MONSON WINS AGAINST TOP CONTENDERS
Local Sidecar stars, Warren Monson and Andrew Summerhayes, won the 44th KPR Panel Refinishes, MilduraSidecar Spectacular, at Mildura’s Olympic Park Speedway on Saturday night in a field which was the best quality for the season.
Not having it all their own way during the twenty gruelling heats, where they finished second behind both Cohen / Headland, from Queensland and Treloar / Cox in their last two heat rides, the popular Mildura crew made amends after getting into the “Curly” Carmes Final with third selectioncoming from their thirteen heat points.
Darrin Treloar / Blake Cox had won all their five heat rides and surprisingly chose gate two for the Final while Brodie Cohen / Jesse Headland, who had only dropped one point to Treloar selected gate three. Monson / Summerhayes were surprised that gate one was left available for selection three and immediately put on the Red helmet colour.
Heat races had been of a high standard as all riders were keen to make it into either final for the night, so scoring points in every heat was a priority for all. Wins from every gate positionwith an even spread through the event showed that the Track conditions were consistent and that teams could exploit every start to their best effect.
High drama came to the meeting towards the end when, in the “B” Final, a nasty “pile up” occurred during the first running of the penultimate event which saw first team into the event, Mick Headland / Brenton Kerr, take a little too much speed into turn four on the first lap. The machine lost a little grip and started to turn towards the infield slightly, which caused the following team, Hancock / Johnson, to clip the rear of the Headland machine, throwing them into the air, with the Hancock sidecar getting quite high. Unfortunately for “Tubs” Johnson, he came down with a fair bit of the Sidecar landing on his lower left leg. Referee, Cam Woodward, taking control of his first major Sidecar meeting showed the Red light, stopping the race and illuminated the White helmet colour light, excluding Headland and Kerr from the re-run for causing the stoppage.
First Aid attended to Johnson, who severely bruise his knee, to the extent that he could not take his place in the re-run.Hancock was keen to participate and a generous offer from young Broken Hill passenger, Riley Commons, who offered to take the passenger’s seat. Hancock was most grateful to the young man from the Silver City and Commons jumped on board.
The new team gelled quickly as Hancock got out of the start ahead of both Darren Howse / Jack Wheeler and Brenten Dwyer / Jamie Flood, who ultimately retired from the event with mechanical issues, which left Hancock / Commons to win and take the remaining place, which was gate four, in the Carmes Trophy Final.
An interesting Classic Final between two Honda Classics, Hollis / Willcock and Chris and Brad Wakefield and regular Classics, Chris and Hannah Holmes and Matt and Jamie Crundwell provided the rest time for Hancock prior to the evening’s main event saw a great win to the Wakefields, ahead of Hollis and the Crundwells with the Holmes’ having a rare engine failure.
Great interest surrounded the running of the Keith “Curly” Carmes Sidecar Spectacular final with Monson out of gate one, Treloar from gate two, the Queenslander, Cohen, from gate three and the new combination of Hancock / Commons from the outside.
A clean start saw Monson get good drive, with Treloar doing the same, but Treloar wider start position gave the advantage to Monson as they charged through turns one and two. Monson drove hard from the exit of two and continued on hard on the gas, down the back straight, just leading the “best ever” Sidecar rider into turn three. Monson continued to drive well and consolidated his lead ahead of Treloar and Cohen, who had “missed a gear” from the line and caused himself a poor position through the first two turns. Hancock was at the rear and while Cohen had plenty of speed, he had little hope of catching either Monson or Treloar with the damage already done.
Monson just continued to dominate with fast corner speed and superb drive from each turn. Treloar was not able to bridge the gap and neither could Cohen, while Hancock remained at the rear.
The win to Monson / Summerhayes was popular in front of the home crowd, while local patrons appreciated the efforts of Treloar / Cox, Cohen / Headland and Hancock / Commons in the Carmes Trophy race which completed a wonderful night of racing on an excellently prepared Olympic Park track. The track was consistent and very “grippy”, which is always enjoyed by the Sidecar teams at Mildura.
The superb field had put on a great display of three wheeled action, which all points to some amazing meetings remaining on the Olympic Park calendar. Spectators were keen and vocal in their support of all the teams present and will, no doubt, look forward to the next major, pre- Championship events.
Next Speedway at Olympic Park is on Easter SUNDAY night, the 3rd April, when the Monaghan Logistics, Gates Sidecar Cup will be held. The week after will be the annual Sidecar Shootout, on 10th April, which is just two weeks short of the KW Earthmoving & Concreting, 2021 Australian Sidecar Championships to be held over the Anzac weekend. The Title Qualifying meeting will be held on Friday, 23rd April and the Championship meeting will be held on Saturday 24th April.
The regular Easter Arena Motorcross, “King of the Murray” event which is part of the Mildura Easter Power Sports program will still be held on Easter Saturday night, 4th April.
Mildura and visiting Sidecar fans are enjoying the addition of visiting riders who are coming to Mildura to get pre-Championship “track time”. The inclusion of Treloar / Cox in the Sidecar Spectacular created great interest amongst regular patrons and the Club has noted the attendance of visitors from out of town, who are coming to Mildura to get their “fix” of great Sidecar action.