Congratulations to Cameron Woodward on winning the 2014 Victorian Solo Title at Olympic Park Speedway.
Congratulations to Mark Plaistead and Brian Anthony on winning the 2013 LCR Oceania Sidecar Championship.
HISTORY AT OLYMPIC PARK
History was created at Mildura’s Olympic Park speedway last Saturday night with the conduct of the FIM Oceania Sidecar Championship, held over an electrifying twenty heats and two wonderful finals.
South Australia’s pair of Mark Plaisted and Brian Anthony were always in contention with two early heat wins, first of all taking care of Darrin Treloar / Blake Cox and then dealing with Mildura’s Warren Monson / Matt Morgan and Queenslanders, Brodie Cohen / Josh Sinnott.
Plaisted may well have been handed an advantage when top points scorers for the night, Mick Headland / Paul Waters, took first selection of gate for the final and chose the second, or “blue” gate. The dual World Champion allowed Plaisted / Anthony to start in the final from gate one, and, after a perfect start, Plaisted was able to dominate the final and take the “first ever,” FIM Oceania Sidecar Championship, a great reward for some years of consistent performance at the top of the Sidecar world in Australia.
In the first round, Bond and Cox, the elder, dominated heat one by giving a superlative “pole line” riding display from their gate one start position and then the young Queensland team of Brodie Cohen / Josh Sinnott, the eventual winners Plaisted / Anthony and Mick Headland / Paul Waters took the spoils to complete the round. All riders settled well even though all competitors knew that they were riding with the world’s best. The racing was hard right from the rising of the first tapes, but given the pressure and the occasion the riding was surprisingly clean. The track conditions allowed plenty of grip and riders were able to exploit the track with some surety. Some splendid and close racing was seen with riders going into the corners, sometimes three riders wide.
In the second round, after just a splash of water was applied to the track, the English team of Mark Cossar / Daz Whetstone had a good win over Treloar / Cox, while the second and younger Queensland team of Dylan Blain / Rob Gottardi took care of SA’s, Jason Hardy / Geoff Langdon and former Australian Champions, Mark Mitchell / Tom Golding and then Mick Headland / Paul Waters continued their domination with a clear win in the eighth heat over Mick’s sons, Trent and Jesse. The luck totally ran out for local stars, Byren Gates / Mick O’Loughlin, who were excluded in their second heat when they started from a deepish rut and after letting the clutch go, found that their machine had bogged out , but also caused some clutch damage, which would end up being a terminal problem for them for the night. Hayden Bond / Brady Cox came home in third and took their first of three third placings for the night.
Headland / Waters faced their toughest heat after the track manicure when they were able to beat home Mitchell / Golding , Plaisted / Anthony and Grant Bond / Glenn Cox in what was a wonderful race, with no quarter given or asked for. Riders were riding in extremely close quarters which entertained the large crowd in attendance. Monson / Morgan won over Blain / Gottardi , while USA Champions, Joe Jones / Johnny Glover kept their score ticking over with another third placing.
The next heat saw the biggest drama of the night when seven times Australian Champion, Darrin Treloar let the clutch go early, catching the tapes in a heat which should not have been a problem for he and Blake Cox to win. Treloar was understandably annoyed with himself, as he rarely ever invokes the wrath of a Referee in any of the meetings he attends. The exclusion and the zero points certainly opened up the meeting, as most pundits would have had Treloar / Cox in the top three points scorers and therefore an assured place in the main event. The Kiwi husband and wife team of Andrew Buchanan / Philippa Burns won easily from reserve rider, Ricky Stephens / Darcy Risstrom.
Brodie Cohen / Josh Sinnott got their score back on track with a win ahead of the Headland brothers and the SA team of Hardy / Langdon as the meeting went to conclude the third round, the big Interval and a Track grade.
After three rounds Headland / Waters were unbeaten on nine points from Blain / Gottardi, Plaisted / Anthony and Monson / Morgan, all locked on seven points apiece, with Cohen / Sinnott just one point back, but looking prime for a spot in the “B” final. The Headlands and Mitchell / Golding were then next with five points and still in with a chance. Cossar’s fall in his third heat had left him back on four points, with them being the best of the International guests.
Grant Bond / Glenn Cox made a great start from the outside gate and consolidated with another pole line riding display to win over Cohen / Sinnott, but their second place would keep the Queensland pair in contention, while popular “Pom” Mick Cave / Gareth Williams grabbed a point for a third place.
