News just in is that SEVEN times Western Australian and multiple Australian Speedway Sidecar Champion, Russell Mitchell, will be competing in the forthcoming State Championship at the brand new 330 metre Pinjar Park Motorcycle Speedway on the 5th January.
Originally Russell was unable to nominate for this prestigious event due to work commitments, however the offshore vessel he is working on out of Exmouth developed some technical issues and had to be "de manned" until appropriate repairs can be made.
While this news will delight the sidecar mad pro West Aussie crowd, Russell indicated he will be flat out trying to get the famous 97 Mitch chassis outfit in competitive condition to have a crack at his 8th state title.
If Russell is to stand on the top step of the podium at nights end, he and regular passenger Andrew Sharp will have to defeat the 2017 Australian Champion, South Australian, Trent Headland who is making the long trip over the Nullarbor to hopefully get his hands on the WA trophy, plus a big field of hotshot West Australian teams who rightly believe they are in with a realistic chance at claiming the first State Sidecar Championship on the new Pinjar Park circuit at Neerabup in Perth’s Northern suburbs.
The new 330 metre Pinjar Park circuit offers no real home track advantage as most riders have only had one hit out on it under race conditions.
Russell said; " the new track is fantastic to ride and I'm just glad to be able to come home and ride in the Championship" " As I expected to be offshore, I will be flat out to try and get the bike in competitive condition to mount a serious challenge. " We have been off the pace a little recently and there a lot of guys in with a show. Trent Headland will be really hard to beat. We'll go out and have some fun and I'll be happy to finish in the top 5”, he said.
It's hard to imagine Russell Mitchell being happy with anything less than a podium as a minimum and I'm tipping that’s where he and Andrew Sharp will be at nights end.
He may even add an 8th title to the 7 that he already holds which will see him close to 1 Championship away from the great Dennis Nash who has won a record 9 State Titles.
Other locals to watch out for will be Darren Nash and Peter Teal who were simply fabulous last time out in the Tony Shield no 62 outfit. Jeff Bishop is due for a big result and I'm tipping Scott Charsley to also put in a strong performance.
The inclusion of Russell Mitchell and Andrew Sharp on board the Eurocars sponsored Mitch chassis number 97 outfit in the field injects even more intrigue into this historic Pinjar Park Championship meeting.
The fabulous Speedway Solo 500's also have their State Championship on the same night and will feature none other than the current and three times World Champion, Tai Woffinden.
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Words and Photos Provided by Graeme Sinden