Jason Lyons

A wonderful and exciting field of young speedway stars will contest the inaugural Jason Lyons Trophy meeting at Mildura’s Olympic Park Speedway, on Saturday 15th November.

The CPM Building Contractors, Lyons Trophy field, has three International riders, headed by the Edinburgh Monarch, Justin Sedgmen, fresh from some excellent results in the Premier League, where the Monarchs team took all the major silverware on offer in the Premier League,  including the Premier league Championship. Sedgmen has had his best season in the British league, showing great consistency throughout at his number two position in the Monarchs team. Sedgmen has only returned from International duty during last week, so his race form should still be very sharp.

Shepparton’s Dakota North, will also be in contention for the Jason Lyons Trophy as he has had a good season in England, riding for the Swindon Robins, with his team just missing the playoffs for Elite League. As an aside, North teamed with Sedgmen back in 2007 to win the Australian Junior Pairs Championship, so it is fitting that they are joint favourites to win the Lyons meeting riding against each other.

2013 British Under 21 Champion, Rob Branford, also joins this illustrious group and should be in contention as will local riders, Jack Fallon, Chris Ferguson, Brock Gates and Brodie Waters. Waters is fresh from success in Long Track racing at Bathurst last weekend while he and Fallon are expected to put up plenty of opposition to their more Internationally experienced opponents, however minor place points will have a big impact on who gets into the main event at night’s end, so riders will need to ensure that they score the best points possible with each ride.

startIt is most pleasing to note that two young riders will contest their first senior meeting at Mildura when Jordan Stewart and Cooper Riordan, who have both just turned sixteen, with Stewart having a birthday late this week. These lads will be keen to show their good practice form can be transferred onto the race track in tough competition. In the case of young Stewart, he has the added delight of having his first race meeting riding with his Dad, Jason, in the same field. It is an experience that both generations of Stewarts will remember for the rest of their days, as a father and son riding combination is very rare in the sport. Riordan is just a bit older and has had the opportunity of racing at senior level already.

Rob Medson, a regular visitor from Adelaide, along with Brad Tillett, complete a very competitive field of twelve riders who will be trying to get their name on this prestigious award for the sake of history.

A strong and again competitive group will contest “B” grade as support for the main class. Young riders dominate the field, with Luke Bacskai recovered from his fall just two weeks ago, while Matthew Flay and Blake Ridley will be joined by Bill Tillett and Gary Fisher. This group of five young lads will take on a more experienced rider in Cam Wrate, who rode some years ago and has had the speedway bug bite him hard again, but this time Wrate will focus on “B” grade and just “riding for fun” to enjoy the sport which he has always followed. It is great for Club members to take this attitude, realizing that they can participate, while still having great fun, without the seriousness of hard and tough competition. Many riders in the past have taken this attitude and have prolonged their careers without having to make sacrifices for the sport.milner

Classic Sidecars will again provide the support events for the Lyons program with Dale Milner / Nick O’Brien expected to be best ahead of Simon Cohrs / Reece Farr, while AJ Pearce / Jamie Knudsen and Paul Mills / Blake Halls will complete their even line up.

The Classics are always keen to show their wares, but the Milner and Cohrs teams should have a small advantage as Jamie Knudsen, whilst an experienced passenger, hops on with AJ Pearce and young Blake Halls will have his first speedway ride as passenger, even though he has been in a similar situation in Dirt Track racing riding with Mills.

Gates open at Olympic Park at 5:00pm, with a small Junior  program set to commence at 6:15pm.

A rider presentation and Introduction for the Jason Lyons Trophy will begin at 7:15pm, with racing to follow at 7:30pm, sharp.

Patrons are reminded that new grandstand accommodation, courtesy of the Forbes Wilson Group is available or people are invited to bring their own chair and use the grassy banks of the venue.

A full catering service is available and patrons are advised that there must be no BYO by law.

Olympic Park can be found straight out 11th Street West.



Mildura Motorcycle Club to host 2015


FIM Speedway Under 21 World Cup Final


MILDURA’S Olympic Park Speedway will make history in October next year when it becomes the first venue outside Europe to host the World Team Speedway Under 21 Championships.

