The South Australian Sidecar Championship, always one of the hardest fought events on the Australian motorcycle speedway calendar, is the feature event at Adelaide’s Gillman Speedway this Saturday night (26 February), with current SA champions Mick Headland/Brenton Kerr and current Australian champions Mark Plaisted/Ben Pitt again the outstanding favourites.
Headland and Plaisted have won the last three titles between them, and it would be a surprise if one didn’t win on Saturday night, but should they falter there is a stacked field of riders capable of taking advantage to “steal” the win.
And Headland and Plaisted have caused each other problems in the recent pass, as recently as the last meeting in fact when Headland was excluded from the final after there was contact between him and Plaisted. And in last year’s championship the situation was reversed, with Plaisted the one excluded.
Headland and Plaisted both had the chance to become statistically the most successful South Australian rider in the championship with four wins, and Plaisted also had the chance to become the first South Australian rider to win three in a row, and for most of the meeting he looked like being successful.
At the end of the twenty qualifying heats Plaisted and Pitt had top scored with an unbeaten 15 points, but in the all-important final, they made their worst start of the night and were only in third place behind Headland and Victorian champion Warren Monson. When they both took a high line through turn two Plaisted was able to roar under them down the back straight but there was contact with Headland and Plaisted was excluded. In his absence Headland had no trouble winning the rerun and his fourth SA title.
The riders waiting to strike if Headland and Plaisted clash again are led by another former state and Australian champion Mark Mitchell (passenger Tony Carter), and Damien Niesche/Ayrton Canning. Niesche has surprisingly never made the final of the state championship but must be a serious contender this year.
Two teams who have made the final however are Kym Menadue/Eric Melton, who were third last season, and Shane Rudloff/Scott Morris, who were third the season before.
The other team with the best chance of making the final are Mitchell Spear/Glen Zaworski, while Brian Silvy/Damian Egan, Kane Golding/Isaac Amos, Thomas Adams/Jaxon Rayner and Dean Hobbs/Daniel Low have had some good results this season and could be in contention for a semi-final berth.
The gates will open at 4pm, with racing starting at 7pm, and patrons are reminded that, despite recent news stories about the easing of Covid restrictions, the SA Government still requires Gillman to strictly adhere to COVIDSafe practices, including check in before entry and wearing masks when lining up for service at the food and beverage outlets and when moving around the venue and unable to ensure 1.5m social distancing.
For interstate and overseas followers, or locals unable to attend because of Covid isolation, the meeting will be live streamed on http://speedwayaustralia.tv. Further details below.
Everything You Need To Know:
Meeting Date: Saturday, 26 February 2022
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 pm.
Covid requirements: COVID Management Plan in place. Everyone must sign-in to the contact tracing system at the entry gates. Social distancing inside the venue - 3 people per 4 square metres if seated; 1 person per 2 square metres if standing or mixed seated and standing. Masks MUST be worn when getting food, drink or souvenirs; if going into the pits; and when moving around the venue and unable to ensure 1.5m social distancing. Patrons must be seated if eating or drinking when inside. Hand sanitiser placed at the gate, toilets and all sales areas. COVID Marshals will be in place. If you have cold-like symptoms, or have been a close contact of a confirmed case, please stay home and watch the live streaming.
Live streaming: To access the live streaming viewers need to go to http://speedwayaustralia.tv and follow the instructions under the FAQ tab to create an account. The cost is $27.50 per meeting. If you have any issues with the livestream please contact https://support.inplayer.com
Racing starts: at 7 pm. Free spectator access to the pits for a close look at the bikes until approximately 6.30 pm.
Admission: Adults $25, Age Pension and Student Concession $20, Children Under 16 free. Souvenir programme $5. Grandstand seating free. Parking free. Programme includes chances to win $50 fuel vouchers. EFTPOS available at both entrances and in the canteen for contactless payments.
Concession is limited to holders of the Centrelink Pensioner Concession Card and Student Concession card holders only.
Seating: Grandstand seating is free for this meeting but is limited to 216 people. 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. See the “A Night At Gillman” tab.
Weather Forecast as at 23 February: Maximum 29, minimum 16. Mostly sunny.
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.
Contact for this meeting: Ivan Golding 0417 138 378 or email email@example.com