A win then to Plaisted / Anthony over Blain / Gottardi kept both teams in the mix while Headland / Waters stormed to an easy win over the New Zealand pair, Buchanan / Burns and USA’s Jones / Glover, but the unusual was about to happen when Treloar /Cox were again beaten into second place, this time by the fast Mildurian, Warren Monson / Matt Morgan, who got great drive from the outside gate and were able to clean up to win and take their score to a very respectable ten points and virtually an assured place in the night’s Oceania Final.
With four rounds of the Championship completed, there was work to be done by many who fancied their chances of a spot in the top seven riders on the program.
Most of all, Treloar / Cox needed a win to try and make it into the “B” final while the UK’s Cossar / Whetstone needed a win as well to try to get them in contention and Bond / Cox, the elder needed points to consolidate their position.
It went well for some and not for others as the pressure built on all riders. Grant Bond / Glenn Cox got another great start and rode the pole splendidly to secure first place in the “B” final with a ten point haul. Treloar / Cox got the better of the start, which Headland /Waters missed in the third to last heat and won from Headland and Cohen, with young Blain failing to complete the journey.
Next heat was easy for Plaisted / Anthony who won over the Headland brothers , who finished the night just out of a place in the “B” final with eight points. Plaisted’s win secured second place on the points table, but he was not to realise what luck might lay ahead of him with gate selection for the Final.
Mark Mitchell / Tom Golding tried to patch up a reasonable night with a win in the penultimate heat, but the interest elsewhere was twofold with a big “get off” on the main straight to NZ passenger Philippa Burns, who missed a hand grip coming out of turn four and she tumbled down the main straight, with a wonderful effort from Mark Mitchell, who locked up and turned away from the clipped, fallen and tumbling Burns, missing from hitting her by the narrowest of margins. Warm applause came from the knowledgeable Mildura crowd but he best was when “Spud” Buchanan and Philippa Burns both hugged the former Aussie Champ and he was thanked by both for making such a remarkable move and avoiding what could have been a very nasty accident.
The re-start was eventful as the UK pair of Cossar / Whetstone led for the first three and a half laps and were riding out of their skins. The UK pair were riding a slightly wider line each lap and when coming into turn three for the last time, they failed to get around and were the first riders at Mildura to test out the new “Air fence”, which passed the test with flying colours.
The red light was shown but by the time Cossar and Whetstone rebounded from the plastic, the race had been won by Mitchell.
Mark Plaisted / Brian Anthony continued their domination of the night with a sound win over the Headland boys and Joe Jones / Johnny Glover from USA leading home UK’s Cave / Williams, giving Plaisted thirteen points for the heats.
Grant Bond / Glenn Cox took first choice of gate in the “B” final but a countback, each of three, was required for the remaining selections as all riders were on nine points. Brodie Cohen / Josh Sinnott selected blue with Treloar / Cox taking gate three, the white, leaving Dylan Blain / Rob Gottardi in the outside position.
Blain missed the start but Treloar used all his experience to “trap” best and stay ahead of Bond / Cox, who worked the seven times Champ over, but it was always Treloar who would make best of his opportunity to be the last team into the main event. Treloar / Cox, from Bond / Cox, then Cohen / Sinnott, with Blain / Gottardi was the finish order in a race which delivered some incredible skills to the crowd. Loud and warm applause greeted Treloar as patrons knew that he had been a man under pressure for the entire night as he moved through to the main event.
Mick Headland / Paul Waters had first choice and interestingly chose the blue, gate two position, even though there had only been three wins from the second gate in the twenty heats. Mark Plaisted / Brian Anthony had been looking at the gate two spot, but immediately chose the inside position once it became available. Warren Monson / Matt Morgan selected the outside gate position which left Darrin Treloar / Blake Cox to take gate three.
Plaisted / Anthony got a wonderful start, while Mick Headland dug in from the second gate, wheelstanding and lost immediate ground to Treloar and Monson, who had moved away quite well from the start. Headland got quite crossed up in turn one and from then was never a chance of winning. Plaisted had four laps to complete to take his biggest prize ever in Sidecar speedway and he, along with his new season’s passenger, Brian Anthony, did not make any mistakes while the three teams behind them all worked overtime but none could catch the SA star, who went on the take the chequered flag and the first Oceania Sidecar title. Monson lost some control after the third lap and went infield and Headland moved by him, although having to go infield to stay safe.
The win was a popular one for Plaisted and Anthony as the team had strong support among the large crowd.
Chairman of Motorcycling Australia’s Speedway Commission, Mr Ivan Golding made the presentation of trophies to the four finalists, along with Mildura Club President, Gavin Sedgmen. The Club was delighted to have Mr. Golding in attendance as he had been virtually totally responsible for initiating the Oceania Sidecar Championship concept to replace the failed FIM World Sidecar Championship which was deleted just over two years ago. The Mildura Club was grateful for the belief that Golding had shown over the entire six months of the refurbishment of the Olympic Park complex.
