Darrin Treloar and Blake Cox scored another clean-sheet at Gillman Speedway on Saturday night when they won the Paintmaster SA Round 2 of the Sidecar Super Series.
Treloar/Cox not only won every race but won by comfortable margins to ensure they will start as the clear-cut favourites once again for the Australian Sidecar Championship in three weeks’ time.
At the end of the twenty qualifying heats, Treloar and Cox had the 15 point maximum and Brodie Cohen/Jesse Headland were next on 14 points, with comeback duo Justin Plaisted/Simon Cohrs the third qualifiers for the final on countback with Kym Menadue/Shane Dolan after both teams had scored 10 points.
Plaisted and Cohrs were fully deserving of their place in the final as they’d scored their 10 points in only four rides, with losses only to Treloar and Cohen, as they lost their other points through a infield exclusion in their second ride when they ran off the track in the last corner trying to catch race leaders Kane Golding and Isaac Amos.
Early on Golding and Amos looked like they could be direct qualifiers for the final after scoring 5 points from their first two rides, but they again had trouble with turn four and suffered infield exclusions in their next two rides. Two points in their last ride left them on 7 points which was one shy of a start in the semi-final, but they were in good company with current Australian Champions Mark Plaisted/Ben Pitt (7 points), Brenten Dwyer/Jamie Flood (6), Brian Silvy/Damian Egan (6), Max Howse/Riley Commons (5) and Mitchell Spear/Glen Zaworski (3) amongst the teams who also missed out on a semi-final berth.
Mark Plaisted’s failure to qualify was, of course, the biggest shock, but the night didn’t start or end well for him. In his fist race he finished second behind his brother, Justin, but was excluded for going infield on the opening lap, and in his last ride he trailed around in last place after being the early leader before receiving a hefty shunt from Aaron Silvy/Jaron Silvy and, as result, slowing to check the bike and perhaps expecting a restart which wasn’t forthcoming. In between those races he was only beaten by Treloar and Cohen, but, like Golding/Amos, 7 points was not enough to progress further.
In the absence of some of the stars like Plaisted and Spear, the semi-final line-up was Kym Menadue/Shane Dolan with a solid 10 points, Damien Niesche/Ayrton Canning with 9 and surprises Dean Hobbs/Daniel Low, and Aaron Silvy/Jaron Silvy, both on 8.
Hobbs’ qualification was finally some reward for what has been a good season for him. He’s ridden well most of the season and challenged some of the bigger names without getting as much reward as his riding warranted until Saturday night, but Silvy was a bit of a bolt from the blue. Contrary to Hobbs, he hasn’t had a good season but was on the pace Saturday night and fully deserved his spot ahead of a lot of more fancied riders.
The two finals didn’t live up to the heats however. Menadue and Niesche were close in the semi, but Menadue led all the way to qualify for the final with Niesche second, Hobbs third and Silvy fourth. In the final it was Treloar all the way. Cohen and Justin Plaisted were close early on but then Plaisted finished a comfortable second with Cohen third and Menadue fourth.
Treloar and Cox have now virtually sealed the Series win, despite one round still to come, as they lead second placed Mark Plaisted/Ben Pitt by a commanding 15 points but there will still be intense competition in the Chook’s Grafix Round 3 as it is also doubling as the Gillman Sidecar Championship and is expected include most of, if not all, the riders from the Australian Championship meetings.
In the support events it was pretty much the Michael West show. The NSW teenager had ten rides in the 500cc Solo and the Flat Track Solo classes for nine wins and a fall. The 500cc points were West 12 (four wins and the fall), Blake Ridley 11, Teagan Pedler 6 and Shaun Sampson 1, while the more competitive Flat Track races saw West win the final ahead of John White, Sean Curtis, Dale Knights, Brent Webley and Josh Pascoe.
The placegetters. Back row, left to right, Brodie Cohen, Jesse Headland (3rd), Darrin Treloar/Blake Cox (1st), Justin Plaisted/Simon Cohrs (2nd). In front, Kym Menadue and Shane Dolan (4th). Interestingly, everyone on the back row with Treloar have previously won Championships as passenger with him! Photo: Judy Mackay.