By Lewis Hamersley
2017 marks 35 years since Gordon Rowland passed at Claremont Speedway, and on Saturday night he was honoured at Make Smoking History Pinjar Park Speedway with the annual running of the Gordon Rowland Memorial meeting for 125ccc junior solo riders. A strong field of riders came together for this meeting. Here’s the wrap on what happened.
Brad Gordon was finally able to add his name to the Gordon Rowland Memorial shield, with victory in the final of the Gordon Rowland Memorial meeting. Gordon returned from last weekend’s national championships in Kurri Kurri over in New South Wales where he placed 2nd in the best pairs meeting with South Australian rider Jack Sadler, and was able to make the gate in the final and lead the race from start to finish. Not far behind him was Declan Killeen, the winner of this event last year, in 2nd place. Gordon and Killeen both dropped just the one point in their heat races. Killeen’s dropped point came at the hands of Gordon in the final heat race before the final, giving momentum to Gordon. Gordon dropped a point in his 3rd heat to Chris Bogdan, who finished in 3rd place in the final. Jack Mcdiarmid rounded out the final in 4th place, coming close to a spot on the podium. Ryan Philipson returned to racing after sitting out the last meeting to recover from a crash two weeks prior. Philipson raced to 3 points from the 3 heat races he started, also having several exhibition runs on a 250cc bike during the night. Jayden King had a tough night with just one point. King fell in his 3rd race and was unable to take his place in his final race. Mitchell Mcdiarmid and Xander Smith were again promoted to the main program from the preprogram. Mitchell Mcdiarmid, younger brother of finalist Jack Mcdiarmid, scored 6 points from the 3 races he started in, a great night’s work for the young charger. Xander Smith was on the pace to score a respectable 2 points.
The night’s 500cc solo racing was won by Jarryd Ziedas, who went through the card unbeaten. Four 500cc solo heat races took place, with same result in all four. Carley Gittus almost changed that a number of times throughout the heat races, taking 2nd place in all four. Kobee Ziedas had several bike problems which prevented him from finishing above 3rd place. Drew Winchester continues to progress in solo speedway with four steady rides. Come the final, Kobee Ziedas shrugged off the bike problems from his heats to finish in 2nd place behind older brother Jarryd Ziedas. This meant Carley Gittus had to settle for 3rd place in the final, with Drew Winchester finishing 4th.
In the junior sidecar division, it was Jack and Adam Fewster with a stunning display of sidecar racing to finish unbeaten in the heats before winning the final. They were set to take on two rival sidecar teams during this meeting, but it wasn’t to be as Jake Harvey and Tyler Solomon could only finish one race as they seemingly pulled out of the meeting due to bike problems that stopped them from racing. Scott Topping and Morgan Cornwell returned to the track and did not look like they lost their touch at all. Topping and Cornwell challenged hard for the win in all of their races.
On a night where 2012 world speedway champion Chris Holder and his younger brother Jack jumped on a sidecar over in Kurri Kurri, fellow solo rider and three time WA state champion Cameron Heeps got a full meeting under his belt right here at Pinjar Park. Heeps built on his sole race on a sidecar from the Jeff Gittus Memorial, this time with Jamie Thomson swinging for him, with a place in the final. Unfortunately for Heeps and Thomson, they were unable to get off the start and subsequently did not finish the race. The team who had the last laugh at the end of a competitive night of sidecar racing was Rocky Bryan and Matt Young. Bryan and Young took victory in the three heat races they finished, as well as the final. Jason Roser and Jake Lee put in a good shift to take 2nd place. Tony Shield and Ash Brown finished 3rd after starting from a 15 metre handicap in a final which featured the top 4 sidecars from the heats.
Next up on the calendar at Make Smoking History Pinjar Park Speedway is the best pairs meeting on February 18th. A rare pairs meeting at Pinjar Park is sure to be exciting for everyone involved, with team riding required to score the points needed to win for both the Junior and Senior Division. You won’t want to miss this one!