Speedway Team Australia manager and former Sunraysia solo speedway rider Mark Lemon, FIM Track Racing Commissioner Armando Castagna, and Mildura Motor Cycle Club president Gavin Sedgmen sign off on the documents confirming Mildura as the location for the Team Speedway Under 21 World Championship final next year.
Speedway Team Australia manager and former Sunraysia solo speedway rider Mark Lemon, FIM Track Racing Commissioner Armando Castagna, and Mildura Motor Cycle Club president Gavin Sedgmen sign off on the documents confirming Mildura as the location for the Team Speedway Under 21 World Championship final next year.

Director of governing body FIM (Federation of International Motorsports), and Track Racing Commission, Armando Castagna, and Mildura Motorcycle Club president Gavin Sedgmen this week signed the official contract that will see Mildura host the event.

Sedgmen was attending the final round of the Speedway Grand Prix in Poland, and the pair were joined by Motorcycle Australia Speedway team manager Mark Lemon.

After qualifying events in Europe, the top four teams will travel to Mildura for the championship final. The Australian team has earned automatic qualification due to its host nation status.

The finals on Saturday, October 31, will come just one week after the final Speedway Grand Prix of 2015 – to be held at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne.

“The FIM Track Racing Commission have been developing the FIM Youth Project in speedway, and are delighted that the Speedway Under 21 Championships is getting stronger,” Mr Castagna said.

Mr Castagna said he had “great memories” of riding at Olympic Park against home town speedway legend Phil Crump, saying Crump had been one of the driving forces behind FIM’s decision to host the event in Mildura after he had relayed news of Olympic Park’s recent $85,000 refurbishment, and its elevation to a FIM-standard track.

Mildura Motor Cycle Club had undertaken major works, thanks in part to significant Victorian Government funding, with upgrades including installation of a unique tyre-suspended, rubber belt safety fence – complete with a FIM homologated AirFence – new lighting, pit areas, public address system and new power reticulation.

Mr Sedgmen said hosting a significant FIM Championship meet was “reward for effort,” and testimony to the many hours of volunteer work put into the project over six months to October last year.

“Our club will welcome teams, officials, FIM representatives and a large contingent of international spectators to Australia for the Speedway Grand Prix in Melbourne, with many to then make the trip to Mildura for the Under 21 event a week later.”

The best of world speedway’s junior talents will be on show at the Mildura championships, with many countries beginning to see better results from riders through their respective junior development programs.

Mildura Motorcycle Club officials have proposed an extensive schedule for the world championships, with an official practice planned for Thursday, October 29.

A rider and team presentation dinner – open to the public – will be held on the Friday



Please click on the below link to read the report from the Annual Dinner.


POST ANNUAL DINNER 2014, Trophy winners and Awards, 300614


Mildura Motor Cycle Clubs AGM is being held at the club rooms at 8pm  tomorrow night 01/07/2014, all welcome.



President of Mildura Motor Cycle Club, Gavin Sedgmen, was busy on Easter Saturday night chasing up” Water” matters after it was reported late in the Easter Arena Motorcross event, that the Ladies toilet did not have any water.


Upon receiving the call, Sedgmen asked the Course Commentator to publically apologise to event patrons and advise them that the matter would be rectified as soon as possible.


Sedgmen set about to check all possible contingencies, however he was stumped at every call, as he and other Club officials could not find the cause of the water problem.


Thankfully for the Club, the last entertainment of the night was the appearance of the Freestyle MotorCross visitors, who had the crowd spellbound, with perhaps many patrons postponing any call for the Club’s amenities in favour of not missing any of the show put on by FMX Stars, “Bilko” Williams and “J O “ Archer.


The matter of the water lessened after the show concluded, although the Club continued to investigate the likely cause of the problem.


The FMX team left their Truck and trailer locked in Mildura’s Olympic Park Speedway arena, with the arrangement that they would call Sedgmen when they were ready to retrieve their equipment prior to their departure the next morning.


President Sedgmen arrived to let the FMX boys gather their equipment and they soon departed. Sedgmen thought that in daylight he might have a better chance of getting to the bottom of the water issue and began his investigation afresh.


The pump and pressure unit were working fine and there were no major leaks which caught the President’s attention.


