The 2019 Western Australian Speedway Sidecar Championship is for the taking this Saturday Night, 5th January, at the fabulous new 330 metre Pinjar Park Motorcycle Speedway.
The much anticipated event will be run on the Speedway Motorcycle Club of WA's brand new dedicated motorcycle speedway circuit at Pinjar Park in Perth's northern suburbs. It will be the first sidecar championship to be held on the new 330m track.
Taking a look at multiple winners of the West Australian Speedway Sidecar Championship over time going back to 1950/51 season throws up some interesting facts.
The fantastic Dennis Nash won the WA title no less than 9 times over 20 years of racing. He has been the most dominating rider in the history of the WA Championship.
Russell Mitchell has won 7 WA championships, the first way back in the 89/90 season and the last in 2016/17 season. He did not compete in the event last season but is a last minute entry for the field on the 5th January on the new big 330m Pinjar Park bowl.
Glen O'Brien notched up 5 WA titles followed up by both Mark Drew and Tom McQuade who won 4 titles each.
The WA Sidecar Championships has been won on 7 occasions by east coast competitors. One by the outstanding Jim Davies from NSW and 6 by South Australians including Neil Munro and Len Bowes with 2 apiece and Harry Denton and Max Cunningham winning 1 each.
Multiple Sidecar passenger title winners include the nimble Tina Karan with 4, Nathan O’Brien and Brian Ralston also with 4 each and Russell Hearn and Jeff Gittus with 3 titles each.
The 2019 Western Australian Speedway Sidecar Championship Lineup:
There are three former Sidecar Champions competing in the 2019 championship at Pinjar Park on the 5th January including Darren Nash, who was simply outstanding at the opening meeting on the new 330m track last time out, Jeff Bishop and the current State Title holder Brad Willis who stole the show on the finish line at the tight 142 metre Pinjar Park circuit last season.
As a point of interest Jeff Bishop won the last state championship at the now famous big Claremont track before it closed and it would be a fairy tale if he could clinch the first championship at the fabulous new Pinjar Park circuit. He would be hoping for a better run than he had at the opener where he unceremoniously finished upside down.
Mills/McQueen: Clayton has been riding for longer than some of the other riders have been alive! The former Claremont star has recently got back into speedway after a lengthy break, but is showing the field that he has not forgotten how to ride a sidecar. This season he has Steve McQueen on board, a very experienced passenger in his own right.
Although Clayton says he is only out there having some fun, over the last 3 seasons he has put together a number of podium finishes. Don’t be surprised to see the Mills/McQueen pair at the pointy end of the field.
Harvey/Metcalf: This duo are having a ball competing in sidecars and make their presence felt at every outing.Chad has only been in the sport a few years but has shown he belongs on a speedway track. He’s thrown himself in the deep end with 3 sons all racing junior speedway as well! With young Nathan on the back, the pair has shown good speed so far this year but has been unlucky with little mechanical setbacks.Chad finished second in last year’s state title behind Brad Willis and will no doubt be looking for another good result this year.
Wenn/Cornwell: Adam is another new comer to the sport and has so far only raced five meetings. Adam nearly scored an upset win in last year’s final of the State Championships, he was in the lead coming out of turn 4 on the last lap only to be overtaken by a cheeky and somewhat surprised Brad Willis. Despite his lack of race time he looks like a natural on the new track, the longer circuit certainly suits his riding style. Adam and Morgan qualified second for the A final at the opening meeting so will have a lot of confidence coming into this weekend. He rides hard and fast, so keep an eye out for the black #78 machine Saturday night!
Bryan/Young: These guys can ride fast, have loads of ability and have made their presence felt at big meetings although they haven't had much the luck in the finals. Rocky is our Kalgoorlie local that drives to and from the track every meeting, now that’s commitment! Over the last few years the pair has got faster and faster, and were close to taking the win at Kalgoorlie in front of their home crowd a few weeks back. Rocky has recently put a brand new Mitch together, so you know all his equipment is top notch. Listen out for the distinctive Big Bang R1 this weekend, he will have it singing!
Headland/Whetstone: Do we even have to say anything about this pair? Coming from a family of sidecar racers, South Aussie Trent Headland has been at the pinnacle of the sport for years, and took out the 2017 Australian Titles. He more recently finished in 3rd at the 2018 Aussie Titles, before announcing he would be taking a break from racing. As you can see the break didn’t last long, as Trent and Daz are jumping back on the R1 powered South Coast Customs machine to battle it out with WA’s best. These boys will be going into this weekend as one of the favourites to take the title home, although we are sure the WA riders don’t want the trophy to leave!
Jeff Bishop / Daniel Bishop: Jeff has been on a sidecar machine since 1993 and has had a successful career including a Western Australian Title and an Australian Pairs Title. As with most of the sidecar field, Jeff feels at home on the big tracks like Claremont where he won his WA title at the last running of it on that historic track. Recently Jeff has been showing great form including a dominating performance on a tricky Kalgoorlie track. Jeff has had many passengers over the years but the father and son combo looks to be the winning one. Daniel looks smooth on the bike and makes life easy for his old man on the bars, and in the pits as these two have great relationship on and off the track. Their most recent outing at the new track ended in disaster when they were taken out by another rider and destroyed the bike. Jeff and Daniel both sprung to their feet after having the heavy machine roll over the top of them and this just goes to show how tough these guys are. Hopefully Jeff and Daniel can put together a competitive bike for Saturday so they can put on a hell of a show
Tony Shield / Ash Brown: Tony has had a long and impressive career spanning from 1989 as a passenger at Claremont all the way up until now. He has enjoyed many podiums in big events including winning the Australian Best Pairs Title in 2002. Tony has always been one of WA’s best from his days at Claremont, to the good old days at Bibra Lake and also the last few years at Pinjar Park he has enjoyed some dominating performances. Tony’s passenger, Ash Brown, has been in the sport since the early 2000’s at Bibra lake speedway where he started his career on the bars of a junior sidecar. Since the age of 16, ash has been a workhorse passenger for Tony and the family team have been on the rise as of late. The pair has yet to race on the new Pinjar circuit as they are currently recovering from a nasty crash at Kalgoorlie that earned them both a stint in hospital with painful injuries. Word is that Tony is getting doctor’s clearance on the morning of the big event. These guys are unbreakable!
