A faultless riding and tactical display from local rider Warren Monson, saw him win the Dudley Bradshaw Memorial Trophy at Mildura's Olympic Park on Saturday night.
This was the third occasion that Monson has taken the trophy in the annual Mildura Sidecar Shootout and he was humble in his receipt of the lovely trophy from Bradshaw family members.
Both Monson and temporary passenger, Matt Morgan, could look back on the night and know that they had combined well as a team and that a six rides for six wins score line, could not be bettered.
The Bradshaw Final had a major incident, which had largely not been present during the heats events as both Monson, who started from gate two and former World Champion, Mick Headland / Paul Waters, who was just to the outside in gate three, came together heavily after Headland just got a slight advantage from the start.
But the pair came together on turn one with heavy contact as Headland’s bike, plus rider and passenger, as well as Morgan, tumbling towards the fence, right at the Pit entry gate. All competitors walked away from the incident but Headland’s bike was so badly damaged he could not participate in the race re-run.
When the A Final left the gate with three starters Monson just drove strongly from the gate, leaving the giant killing Dad’s Army team of Chris Holmes and Neale Hancock in their wake.
B final winners Byren Gates and Mick O’Loughlin were able to make a pass under Holmes and take second place.
The “B” final too, was significant as the race was declared after a spin to Dale Milner and Nick O’Brien saw then languishing mid track in the last lap with the race having to be stopped.
Gates / O’Loughlin were well ahead of the other contestants and it was a good call to make the declaration after the red light had stopped the event.
Earlier mechanical problems forced former Australian Champion, Mark Mitchell, who had had some gearbox issues at Gillman the week previous he could not resolve, remain at home in Birdwood. SA.
Fellow SA rider Damien Neische, had car problems on the way to Mildura and was not able to complete the journey, while Ouyen’s wheat farming man, Scott Munro, saw a piston jump through the crankcase while getting his machine ready for the contest.
In the heat points, Monson / Morgan finished unbeaten on fifteen, while Holmes / Hancock were second into the “A” final with twelve, just one point ahead of Headland / Waters.
The “B” final line up was headed by Gates / O’Loughlin with ten points, ahead of Bradshaw / Behsmann on eight and Milner / O’Brien on seven points.
The last spot into the “B” went to Melbourne pair, Rick Curran / Chris Walker, who took their place by count back from SA pair, Jason Hardy / Geoff Langdon, who had also finished on six points.
It was most pleasing to see the return of Nick O’Brien to passenger duties with Dale Milner after a long Medical suspension after injury. The team looked as though they got back into the groove quickly and they returned a good result, riding in the main meeting and the support events in the Classic division.
Dad’s Army continued their good point scoring form taking three good heat wins and secured another direct “A” final entry. The team is really enjoying the winning form and the “camouflage” merchandise is starting to become collectable, with many fans now “invisible” in the natural bush land setting at Olympic Park. It is wonderful that two blokes, of mature age can race effectively on a smallish budget and have so much fun.
One of the highlight’s of the night was the superb and close racing displayed by the four “Classic” sidecars.
These competitors will be looking forward to the upcoming Ulysses Classic speedway, which will be held on Wednesday March 28 as part of the Ulysses Annual General Meeting, which is being hosted by the Mildura Ulysses club from 26th March until 1st April.
Next meeting at Olympic Park speedway will be the 35th conduct of the wonderful event, the annual Sidecar Spectacular, which will draw many of the prospective Australian Title contenders, as they will be searching for race time, just a month or so ahead of the 2012 Australian Championship to be held in Maryborough, Queensland, on May 5-6.
The 35th Spectacular will again see the Olympic Park track kitted well for great racing and full fields are expected.
Stadium Motorcross, by way of Round two of the Mildura “King of the Murray” Stadium Cross, will be seen next at Olympic Park on Saturday February 25 when riders from all over the southern States will converge on Mildura’s permanent facility to contest the King of the Murray event.