Speedway fans have the chance to enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the bikes of yesteryear when Adelaide’s Gillman Speedway hosts its annual classic championships this Saturday night, 28 October.
As always the meeting will feature multiple championship classes for Solos and Sidecars, including the popular Vincent-powered sidecars.
This year’s meeting will include three Vincents, ridden by former five-time Australian Champion, and defending champion in this class, Perth’s Dennis Nash; his son, current Western Australian champion Darren Nash, and former South Australian, now Victorian Rory McEnroe. McEnroe, who finished second last year rides the bike formerly ridden at Rowley Park by his father, Kevin McEnroe, and before that the legendary Bruce Kelley. They will compete in the British Sidecar class which will also include former three-time Japanese class winner George Atherton on an 850cc Norton and impressive newcomer from last season in the modern sidecars, Josh Pascoe on a 750 Triumph.
The biggest number of entries this year is in the Post Classic Sidecar class, for the Brian Schultz Perpetual Cup, which includes former SA champion Chris Rae, former Gillman champion Tim Bichard, and brothers Jack and Mitchell Spear who were very impressive in the classic sidecar events at the Bob White Cup meeting in February. The others are former Rowley Park rider John Bennett, who is travelling a lazy 2700 km (each way) to ride, former North Arm rider Darren Pascoe, the Riverland’s David Lindsay, and Clinton Crabb, who we are used to seeing on a Triumph in these meetings but he has opted for a Kawasaki this time around.
John Bennett is making the most of his long trip by also riding in the Evolution class, against Chris Rae, and current day riders Kane Golding and Wayne Lethbridge.
Wayne Lethbridge is also in the Japanese Sidecar class with current day riders Brian Silvy/Glen Zaworski on John Atherton’s Honda 750, Pieter Hoogland, Peter Engels (with passenger Angela Macfarlane, better known to former North Arm Speedway followers by her maiden name of Rohde), and current riding duo Shane Rudloff and Scott Morris who are flipping things around on Saturday night with Scott riding his late dad’s (Don Morris) 750 Suzuki with Shane as passenger.
For the two-wheel brigade there are two championship classes — the two valve class for riders aged 40 or over, who are also competing for the Jeff Fisher Perpetual Trophy, and the upright 4 valve class — plus the laydown engine class (again for riders aged 40 or over) and the flat track class who will be competing for the Greg Nestor Perpetual Cup.
In the two valve over 40 class, stylish sandgroper Kevin Webb is back, and like John Bennett (and the Nashes), facing around 2700km each way to ride. The yellow-leathered #18 rider is a popular visitor because of his riding style and his enthusiasm for the classic events, but rumour has it this might be his final trip over for the event. Webb has won the class three times previously on his 1960’s ESO, but he is facing formidable opposition in current day Gillman flat track rider Roy Stout, and former North Arm Speedway rider Darryl Christopher, who are both also former winners of this class, and Mildura’s Brendon Liddle, who defeated Christopher for the gold medal in the recent Australian Masters Games. Rounding out the class are the two oldest competitors in the meeting, Tasmanian Phil Georgeff and local rider Trevor Henderson (on the two valve ESO which was ridden by Graeme Tracey at Rowley Park), who agree with the credo “you are never too old to enjoy yourself”.
The Upright 4 Valve class and the Laydown class will race together in the heats but will have separate finals. Teagan Pedler has won the 4 valve class for the past two years but may have her work cut out to do the hat-trick against Renmark’s Gary Fischer, who had a successful run at the last practice day, and Brendon Liddle; while Shaun Sampson will have too many horses for ‘the reverend’ Richard Bunting in the Laydown class.
In the Flat Track class last year’s 1-2, David Footner and Seane Chapman should again dominate the race for the Greg Nestor Cup against Mark Stevens (the 1980/81 NT speedway solo champion), Con Twist, Greg’s daughter Hannah Nestor on the Rotax 600, and Kole Duncan.
The meeting also doubles as a tribute meeting to a speedway personality, and this year it is former Rowley Park sidecar rider Geoff Baran who promoted the inaugural classic meeting at Gillman in 2002.
Racing starts at 7pm but the gates will open at 4pm so spectators have plenty of time to have a close look at the old bikes before the pits are closed to the public.
Admission prices are an affordable $20 for adults and $15 for age pensioners and student concession. Children under 16, grandstand seating and parking are all free.
This meeting will not be livestreamed so please ignore any internet postings that claim to be links to a livestream as they are scams.
