The two favourites for the Australian Sidecar Championship both won major events last night, with Mick Headland and Paul Waters winning the K Trans 2013 Sidecar Masters at Gillman, while Darrin Treloar and Simon Cohrs won the New South Wales Championship in Tamworth.
But while Headland/Waters won the Masters, the meeting may have thrown up another serious contender for National honours — Cairns rider Wes Jenkins.
Jenkins was outstanding until beset by mechanical problems, with his feature ride being heat ten in which he met, and beat, three of the finalists from this season’s South Australian Championship — Mark Plaisted, Mick Headland and Justin Plaisted. Unfortunately for Jenkins he was stripped of the win for going infield. Jenkins had a clear lead when he got out of shape in turn four on lap three. He did well to avoid running off the track down the straight but just cut the corner in turn one as he was regaining control.
The top scorers for the night were Headland and Waters with 14 points, their dropped point being to Justin Plaisted in the previously mentioned heat ten. The other automatic qualifiers for the final were Mark Mitchell/Tom Golding and Mark Drew/Steven Blair both with 11 points.
The semi-finalists were Trent Headland/Jesse Headland (10), Warren Monson/Matt Morgan (10), Wes Jenkins/Damian Egan (9) and Jason Hardy /Geoff Langdon (9).
Riders missing the cut included Justin Plaisted/Sam Harrison (8), Scott Christopher/Tyler Moon (8), Byren Gates/Michael O’Loughlin (6) and South Australian Champions Mark Plaisted/Sam Gilbert with a disappointing 4 points.
The semi-final, as usual was one of the closest races of the night, but despite pressure from Monson and Headland, Gillman Champions Hardy/Langdon continued their good 2012/13 season form to lead all the way in a wheel-to-wheel race with Monson second and Headland third. Jenkins retired while running in fourth place.
The gate choices for the final were Mick Headland red, Mark Mitchell blue, Mark Drew white and Jason Hardy yellow.
After a close first lap Headland cleared out for a comfortable win ahead of Mitchell and Hardy. Drew was initially in second place but retired on the second lap.
The sidecar action continues next month with the Ikon Suspension Grand Slam Final on 16 March, then the K Trans Australian Championship meetings on 30 & 31 March. There is no meeting on 2 March.
A familiar sight at Gillman Speedway, Mick Headland and Paul Waters on another victory lap. Photo by www.jdmphotos.net
Placegetters in the K Trans 2013 Gillman Sidecar Masters, left to right: Mark Drew, Steven Blair, Tom Golding, Mark Mitchell, Mick Headland, Paul Waters, Jason Hardy, Geoff Langdon. Photo by www.jdmphotos.net