Adelaide’s Gillman Speedway hosts its annual Gillman Speedway Classic Championships this Saturday night, 26 October.
The Classic meeting gives fans the chance to enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the bikes of yesteryear before the modern-day summer international season starts (on 9 November), and 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.
As always the meeting will feature multiple championship classes for Solos and Sidecars, plus Three Quarter Midget demonstrations.
Racing starts at 7.30pm but the gates will open at 4pm so spectators have plenty of time to have a close look at the old bikes and cars before the pits are closed to the public.
The British Sidecar class is the most popular class with old-time fans, with the wonderful sound of the powerful Vincents, and Saturday night’s meeting will include three Vincents ridden by former five-time Australian Champion, and defending champion in this class, Perth’s Dennis Nash, Melbourne’s Peter Tolley, a previous winner of the class, and the Prince of Port Adelaide, Ronny Parker. There is also a Harley ridden by Merbein’s Chris Wakefield and a Norton ridden by current-day rider Shane Rudloff.
Parker and Wakefield will have a busy night as they are also riding in the Japanese and Post Classic classes.
Defending Champions Steven Lewis and Paul Donnelly are riding in the Japanese and Evolution classes respectively while 2016 champion Dean Hobbs is the only previous winner in the Post Classic class.
In the Solo classes numbers are up in the 2 valve over 40 class this year with eight riders from SA, WA, Vic and Tas taking part, including the winner from the past two years, Perth’s Kevin Webb. The popular and stylish Webb would have been a chance to make it three in a row, but local rider Steve Graetz will be the clear-cut favourite this season after winning the Evolution class last year.
The 2 Valve under 40 class will feature all current day riders, including defending champion Arlo Bugeja and 2017 champion Brayden McGuinness, who has just returned from a season racing in Denmark, Germany and Poland, but they’ll face strong opposition from Robert Medson.
The Upright 4 Valve class will see a new champion crowned with no former champions racing. Victorians Adam Bond and Andrew Musgrove, and local riders Darryl Christopher and Teagan Pedler will be vying to add their names to the honour roll for the first time.
The Three Quarter Midget demonstrations always evoke memories of Rowley Park in the 1960s, with replicas of some well-known cars from that era.
Everything You Need To Know:
Meeting Date: Saturday, 26 October 2018.
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.
Racing starts: at 7.30 pm. Free spectator access to the pits for a close look at the bikes and cars until approximately 6.30 pm.
Solos 2 valve (Riders aged 40 or over) (Jeff Fisher Perpetual Trophy): Darryl Christopher (SA-Jawa), John Doolan (Vic-Jawa/ESO), Phil Georgeff (Tas-Jawa), Steven Graetz (SA-Jawa), John Howell (WA-Jawa), Barry Kennington (WA-ESO), Andrew Musgrove (Vic-Jawa), Kevin Webb (WA-ESO)
Solos 2 valve (Riders under 40): Arlo Bugeja (SA-Jawa), Brayden McGuinness (SA-Jawa), Robert Medson (SA-ESO), Blake Ridley (SA-Jawa)
Solos Evolution Upright 4 valve: Adam Bond (Vic-), Darryl Christopher (SA-Weslake), Andrew Musgrove (Vic-Weslake), Teagan Pedler (SA-)
Sidecars British/European/American: Dennis Nash/TBA (WA-Vincent), Ron Parker/Mick Sleeth (SA/Vic-Vincent 1000), Shane Rudloff/Damian Egan (SA-Norton 850), Peter Tolley/Don Morris (Vic/NSW-Vincent Rapide 998), Chris Wakefield/Geoff Burke (Vic-Harley 1000)
Sidecars Japanese: John Atherton/Don Morris (SA-Honda 750), Sean Chapman/Peter Engels (SA-Suzuki 500), Wayne Lethbridge/Grantley Simounds (SA-), Steve Lewis/Shane Rudloff (SA-Suzuki 750), Ron Parker/Mick Sleeth (SA/Vic-Suzuki 750), Aaron Silvy/Jaron Silvy (SA-Suzuki 500), Chris Wakefield/Geoff Burke (Vic-Honda 750)
Sidecars Post Classic: Tim Bichard/TBA (SA-Yamaha 1100), Dean Hobbs/Glen Zaworski (SA-Suzuki 1000), Ron Parker/Mick Sleeth (SA/Vic-Kawasaki 1000), Chris Rae/Corey Palmer (NT-Kawasaki 1000), Shane/Rudloff/Damian Egan (SA-Kawaasaki 900), Chris Wakefield/Geoff Burke (Vic-Suzuki 1000)
Sidecars Evolution: Paul Dempsey/Carey Deschamps (SA-Weslake 500), Paul Donnelly/TBA (Vic-Suzuki 1000), Wayne Lethbridge/Grantley Simounds (SA-Kawasaki 1000)
Championship formats: All championships decided over three heat rides for each rider, with the top four point scorers qualifying for the finals. 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, Souvenir programme $5. Children Under 16 free. Grandstand seating free. Parking free.
Concession is limited to holders of the Centrelink Pensioner Concession Card and Student Concession card holders only. Eftpos is only available at the eastern gate. The western (main) gate is cash 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. Eftpos is not available in the souvenir shop.
Weather Forecast: Maximum 18, minimum 11. Partly cloudy. Slight (30%) chance of a shower. Forecast as at 22 October. [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.
Contact for this meeting: Ivan Golding 0417 138 378 or email firstname.lastname@example.org