Free spectator access to the pits until approximately 6.30pm.

Racing starts: 7.30pm.

Riders:

Solos 500cc Jack Young Cup: Connor Bailey (Vic), Dakota Ballantyne, Kyle Bickley (Eng), Fraser Bowes, Robert Branford, Tom Brennan (Eng), Steve Graetz, Seth Hickey, Declan Knowles, Jedd List (Qld), Brayden McGuinness, Robert Medson, Jack Morrison, Blake Ridley, Jake Turner (NZ), Zach Wajtknecht (Eng)

Sidecars: Ricky Adams/Thomas Adams, Chris Bichard/Michael Bell, Tim Bichard/Adam Pascoe, Nathan Fleet/Ayrton Canning, Dean Hobbs/Glen Zaworski, Mick Headland/Brenton Kerr, Shane Rudloff/Scott Morris, Brian Silvy/Cameron White

Solo 125cc Under 16 on infield track: Jake Fleet, Aiden Gray, Jordan Hargreaves, Teagan Pedler, Nicholas Possingham

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

Concession is limited to holders of the Centrelink Pensioner Concession Card and Student Concession card holders only.

Seating: Grandstand seating for 216 people. Large grassed viewing mounds and terracing suitable for deck chairs.

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, tea, 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. Also note 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.

Weather Forecast: (As at 28 November) Maximum 31, minimum 16. Partly cloudy. Medium chance of showers, most likely in the morning and 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. 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). Continue down Port Road for about 1 km to the first intersection which is Grand Junction road and turn right. 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 onto Bedford Street. Keep going on that road until you get to the speedway. About 2km.

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: Live results are free to view on the MYLAPS phone app. (www.speedhive.mylaps.com). The Gillman programme is available to download from the Gillman Speedway website (under the Shop tab) from Friday afternoon for $5.50 payable by credit card or PayPal.

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

Exciting end after disappointing start at Gillman Speedway

Saturday night, 17 November, marked the opening of the 22nd season at Adelaide’s Gillman Speedway, and it is safe to say it would have been the most disappointing start to a season, initially at least.

The meeting featured the first appearance of Danish riders Matias Nielsen and Kenneth Jürgensen, and English riders Kyle Bickley, Tom Brennan and Zach Wajtknecht, who were joined by Kiwi Jake Turner and the best local and Mildura riders for a 15-heat British format team match.

After the first two heats, won by Jaimon Lidsey and Kenneth Jürgensen, both in sub-60 second race times, everything came to a halt, and after a few minutes, spectators were surprised, and, needless to say, somewhat disgruntled, when it was announced some riders were not happy with the track. After two sidecar races, Speedway manager Dave Parker dressed the track with the wonder wheel and rolled it with the water truck, but the same riders still did not want to ride so after another two sidecar races, a major track regrade took place – virtually unheard of at Gillman which is regularly praised as one of the best racing strips in Australia. From the spectator area the track looked fine, and after Justin Sedgmen put in some impressive test laps and looked stable and fast, it came as a major surprise to everyone when it was announced Sedgmen, and the three Englishmen, Bickley, Brennan and Wajtknecht, had pulled out of the meeting.

Kyle Bickley (red) and Kenneth Jürgensen (blue) in heat two. Bickley was on his way to victory in his first ride at Gillman until his bike broke down on the final lap. Photo by Judy Mackay.

By the time the third team racing heat was held it was almost two hours after the scheduled meeting start time, but from that point it was situation normal at Gillman, with a slickly run programme of the remaining team heats, and sidecar races, being run in just over an hour twenty minutes, with some exciting racing and quick times, even 16-year-old Connor Bailey, in only his third senior meeting, clocking a sub-60 second race win.

With four riders missing, it was decided to fill their places with riders from the support races, which kept the team managers on their toes ringing in the changes, but the result was some exciting racing and a close finish, thanks in part to double points being used at times, with the “Bulls” defeating the “Robins” by 5 points.

Top scorer for the winning Bulls was 19-year-old Dane, Matias Nielsen, with 13 points, beaten only by man of the match, Jordan Stewart, in heats 5 and 15. Backing him up were Jaimon Lidsey with 11, also only beaten by Stewart, Kenneth Jürgensen 10 paid 11, Robert Branford 9 paid 11, and Dakota Ballantyne 5 paid 7. A good spread of points helping to cover the early loss of Cooper Riordan with a hand injury after a fall in his first ride, the only fall of the night.

Jordan Stewart was the star rider of the night, scoring 15 points from four completed rides, including a double-points ride, after a bike failure in his first ride. While not scoring as many points as some of the opposition riders, Robert Medson, 8 paid 9, Jake Turner 6 paid 8, and Brayden McGuinness 6 paid 7, were always in the mix, especially Medson, while even Connor Bailey, the least experienced rider on the programme, showed out with a well-earned 7 points, including a thrilling first ride when he raced Branford all the way to the line.

Jaimon Lidsey (red), Dakota Ballantyne (blue) and Connor Bailey (white) in heat 10. Photo by Judy Mackay.

In the supporting Sidecar races, Sydney rider Shane Hudson (with local passenger Mitchell Spear), repeated his effort of 12-months earlier by going through the card unbeaten.

As predicted it was close racing for the other three places in the final which eventually went to Shane Rudloff/Scott Morris 9, Nathan Fleet/Ayrton Canning, 7, and Tim Bichard/Adam Pascoe 6, with Rudloff-Bichard-Fleet the finishing order behind Hudson in the final.

Fleet made a slow start and was never a threat, but Hudson, Rudloff and Bichard were wheel to wheel, and Bichard made up ground on Rudloff on the last two laps and they were side-by-side at finish, Rudloff keeping second place by just 3 metres.

Aaron Silvy/Jaron Silvy (blue) and Shane Hudson/Mitchell Spear (green). Hudson was unbeaten in the opening meeting for the second year in arrow. Photo by Judy Mackay.

The next meeting is the Jack Young Cup on 1 December (the only meeting before Christmas), and David Parker is cautiously optimistic that last night’s dramas won’t affect the crowd for the next meeting. “Look” he said after the meeting “what happened early in the meeting was very, very disappointing, shattering really, and I can fully understand if someone was here for the first time they might not want to come back again, but at the same time we’ve been swamped by words of encouragement by many of the regulars, including many of tonight’s riders, who realise this was just one of those nights and they are already looking forward to the next meeting and the rest of the season.”

Top photo: Jason Stewart (white), Robert Medson (yellow) and Matias Nielsen (red) in the final heat. Photo by Judy Mackay.

More exciting Sidecar action. Tim Bichard/Adam Pascoe (blue) and Nathan Fleet/Ayrton Canning (white). Photo by Judy Mackay.