Speedway is the original extreme sport, and is watched by millions of spectators around the world.
It is a thrill a minute sport, exciting to watch but at the same time, simple to follow.
Basically, four riders – and sometimes up to six riders – race over four laps of a small oval dirt track and each race is over in less than a minute.
Easy. But not for the riders. They race 500cc Solo machines, or 1045cc Sidecar machines at speeds up to 100km per hour WITHOUT BRAKES.
The bikes are purpose-built lightweight machines, unlike any other motorcycles, and run only pure methanol as fuel, because methanol makes it possible to use a higher compression ratio, resulting in high engine power outputs which allow them to accelerate to 100km per hour in 3 seconds, faster than a Formula 1 car!
To get around the corners at high speed the riders have to bring the rear wheel out and initiate a slide.
Riders only have two minutes to come out for each race, so the action is continuous apart from some short track grades, and Gillman generally runs around 35 events each meeting, starting at 7.30pm and finishing by 10.30pm.
The riders are easily identified by wearing different helmet colours which also correspond with their starting positions.
Adelaide’s Gillman Speedway has only been in existence for a relatively short time but is already recognised as one of the best racing surfaces in the World.
When six-times World Solo Speedway Champion, Tony Rickardsson visited the track from Sweden, he said “this is how Speedway should be” and even gave a donation to the Airfence fund.
Ten-times Australian Champion Leigh Adams loved coming to Gillman and says “It was great fun going to Gillman. I always did well there and the epic battle I had with (three-times World Champion) Jason Crump in an Australian Championship Final was one of the great races I remember. The place just gets better and better and is a credit to the workers and club.”
And eleven-times Australian Sidecar Champion Darrin Treloar, from Sydney, statistically the sport’s most successful rider, says “the race track is always second to none and the officials always make us welcome when we arrive. It is just fantastic to be a part of the show.”