Next meeting is next Saturday night, 30th November, when Olympic Park will play host the 2014 Victorian Solo Title.
OCEANIA SIDECARS AT OLYMPIC PARK
The heat and the pressure will be on at Mildura’s Olympic Park Speedway on Saturday night when the Club plays host to the first ever, LCR Frames – 2013 Oceania Sidecar Championship to be held over twenty furious heats and three finals to decide the team who will have their name etched on the trophy for the first time.
After an excellent opening meeting at Olympic Park last week, where patrons were amazed at the new track infrastructure, they will attend in large numbers to watch the only International speedway event in Australia this season.
The field is headed by past World Champions, Darrin Treloar, now with Blake Cox as passenger, along with former dual World Champion, Mick Headland and Paul Waters, who won the World Title together in 2010.
England is represented by Mark Cossar / Darryl Whetstone and Mick Cave / Gareth Williams, both of whom are seasoned campaigners. Both Cossar and Cave have been at Mildura in seasons past and have already ridden the newly configured Olympic Park a couple of times. Don’t be surprised to see both “pommy” riders in the action at the end of the night.
Expect good things from our New Zealand friends, Andrew Buchanan and his wife, Philippa Burns, as they have a load of experience at Mildura over the last few seasons and have already looked good in their mid week practice session. This combination is the most talented to “come over the ditch” and are always very competitive. It would not surprise to see the Kiwis make the finals and work hard for a position in the main event.
Our guests from the USA, seven times USA Champion, Joey Jones / John Glover, could also be most competitive, as they are from the small Costa Mesa track at the Orange County Fair Ground in California. While Costa Mesa is less than 200 metres around, it has produced a number of World Champion Solo riders who quickly adapted from their home venue to the tracks of the world, including Mildura. Riders like Penhall, Ermolenko, Hamill and Hancock are great graduates of Costa Mesa.
Treloar is a seven times Australian Champion, the best ever rider in the sport and has been riding in splendid form over the last few years. With recent passengers he has done superbly, but will now be invigorated with the addition of Blake Cox, who has an amazing passenger pedigree, as his new passenger. Treloar is so thorough with his preparation and shows amazing skills on the track to always have his machine in such a positive drive situation. It is expected that he will be there at night’s end.
The Headland / Waters team are well skilled and have great experience around the World, with Mick winning both his World Sidecar Championships overseas, on tracks that he had not seen before. This team has a wonderful understanding and work as one on the bike. Mick is always in control, with Waters just doing what is necessary to keep the machine driving, while never being flustered.
The remaining group of Australians in the field are amongst the very best who have ever been, with the likes of SA’s, Mark Plaisted / Brian Anthony and Mark Mitchell / Tom Golding, along with Jason Hardy / Geoff Langdon and Trent and Jesse Headland, who never disappoint the crowd with some hot action. Plaisted should have won some substantial silverware well before this as his form has been strong over the last few years. Mitchell / Golding could always produce another 2009, when they won the Australian Title here at Mildura and the Headland boys could always finish at the top end of the field at any meeting.
The representation from NSW, apart from Treloar, now with Blake Cox as passenger includes virtually the rest of the Bond and Cox families from the Hunter River. Evergreen Grant Bond has Glenn Cox alongside while Grant’s son, Hayden has Glenn’s son Brady as his passenger. All three Cox’s are great passengers and Blake’s ride with Darrin Treloar will give Darrin a new lease of life in the sport.
The elder Bond / Cox team are well credentialed as they were podium placed at the last World Championship, but they will have their sons chipping away at every opportunity to get one over the “old fellas’. The tighter turns at Olympic Park will suit Grant Bond on the throttle, as there is no one better at “pole line” riding as he has shown over many years.
Queensland has Brodie Cohen / Josh Sinnott and Dylan Blain / Rob Gottardi in the meeting. Both teams are young and are hard chargers, so the “new look” corners at Olympic Park will provide some spectacular interest to all riders, not just our Queensland contingent. Do not be surprised to see some spectacular action from either pair during the heats as they search for a place in the finals. Blain has been well rewarded as his ego was not dented when initially named as a reserve for the meeting, by now being included in the field and immediately being a contender for a place, along with half the field in a semi final.
One can never discount the efforts of the two local teams in the field with either Byren Gates / Mick O’Loughlin or Warren Monson / Matt Morgan, both of whom get around Olympic Park amongst the best. Gates and O’Loughlin have had some practice time prior to the meeting but Monson / Morgan will come in not completely knowing the new configuration of the corners at the track.
