The feature events at this week’s Gillman Speedway meeting (Saturday, 9 February) are the Eagle Fuels Gillman Speedway Championships for Solos and Sidecars, and the chance to grab some glory, and the accompanying silverware, is wide open with no obvious favourite in either class
In the Solo class Dakota Ballantyne, Brayden McGuinness and Robert Medson have had a fierce rivalry for the past two seasons for the status of being the leading rider, but no one has been able to stamp their dominance. The results between the three have changed from race-to-race, let alone meeting-to-meeting. In recent weeks Ballantyne has had a very minor edge, beating Medson four races to two on 12 January and recording the same result against McGuinness at the last meeting, but Medson won the final at Renmark last Saturday night, and McGuinness won the first feature event of the season, the Jack Young Cup, earlier in the season.
All three will be determined to take out the track championship, but as well as the opposition from each other they will also have Victorian-based riders Declan Knowles and Connor Bailey to contend with. Knowles finished third in last season’s championship, splitting Medson and McGuinness, while 16-year-old Bailey, in his first season of senior competition, has shown in previous appearances this season that he is more than capable of taking the title from the South Aussie riders.
If the Solo championship is hard to pick a winner, the Sidecar championship is even tougher, where at least half the field could win the title, or conversely not even make the final, depending on who is on song, such is the evenness of the line-up.
Like the Solos, Tim Bichard, Aaron Silvy and Dean Hobbs have had many battles trying to establish a dominance, but in recent times they have been joined by Nathan Fleet, who finished second in last season’s championship, and Brian Silvy who is this season’s most improved rider, while Tom Adams, Paul Donnelly and Steve Fowler have all beaten these riders at various times so can’t be discounted. As well as wanting the glory of winning the track championship a good performance in this meeting could also make all the difference in claiming a place in the line-up for the upcoming state championship.
In the support events, spectators will get a rare opportunity to see a world champion in action when local rider Liam May takes on the current under 16 250cc champion, Ben Ernst, from Germany.
There will also be support events for Classic Sidecars, Dirt Track Solos and 125cc junior Solos, with the Pee Wees doing pre-meeting demonstration events on the junior track at 6.30pm.
Top photo: Brayden McGuinness (white) and Robert Medson (red) in the final of the Jack Young Cup earlier this season. McGuinness finished first and Medson second, but neither rider has won a Gillman track championship. Their main rival, Dakota Ballantyne, is the only previous winner in Saturday night’s event. Photo by Judy Mackay.
Below: Nathan Fleet/Ayrton Canning (red), Tim Bichard/Adam Pascoe (blue), Dean Hobbs/Glen Zaworski (white). Fleet finished second, and Hobbs third, in last season’s Eagle Fuels Gillman Sidecar Championship. Photo by Derick Thomas.
Everything You Need To Know:
Meeting Date: Saturday, 9 February 2019.
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.
Racing starts: 7.30pm.
Gillman Sidecar Championship: 11-Tom Adams/Matty Barkla, 12-Brian Silvy/Cameron White, 19-Brad Ferguson/Dale Cox (Vic-OUT), 21-Aaron Silvy/Jaron Silvy, 22-Steve Fowler/Scott Kauschke, 57-Chris Bichard/Michael Bell, 77-Tim Bichard/Adam Pascoe, 83-Paul Donnelly/Jake Roberts (Vic), 88-Matt Crundwell/Cam Nichols (Vic), 89-Nathan Fleet/Ayrton Canning, 111-Ricky Adams/Alice Cox, 970-Dean Hobbs/Glen Zaworski
Gillman Solo Championship: 9-Robert Medson, 10-Declan Knowles (Vic), 11-Connor Bailey (Vic), 19-Brayden McGuinness, 39-Steve Graetz, 51-Fraser Bowes, 82-Dakota Ballantyne, 88-Blake Ridley
Junior (Under 16) 250cc Solo Match Races: 14-Liam May (SA) v 163-Ben Ernst (Germany)
Classic Sidecars: 7-Sean Chapman/Matthew Ambrose, M7-John Bennett/Jamies Knudsen, 33-Chris Wakefield/Dale Cox (Vic), 82-Wayne Lethbridge/Grantley Simounds
Dirt Track Solos: 20-Brad Lawier, 36-Paul Neighbour, 38-James Hayden, 43-Jake Roberts (Vic), 44-Doug Hayden, 67-Daniel Mitchell, 371-Chris Pascoe
Junior (Under 16) 125cc Solos on the infield track: 33-Jake Fleet, 47-Nicholas Possingham, 131-Ashley Jansen-Batchelor, 524-Harry Sadler
Pee Wees (6.30pm-7pm): 1-Emma Seaton, 03-Blake Schlein, 4-Riley Stout, 5-Jack Silvy, 10-Darcy Bennett, 13-Jackson McPherson, 15-Ayla Severe, 37-William Nicol
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. Eftpos is only available at the eastern gate. Cash only at the western (main) gate.
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] Eftpos is only available at the main canteen.
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 is not available in the souvenir shop.
Meeting Sponsor: Eagle Fuels — Eagle Fuels, are an independent fuel and lubricants supplier servicing the Adelaide market. They supply fuel and lubricants to the following sectors, Road Transport, Construction, Manufacturing, Rail and Retail, to name a few. They can also arrange onsite storage tanks up to 100,000 litres, complete site inspections with customers to assist with positioning of tanks or even which lubricant is required for your equipment. Their commitment to their customers is delivery on time every time, with “Old Fashioned Values and Service” To discuss your requirements, and be pleasantly surprised by their level of service and competitive pricing, call Daniel on 0499 009 575, the office on (08) 8268 9271 or call in to discuss your needs at 47 South Terrace Wingfield. Eagle Fuels, your one stop Adelaide based Fuel and Lubricants distributor.
Weather Forecast: (As at 6 February) Maximum 25, minimum 15. Slight chance of a shower. [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 Friday afternoon for $5.50 payable by credit card or PayPal.
Contact for this meeting: Ivan Golding 0417 138 378 or email firstname.lastname@example.org