The final saw Bishop/Bishop and Mitchell/Gajek have a few changes in the lead with lap 4turn 4 proving to be a pinnacle strategy point for Mitchell and Gajek taking out the title and revving up the Collie and speedway fans from Bishop/ Bishop whilst Wells/Blackman overcoming Charsley/ Reese for third place.
The 500cc Solo boys came out to play on the Collie Track as well and like the sidecars, have definitely sussed out the Collie track and picked up the pace, together with the start gate working like a dream – it was an action packed 20 heats over 5 rounds. All riders picked up points with Daniel Winchester, Russell and Heeps top scoring on equal points and 3 points separating K Ballantyne, Scoble, E Ballantyne, Marson and J Ziedas, setting the scene for Round two at Pinjar Park!
Make Smoking History Pinjar Park Speedway wrapped up 2016 with the second round of the WA 500cc senior solo state championships, and the year certainly ended with a bang.
Cameron Heeps claimed his third senior state championship with a stunning unbeaten performance in round 2 of the championship at Pinjar Park. Heeps and WA under 21 champion Blake Russell were tied on points all night until the very end when Heeps managed to seal the title with a win over Russell in heat 18. Former champion Daniel Winchester raced to 12 points on the night to finish in 3rd place overall with 26 points after 2 rounds. Doug Scoble and Kale Ballantyne both also scored 12 points on the night, with Scoble finishing in 4th place overall, 1 point ahead of Ballantyne. Matt Marson scored 9 points to finish with 19 in 6th place in his first senior state championship. Jarryd Ziedas scored 7 points from his heat rides which was enough to finish 2 points above younger brother Kobee Ziedas overall, which Kobee Ziedas being another rider to impress in his first senior state championship like the aforementioned Matt Marson. Kobee Ziedas score 1 more point than Joey Furfaro to finish level with him overall in 8th place. The returning Ethan Ballantyne, in only his 2nd meeting of the year, added to his 9 points from round 1 in Collie the previous week with another 3 points at Pinjar Park. Jason Bishop had what could be his strongest meeting on a solo bike yet, as he scored 7 points on the night to take his total for the 2 rounds to 11. Drew Winchester and Carley Gittus complete the field with 4 and 3 points respectively.
In the main program for the 125cc junior solos, Chris Bogdan triumphed in the final. Bogdan managed to hold off Declan Killeen to finish unbeaten. Killeen won his opening ride but couldn’t find a way to pass Bogdan who was in superb form. Ryan Philippson looked strong on his way to 3rd place in the final. Philippson gets better every time he races and this meeting was no different. Xander Smith competed in the final and finished at the back. Smith will be looking to score more points and make it to more finals in 2017. Jayden King and Cuan Shirley both raced well but were unable to make it into the final on this occasion. Breea King had a tough night but continues to improve every time she takes to the track.
Two of the three junior sidecar outfits showcased their skills with a number of high quality races between them. Jack and Adam Fewster won the night’s racing, beating Jake Harvey and Tyler Solomon who were excluded in the final for having all three wheels on the infield during the race. The Fewster brothers had won the first three heats, but momentum heading into the final was with Harvey and Solomon with a win in the fourth race between the two young teams. The second of the two heats was memorable with the two teams trading places several times before the Fewster brothers got the win. The first half of the season has seen some very exciting junior sidecar action. More riders are encouraged to join this division in 2017!
Scott Charsley and Matt Reece took the honours in the sidecar final. Four duos started the final with new state champions Russell Mitchell and Andy Gajek starting off a 30 metre handicap. Unfortunately they didn’t finish the race as the pulled up to the infield for the second time on the night. The father and son combination of Jeff and Daniel Bishop finished 2nd. The Bishops were one of the quickest sidecar duos of the night and were very close to taking the win. Horrie Payne and Chromie Hollywood finished in 3rd place, having ridden a few races on the sidecar of Tony Shield and Ash Brown. Shield and Brown raced twice and picked up 5 points out of 6. Paul Clarke and Dave Mercer also had a run out, only just missing out on a place in the final.
That wraps up 2016 at Make Smoking History Pinjar Park Speedway. Congratulations to new WA 500cc senior state champion Cameron Heeps. Make sure you get to the track to see Heeps and the rest of the best solo riders, sidecar riders and more that Western Australia has to offer as we open 2017 with the prestigious Rob Woffinden Classic on January 7th! A big thankyou to everyone associated with Pinjar Park who make our speedway what it is. From the riders to the sponsors, the committee, the ambulance crew, the canteen volunteers and the wonderful crowd who support all of these people. We hope to see you all return with a few more of your mates in 2017. Have a Merry Christmas and a happy new year!
By Lewis Hamersley