Fricke, Sedgmen favourites for SA Championship at Gillman Speedway Friday night
December 25, 2018 by Gillman Media
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.
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]
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