At the end of two days of exciting racing riders from three states and of varying ages were crowned champions at the 2023 Australian Senior Dirt Track Championships on the weekend of October 7 and 8.
It was the first time since 2009 that the Albury Wodonga Motorcycle Club hosted this event at their Lincoln Causeway track.
Points scored from the four rounds of heats did not always translate into results when finals were staged and invariably at least some of the major placings were in doubt until the latter stages of those deciders.
The MX Open final was the first of the two-wheel deciders and local fans were optimistic of a hometown victory as host club rider Remmie Fyffe had been the only unbeaten rider in the heats, but after a poor start, he battled to finish sixth.
Daniel Wicks scored a popular win, his first Australian Championship win after a string of minor placings, with teenagers Cody Lewis and Rory McQualter completing the rostrum ahead of two more experienced campaigners David Smith and Grant Charnock.
The Pro 450 class has become the premier class in recent years and with it comes the Duke of Edinburgh Trophy – for 2023 there will be a new name inscribed on the trophy with Hunter area rider Cody Lewis taking the honours ahead of McQualter while Wicks stormed through to third after a bad start keeping clubmates Fyffe and Jock Rogers, and Benjamin Gordon off the rostrum.
McQualter did have one visit to the top step of the rostrum when he won the Pro 250 final as James Sawdy flew the flag for the older brigade by claiming second ahead of Fyffe, Jett Carter, the lone South Australian entrant for the weekend Kyle Machin and Nicholas Berry.
The Pro Womens class was decided over five rounds and provided its share of excitement and more than its share of drama with Tayla Street giving the host club a championship success. She won all five rounds, but they were never runaway wins as three opponents were invariably never far away.
The battle for the minor placings took a dramatic twist on the last corner of the final round when Kelsey Jensen fell, ultimately costing her second place overall elevating Lori Gow and Bree-Anna Etheridge.
Defending Dirt Track Sidecar champions Troy Pritchard and passenger Ethan Wade bowed out with a blown engine after winning their first two heats, while several other major contenders also had some dramas.
Corey Forde and passenger Darren Fraudenstein emerged as 2023 champions having won three of their heats, plus another heat they contested in error, and then had to win the repechage before coming from behind in the final to beat Kai Frame / Anthony Martin and Jarred Marko / Shaun Fuller.
Matthew Griffiths scored another title win in the ATV Open class taking out the final ahead of Jeffrey McKee and Colin Green, after topscorer in the heats Joshua Griffiths made a costly error in the final costing him a place on the rostrum.
An Over 35s class was one of the support classes with Benjamin Gordon dominating, ahead of locals Mitch Wolfe and Ralph Pink, while Colin Green won the ATV 450cc support class.
Three junior classes were also part of the programme showcasing the young talent coming through the ranks.
Local rider, and emerging speedway talent Cooper Antone was unbeaten in both classes he contested while Tommy Wright was best in a very competitive 13 – Under 16s class.
RESULTS OF 2023 AUSTRALIAN SENIOR DIRT TRACK CHAMPIONSHIPS
Staged at Lincoln Causeway, Wodonga, VIC on October 7th and 8th 2023.
Cody Lewis (Kurri Kurri)
Rory McQualter (Gold Coast)
Daniel Wicks (Gunnedah)
James Sawdy (Cowra)
Remmie Fyffe (Albury-Wodonga)
Tayla Street (Albury – Wodonga)
Lori Gow (Albury-Wodonga)
Bree-Anna Etheridge (Kurri Kurri)
Matthew Griffiths (Hunter)
Jeffrey McKee (Hunter)
Colin Green (Gunnedah)
DIRT TRACK SIDECAR
Corey Forde / Darren Freudenstein (Panorama) – 1
Kai Frame / Anthony Martin (Tamworth) – 2
Jarred Marko / Shaun Fuller (Kurri Kurri) – 3
Benjamin Gordon (Far South Coast)
Mitch Wolfe (Albury-Wodonga)
Ralph Pink (Albury-Wodonga)
Michael Stimson (Tamworth)
Sharna Stimson (Dungog)
65cc 7 – U/9
Cooper Antone (Albury-Wodonga)
William Wiggins (Central Coast)
Cameron Pritchard (North Brisbane)
85cc 2str/ 150cc 4str 9 – U/13
Cooper Blowes (Cowra)
2str & 4str. 13 – U/16
Tommy Wright (Harley, Vic.)
Hugh Hope-Hodgetts (Forbes)
Henry Small (Albury-Wodonga)