TWO BIKE TITLES SET FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Australia, Gillman, Latest News, South Australia, Speedway Solos
Words by Mark Neale
Speedway fans in Adelaide are in for two nights of exciting motorcycle Speedway action on January 12th and 13th with the running of the South Australian Under 16 125cc Solo Championship at Wingfield and the fifth round of the Australian 500cc Solo Championship at Gillman Speedway.
The Speak’n of Spokes, Shark Motorcycle Leathers sponsored Under 16 Title will be held at the Sidewinders track at Wingfield on Friday night, while the CBS Bins sponsored Senior Solo Championship is set down for Gillman on Saturday night.
Thirteen youngsters from South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales will do battle at the purpose-built Wingfield circuit for the SA Under 16 Championship over twenty heats, a semi-final and a final to decide the winner.
The top three point scorers after the heats qualify directly through to the final, while the fourth to seventh highest point scorers qualify for the semi with only the winner progressing through to the final.
The championship is one of the most open events for many years with no outright favourite, but Mildura’s Blake Schlein, who was third in the Victorian Title, has been in hot form at Wingfield this season winning four finals to date which include the Mick Hargreaves Memorial.
Hayden Pascoe from Windsor is the only rider to lower Schlein’s colours in the last meeting as well as winning the final at Gillman the previous week.
Cooper Antone, from Albury on the New South Wales/Victorian border finished second in the SGP4 World Championship and was runner up in the recent Australian Title at Tamworth and won the Victorian state crown at Undera.
South Australia’s Kobi Canning from Elizabeth is currently the fourth ranked rider in the world and was third in the Australian Title.
Ryleigh McGregor from Renmark, who was fourth in the Victorian Title, is another who could surprise.
Twelve year old Thomas More College high school student Ruby Chapman is the only female competitor in the field.
Ruby, like many of the other competitors, began riding a pee wee at the age of three will be joined in the lineup by her younger brother Owen who is 9 years old. Riley Stout, William Nicol, Hayden Kuchel, Connor Machin, Blake Hocking and Hayden Matthews are the remaining riders in the field.
Pee Wee’s, 50cc and Novices will be support events for the Title.
The following night sees the running of the fifth and final round of the 2024 Australian 500cc Solo Championship which is being held over four states in ten days. The five round series kicked off in North Brisbane then moved on to Kurri Kurri, Albury, Mildura and winds up at South Australia’s Gillman venue.
Each meeting is held between 16 riders over 20 heats with the top 8 point scorers competing in two semi-finals with the first two progressing through to the final.
Six previous Australian champions are amongst the sixteen rider lineup.
They include five times National Champion and former World Champ Chris Holder, triple Australian titleholder Max Fricke and former winners Rohan Tungate, Brady Kurtz, Sam Masters and defending titleholder Jack Holder. Ben Cook, Zach Cook, Ryan Douglas, James Pearson, Michael West, Keynan Rew, Josh Pickering former World Under 21 Champion Jaimon Lidsey, local star and crowd favourite Fraser Bowes and wild card Jake Turner make up the sixteen rider line up.
Most of the riders in the field started their careers off in the junior ranks and have progressed through to senior level. They are now professional riders who ride in three or more leagues in Europe.
South Australia’s Steven Baker started riding in juniors at Wingfield and went on to be the first Australian win the World European Under 21 Championship. His late father Graham was one of the people behind setting up the Wingfield circuit and his family are the major sponsors of the Australian Solo Championship, namely CBS BINS.
Support events for the title are Senior Solo, under 16 250cc Solos and 125cc Solos.
Timetable and Spectator Info Ahead Of All The Action:
|Friday 12th January 2024
|Saturday 13th January 2024
|4:00 pm – Gates Open
|2:00 pm – Gates open
|5:00 to 5:30 pm – Solo Riders Practice
|(Pits open until 5 pm)
|7:15 pm – Riders Parade
|5:00 pm – Practice starts
|7:30 pm – Racing Kicks off
|7:00 pm – Racing kicks off
|$5.00 Programs and FREE off-street parking
|$5.00 program and FREE off-street parking
|Canteen serving hot food and cold drinks into the evening.
|Canteen, Bar and Souvenirs available to purchase
|Follow Sidewinders U16 Speedway Club on Socials – HERE.
|Follow Speedway Riders Association of SA on Socials – HERE.
|Event Livestreaming available – HERE.
|More info and rider list www.gillmanspeedway.com