Darren Nash / Peter Teale: What a comeback story this is! Darren and passenger, Peter, enjoyed a successful career in the 90’s including a WA title and an Australian Best Pairs Title. The pair called it quits in 2002. Fast forward 16 years and the pair returned to racing to have a go at the new Pinjar Circuit on board a Tony Shield machine. Nash and Teale did not skip a beat as they wound it on and went bar to bar in some fierce racing that saw them take the win in the A final against some hefty competition in what will go down in history as one of the best sidecar races ever witnessed. These guys are the real deal and a real threat to take out the WA title on Saturday
Reece Liptrott /Jesse Thomas: Reece is another talented Motocross racer who has set their sights on the challenges of speedway racing. The Liptrott-Thomas team only have a couple of seasons under their belt but they have impressed the speedway community and are set to be big names in a new wave of sidecar talent. The #6 machine has been plagued by engine troubles this season but in the last few months, this bike has been transformed into one of the best looking and performing outfits in the country. The duo had an impressive win at Kalgoorlie a few weeks ago on a track that was bigger and faster than anything they had ridden before. They recently had a good showing at the new Pinjar Park circuit and will be looking to get in front and stay there when the tapes rise in Saturday night’s State Title showdown
Russell Mitchell / Andrew Sharp: Russell Mitchell is one of the greatest speedway talents this country has ever scene. Mitchell has had an illustrious career including multiple Australian and Western Australian titles. He’s has also represented on the world stage and been very successful. Almost all of the modern sidecars racing today are a designed that was created by Russell himself. The Mitch chassis was a huge turning point in Australian sidecar racing back in the 90’s and quickly became the preferred design that is still dominant to this day. Russel has been an enforcer in the West and cannot be kept away from the podium. The Mitchell-Sharp combo were a late call up for this year’s title as work commitments changed, but the pair are always ready and will be one of the hot favourites to take another Western Australian State Title on Saturday night
Darren Nash - was in scintillating form at the opening meeting at the new venue on board the very fast Tony Shield 62 outfit. Showed plenty of track craft and daring to score a big win in the final over Russell Mitchell who rode Clayton Mills’s bike to second place.
Ryan Fanderlinden - Ryan has had mixed results in recent times. The bike has huge potential and looks great. The Fanderlinden boys will certainly push hard and should score some handy points in the Championship. Well respected team in the paddock.
Horrie Payne - Horrie appears to have some handling issues on the bike sorted and will be better suited to the big fast flowing 330 metre circuit. Impressed on his last outing and will be keen to get back on the winners list.
Scott Charsley - Scott is Mr Excitement when he straps the helmet on and races sidecars. Scott doesnt give an inch and is a true racer although he is always very fair and respects his fellow competitors. Some are tipping Scott to perhaps grab a podium despite the fact he hasn’t ridden much lately.
Glep Chiplin - Glep is new to the sport so we have limited information or results, however we do know he is a gutsy rider and gives it his best-it's great to see new teams on the WA scene.
Leigh Bojous - While Leigh is not a recognised sidecar racer he has plenty of speedway experience and is a former champion solo rider. Leigh is well respected in the sport is also a very competitive and accomplished rider in all aspects of motorcycling. Teamed up with Chromie Hollywood on the fast Josh Wells outfit Leigh could gather some handy points in the heat races.
Ron Hankin - Ron has indicated he has to withdraw from the meeting due to a serious hand injury sustained while working at the new track. Great pity.
Too hard to choose a winner, whatever the outcome, it will be a great show and should not be missed. Speedway fans have been waiting for this new track and big fields of sidecars for years.
On Friday Night, Pinjar Park comes alive and opens its gates for 2 spectacular nights of racing with international and national speedway stars.
Friday is the solo qualifying night and costs $10 for adults and kids under 16 are free.
Gates will be open for competitors from 3pm. Spectators from 4pm, racing starts 7pm.
On Saturday is the main opening event with all the thrills of Solos and Sidecars and there is also a junior pre-program from 5pm so we encourage spectators to get there from 4pm and watch these up and coming stars do battle.
Official Opening Ceremony at 6.30pm and senior racing begins at 7pm.
Entry cost for Saturday night is $25 for adults and kids under 16 are free!
The bar will be open and food will be available throughout both of the nights.
Friday Nights Event https://www.facebook.com/events/2157440987854268/
Saturday Nights Event https://www.facebook.com/events/520221375104656/
Make Smoking History Pinjar Park Motorcycle Speedway https://www.facebook.com/PinjarPark/
Don’t forget the fabulous solos featuring the current world champion Tai Woffinden on the same big night
To Read More About the Solo Champions and Guest Riders CLICK HERE
Best wishes to all competitors and the SMCWA for putting this big meeting on.