Played out over consecutive nights each year as standalone and separate events, both the FIM Speedway Sidecar 1000cc World Cup and the 2017 FIM Oceania Speedway Sidecar Championship feature on a Saturday and Sunday respectivley, and include competitors from New Zealand, the United Kingdom, United States of America and Australia. These hotly contested events serve as an international battle ground where every inch of dirt is fought for tooth and nail.
Unbelievably, both events on the Saturday and Sunday were mercilessly free of serious crashes or any injuries, however there were many mechanical issues that dashed title hopes for domestic and international teams.
As is traditionally the case in Speedway Sidecar, there was action a-plenty for the sizable crowd at Gillman Speedway in South Australia, with engines packing up, drive chains failing to cope with the power and torque of the three- wheeled full-litre methanol munchers and air filters catching alight.
Former Australian Speedway Sidecar Champion Mark Mitchell/ Sam Harrison suffered mechanical drama, blowing an engine on Saturday in the FIM Speedway Sidecar 1000cc World Cup, dashing their World Cup hopes in 2017. The duo from South Australia obtaining eight points for the night.
It was Monson/Summerhayes that won the evening on Saturday in the FIM Speedway Sidecar 1000cc World Cup, in a seamless charge to the top on 16 points after taking 'A' Final honours over Treloar/Cox (15 points A+B finals) and Buchanan/Cox on 15 overall points.
Warren Monson said of his World Cup win; "To come out on top is a dream come true. It was a bit of a challenging night, but I'm just happy to get through that final. It was a hard race. Words can't describe the feeling of fighting hard and then coming out on top to win, just amazing!"
Click here for the FIM Speedway Sidecar 1000cc World Cup results.
Hot favourites coming into the FIM Oceania Speedway Sidecar Championship in 2017, was Darrin Treloar/Blake Cox. However, mechanical gremlins caused the team a multitude of dramas leading to uncharacteristic and costly points deficits over the past two weekends of racing. Issues relating to dropping chains, electronics, engine troubles and spare bikes not being started within the allowable two-minute window before a race, plagued the pair from New South Wales. Treloar managed to wrestle his methanol breathing machine and passenger across the line in the 'A' Final with 14 points for the FIM Oceania Championship on Sunday.
Darrin Treloar comically quipped; "It was a tough night and we managed third place overall. The last week we've had nothing but trouble with the bike, I'm not sure what's wrong! Perhaps I've broken a mirror or walked under a ladder or something?! Hopefully we've got it all out of the way and get it all together by next week when the Australian Championship rolls around. The Aussie Championships is the big meet that we all want to win for bragging rights. It's probably the field that is the strongest out of all the competition, including international, and we will see plenty of battles play out back here at Gillman." The highly decorated Sidecar Champion finished.
Winning both FIM events back to back, Monson and Summerhayes also scored perfectly in the final FIM Oceania round on Sunday, earning three points each of the five heats before the all-important 'A' final took place and the dynamic duo cleared four from a possible four points. Their total score at the end of the night was 19, with 33 being their Championship total to take the win overall.
Monson shared his thrilling FIM Word and FIM Oceania victories directly after the Oceania final on Sunday night at Gillman; "Straight wins all night! Wins two nights in a row! (World Cup and Oceania) What a fantastic way to head into the Aussies Championship next week! Tonight's racing was really good. Speedway is always about luck and we had plenty of luck tonight winning each heat. Having the gate pick in the finals is very important, so getting that was crucial to our success.
"Heading into Aussies next week will be slightly harder because there are more competitors that will be thrown into the mix that we didn’t race over the past few nights for the international events. Winning here at Gillman is a definite confidence booster heading into the Australian Championship next week, again held here at Gillman which is a track I've never won at. Once I win that Aussie title, I think it will be time to retire!" The victor finished.
The FIM Oceania Championship was only marginally separated on overall points across the two rounds, with the top three teams within five Championship points of one another. Momson/ Summerhayse scored 33 points, Kiwi Andrew Buchanan / Denny Cox slid into second overall at 30 points just in front of Sydney sider and multiple Speedway Sidecar award winners, Darrin Trelaor/ Blake Cox placed third overall with 29 points.
In great spirits after the FIM Oceania event on Sunday night, Joe Jones of Joe Jones Racing Team (California, USA) shared; "We didn't have the run we came out here for but we are still upright and healthy! Its all good, we are still standing and smiling and we have a long plane ride to catch! We'll be back next year if we can find backing from someone else's wallet for new engines." The seasoned international rider warned.
Click here for the FIM Oceania Speedway Sidecar Championship score card.
Most of the Australian competitors will now turn their focus towards the Australian Speedway Sidecar Championship that will be held over the Easter long weekend at the famous Gillman Speedway near Adelaide South Australia.
Australian Sidecar teams:
Grant Bond/Glenn Cox (Australia)
Hayden Bond/Brady Cox (Australia)
Byren Gates/Michael O’Loughlin (Australia)
Arron Hartwig/Teagan Hartwig (Australia)
Trent Headland/Darryl Whetstone (Australia)
Warren Monson/Andrew Summerhayes (Australia)
Mark Mitchell / Sam Harrison (Australia)
Andrew Buchanan/Denny Cox (New Zealand/Aust)
James Douglas/Harley Biddle (New Zealand)
Derek Ramsay/Matthew Ramsay (New Zealand)
Aiden Thwaites/Shane Twiss (New Zealand)
Jamie Moohan/Bayley Ogilvie (New Zealand)
Paul Whitelam /Damian Egan (Great Britain/Aust)
Mick Cave (Out injured at FIM Oceania Round 1 at Undera Speedway) / Bradley Steer (UK)
Bryan Motis/Nathan McFadden (United States of America/Aust)
Joe Jones/ Dave German (United States of America)
For more information visit Gillman Speedway's website by clicking here.
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