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.




Arena Motorcross will return to Mildura’s Olympic Park complex on Easter Saturday night with the best field for some years assembled. The meeting will begin at 5:00pm and will go until the Sun starts to set, whereupon, ArenaX patrons will be treated to some amazing “free” FMX.


While the meeting waits for the setting Sun, (after the completion of, at least round 1 of racing), patrons will be entertained by Freestyle Motorcross star, Cameron Sinclair and new “Upcoming Superstar – the young J O”, who will perform along with “Sincs”, who is known around the World as the most prolific “BackFlip” rider going around. This “FREE” show will be repeated at meeting’s end for the enjoyment of Olympic Park patrons.


In the competition, a top list of riders which includes local “A” grade riders, Nathan Trigg, Josh Murtagh and Jackson Caldwell who will pit their skills against some top quality visitors in former National SupaCross star, Josh Spanos from the Riverland and present Victorian stars, Justin Carafa and Jake Vella, who along with Tom Carrol and Lachlan Davis are the most likely of the riders to take the “A” grade “King of the Murray” title.


These riders are all riding the massive “Thumpers”. The 450cc machines which will tear up the ground at Olympic Park.


In the “A Lite” class, both Trigg, Spanos  and Davis will double up against star competitors Ryan Shadbolt, Joel Milosevic, Sam Davie and the very fast, Mark Grove, who has taken the spoils at Mildura in past seasons. The machines ridden by this group are more nimble, being 250cc, but on the Olympic Park venue, they are often just as quick as their larger cousins.


“B” grade Open class will be headed by the very fast and powerful Tim O’Brien, who is fresh from a second place overall in the junior division of SupaCross last season. O’Brien is a skilled rider, who will not disappoint, as he will have some good battles with top liners, Tim O’Dea, Angus Fraser and Nash Price.


“B Lites” will star former speedway regular at Mildura, Karlis Ezergalis, who will be hard pressed against locals, Josh Knights, Kabe Phillips and regular rider, Callum Dodimead. These boys will all be challenged by Ben Miller, Carl Woulfe, Jackson Tyrnne, Rhys Fernandez and Jack Boylan. This division is always hard fought, as riders are all keen on elevating into the top grade by season’s end.


The “C Lite” division will be headed by local star, Cody Ryan and good quality visitors, David Curcio, Karl Claridge and the Dalbys, Aaron and Shannon. Luke Cousins, Connor Hallewell, Ash Lang, Todd Quinn and Matt Ashman-Copley who will make this the toughest class of the night.


The Junior 125 to 250cc class will attract plenty of attention where locals, Levi McManus is expected to do well against Taylor Adams, with Kail Alderton and Toby Marshall. This will be a top class field, with plenty of action as the boys move into the faster divisions and have some good power at their disposal.




The smaller engine division, the 85cc to 125cc, 12 to Under 16 class, will see some more double ups, with Taylor Adams being joined by younger brother, Connor, the Pretcherer boys, Sam and Jackson and last year’s star rider in the Junior division, Liam Dinnage. This again is a strong field, with the daring of this group being unchallenged.


A smaller group of 65cc riders will complete the program and will provide good racing despite their few numbers.


Sign on and Scrutineering for riders and Officials will be between 2:00pm and 4:00pm, while

Olympic Park gates will open to the public at 4:00pm, with Practice set to commence at 4:15pm. Racing will begin at 5:00pm.


Patrons are encouraged to be in attendance early as the FMX Show will be seen, firstly during the Sun break, after the first round of racing and the full show will be seen again immediately after the completion of the “King of the Murray” finals.


Full catering is available at Olympic Park and patrons are reminded that there must be No BYO by Law.



To everyone interested in riding the King of the Murray Arena cross at Easter the sub regs can be found and down loaded on the riders page. It will be great to end the season on a top meeting SEE YOU ALL THERE.