An absolute chance walk past the tankstand and a casual glance upwards, revealed the problem . . . . . . a prankster had climbed the tank during the course of the night and had turned off the gate valve which controls the reticulation to the toilets.


Sedgmen climbed the tankstand, switched the valve to the on position and the water returned to all areas where it is plumbed. A quick check of all the Club’s conveniences and a quick flush in each cubicle saw all the toilets operational once more.


Whilst the Club can understand the mirth of the prankster, it is concerned that patrons may have been inconvenienced, for which the Club again apologises.


Sedgmen said “that steps have already been taken to ensure that nobody other than Club officials can manipulate the valve in the future”. “It was not something that I immediately would have gone to”, Sedgmen added.


“The toilet incident was the only negative on a wonderful Arena Motorcross event and the spectacular FMX show which closed the program” the President stated.



The bikes flew and thrilled a large crowd in attendance at the Coomealla Memorial Sporting Club – 2014 Easter Arena Motorcross on Easter Saturday night.


An enthusiastic crowd also enjoyed the extra free show put on by Freestyle Motorcross stars, Blake “Bilko” Williams and new sensation “J O” Archer, both during the sundown race break and immediately after the “King of the Murray” finals were decided. The FMX shows were put on under the direction of Freestyle superstar, Cam Sinclair, who is a regular visitor to Mildura, especially enjoying all the motorsport which Mildura has to offer over the long break.


Some great racing was witnessed during the three heat rounds which confronted all riders. Riders then contested longer distance finals where the results would be decided.


A flawless finals performance by Victorian “A” grade rider Justin Carafa saw him become the Open class King of the Murray, with a great display ahead of Ouyen’s Nathan Trigg and Josh Spanos, from the Riverland, ahead of Michael Menchi, who came home in fourth place. Carafa took the “holeshot” and was never headed during the grueling twelve lap final although Trigg and Spanos always remained in touch, but were clearly ahead of the pack.


Trigg was able to share the main spoils when he won the “A” Lites section of competition ahead of Ryan Shadbolt, Lachlan Davis and last year’s King of the Murray in Mark Grove. Visitor, Sam Davie took the holeshot and led for the early laps but it was Trigg’s Enduro fitness which saw him take over to win the ten lap journey.


The “B” Lite King of the Murray title went to Broken Hill rider, Callum Dodimead, who dominated his division, riding clean lines and jumping well to win over former speedway regular at Olympic Park, Karlis Ezergalis and another Silver City rider, Todd Quin, with Ben Miller in fourth place.


In the “B” and “C” grade Open machines which were combined, but were scored in their classes; Moulamein rider Tim O’Brien finished first in the “B” section, ahead of Broken Hill’s Matt Quin with Angus Francis in third place.


In the “C” section Karl Claridge ahead of Jesse Jordan and Brad Leith with Broken Hill’s Cec Fraser and Madden Paul in fourth and fifth places respectively.


The “C” Lite division was hotly contested with local rider, Cody Ryan taking the King of the Murray title away from Karl Claridge, Connor Hallewell and Matthew Ashman-Copley.


The Junior 125 to 250 cc class saw some determined competition but was dominated by local rider, Taylor Adams, who was declared the “Rider of the Night” with splendid performances in both the 125’s and the 85 to 150 cc class, which he won convincingly. Adams was never troubled in a stand out performance where Cody Jones took second and local rider Jack Coleman was third.


As mentioned, Taylor Adams also dominated the smaller category where Davin Bartlett took second ahead of local Liam Dinnage who took the minor placing.





Top rider in the small group of 65cc machines went to Denzel Woulfe, with Sam Pretscherer and Max Phillips in the minor placings.


The large Easter crowd enjoyed the spectacular action of the ArenaX but were thrilled even more when they enjoyed two great interludes of the best Freestyle Motorcross going around, when entertained both during the sundown break, with a teasing show put on by Cam Sinclair’s FMX men. This twenty minute opportunity gave the earlybirds at the event a taste of things to come with some wonderful “whips” from the young “J O” while “Bilko” gave just a taste of the “back flip” jumps for which he has become famous.


This International troupe then put on a spectacular display of FMX, immediately after the “King of the Murray” finals with some amazing “helicopter” jumps. More “whips” and some spectacular “freight train” jumping where both riders were in mid air at the same time doing both helicopters and an impressive “hands free” backflip from Bilko.


