After three frustrating attempts since 2008, Darrin Treloar finally won that elusive sixth Australian Sidecar Championship at Kurri Kurri in New South Wales on Saturday night, to make him the most successful rider in the championship’s history, one win ahead of Western Australian duo Dennis Nash and Glenn O’Brien.
The championship was the usual mixture of twists and turns, excitement, controversy and hard luck stories, but at the end of the night the four finalists were the four riders who looked the most likely to qualify after the first round of heats.
Mick Headland/Paul Waters were the outstanding performers in the heats with an unbeaten 15 points, and they were joined in the final by Darrin Treloar/Simon Cohrs and Scott Christopher/Tyler Moon (both 13 points) as the three highest pointcorers, and Grant Bond/Glenn Cox as the winners of the semi-final. (Treloar dopped his points to Headland and Justin Plaisted; and Christopher dropped his to Headland and Treloar)
Treloar and Bond had figured in one of the best races of the night as early as heat one, when they exchanged the lead many times before crossing the line side-by-side with Treloar marginally ahead.
Bond was a non-finisher in his third ride however and only finished with 10 points which relegated him to the semi-final along with fellow 10-pointers Justin Plaisted/Sam Harrison and Mark Plaisted/Sam Gilbert, and James Hinton/Jack Summerling who scored 9 points.
For three laps Justin Plaisted looked the likely winner of the semi-final as he led from the start while Mark Plaisted and Bond battled for second place, but after Bond got the better of Mark he chased down Justin and took the lead on the last lap.
For the final Headland chose gate one, Treloar two, Christopher three and Bond was left with four and it was anyone’s race.
The unbeaten Headland made the best start and looked to be in the box seat as Treloar took Christopher high in turn one which allowed Bond to race under them and challenge Headland down the back straight, but then it all went wrong for Headland.
As he led through turn three, his engine blew and his bike spun to a stop. He was very lucky not to be collected by the others, but he was out of the race, and Bond inherited the lead ahead of Treloar and Christopher.
Unfortunately for Bond, however, Headland was still on the track when they came around on the next lap and the race had to be stopped.
In the rerun, without Headland, Treloar led narrowly from start to finish as Bond and Christopher exchanged second place with Bond grabbing second for a final time through the last corner to make it a NSW 1-2.
They then teamed up to win the teams’ championship the next night, but only by one point from the Plaisted brothers. James Hinton/Jack Summerling and Shane Hudson/Jarrod Bradley finished third and Scott Christopher/Tyler Moon and David Hagel/Luke McGrath fourth.
With only six months until the title will be decided again (at Gillman next March) there seems little doubt Treloar will continue riding and attempt a seventh championship win!
Individual Championship scorecard 107 Mick Headland / Paul Waters (SA) 15 (3 3 3 3 3) 84 Darrin Treloar / Simon Cohrs (NSW/Vic) 13 (3 3 3 2 2) 108 Scott Christopher / Tyler Moon (Qld) 13 (3 2 3 3 2) 26 Grant Bond / Glenn Cox (NSW) 10 (2 3 R 2 3) 47 Justin Plaisted / Sam Harrison (SA) 10 (1 1 2 3 3) 75 Mark Plaisted / Sam Gilbert (SA/NSW) 10 (2 2 2 3 1) 54 James Hinton / Jack Summerling (NSW) 9 (2 3 1 0 3) 76 David Hagel / Luke McGrath (Qld) 7 (3 0 1 2 1) 13 Trent Headland / Jesse Headland (SA( 7 (2 2 R 2 1) 71 Shane Hudson / Jarrod Bradley (NSW) 6 (0 1 3 0 2) 55 Clinton Mayes / Andrew Summerhayes (Vic) 5 (1 1 2 0 1) 234 Paul Pinfold / Amy Pinfold (Qld) 4 (0 2 1 1 R) 40 Damien Niesche/ Mitchell Spear (SA) 4 (1 0 R 1 2) 122 Dylan Blain / Aaron Stewart (Qld) 4 (1 1 1 1 0) 96 Darren Cafe / Shane Van Ginnekin (NSW) 2 (0 0 2 X 0) 258 Wes Jenkins / Matt Duce (Qld) 0 (0 R N N N) 007 Hayden Bond / Brady Cox (NSW, reserve) 0 (- - - - 0) 69 Rick Stephens / Daniel Stephens (NSW, reserve) 1 (- - 0 1 1)