Monson has lead the charge with new engine technology for speedway sidecars with his “thumper” motor, which gives massive drive from the corners, but now higher corner entry speeds can be maintained, it will be interesting to see Monson’s reaction to the new circumstances.
Gates, however, is known for keeping everything simple and has a wonderful record, especially as in the last World Title he was able to make the final from a reserve position, such was the nature of the FIM rules at that meeting. Gates could always be a contender through consistent performance.
Patrons are reminded that gates will be open at 3:00pm, to allow them to watch the Official Practice for the meeting. A full Junior program will entertain patrons following the practice with a Victorian Junior Solo and Sidecar title to be conducted.
Rider presentation will begin at 7:15 pm, with Oceania racing set to start at 7:30pm. The program will consist of only Sidecar racing, with the group of Reserve riders providing support to the main program.
Some grandstand accommodation is available and patrons are reminded that they will be able to circumnavigate the track at the end of each round of Sidecar heats.
Full catering is available for food and drinks at both ends of the venue and patrons are reminded that there must be NO BYO by law. The Club promotes speedway as a family entertainment so asks that patrons conduct themselves accordingly during the event.
DRAW FOR THE 2013 OCEANIA CHAMPIONSHIPS 23/11/2013
1; Grant Bond / Glenn Cox
2; Dylan Blain / Robert Gottardi
3; Andrew Buchanan / Philippa Burns [New Zealand]
4; Trent Headland / Jesse Headland
5; Joe Jones / John Glover [USA]
6 Mark Mitchell / Tom Golding
7; Brodie Cohan / Josh Sinnott
8; Hayden Bond / Brady Cox
9; Darrin Treloar / Blake Cox
10; Jason Hardy / Geoff Langdon
11; Mark Plaisted / Brian Anthony
12; Byren Gates / Mick O`Loughlin
13; Mark Cossar / Daz Whetstone [UK]
14; Mick Cave / Gaz Williams [UK]
15; Warren Monson / Mat Morgan
16; Mick Headland / Paul Waters
1st reserve, Neal Hancock / George Hancock
2nd reserve, Rick Stephens / Darcy Risstrom
Well done to Cameron Woodward who took out the inaugural Phil Crump Trophy at the opening meeting of Olympic Speedway for the 2013 / 2014 season, a big thank-you to Peter Crisp who officially opened the new complex, to the Coomealla Memorial Sporting Club for their ongoing support and a huge thank you to Phil Crump, thank you.
TRACK REOPENS WITH INAUGURAL PHIL CRUMP TROPHY
After an exhausting six months of constant work by members, contractors, benefactors and
friends of Olympic Park Speedway, which has seen the Track totally refurbished and turned
into the safest speedway venue in the world, the Mildura Motor Cycle Club will begin its new
season and new future with a top line field of Solos, riding for the PHIL CRUMP TROPHY as
well as a strong field of Sidecars on Saturday night.
After an Official opening of the refurbished facility, by Mr. Peter Crisp, MLA, Member for
Mildura and the Club’s most famous Life Member, the great Phil Crump, patrons who make
history by attending the first meeting of the “new look” venue will be treated to a Solo field with
a full sixteen rider, twenty heat, and Final format, as they ride to win the inaugural “PHIL
CRUMP TROPHY”. Supporting the solo events will be a ten rider support program of Sidecars
as well as a feature with the young lads riding on the “entry level” 250cc Solo machines, all
over thirty four action packed events.
Local MP Peter Crisp, was instrumental in the Club being granted a $200,000 Rural
Development Victoria grant under the “Putting Locals First” program from the State
government, which was announced back in June 2013.
Long time naming sponsor, the Coomealla Memorial Sporting Club, chimed in with $50,000,
being a three year sponsorship deal of $20,000 paid up front, along with a cash injection of a
further $30,000, which the Club has used to install the most modern, environmentally friendly
sound system which will allow great clarity of commentary for patrons at the venue.
Mildura Rural City Council also assisted with formal support for the grant as well as a
donation of $10,000 and an indication of ongoing support for the project by facilitation of
further Project grant funds as they become available.
Saturday’s Solo meeting will feature some stars returning from their overseas duties, and they
will all be trying to get their name first on the perpetual Phil Crump Trophy, which has been
struck for the occasion. The Club believes that is appropriate that Phil is honoured with a
perpetual Trophy, given the impact that Phil has had on the speedway world when he really
put Mildura on the International speedway map. Riders include, back to back, British Long
Track Champion, Cameron Woodward and returning from his first year of competition in the
UK, Max Fricke, who has ridden with great success as a member of the Edinburgh Monarchs.