The crowd’s great enthusiasm and warm applause coaxed even greater skills from the pair as they enjoyed their work which included some excellent” lazy boy” styling,  “seat grabs” and “cliffhanger” action. All the while Bilko continued with massive backflip action which drew gasps from those in awe of the action.


The free to patrons FMX provided a wonderful finish to the night and all patrons would have gone home just waiting for the next time that the FMX stars return to Olympic Park. Discussions are already underway to have the troupe return, with a special promise from Sinclair himself, to return to Olympic Park when he is fit and riding again.” Sincs”  has just recently re-injured a former leg break during training and told Mildura officials that he is keen to come and put on a full show at Olympic Park, just so as he can soak up some more of the amazing Mildura atmosphere.


Sinclair was blown away by the reception his riders received, saying that the young “J O” was just starting out and was a radical rider, who was learning so much about the trade from himself and Bilko Williams.




British Sidecar Champions, Mark Cossar and Darryl Whetstone took the “Curly” Carmes Trophy for winning the CLEANAWAY Sidecar Spectacular at Mildura’s Olympic Park on Saturday night.


Cossar and Whetstone were in excellent form all night, riding firstly in a depleted Group B, which was stricken by some late withdrawals, but they ended up with a “first choice” of gates for the Final.


Second place in the event again created history, as Mick Cave and Ben Goddard, also from England came in behind their British compatriots in a best result for the pair from Kent. Young Mildura combination, Adon “AJ” Pearce and Brodie Gebhart finished in third place in a “best result ever” for the youngsters, who ride together for convenience.


Sadly for the night’s other top scorers, Shane Hudson and Brad Pitt from the Hunter Valley, started poorly, getting caught in a wheel rut and were taken infield, from where they took no further part in the final.


The night commenced with some unavoidable attrition, sadly affecting only one half of the main program as only four riders were available to contest the “B” group of seven riders. Program changes were made which kept four riders in each event on the track, so patrons were always fully entertained.


Some excellent heat races were conducted with Cossar and Hudson Junior dominating in their group while Hudson’s father Phil Hudson / Nathan McFadden top scored in the “A” group ahead of Mick Cave / Ben Goddard and Byren Gates / Mick O’Loughlin who were tied. A count back was required to separate the next in line which was AJ Pearce / Brodie Gebhart and young Shepparton brothers, Ashley and Mitch Duncan. Sadly for the Goulburn Valley pair, the count back saw them miss on the semi final after they had ridden so well during the heats.


An eventful semi final saw Hudson senior, Cave, Gates and Pearce take to the start with Cave getting the best of the start. After one lap Cave still lead over Hudson and Gates, who were riding virtually side by side. Through turn one it seemed as though Hudson just lost traction slightly and Gates, who was still driving well, just touched the front wheel of the Hudson machine, with the result that Hudson flipped high into the air and some great work by the lesser experienced Pearce locked up immediately to avoid the fallen Hudson and McFadden. A red light stopped the racing and the dilemma was “who was the cause?” A decision, which was unpopular in some quarters, was reached and Gates was excluded from the re-run, much to Gates’ and O’Loughlin’s personal disgust. The decision clearly could have gone either way, depending on what was seen, however speedway Referees do not have any discretionary power and a decision, however bold, must be given.


In the re-run, Cave made light work of the semi, with Pearce placing second and an excellent appearance in a major final at Olympic Park.


By virtue of the smaller numbers in the other half of the program, Cossar and Shane Hudson were selected into the main event by their heat point scores.



The final was a superb event, with Cossar clearly dominating and after the infield excursion to Hudson / Pitt, the field spread with Cave taking a clear second with Pearce / Gebhart settling for a wonderful “first ever” podium position.


Support events for the night saw the Classic Sidecars entertain the crowd with some fine racing, especially by the evergreen, Robbie Kemp, from Broken Hill. Kemp, using Mildura’s Nick O’Brien as passenger was excellent from the starts, something which had not been happening for Kemp, who rides a 750cc, 2 stroke Suzuki, which was a fast and popular bike in its day. Many of Australia’s top riders chose the famous ”Water Bottle” as their race machine with Kemp being one of those riders who made the Suzuki popular.


