MONSON WINS 8TH VICTORIAN TITLE
Local Sidecar “Ace” Warren Monson and Andrew Summerhayes won the Robinson Plumbing / Gardenland Landscape Supplies, 2022 Victorian Sidecar Championship, at Mildura’s Olympic Park Speedway on Saturday night.
Monson topped the score chart with fourteen points, only dropping one point to former Australian Champions, Trent Headland / Daz Whetstone, who finished the final in fourth place. In winning the Victorian Title, Monson and Summerhayes were also presented with the Dudley Bradshaw Memorial Trophy in a unique situation for the Club.
The regular “Sidecar Shootout”, which is the Bradshaw Memorial Trophy meeting, was amalgamated into the State Championship, as the Club believed that the field for the State title would be a more substantial meeting and would be in keeping with the Club’s need to publicly acknowledge and pay tribute to late Life Member, Wayne Bradshaw, who passed on 17th May 2021, which was after the conduct of the Clubs’ last meeting for last season in April 2021. The Bradshaw family embraced the unique situation, so much so, that Wayne’s young grandchildren, Elsie and Elliot Cock, were the trophy presenters on the night, which was very much enjoyed by all Trophy recipients.
Second in the Title was Mick Headland and local passenger and Club’s Sidecar coordinator and track builder, Brenton Kerr, who had worked hard to make this meeting possible. Third on the night was Queensland visitor, Brodie Cohen with passenger Jesse Headland. Cohen / Headland had had to work hard to win the “B” final by overcoming a tough group of Max Howse / Riley Commons, from Broken Hill and local stars, Byren Gates / Eli Bock and Shane Hudson / Adam Constable, who failed to finish the penultimate event.
A wonderful track was provided for the Title, with grip being available across the whole surface through the entire twenty exciting heats. Some excellent racing was viewed by the large crowd in attendance, who were vocal in support of the stars of the night. Sections of the crowd are now quite vocal in support of various teams, which brings more excitement to the meeting.
The Broken Hill teenagers, Max Howse and passenger, Riley Commons, bring with them a parochial support crew who are well rewarded by some excellent riding from the young pair. Mildura Club officials continue to be impressed by the talent and smooth riding skills of the lads from the Silver City, who are well tutored by their respective Dads, who did score a second place in the 2010 Australian Title. Good racing lines are well chosen by Howse and he has always shown respect to other racers whilst not being afraid of getting on the gas when required.
The crowd showed great respect when the Club conducted the pre-meeting tribute to Wayne Bradshaw and after enjoyed watching Wayne’s younger brother Jason, winner of the 2000 Victorian Title, riding on his machine with Wayne’s son-in-law, Nathan Cock and Nathan’s son Elliot in the Sidecar to complete the family occasion.
The exciting Exposed Signage & Apparel, “Dash for Cash” was conducted then before the Championship began with some fast times being extracted from the grippy surface. There were five teams, Gates / Bock, Headland / Kerr, Headland / Whetstone, Hudson / Constable and Monson / Summerhayes, who recorded times in the fourteen second bracket with the winner needing to be decided by just 4 one thousandth of a second. Trent Headland / Daz Whetstone recorded a lap time of 14.454 seconds and were just pipped at the post by Warren Monson / Andrew Summerhayes, who recorded a time of 14.450 seconds to take the Dash for Cash prize.
An interesting group of Classic Sidecars provided support for the Title event in five rider heats with the winner Bob Kemp / Nick Johns scoring 15 points and winning the night on a count back from the father/daughter pair, Chris and Hannah Holmes, who also scored 15 points. Third place went to Marc Bowen / Danny Glen, with nine points from Glen Hollis / John Willcock (6) and Ben Rankin / Logan Symes (5). These teams enjoy the cut and thrust of yesteryear and enjoy every moment of their tracktime.
Motorcross Mayhem was also a feature of the night with experienced local Rowan Tegart winning every heat and the final ahead of Josh Knights, Gardenland Landscape Supplies principal, Adam Ferguson, who was third overall with Tom Reddy, Connor Adams, Aaron Mason, SA visitor, Graeme Eberhard, Con Twist, Hannah Holmes and Danny Glen completing the field.
Next meeting at Olympic Park will be the 45th Annual Mildura Sidecar Spectacular, where riders will compete for the Keith “Curly” Carmes Memorial Trophy. The annual Sidecar “Speccy” is the longest running, non-Title Sidecar event in the country and is a “bucket list” event for participants. The event will be held on SUNDAY 13th March with a large crowd expected to be in attendance.