Everything You Need To Know:
Meeting Date: Saturday, 28 October 2023
Venue: Gillman Speedway Stadium, 65 Wilkins Road, Gillman – near the Port Adelaide area.
Parking and entrance: Patrons can enter via gates at the western and eastern ends of the venue. There are free off-street parking areas near both gates.
Gates open: at 4.00pm.
Pit access for spectators: Free spectator access to the pits until approximately 6.15pm.
Racing starts: at 7 pm.
Sidecars British/European/American : George Atherton/Sean Chapman (SA-Norton 850), Rory McEnroe/Darren Turner (Vic-Vincent 1000), Darren Nash/Greg Black (WA/SA-Vincent), Dennis Nash/Isaac Amos (WA/SA-Vincent 1000), Josh Pascoe/Seth Pascoe (SA-Triumph 750)
Sidecars Post Classic (Brian Schultz Perpetual Cup) : John Bennett/Natural Stone (Qld-Kawasaki 1000), Tim Bichard/Seth Pascoe (SA-Yamaha), Clinton Crabb/Kate Barnes (SA-Kawasaki 1000), David Lindsay/Liam Squire (SA-Kawasaki 900), Darren Pascoe/Michael Potts (SA-Kawasaki 900), Chris Rae/Byron Mordaunt (SA-Kawasaki 1000), Jack Spear/Mitchell Spear (SA-Suzuki 1000)
Sidecars Evolution : John Bennett/Natural Stone (Qld-Kawasaki 1000), Kane Golding/Matt King (SA-Suzuki 1000), Wayne Lethbridge/Grantley Simounds (SA-Kawasaki 1000), Chris Rae/Byron Mordaunt (SA-Kawasaki 1000)
Sidecars Japanese : Peter Engels/Angela Macfarlane (SA-Suzuki 500), Pieter Hoogland/Corey Palmer (SA-Yamaha 650), Wayne Lethbridge/Grantley Simounds (SA-Yamaha 650), Scott Morris/Shane Rudloff (SA-Suzuki 750), Brian Silvy/Glen Zaworski (SA-Honda 750)
Solos (JAP/ESO) 2 valve for riders aged 40 or over (Jeff Fisher Perpetual Trophy) : Darryl Christopher (SA-Jawa), Phil Georgeff (Tas-Jawa), Trevor Henderson (SA-ESO), Brendon Liddle (Vic-Jawa), Roy Stout (SA-Jawa), Kevin Webb (WA-ESO)
Solos Laydown, for riders aged 40 or over (non–championship class) : Richard Bunting (SA-Jawa), Shaun Sampson (SA-GM)
Solos Classic Flat Track, for Greg Nestor Perpetual Cup : Seane Chapman (SA-Yamaha 500), David Footner (SA-Yamaha 360), Hannah Nestor (SA-Rotax 600), Mark Stevens (SA-Honda), Con Twist (SA-Yamaha 250), Kole Duncan (SA-Yamaha 360)
Championship formats: All championships decided over three heat rides for each rider, with the top four point scorers qualifying for the finals (six in the Flat Track). Finishing order in the finals will determine the championship placegetters.
Awards: Sashes for the placegetters in the final for each championship class. Presentations in the pits after the meeting.
Admission: Adults $20, Age Pension and Student Concession $15, Children Under 16 free. Parking free. Souvenir programme $5-includes chances to win $50 fuel vouchers. EFTPOS available at both entrances, canteen, bar and souvenir shop.
Concession is limited to holders of the Centrelink Pensioner Concession Card and Student Concession card holders only.
Livestreaming: This meeting is not available on livestreaming, so please ignore any internet postings that claim to be links to a livestream as they are scams.
Seating: There are large grassed viewing mounds and terracing suitable for deck chairs. The Grandstand only has 120 seats available for this meeting due to ongoing refurbishment.
VIP Area: The Bob White VIP area is available to anyone who would like to treat their business colleagues, family or friends to the best view in the stadium. Enjoy the elevated view overlooking the track, either from inside the temperature controlled rooms, on the timber deck, or on the enclosed lawn area. The VIP area also has its own bar and toilet. Ring Ivan Golding on 0417 138 378 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]
Please note a condition of our liquor licence is no byo alcohol or glass can be brought into the venue.
Souvenirs: There is a well-stocked souvenir shop. See the “A Night At Gillman” tab.
Pets: No animals are allowed into the venue except assistance animals, eg guide dogs.
Weather Forecast as at 25 October: Maximum 26, minimum 15.
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 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.
Contact for this meeting: Ivan Golding 0417 138 378 or email firstname.lastname@example.org