Darrin Treloar and Jesse Headland continued their complete domination of the 2017/18 Australian speedway season with two more clean sweeps to take out the two International meetings — the FIM Oceania Speedway Sidecar Championship, and the FIM Speedway Sidecar World Cup — at Adelaide’s Gillman speedway Stadium over the Easter weekend.
The first event decided was the Oceania Championship on Saturday night, and Treloar/Headland were never headed as they won six out of six without any problems. Only Kiwis Jamie Moohan and Bayley Ogilvie gave them any sort of challenge and that was only for a lap in heat eight, while fellow Kiwi Andrew Buchanan, with New South Wales passenger Denny Cox, was the only one reasonably close at the end of any race.
While Treloar went into the meeting as the red-hot favourite, and fulfilled that favouritism, there were several riders in the mix for the other positions in the final.
Mick Headland/Brenton Kerr looked good with a quick time in heat one, but the following races showed Warren Monson/Andrew Sumerhayes, Andrew Buchanan/Denny Cox and Mark Mitchell/Tony Carter were the most likely to get a place in the final, with Headland, Jamie Moohan, Trent Headland/Darryl Whetstone, Hamish Golding /Liam Cox and Dave Bottrell/Chris Bottrell in the mix for the semi-final places.
The first round of heats set the tone for the rest of the night with the only real surprise the lack of pace, by his standards, of Trent Headland. The Australian Champion had been super quick when he won the South Australian Championship at the same venue three weeks earlier, but his bike had caught fire at the last Gillman meeting and after the necessary rebuild, the bike didn’t have the pace for him to be a major contender for the title.
Mick Headland looked likely to start with two wins as he came to the tapes for his second ride only to drop a chain when the tapes went up which more or less finished his chances of a top three finish, and consequent automatic start in the final. Likewise son Trent who started with two third places which had him out of a chance of the top three and in for a struggle to get a semi-final place.
Hamish Golding was the next to see his chances diminish with a tape break in his third ride. He later missed his last ride when his bike would not start and the loss of a seemingly certain minimum of 3 points in those two races cost him a start in the semi-final.
Warren Monson was also under the pump for a top three place after a fall in his fourth ride, but he got a reprieve when Andrew Buchanan suffered an exclusion after a first corner fall by Denny Cox in his last ride, which left the top scorers as Treloar 15, Mitchell 12 and Monson 11.
The semi-finalists were Buchanan on 10, Bottrell 9, Jamie Moohan 9 and Trent Headland 9.
Despite his dropped chain in heat five, Mick Headland was sitting on 8 points after four rides but was excluded from the clash of four of the stars – Treloar, Monson, Mitchell and Headland – in heat 17. Headland made contact with Mitchell in turn four on the opening lap, Mitchell spun and fell, and the referee excluded Headland as the cause.
Buchanan led all the way to win the semi-final and then finished second to Treloar in the final with Mitchell third. Defending champion Warren Monson was excluded from the race after he spun and tipped over in turn three on the first lap.
2018 FIM Oceania Speedway Sidecar Championship
Heat points: Darrin Treloar/Jesse Headland 15 (3-3-3-3-3), Mark Mitchell/Tony Carter 12 (3-2-3-3-1), Warren Monson/Andrew Summerhayes 11 (3-3-3-FX-2), Andrew Buchanan/Denny Cox 10 (2-3-2-3-FX), Dave Bottrell/Chris Bottrell 9 (2-3-1-Xi-3), Jamie Moohan/Bayley Ogilvie 9 (2-2-R-2-3), Trent Headland/Darryl Whetstone 9 (1-1-2-2-3), Mick Headland/Brenton Kerr 8 (3-R-3-2-Xb), Mick Cave/Bradley Steer 7 (0-2-2-1-2), Mark Cossar/Carl Blyth 7 (1-1-2-1-2), Hamish Golding/Liam Cox 6 (2-1-T-3-M), Paul Whitelam/Alan Elliott 5 (0-2-1-2-0), Dylan Moohan/Tyler Berger 4 (1-0-1-1-1), Damien Niesche/Mitchell Spear (res) 3 (1-2), Joe Jones/Tom Summers 3 (1-1-0-0-1), Bryan Motis/John Bach 1 (0-0-0-R-1), Will Penfold/Ricky Pay 1 (Xi-0-0-1-R), Mark Plaisted/Ben Pitt (res) did not ride.
Semi-Final: Buchanan (R), T. Headland (Y), J. Moohan (W), Bottrell (B), 60.146
Final: Treloar (R), Buchanan (Y), Mitchell (B), Monson (W-fell, exc), 59.605