The penultimate meeting of the season at Make Smoking History Pinjar Park Speedway was the solo and sidecar shootout, which included a new unique format of racing for the sidecar racers. Here’s how everyone got on, on a superb night of racing.
The sidecar shootout was won by father and son duo Jeff and Daniel Bishop. The sidecar shootout consisted of three heats per team before the field was split into two groups. The first group was for the riders placed between 9th and 5th in the points after the heats. Shootout number one was 9th v 8th, with only the winner staying on to race the next highest placed team with the loser being knocked out of the shootout. This continued until the final shootout of the group raced against the 5th placed team to win a spot in the 2nd group consisting of the 4th to 1st placed point scorers.
All shootout races after the initial heats would take place over 2 laps. The top four teams after the shootout would progress to the four lap final, which was won by the Bishops. 2nd place in the final was Scott Charsley and Matt Reece. Russell Mitchell and Andy Gajek started the final on a 30 metre handicap but still managed to claim the third spot on the podium. Clayton Mills and Jessie Thomas finished in 4th place. Mitchell and Gajek during the shootout were the only team to retain their place more than once, up until the final where they were beaten by the Bishops. The Bishops, along with Mills and Thomas, and Charsley and Reece, all dropped just one point in their heat races. Mitchell and Gajek didn’t finish their first heat but won their next two. Just missing out on a place in the final was Tony Shield and Ash Brown. Father and daughter team Steve and Gaynor Scoble returned to Pinjar Park to score 5 points in their heats, the same amount as Shield and Brown. The Thomson brothers Ben and Jamie notched up 4 points, as did Rocky Bryan and Matt Young. Horrie Payne and Clinton Holmwood rounded up a great field of sidecars with 3 points.
Kale Ballantyne was in fine form as he won the solo shootout final. In 2nd and 3rd place was the Ziedas brothers, Jarryd and Kobee respectively. Leigh Boujos was impressive throughout the night as he finished in 4th place. Ballantyne and Boujos both scored 10 points in the heats, 1 more than Kobee Ziedas. Jarryd Ziedas was a further point behind his brother Kobee with 8. Jason Bishop continued his good form from the best pairs meeting a fortnight prior with 6 points in the solo shootout, with Carley Gittus matching that total. Joey Furfaro picked up 4 points, with a 2nd place in his first heat and a couple 3rd places. Jack Hunter scored 1 point in just his 2nd meeting at Pinjar Park while Drew Winchester was unlucky to miss out on scoring.
Chris Bogdan won the night’s 125cc junior solo racing, only dropping points in one of his heat races. Bogdan won the final in style ahead of Declan and Brad Gordon.
Luke Killeen returned from injury with a solid display of racing to finish 4th. Gordon and the two Killeen brothers all scored 9 heat points, 1 fewer than Bogdan who went on to win the final. Another pair of brothers, Jack and Mitchell McDiarmid, scored 9 points between them. Jack scored 4 and Mitchell scored 5 as he continues to race really well in the main 125cc division after stepping up from the 125cc junior solo lites. Jayden King scored 2 points, both starting and finishing his night with a 3rd place. Cuan Shirley didn’t score in his heats but came close to scoring a few. Brad Gordon pulled double duty as he also raced his 250cc machine, against only Ryan Phillipson. Gordon had bike problems and did not start in the 3rd and 4th heats, however he managed to win in a hotly contested final. The junior sidecars once again put on some of the best racing of the night. Jake Harvey and Tyler Solomon won the junior racing this time, ahead of Jack and Adam Fewster, and Scott Topping and Morgan Cornwell. Harvey and Solomon won 3 of their 4 heats before also winning the final. The Fewsters took victory in the heat when Harvey and Solomon couldn’t.
The mighty peewees were able to have a few races within the main program on the night, giving the crowd an opportunity to see the up and coming youngsters. In amongst all the action was Locky, Tristan, Ryder, Zachary, Max and Jett. Riding in the pre-program was Mitchell and Xander who continue to improve with Xander requesting to ride in with the 125cc division on the night – boy is he keen!
The King of Pinjar is the next and final meeting on the calendar for the season. It takes place on March 18 at Make Smoking History Pinjar Park Speedway and it’s your last chances to see the best speedway and sidecar riders in Western Australia do battle until next season. Bring your friends and family for a great night out.
By Lewis Hamersley