6th May: 2022 Australian Senior Dirt Track Championships.
It’s been three long years since there was an Australian Senior Dirt Track Championships were held so competitors were chomping at the bit to get back out and amongst it as 2002 is the year for our sport to get back to normal. The past two years both Titles were cancelled due to Covid-19 and border closures.
Saturday, competitors were lined up at the gate bright and early. Some trepidation was present as the impending showers were blowing in off the Pacific Ocean. However, after a few light early morning sprinkles things brightened up.
The North Brisbane complex was looking well-manicured and set for a big weekend of racing as competitors all lined up to progress through scrutineering. Major events such as this come with additional layers of checks but all waited patiently as the line progressed.
As is usual North Brisbane and brought in very experienced officials for the day with Denise Dall (Steward) and Mark Herfoss (Clerk of Course) officiating the day. The program for the weekend was practice and three rounds for Saturday and the remaining fourth round, repechage and finals for Sunday morning.
Racing was spirited with riders putting it all on the line, the intensity showed as there were a number of incidents requiring medical assistance, these caused a few delays during Saturday. The track team were always at the ready to use any down time to undertake some additional track preparation.
All classes were hotly contested with some sensational racing on show. It was fantastic to see so many women out competing, not only in their gender specific classes, but also mixing it up with the men in the open classes.
Sunday morning, the big day started with a parade lap and national anthem sung by local Dirt Track and Speedway rider Anika Loftus. The parade was led by the 2019 Australian Title holders, Jarred Brook, Briony Henderson, Matt Griffiths and the Sidecar Team of Trevor Hardy and Tim Jones.
The weather was overcast and a bit cooler for Sunday racing with round four and the repechage. The track prep’ team did a fantastic job making sure the riders had optimum conditions in which to race. Racing was fast and furious with riders jostling to secure their positions in the finals.
Unfortunately Matt Griffiths, the current title holder dropped a valve in his round four heat and had to retire with an unceremonious push back to the pits where he would sit out the remainder of the day.
It was great to see some of the rider who had track incidents on Saturday back at the track on Sunday to watch the conclusion of the Titles. Robert Nolan and April Geromboux had a crash late on Saturday but it didn’t stop April getting out of hospital and back to the track to support her fellow riders.
The first final was the Sidecars championship, the gates dropped and local riders Troy Pritchard and Ethan Wade got the holeshot, Jarred Marko/Shaun Fuller did a big wheel-stand off the line but kept control, however lost positions in the process. Pritchard/Wade held the front position all the way to the chequered flag.
In Pro MX, Cysham Weale got an incredible start and the holeshot into turn one with Brook in hot pursuit followed by Dale Borlase and Ben Montgomery. Brook, known as ‘Underaker’, is the master tactician and by the entry of T3 he was side by side with Weale before making the pass on the exit of T4. By the chequered flag it was Brook, Weale, Borlase, Qualichefski and Dall while Montgomery rounded out the top five.
The ATV Women Open Championship was won by Katherine Higgs with Sharna Stimson in second and Natasha Stadnikoff in third. Some great racing from these ladies and they also competed in the ATV Open championship.
The Pro 250 title saw another amazing field of riders with local North Brisbane rider Ben Montgomery prevailing ahead of fellow locals Ben McLaughlin in P2 and Travis Hall in P3.
Pro Open Women was won by multi title holder Briony Hendrikson followed by Tayla Street and recent returnee to the track Amy King. There were some amazing performances in this group and without doubt some top performers in future years.
The 450 Pro Open Championship was a who’s who of Australian Dirt Track. Off the start Harry Maxwell got the holeshot in to turn 1 but by the exit of turn Jarred Brook had passed on the inside and then led all the way to flag.
Cyshan Weale got up the inside of Maxwell through the dog-leg and held P2 until the flag. Lap 3 saw Seth Qualichefski pass Maxwell through turn 2 for P3. Brook and Weale were comfortable out front with Qualichefski finishing in P3.
The last event of the day was the ATV Open Championship Final, with Matt Griffiths out of the running his brother Josh stepped up and led from the gate to the finish line. John Sherlock in 2nd and Ross Rizzo in 3rd.
The 2022 Senior Dirt Track championships were a well-run event and thankfully the weather played its part and no time was lost to rain delays which has been a common occurrence over recent years. Thanks to North Brisbane for hosting the event.
Dirt Track is very strong in Australia and has long been the nursery for road racing, you don’t need to look far into the past, present or future to see the lineage of Dirt Track and its effect on Australian motorcycle racing.
PRO 250 Championship
1st – Ben Montgomery
2nd – Benjamin McLaughlin
3rd – Travis Hall
Pro 450 Championship
1st – Jarred Brook
2nd – Cysh Weale
3rd – Seth Qualischefski
MX OPEN Championship
1st – Jarred Brook
2nd – Cysh Weale
3rd – Dale Borlase
Pro Open Women Championship
1st – Briony Hendrickson
2nd – Tayla Street
3rd – Amy Wedd
1st – Troy Pritchard & Ethan Wade
2nd – Steven Liebke & Zed Liebke
3rd – Jack Weston & Matt Doyle
ATV Open Championship
1st – Joshua Griffiths
2nd- John Sherlock
3rd – Ross Rizzo
ATV Open Women Championship
1st – Katherine Higgs
2nd- Sharna Stimson
3rd – Natasha Stadnikoff
1st – Troy Johnson
2nd – Jason Borg
3rd – Kevin Bradley
150cc 2stk/250cc – 13-16yrs
1st – Rory McQualter
2nd – Cooper Andersen
3rd – Alexander Adamson
1st – Hugo Holmes
2nd – Theo Afeaki
3rd – Lucy Heaton-New
85cc 2stk-150cc 4stk – 9-13yrs
1st – Hamish Bibby
2nd -Bodie Paige
3rd – Jake Paige
7th February: Race report for the M & K Eklund Transport Pty Ltd 2021/22 NSW U16 125cc Solo Speedway Championships. Read more===>
29th January: Congratulations to the riders who rode at the Kurri Kurri TT on Saturday 22nd January.
Although the TT was missing a jump there was a large amount of water on turn 4 keeping the riders on their toes and bringing out the riders ability on the tight twisty track. Results===>