Interestingly Kemp, last Saturday rode in his 35th Mildura Sidecar Spectacular, firstly in the top grade and only sitting out on his retirement, when he came down to watch and then he resumed his affection for the longest running Sidecar, non Title event in Australia when he took to Classic racing.


In the Classic Final, Kemp was top scorer, from Simon Cohrs / Reece Farr with Paul Donnelly /Jamie Knudsen next from family combination, Rod and Brodie Gebhart, with Gebhart the younger having a busy night as passenger for both his Dad, in the Classics and for his good mate, AJ Pearce and being so successful in the evenings finals.


Next effort for the competitors from last night’s meeting will be for the Qualifying meeting for the 2014 Australian Sidecar Championship, which will be held in Kurri Kurri, NSW on 28th and 29th March.


Those accepted into the Qualifying meeting are the “Spectacular” winners, Mark Cossar / Dazl Whetstone, locals, Byren Gates / Mick O’Loughlin, Broken Hill’s Ricky Stephens / Dacry Risstrom and the Hudson family from NSW where Shane Hudson / Brad Pitt and Hudson’s father, Phil Hudson / Nathan McFadden are included in the field..


Next meeting at Mildura’s Olympic Park Complex will be the staging of the Easter Arena Motorcross event, which will be the Victorian Championship meeting for Arena Motorcross. The big Easter special will commence at 5:00pm on Saturday 19th April and will continue under the permanent lights of the Olympic Park Arena Motorcross facility.



A talented  and very even field of Sidecars will be in action on Saturday night for the CLEANAWAY –  SIDECAR SPECTACULAR, which will close the Olympic Park speedway season for 2014.


Riders from around Australia and around the World will converge on Olympic Park to contest the classic event, which is being staged for the 37th time.


Two groups of seven riders each will go head to head throughout the heat races with semi finals to decide who will win the Keith “Curly” Carmes Trophy and have their name inscribed in history.


Fresh from great podium results in last week’s Victorian Sidecar Championships, NSW rider Shane Hudson / Brad Pitt, will be looking to consolidate his position ready for the Australian Championships at the end of the month on his home base, Kurri Kurri track.


Shepparton’s, Jason “Squirrel” Trewin  / Jake French will also be looking to further their podium position in last week’s important meeting. Trewin is always keen to get involved in any hurly burly which might be going around, but with this new combination, he seems to be more successful than in the past.


Local stars, Byren Gates / Mick O’Loughlin and Dale Milner / Nick O’Brien will lead a strong Mildura contingent which also includes evergreen, Chris Holmes / George Hancock, AJ Pearce / Brodie Gebhart and Chris Dess / Emily Seymour, who are turning out to be the finds of the 2014 season. An experienced Dess has moved from Alice Springs to Mildura to get more riding and has taken on board a young lady with a strong speedway pedigree in Emily Seymour, who shows clearly that sidecars can be ridden in a most “Lady – like” manner.

The Dess / Seymour combination has been gelling together for the whole season and should be well pleased with their riding efforts together.


Gates has had his machine on the “dyno” during the past two weeks and the machine is now driving better as a result. Gates has also been included in the field for the Qualifying meeting at Kurri at the end of the month. Dale Milner continues to improve at every meeting whether riding on the modern or the Classic machines.


Chris Holmes, although tipping himself over in a January meeting is enjoying his racing and with young George Hancock on side he is showing good speed, while AJ Pearce / Brodie Gebhart just continue to improve with every outing.


Broken Hill is again strongly represented by the Stephens family, who have kept the speedway flame alive in Broken Hill now for some years. Rick “Bartman” and passenger Darcy Risstrom have made it to the Qualifying meeting for the 2014 Australian Sidecar title, while brother Dan “Mud” Stephens has his son, Lock along side. Young Lock is developing into a good passenger and some more racing will see the father / son combination featuring in strong meeting results in the future.


Our two “season long” British visitors are back again for some more high speed action, with British Champion, Mark Cossar / Daz Whetstone expected to feature right to meetings end.



Cossar has shown excellent improvement as the season has gone on and he is stronger now at all aspects of his craft.