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

International Solo Meeting Post Meeting Press Release


Shepparton’s International rider, Dakota North, held off an extremely fast Cameron Woodward to take out the Mildura International Solo Challenge meeting at Olympic Park on Saturday night.


North showed great form in the heat races, scoring maximum points in each of his four outings while Woodward finished one point in arrears when he dropped a point to Justin Sedgmen in his fourth heat. North and Woodward were seeded directly through into the night’s main event, while great interest was created, as a real contest was brewing for the last two places in the final, which would come from a “B” final which included Adam Skornicki, Justin Sedgmen, Max Fricke and Robert Branford.


The “B” final was an electric race, with Skornicki lifting from the start line and losing some ground to Sedgmen who had started just one place outside the 2008 Polish Champion. The outside two gates were taken by Australian Under 21 Champion, Max Fricke and current British Under 21 Champion, Robert Branford. The Pole struggled to hold ground out of the second turn as Branford used his wide start to gather momentum from the exit and he powered past Skornicki, taking Fricke through the same gap. Skornicki was then in chasing mode for the remainder of the race, as none of the young Australians was prepared to give any ground.


Sedgmen was able to maintain front position and Branford was slightly in front of Fricke. Branford took an infield excursion in the second lap with the Referee showing  the exclusion light, indicating that Branford would not feature in the placings.  Branford and Fricke continued to race and right at the end Fricke moved on Branford with a wonderful drive out of turn four on the last lap and he was credited with second place, giving Fricke last place into the main event. The colourful Pole came home in third place which did not get him into the final after Branford realized his exclusion had been indicated.


The “A” final was excitement plus as North selected the inside start position and Woodward used his selection to take the outside, gate four position. Sedgmen’s win in the “B” allowed him to select gate two which left Fricke with gate three.


The tapes flew and North made a great start to charge into turn one with Sedgmen right at his shoulder, but a wonderful start showed Woodward’s plans from the outset, as he was determined to use the wider line for the whole race hoping to allow his greater momentum to overtake the Shepparton lad.


Woodward continued with this ploy, but to North’s great credit he rode a skillful and heady race, never letting the Eastbourne skipper round him up completely. North maintained a great race line, holding ground in the inside, always keeping Woodward using the high line. Sedgmen and Fricke were having a separate battle behind the top scorers with Fricke getting by and controlling Sedgmen until the end of the journey.


An elated Dakota North accepted the plaudits of the good crowd in attendance while Woodward was generous in his praise for the young man from Shepparton, saying that he had tried all possible options, but that North had covered his every move. Fricke made the most of his chances by finishing third just in front of Sedgmen.





The Sidecar Challenge was similarly interesting , although it was a night of attrition and became a “last man standing” final after Chris Holmes / George Hancock tipped in the practice session, with Holmes dislocating his right shoulder, forcing his immediate retirement from the program. Riders were moved around to cater for the loss of Holmes / Hancock, but a replacement rider, Adelaide’s Shane Evans / Kane Turner advised that they has broken a Sidecar axle and would take no further part in the event.


Heading up the points for the three wheelers was young family combination, Aaron and Tegan Hartwig, from Waikerie and Mildura’s newest team, Chris Dess and Emily Seymour, who both finished their allotted heat rides with ten points each. Qualifying third was Dale Milner / Nick O’Brien with Byren Gates and Mick O’Loughlin next.


The sidecar final was an easy race for the Hartwig’s as they dominated from the start, leading Dess / Seymour for the whole journey. Milner / O’Brien were in third for much of the race, but the very experienced Gates / O’Loughlin team were able to get by in the third lap, but were slightly too far behind to be a real threat to Dess / Seymour. The Hartwig team had slightly overcooked some of the turns during the night, but once they got control of the throttle and the weight distribution, they looked good and maintained that right to the chequered flag.