Jake Anderson, from the Goulburn Valley also returns from another season in England, as
does NSW rider and 2012 World Under contender, Sam Masters.
Justin Sedgmen heads up a strong contingent of local riders, which includes his older brother,
Ryan, along with Jack Fallon, Jason Stewart, Chris Ferguson, Brock Gates, Sean Peterson
and newcomer, Brodie Waters, who just last month rode in the final two rounds of the World
Supersport class at both Jerez, Spain and Magny- Cours, France. Waters will show his great
versatility in the sliding discipline after just doing over 300kph on the bitumen tracks of
Europe. Fallon has shown excellent speed in practice and at the opening meeting at Gillman
last week, where he put in a solid performance. Brock Gates and Sean Peterson have also
put in some good work during the winter, so expect them to be taking good points off more
Visiting riders are Bob Stoneham, Jackson Milne, Tyler King and Brad Tillett, from Victoria
and Robbie Medson from Adelaide , which will all make for some thrilling racing.
Speedway, Motorcross, Road Racing, MotoTrials, Enduro, Supercross – Key Official, Commentary and Event Management
Patrons will be keen to see the “trapping” improvement of youngster, Max Fricke, as well as to
observe the improvement of Justin Sedgmen, Jack Fallon and Rob Medson over the off
season. Stoneham has improved given his keenness to travel, especially to Olympic Park and
he brings some good young colts with him to contest events at Mildura.
Woodward should return being stronger, especially in turn one, as there is such importance
placed on turn one everywhere, but particularly in the Long Track World Championship series,
when Cam finished a creditable fifth place overall, but he will be tested by other competitors.
Track toughness is something that all International riders bring home with them, as so many
first turns are ridden by them in a European season. General race craft is also gained with the
amount of riding done in England, compared to the hobby riders who remain in Australia.
Sidecars again see the return to Mildura of former Aussie No 2, Ricky Howse and Adam
Commons, from Broken Hill. A major injury kept the top class pair out of any racing in the past
season, but they are ready and rearing to go with a new charge at the Sidecar ranks. A good
contingent from Broken Hill includes, “Bart” Stephens, with local Darcy Risstrom in the chair,
Stephens’ brother “Mud” with nephew, Linc, as passenger along with Brenton Dwyer / Brad
Pfitzner and Darren Howse / Matt Ward, making the journey to join local stalwarts, Jason
Bradshaw / Steve Behsmann, Neale and son, George Hancock, Dale Milner / Nick O’Brien,
Chris and Hannah Holmes joining former Alice Springs resident, Chris Dess who will train
local youngster, Emily Seymour in the passenger role.
Top competition for Bradshaw / Behsmann, Howse / Commons and the Hancocks is likely to
come from quick SA pair, the Headland brothers, Trent and Jesse. The Headland boys are
hard chargers and will test the best at Olympic Park, but the track is new for all riders as there
have been more than subtle changes made to the corner geometry as part of the track
revamp over the winter and spring months. Racing should improve with the track changes.
Further support for the opening meeting will come from the young lads on their 250cc Solo
machines. This ”entry class” machine is proving to be popular as a training tool and Cooper
Riordan, Declyn Adams, Brodie Eaves, Adon Clare and Mitch Gretch will all show their skills
on the smaller capacity engine which is built into a full sized frame. The 250 class has been
popular since inception and it is gratifying that there are enough young riders with the
machines in Mildura to conduct a class.
Track gates will open as usual at 5:00pm, with patrons advised that there is now ONLY one
entry point for the track at the main ticket office.
Through the new track design, which includes a completely new and larger Pit area behind
Race Control, patrons are now able to circumnavigate the track and spectate, even from the
old Pit zone, which now just has an earthen bank for viewing. The new track entry / exit point
for riders is just behind the start line and patrons will be able to cross the Pit lane while racing
is in progress. New unique gates will allow spectator traffic during events, while the same
gates close off the public access while riders exit and enter the race track.
A new VIP area is being utilized for sponsors and guests of the Club. Any patrons wishing to
utilize the VIP area may contact the Club for details on sponsorship arrangements.
Ongoing arrangements for full catering are in place for both food and drinks and some
grandstand seating is available on a first come, first served basis.
A Junior program will commence at 6:30pm, after Senior practice at 5:45. Senior racing will
commence at 7:30pm.
The Competition calendar for the 2013 / 2014 season is now available, for a down loadable copy go to the riders page and click onto the link.