Constant podium results over the whole season has meant that Cossar’s trip to Australia has been very rewarding, as he always intended to learn as much as he could from the best in Australia. Cossar was the first rider to test the new Olympic Park “AirFence” early in the season and came away quite unscathed. He has since used a slightly tighter line while racing, so his chances of a fence excursion are less likely now.


Mick Cave, the other English visitor, has been consistent during the year, having some good races all around Australia. Mick has a special love for Olympic Park and will enjoy another outing on the hallowed ground.


Also making the journey from the Hunter Valley is Shane Hudson’s father Phil, who has been coming to Mildura for many years, first bringing his lad to learn the way of going at Olympic Park. Phil has been a great rider and while now backing his boy in to do well at the 2014 Titles at the end of this month, Phil will give the “spare” bike a work out just to make sure that it is in tip top conditions ready for Shane for the Title weekend. Phil is also great at socializing and does enjoy his racing. He is always a pleasure to have in the field.


Making their way to Mildura for another meeting is Melbourne’s Mark Radford / Chris Walker, who are always likely to take points off unsuspecting teams who might just relax momentarily. The Melbourne combination had their best Victorian Title result last week and will be keen to repeat the dose against some of last week’s opposition.


Classic Sidecars will also provide action and support to the Curly Carmes Trophy meeting with the most likely winner to be Broken Hill’s Rob Kemp, this time with Nick O’Brien in the chair. Kemp will have his Suzuki 750cc “Water Bottle” ready to go and ready to win. The Broken Hill charger of yesteryear enjoys the Classic concept and will mix it with any rider who takes him on.


Local riders Rod and Brodie Gebhart and Simon Cohrs / Reece Farr will have their work cut out against the aggressive Silver City Master in Kemp, but the contest should be good throughout the night. Visitors from SA include Rocky Warren / Joel Wilsch and Steve Lewis / Sean Chapman with Paul Donolly / Jamie Knudsen, Steve Radford / Mike Crundwell and George Atherton all looking to do well.


The next opportunity for the Classic Competitors will be the Mildura Club’s  “Wintersun Classic” which is conducted on the long weekend in June while the Ulysses Club have their Annual “Wintersun Run” rally at Olympic Park. The Ulyssians are always delighted to be able to take in a Classic meeting while they are enjoying their weekend in the sun at Mildura.


Olympic Park gates will open at 5:00pm, with a Junior meeting as the curtain raiser from 6:30pm. The Cleanaway Sidecar Spectacular will commence at 7:30 with the presentation of the Curly Carmes Trophy at meetings’ end.


Olympic Park has full catering and some grandstand accommodation available for patrons. There must be no BYO by law, as part of the Olympic Park Licence requirements.


Silver City Express Mildura Solo and Sidecar Masters

Congratulations to Adam Skornicki and Warren Monson on winning the Silver City Mildura Solo and Sidecar Masters held last night at Olympic Park Speedway.


Visiting Polish Champion, Adam Skornicki, won the Silver City Express – Mildura Masters from young Dane, Rasmus Jensen, at Mildura’s Olympic Park in the “Australia Day” meeting on Sunday night.


Skornicki won the meeting on a maximum score, only the second time in his long career that he had completed a meeting unbeaten. He told the crowd after the meeting that his first maximum score, like this one, had a special place in his memory, as it was when he won the 2008 Polish Championship. He told the local fans that he has totally enjoyed his working holiday to Mildura with his family and has been so impressed with the great Club spirit and friendship which exists, something that used to be the way in Poland, back when he first started to ride.


Skornicki dominated the meeting from Jensen and last week’s winner Dakota North, from Shepparton, who crashed out after being clipped by the young Dane in their second heat.

North aggravated a shoulder injury and withdrew from the meeting, as did Justin Sedgmen, who seemed to be out of sorts both with his machinery and the occasion. Some attrition from the previous night’s Australian Under 21 Title in Adelaide had caused some logistical problems for event organizers, but while the numbers were slightly fewer, the racing was always keen and most entertaining.


A great source of entertainment came from the young lads on their 250cc machines. This class is particularly a “training class”, where riders are able to come to terms with the senior tracks on full size frames, but with just half the size engine. The Under 16 250cc Title was run concurrently in Adelaide along with the Under 21 meeting.


