HEADLANDS WIN SIDECAR SPECTACULAR
Dual World Sidecar Champions, Mick and Jesse Headland, took the Curly Carmes Trophy at Mildura’s Olympic Park Speedway for the third time last night, in the 38th
running of the annual Mildura Sidecar Spectacular.
Mildura team, Byren Gates and Mick O’Loughlin had completed the heats events one point clear of the Headlands with a maximum 15 point score, however in the Carmes Final they were unlucky to wheel stand from the line, which set them back and they had to chase hard for a fourth place finish.
Gates / O’Loughlin had dominated the heats but met the also unbeaten Headlands in heat nineteen. In that heat Gates started from the inside with the World Champ out in gate three. From the start Gates drove well off the line while Headland was kept just slightly wider by a good start from Canberran, Adam Thompson, who had local passenger, Blake Halls on side for their first meeting together. Thompson also drove well from the line and took Headland high on the exit of turn two, which allowed Gates to take a few metres advantage out of turn two and consolidate that small lead down the back straight. Gates and O’Loughlin were never headed and went on to win, leaving the SA pair to take second place and fourteen points.
As has often happened in the Thirty eight times that the Sidecar Spectacular has been run something quirky occurs which makes the event even more special and Sunday night’s meeting was no different when officials were checking the scoreboard to determine start places in the Curly Carmes final.
Gates / O’Loughlin were clear on top from the Headlands , with Adelaide’s Damien, Niesche / Mitch Spear next with twelve points, however the last place in the final needed to be calculated by count back as local, Warren Monson / Matt Morgan and Sydney rider Shane Hudson / Brad Pitt just one point in arrears on eleven heat points. Event officials applied the count back to both Monson’s and Hudson’s score line finding that they had each scored three hat wins and one second place, so the next part of the count back called for an examination of the scores to see who had the best result in the heat where the riders met.
It was found that when the riders met in heat seven of the event, that both riders were excluded from the heat in two separate incidents, which both required a race stoppage and a re-start. Monson had spun in the first running and had caused Gates to make an infield excursion to avoid hitting Monson, so the race was stopped and Monson was excluded for causing the stoppage and in the re-run, Hudson was excluded for cutting the corner and was excluded, which left Gates to win from Neische, so officials still could not separate the pair, so a discussion between the meeting Referee, Gavin Sedgmen and Clerk of Course Ken Macleod, made the determination that five teams would contest the final and provide just another facet to the night’s entertainment.
Gates and O’Loughlin selected gate one, Headland chose gate two and Neische, as predicted, selected gate three. Monson took gate four which left Hudson to the outside, gate five position. It was always going to be tight at the start. With so much horsepower and so much muscle across the line it was vital that riders get a good clean start.
When the tapes flew, it was noted that both Gates and Headland popped a wheel stand, which detracted from each of their opportunities, while Niesche got away the best and had a part wheel lead going into turn one.
Headland had recovered best from his wheel stand start and was close to Niesche and, as he been observed riding a high line all night, he knew where the grip would be and powered out of turn two to give himself a chance at getting by on Neische. On the other hand, Gates had been left out the back as both Monson and Hudson had used plenty of muscle to get through turns one and two and place themselves with a chance down the back straight on lap one.
Headland saw his opportunity and attacked Niesche and made his passing move on the outside as both riders entered turn three. Once Headland had some clear air, he used his amazing power to accelerate away from the field and, by race end, was a clear winner.
Gates had worked over Hudson and during lap three relegated the Sydneysider back into fifth place, but he could not catch the very fast Monson, who rode well but was affected in the point scores by his earlier exclusion.
The night had some great entertainment and fans were generous in the support of all riders in the field. One heat in particular was most entertaining when Headland and Monson were pitted against the young Waikerie pair of Arron and Teagan Hartwig, who completed their night in sixth place, just one point out of contention with ten points. In this particular heat, all three teams were very close going into turn one on lap two. Headland was slightly in the lead and Monson and Hartwig were fighting hard for the inside running when Hartwig just lifted slightly, which caused Monson to take evasive action infield, where the Referee had no option but to stop the race and, given the occurrence, the Referee had to exclude someone for causing the stoppage and unfortunately for the brother / sister SA team, it was their “blue” helmet colour light which was illuminated. Fans who don’t quite understand the intricacies of the rules often ask, in these exact circumstances, why can’t all riders start in the re-run?, however the rules dictate that the rider causing the race stoppage must be excluded from the re-run. This was one of those occasions where a discretionary power for the Referee could be useful.
A good seventh place was recorded by Melbourne team of Mark Radford and Chris Walker, who finished the night with a well collected eight points score. Radford and Walker are “ever presents” at Mildura, making the long road trip to Olympic Park for every meeting. Their continual improvement is appreciated by Mildura fans, who enjoy to see great effort from the regular riders at the track.
Quite a collection for riders scored in the four to six point range, with most of these teams being affected by machinery problems. The “Prince of Port Adelaide”, Ronny Parker / Jarred Edey, had started well with five points from their first three outings, however that ended up being the total score while Neale and George Hancock collected a good race win, but a retirement and three third places left them on six points, the same as Klae Hobbs / Jack Spear, who finished a point to the good of newcomer, Adam Thompson / Blake Halls and Rob Patterson / Brenton Kerr.
A most successful Olympic Park speedway season was brought to a close with an enjoyable Riordan’s Paint and Panel, Sidecar Spectacular, but patrons are already looking forward to a very busy, high quality 2015 / 2016 Speedway year which will begin again in September, just in time to see the running of the 2015 FIM Team Speedway Under 21 World Championship – Final, which will be held on Saturday 31st
. That World Title event will be followed by the 2016 Phil Crump International Trophy event which will be held on Monday 2nd
November utilizing many of the young visiting International riders who will be in Mildura to contest the World Championship Teams meeting and some Australian riders, who will be keen to ride the Crump event.
Mildura Club officials are also excited to announce that the Club will also host the Australian Solo Championship, the Australian Sidecar Championship, the Victorian Solo Title and the Oceania Sidecar Title along with our regular programmed meetings as part of a very full and exciting new season next summer.
Patrons were also reminded that tickets, event bookings and merchandise for the 2015 FIM Team Speedway Under 21 World Championship – Final will be available via the Mildura Motor Cycle Club website, www.milduramotorcycleclub.org.au
from March 20th
, or thereabouts.
Semi finals for selection for this prestigious event, which will be held outside of Europe for the first time, will be in Germany and Poland on 22nd
August. The three countries who qualify to come to Mildura to race against Team Under 21 Speedway Australia, will be decided at those semi final rounds.