Sidecar Stars line-up for SA Championship at Gillman Speedway
by Gillman Media 25 February 2021
The South Australian Sidecar Championship has been one of the hardest fought events on the Australian motorcycle speedway calendar since the clashes of Don Willison and Bruce Kelley on their Vincents in the 1950s, and the Bill’s Bits and Bikes 2021 version at Gillman Speedway this Saturday night (27 February) should be no different, with the return of some of Australia’s best riders from the past decade or two in Mark Plaisted/Ben Pitt, Mick Headland/Brenton Kerr, Mark Mitchell/Tony Carter, Warren Monson/Andrew Summerhayes and Damien Niesche/Mitchell Spear.
Between them Plaisted, Headland, Mitchell, Monson and Niesche have won just about everything there is to win, including state, Australian and Oceania Championships, and the various Gold Trophy/World Championship/World Cup events.
Headland, Mitchell and defending champion Mark Plaisted are all previous winners of the South Australian championship and a win by either Headland or Plaisted would see them become statistically the most successful South Australian rider in the event with four wins, second outright behind New South Wales’ Darrin Treloar who has won the event seven times.
A win by Plaisted would also see him become the first South Australian rider to win three in a row as in the previous 70 stagings of the title only Mark Drew (WA) and Darrin Treloar have managed to win three times running.
Of the other riders, who have been riding regularly this season, Rick Stephens/Nick O’Brien have won the final at both meetings they have contested, with Max Howse/Riley Commons second on both occasions. Kym Menadue/Eric Melton and Aaron Silvy/Jaron Silvy have also both had a win, with Menadue qualifying for the final in all five of his meetings, while Mildura’s Neale Hancock/Brendan Johnson won the Bowes Family Cup ahead of Menadue, Brian Silvy and Aaron Silvy at our last meeting.
Although they haven’t had a win yet, Brian Silvy/Damian Egan have reached three finals, and Nathan Fleet has reached two.
Another team capable of reaching the final is Shane Rudloff and Scott Morris, who haven’t been in their best form so far this season but finished third in a tough final last season when the result was Plaisted, Headland, Rudloff and Monson.
The support events will include some Solo handicap races, and round six, and the Grand Final (for the overall six highest point scorers) of the Flat Track Solo Series. Former international speedway rider Nigel Sadler has been the outstanding rider all season, but Brock Gates lowered his colours in a heat last meeting so nothing can be taken for granted when it comes to the big-money final.
The gates will open at 4pm, racing will start at 7pm, and admission prices are adults $25, concession $20, and children (under 16) free.
Top photo: Action from last season’s championship final with Mick Headland/Brenton Kerr (red), Warren Monson/Andrew Summerhayes (blue) and Mark Plaisted/Ben Pitt (yellow). Photo by Mike Gerlach JDM Photos.
Everything You Need To Know:
Meeting Date: Saturday, 27 February 2021.
Venue: Gillman Speedway Stadium, 65 Wilkins Road, Gillman – near the Port Adelaide area.
Covid restrictions: COVID Plan in place. The QR code system will be operating. Everyone entering the venue will be required to check-in by scanning the QR code or filling in the alternative paper record sheet with a name and contact phone number. Family members who have the same address can sit together but others must adhere to the social distancing rules for outdoor sport and recreation activities of 1 person per 2 square metres. Hand sanitiser will be placed at the gate, toilets and all sales areas. COVID Marshals will be in place.
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 pm.
Racing starts: at 7 pm. Free spectator access to the pits for a close look at the bikes and cars until approximately 6.30 pm.
Junior Solo Under 16 125cc (on the infield junior track during track grades) : 23-Ben Dixon, 26-Jordan Hargreaves, 27-Travis Clarke, K48-Kobi Canning, 128-Hayden Kuchel, 524-Harry Sadler, 911-Allegra Laanekorb
Junior Solo Under 16 125cc novices : 13-Jackson McPherson, 37-William Nicol; 50cc : 4-Riley Stout, 16-Riley Edson, 22-Nathaniel Melbourne (NT), 46-Ruby Chapman; and Pee Wees : 1-Lila Canning, 4-Riley Stout, 11-Nate Sadler, 46-Owen Chapman, 75-Jett Plaisted (SA-), -James Menadue . . . on the infield track at 6pm.
Formats: SA Sidecar Championship, 20 heats, semi-final and final; Sidecar Reserves, 4 races; Solo Support, 4 races; Flat Track Series Round 6, 12 heats, final and Series Grand Final; 125cc Solos, 10 races.
Admission: Adults $25, Age Pension and Student Concession $20, Children Under 16 free. Souvenir programme $5. Grandstand seating free. Parking free.
Concession is limited to holders of the Centrelink Pensioner Concession Card and Student Concession card holders only. Eftpos available at both gates and in the canteen.
Seating: Grandstand seating is free for this meeting and there are 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, cold drinks, sweets. “Gillman has far and away the best speedway tucker” [Peter White’s Speedway World] Eftpos available at the main canteen.
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, including the new season shirts, hoodies and caps [see A Night At Gillman tab on Gillman Speedway website].
Weather Forecast: Maximum 27, minimum 14. Mostly sunny. Forecast as at 25 February. [www.bom.gov.au/sa/forecasts/Adelaide]
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.
Contact for this meeting: Ivan Golding 0417 138 378 or email firstname.lastname@example.org