The ten participants showed great skills, especially Queenslander, Brody Eves, who had won the Australian Title the night before. Eves is a talented youngster and rides some very good lines.


There were five riders from WA, which was a good show for Mildura, as we have a number of riders who are either just in or about to embark on this category. The engine size does not allow the rear wheel to spin and so the drive for the kids is most positive. The across Nullabor trek was worthwhile for the young WA boys and girls, as they were able to gain some extra experience from travelling east and riding on different tracks against different competitors. It is a big commitment from the WA families, something which does not seem to be as regular from those families on the Eastern seaboard. Maybe the old adage is right in that it may be further from East to West than it is from West to East as many Easterners sadly refuse to make the trip to support WA based Australian Championship events.


A five rider final was most entertaining with Eves Qld, Jimmy Jones NSW, Zach Cook NSW, Sheldon Gill WA and Cory Pangbourne Vic., all riding out of their skins. Eves led the way but in mid field there was some great skills shown by the two NSW boys as Jones and Cook battled hard against each other. The machines are so even that the real test is rider skill, which is what makes this class so interesting.


The Sidecar Masters was hard fought from the first heat, with dual World Champions, Mick and Jesse Headland showing wonderful speed, as did Victorian Champion, Warren Monson / Matt Morgan and former Victorian Champ, Byren Gates / Mick O’Loughlin and British Champion, Mark Cossar / Daz Whetstone.



Fans enjoyed the opportunity to see the top four teams going at it for the entire night. This head to head fight was only interrupted when Cossar amd Whetstone clipped the fence on the back straight, flipped and were thrown high into the air. Landing from this height is never good and Cossar aggravated an older injury and pulled out of his last ride.


The Masters Sidecar final was a superb contest between Headland and Monson and they exchanged positions and paint regularly during the four laps. Headland had a small infield excursion in the third lap and was excluded, however while not in sight of the exclusion light, he and Monson continued to race hard with Monson finally gaining control and going on to win. It was a wonderful example of close, tight and no holds barred racing, something which our Sidecar fraternity often show at Mildura.


Byren Gates / Mick O’Loughlin battled hard against Broken Hill’s Dan and Link Stephens, who took over the Cossar position and while they were just fractionally behind the event leaders, they put on an excellent show.


Smaller fields of “B” grade solos and sidecars supported the three main categories to see the Australia Day celebration complete.


Next meeting at Olympic Park is on Saturday 8th February when the second round of the Mildura Solo and Sidecar Challenge is scheduled.


Olympic Park Solo and Sidecar Masters 26th January



A full complement of Solo and Sidecar speedway stars are set to rock Mildura’s Olympic Park on Sunday 26th January, when the Silver City Express – Mildura Masters event takes place.


In what will be an electric “Australia Day” celebration, the track will be alight with talent, as the field includes visiting International Grand Prix stars and State and World Sidecar Champions.


The elite solo field is headed by Polish Champion, Adam Skornicki and young Danish sensation, Rasmus Jensen, who has already tasted World Youth Cup glory and a regular spot in British League racing.


Joining Skornicki and Jensen will be new NSW Champion, Brady Kurtz with fellow NSW rider, Tyler King and Australian finalists and podium finishers, Mason Campton and Justin Sedgmen as well as last week’s International Challenge winner, Dakota North, from Shepparton.


The Masters field for Solos will just be a field of seven riders, so as patrons will get to watch the top flight riders going against each other all night, where similarly, the top Sidecar division will include four of Australia’s best with dual World Champion, Mick Headland / Paul Waters with British Champion, Mark Cossar / Daz Whetstone and Mildura’s two best sidecar exponents, Warren Monson / Matt Morgan and Byren Gates / Mick O’Loughlin.


The Solo stars will ride heats and then take part in a final, which will decide the “Master,” while the Sidecars will work to the same end, but the final being decided among the four top contestants, who patrons will get the joy of watching ride “head to head” all night.


The Polish Champion, Skornicki will now have the benefit of learning the track including  a Club mid week practice session last Wednesday evening, so will be ready for his opponents, especially now that the weather has not been quite so harsh for somebody coming from the snows of a European winter.