Heat races in the Solos were exciting, especially those which featured the riders who ended up in both finals. Adam Skornicki showed his great skills and racecraft in most of his heats, but more importantly was a great role model for the younger riders who will be able to learn much from the Polish Champion during his month long stay in Mildura.


The celebratory “donut” was only seen on one occasion for the night. Skornicki is world renowned for celebrating any race win with a clockwise “donut” on the back straight after his success. Mildura fans will be hoping for more donuts from the Grand Prix and British League rider as next Sunday, 26th January, he faces a hot field of young Australians from all over the country in the Mildura Solo Masters event.


It is expected that a full field on sixteen will battle over twenty heats and finals in the best Solo meeting at Olympic Park for the season. An “Australia Day” will accompany the event, which is expected to draw a large crowd to the Mildura venue.


SIDECAR SHOOTOUT 2014 Post Meeting Press Release

Congratulations to Rick Howes and Adam Commons on winning the Sidecar Shootout on Friday night.


Ricky Howse and Adam Commons have taken the Dudley Bradshaw Memorial Trophy back to the Silver City after winning the Riordan’s Paint and Panel, 2014 Sidecar Shootout final, with a wonderful display at Mildura’s Olympic Park last Friday night.


The Broken Hill pair had finished second on the score chart, as Warren Monson / Matt Morgan had ridden superbly all night to win each of their five heat events. Howse and Commons were clearly second on points after having only dropped a point in the heat where they met the four times Victorian Champion.


Shepparton team of Mal German / Steven Stagg were the third qualifiers into the main event with a well gathered twelve points, but there was interest aplenty in the “B” final, where riders placed from fourth to seventh would race in a last chance qualifier to join the other three finalists.


England visitor and now regular at Olympic Park, Mick Cave / Gareth Williams, were on song from their gate three position right from the lifting of the tapes and immediately shot to the lead as they negotiated the first turn with speed. Cave was able to keep a storming Trent Headland / Jack Spear behind him while perhaps race favourite, Broken Hill’s Ricky “The Bartman” Stephens / Darcy Ristromm, had incurred the wrath of the Referee, when they were excluded for a solid barging manoeuvre against fellow finalist, Shane Evans / Andrew Summerhayes.


Cave joined in the Shootout final, taking the outside gate after Monson had selected the favoured gate one, Howse took the second alley with the Shepparton charger in gate three.


All riders were on edge and blasted from the tapes at the first asking but bunched heavily going into turn one, which required a stoppage from the Referee and a re-start was called. Many punters thought that Howse could be disadvantaged by the recall, as he had moved away quickly and the other three riders had tangled slightly, however Howse’s second start was even better than his first and he blasted from the tapes with some clear air behind him. Monson had lifted at the start which had allowed Cave to slot into second place, just ahead of German. Cave maintained his tight lines and good speed for half of the journey, but Monson was always nipping at his heels. This action had allowed Howse and Commons to blast to a good lead and once Monson got by on Cave, he was too far behind, with not enough race distance to travel, to have a major impact on the eventual winner.


It was a great win for the Broken Hill team, who had finished second in Australia in 2011, but a massive crash at their home track early in 2012 had seen the pair in recess for nearly two full seasons. This was the first top competition ride for the affable Silver City competitors and their win was enjoyed by many patrons who have always had a soft spot for the team, who have been very regular riders at Olympic Park over their careers.


Riders unlucky to miss out on a chance in the “B” final were Chris Dess and young passenger Emily Seymour. This new team, was only formed this season, since Dess and his partner Sam, have moved down to Mildura from Alice Springs to further Dess’s sidecar career.





Emily had been “swinging” in junior racing prior to this year, but she and Dess have now worked together over a few meetings and recorded two great wins and a second place in the Shootout event to just miss the finals.


Bad luck seemed to continue with local favourites, Byren Gates / Mick O’Loughlin, who again were plagued by clutch troubles; a problem which they have had since way back in the Oceania Championships, which were held in late November 2013. Their clutch problems had not allowed the team to get away from the line and in one heat caused their retirement.


