This Saturday will see the running of the 59th Western Australian Sidecar Championship - which is being staged at the 142 metre Pinjar Park Speedway for the very first time. Although the sidecars first raced at the third meeting ever held at the Claremont Speedway - Saturday September 10, 1927 - their first state title did not take place until the 1950-51 season and there have been several other seasons since then when the championship were not held.
The West Coast sidecar ranks have been very strong over the years and we have been privileged to witness many legendary competitors in the three-wheel ranks. Four WA riders have won 13 Australian Sidecar Championships between them - five apiece to Dennis Nash and Glenn O'Brien, two to Mark Drew and one to Russell Mitchell. Additionally, Russell Mitchell and passenger Tina Karan finished a creditable fourth in the very first FIM World 1,000cc Track Racing Championship held in 2009 at Le Reole, France on an 800 metre grass track circuit. Two years later the Glenn O'Brien/Aaron Maynard combination were second in the same event at Murray Bridge, South Australia. There have been a total of 41 different victors in the WA Sidecar Championship.
Dennis Nash leads the way with nine successes, while Russell Mitchell has been crowned champion seven times. Glenn O'Brien won five times, one more than Tom McQuade and Mark Drew. Two-times winners have been Miles Tomlinson, Danny O'Shea, South Australians Neil Munro and Len Bowes, Gary Joyce and Ed Blakeney. Dennis Nash also finished second twice and third during his illustrious career. Russell Mitchell has taken out the past three state titles, a feat also achieved by Tom McQuade and Mark Drew.
GORDON ROWLAND MEMORIAL
One of the main events of the season for the Under 16 125cc Junior Solo brigade is the Gordon Rowland Memorial.
Gordon Rowland was tragically killed in a sidecar event at the Claremont Speedway on February 5, 1982.
He had been a committed worker and a driving force behind the Bibra Lake Junior Solo Club and the Gordon Rowland
Memorial event was dedicated to his memory.
The first three events (1982, 1983 and 1984) were won by Michael Carter. A complete list of the Gordon Rowland Memorial winners is not available at this time, but some of the successful riders over the years have been Glen Gordon, David Scott, Matthew Hartnett, Paul Hedington, Todd Johnson, Danny Horton, Brad & Rod Rose, Trevor & Daniel Harding and Cameron Heeps.
Some 36 years after his untimely death the efforts of Gordon Rowland to assist Junior Solo racing in this state are still remembered in the Memorial event.
STATE TITLE HOLDERS GORDON ROWLAND MEMORIAL
1990-91 Ed Blakeney/Helen Membry Latest winners
1991-92 Dennis Nash/Jeff Gittus 2011 Blake Russell
1992-93 Mark Drew/Tina Karan 2012 Sheldon Gill
1993-94 Mark Drew/Chris Page 2013 Matthew Marson
1994-95 Mark Drew/Tina Karan 2014 Matthew Marson
1995-96 Glenn O’Brien/ Nathan O’Brien 2015 Chris Bogdan
1996-97 Darren Nash/Peter Teale 2016 Declan Killeen
1997-98 Russell Mitchell/Brett Evill 2017 Brad Gordon
1998-99 Jeff Bishop/Steve Licence
1999-00 Glenn O’Brien/Nathan O’Brien
2000-01 Mark Drew (NT)/Steven Blair
2001-02 Mick Sita/Roy Potter
2002-03 Glenn O’Brien/Nathan O’Brien
2003-04 Glenn O’Brien/Nathan O’Brien
2004-05 Vince Gianoncelli/Juston Winchester
2009-10 Russell Mitchell/Tina Karan
2010-11 Russell Mitchell/Tina Karan
2011-12 Glenn O’Brien/Aaron Maynard
2014-15 Russell Mitchell/Don Morris
2015-16 Russell Mitchell/Juston Winchester
2016-17 Russell Mitchell/Andy Gajek
Article Ken Brown
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