Dakota North did announce that last week would be his last ride in Australia, but following his great win last week, he was in early contact with the Club to ask could he be fitted into the field for the Masters event. North is heading to Poland to live this coming European summer where he will concentrate on riding Polish League and Swedish League without the extra travel of riding in the UK. North will base himself in Leszno, where there has always been a strong Australian and Mildura connection, especially through Leigh Adams and Jason Lyons. It is a smart move for North to ride in the Silver City Express – Mildura Masters, as a good result, especially with the two International and Australian Title riders in the field, will be a great addition to his season record.


The NSW visitors, Brady Kurtz, Tyler King and Mason Campton will fit into this company very nicely and will certainly look to keep the local star, Justin Sedgmen on his toes, especially as Sedgmen will be wanting to relegate the International and visiting riders back a peg or two, just to show who is best around the Mildura circuit.


Campton did well in the 2014 Australian Title, taking the podium in Adelaide, which was well deserved after a good night for him. Campton will be hungry for top competition as he missed out on a British work permit last year, so he will be wanting to make every post a winner in his first ride at Mildura for some time. He is an accomplished rider and with the likes of Sedgmen, North, Kurtz and King, he will give the visiting Internationals something to remember from Mildura.




Rasmus Jensen will be a most interesting inclusion as he has been visiting in Perth for the season and has enjoyed his stay down under. It is certain that with his background of riding both 50cc and 80cc in his homeland and doing so well as a junior, he will be like the Australian junior riders – very well equipped in race craft to handle himself on any track.


Jensen, last season, has been a team mate of both Mark Lemon and Cory Gathercole at Plymouth, down on the south coast of England, so his credentials as a 6.5 to 7 points rider means that he will adjust quickly to the Olympic Park circuit and is already race fit from his few meetings at Pinjar Park so far this season.


Sidecar fans will get a blast from each heat race as they will see the top riders going strong against each other for the “Masters: crown. Mick Headland / Paul Waters are wonderful around Mildura, as the local teams, but they will all have to watch now as Englishman, Mark Cossar / Daz Whetstone, have got the Australian tracks sorted and are giving some grief to riders all around the country.


Cossar’s plan to come to Australia for an extended term associated firstly with the great Oceania Sidecar Championship, which was run so successfully at Mildura back in November 2013, has been a wonderful learning experience, as it was intended. To have time to attend to bike “set up” and learn more intimately the nuances of Australian conditions is standing Cossar in wonderful stead right now. Cossar is certainly the best rider to come out of England and he will be hard, even for Monson / Morgan, Gates / O’Loughlin and Headland / Waters to toss. This foursome will provide wonderful racing for speedway patrons enjoyment.


Support events will also be of great interest and there will be a “B” grade division of Solos and Sidecars, then the bonus, which will see the cream of Australia’s young talent on display with ten young men riding on their 2500cc Speedway machines.


The field of youngsters includes, finalists from last week’s Australian Junior 125cc Title, Matthew Gilmore, who finished second in the Individual Title behind Mildura’s Champion, Jaimon Lidsey and third place Declyn Adams as well as Jett Muller, Max Marson, Declan Knowles, Aden Clare, Zach Cook and Sheldon Gill against local rider, Jordan Stewart and, from WA, Jack Smith, son of three times British Speedway Champion, the great Andy Smith, will make a great contest. The large group are from Queensland, NSW and Western Australia, so Mildura will be alive to the future talent of the nation as these young boys ride the Olympic Park track, many for the first time ever.


The 250cc based competition is a training level and sees competitors able to ride on the senior circuits while still riding as Juniors. Rides like this are only available to riders who are over fourteen and under sixteen years. Competition, as it is in all age groups will be very keen, so riders will be wanting to put their best foot forward, especially as they will be riding on the same program as some of the stars of Mildura and the World.


Gates open at 5:00pm at Olympic Park on SUNDAY, 26th January for a wonderful celebration of Australia Day. It is fitting that we celebrate Australia Day as the sport of speedway was given to the World by Australia with the first ever speedway meeting being conducted at the West Maitland Showgrounds in December of 1923.


Patrons to Olympic Park are reminded that there is some free Grandstand accommodation available and that there must be No BYO by law. Great grassy banking is available for patrons who wish to bring a chair or a rug to sit on with the family.


22nd January 2014