First time visitors, Reg Waters and Johnathon Sheehan, from Tasmania, had a good return with a seven point score. They have probably been the best ever performers as “first timers” from Tasmania and announced that they are keen to return to Mildura .


Some great racing was seen for the entire program, with many riders enjoying the heavier conditions and riders like Howse /Commons, Monson / Morgan and German / Stagg recording some excellent times.


Both Howse and Commons paid tribute to fellow rider, Jason Bradshaw after Bradshaw / Behsmann were forced to miss the meeting which paid tribute to Bradshaw’s  late father after he had sustained some neck and back injuries during the final of the previous week’s meeting. Bradshaw clipped and was clipped by other riders as they entered turn one just after the start of the Sidecar Extravaganza falling heavily onto the track. He was able to walk from the track, but later sought medical attention when his neck, shoulder and back soreness continued. Howse and Commons have both experienced the same disappointment through sustaining injuries from their racing. They both wished Bradshaw a speedy and full recovery and look forward to racing him again.


The “Classic” sidecars were excellent support for the Shootout field, although some passengers were under some fitness pressure due to some doubling up in both modern and classic events.


Mildura fans were also pleased to learn, during the night, on the qualification of Justin Sedgmen, Max Fricke and Jake Anderson as the other three Victorians to join Victorian Champion, Cameron Woodward and Dakota North in the Australian Title series which started at Kurri Kurri, NSW on Saturday night. Eight riders moved through the Qualifying meeting at Kurri Kurri to join the eight riders who had been “seeded” directly into the Title series.


Next meeting at Olympic Park will be the International Solo Challenge Cup, which will be held on Saturday, 18th January. In the meantime, some of Mildura’s junior riders will head to Perth to contest the Australian Junior Championships held on the same day.


Sidecar Shootout this Friday 03/01/2014


Sidecar stars will come from four States to contest the Riordan’s Paint & Panel, 2014 Sidecar Shootout at Mildura’s Olympic Park speedway this Friday night.


In a field, chock full of talent, Victoria is represented by local stars, Warren Monson / Matt Morgan, Byren Gates / Mick O’Loughlin, Chris Dess / Emily Seymour and Dale Milner / Jamie Knudsen along with Shepparton’s  hard charger, Mal German / Steven Stagg and Melbourne’s Mark Radford / Chris Walker. This is a talented bunch which will welcome the return to the race track of former Victorian Champion and fourth place in the last World Championship, Byren Gates and Mick O’Loughlin. The Gates team missed last meeting due to clutch problems which hounded their earlier season Oceania Championship meeting, but they are now back with a full head of steam hoping to take the “Dudley Bradshaw Memorial Trophy” as the winner of the Shootout.


A strong contingent comes from South Australia highlighted by the Headland brothers, Trent and Jesse, who will fight against another family team in the Hartwig brother and sister combination, Aaron and Tegan from Waikerie. Aaron and Tegan took second place last week behind Wazza Monson in a strong field, so they will be expecting to gather enough points to again make it into the night’s main event, The Dudley Bradshaw Final.


Shane Evans, from Adelaide, will team with local passenger Andrew Summerhayes, who has been without a ride since Clint Mayes stopped riding and also a long distance visitor, Darren Wood / Will Walker, will make the journey from Whyalla, to contest the 2014 Shootout.


The NSW representation is also family oriented, with the welcome return to top flight racing of former Aussie number two, Rick Howse and Adam Commons from Broken Hill, along with Rick’s brother, Darren Howse / Matt Ward, who will also be looking for good points during the heats. The further family Broken Hill connection is with Rick (The Bartman) Stephens / Darcy Risstrom and Rick’s brother and nephew, Daniel and Linc, who complete the foursome from the Silver City. Bart Stephens has been an Australian finalist in recent years and is well known for his keenness to travel to become a better and more consistent rider. The Stephens and Howse families from Broken Hill have long been the success of three wheeled racing in this region, as they have always considered Olympic Park as a home track alongside the speedway in Broken Hill.


Added to the long distance attendees for the Shootout is another visit from UK based rider, Mick Cave / Gaz Williams. Mick has been the backbone of British Sidecar Speedway for a couple of decades now and thoroughly enjoys every ride he has at Olympic Park. Mick has always been a hard charger and will always gather good points during a meeting.


Rounding out the visiting troup is Reg Waters / Jonathan Sheehan, from Tasmania. It will be a first visit to Mildura from this southern pair and the first team to come to Olympic Park from the “Apple Isle” for many years. Many older speedway fans at Mildura will remember the likes of Joe White and then the more successful visit from Deon Lynd, who was the sponsor of our very successful 2103 Oceania Sidecar Championship held at Olympic Park last November. It is hoped that Waters / Sheehan are as accomplished as Lynd ultimately became and that they can make a name for themselves in their first visit to Olympic Park.



Top favourites for the two finals in the Bradshaw Memorial meeting should be amongst Monson, Gates, German, the Headlands and Hartwigs, along with Rick Howse, Bart Stephens and Milner, so patrons will be in for a wonderful night of racing as those riders in the middle of the field, which will include Cave, “Mud” Stephens, Evans, Wood and Darren Howse, will be keen to snatch points during the twenty heats of the night. Radford, Dess and Waters too, will want to use this meeting to increase their skills at the unique track and any of them could take solid points in the heats.


Warren Monson is entitled to go into the meeting as the favourite to win as he was successful against the British Champion last week and has four consecutive Victorian Championships to his credit. He has now come to terms with his engine configuration which sees two of the four cylinders of his one litre engine firing together, which gives the machine amazing torque and a massive advantage when powering out of the corners. Many riders are now following this interesting configuration.


A touch of sadness does hang over the meeting, as Jason Bradshaw / Steve Behsmann will not take part in the meeting due to them having a nasty but spectacular crash in the running of the Sidecar Extravaganza final last Friday night. Both riders walked from the arena after the heavy fall, when Bradshaw’s machine clipped and was clipped by other machines, as all riders entered turn one at the start of the final. Bradshaw subsequently sought medical attention for injuries sustained to his higher shoulder, back and neck area which has seen the veteran placed in a neck brace for the next fortnight whilst awaiting further assessment for his injuries.


The Bradshaw family has been associated with Sidecar racing at Olympic Park since the inception of three wheeled racing at Mildura in the late 1950’s. The Trophy for the Shootout is named in honour of Dudley Bradshaw, who was an integral part of starting sidecar racing, along with the late Keith “Curly” Carmes, who has the annual Sidecar Spectacular named in his honour.


Support events will be provided by the “classic” sidecars, which were so entertaining last week. Last week’s main man, Robbie Kemp has a clutch problem, which due to the midweek holiday can’t be fixed, but a good field has nominated, including Rocky and Courtney Warren, the evergreen Dave Langley / Bill Angwin and Paul Donnelly / Jamie Knudsen, Clinton Crabb / Beth Pinfold and Gawler’s, Kristy Schultz / Steve Lewis.


The Shootout format will see the sixteen riders take five rides each in the twenty heat program, after which riders placed fourth to seventh will race off in a “last chance” qualifier to then race the top three point scorers for the Dudley Bradshaw Trophy.


Visitors to the area are welcome to join the crowd of local enthusiasts at Olympic Park, which can be found straight out 11th Street West. Gates open at 5:00pm, with a Junior program set to start at 6:30 following the senior practice. Senior racing will begin at 7:30pm.


Free Grandstand accommodation is available or outdoor chairs may be brought into the arena to be used on the grassy, “family oriented” banks. A full catering service is available and the Club advises that Licensing conditions require that there must be No BYO, by law.