The comeback of former world speedway champion Chris Holder is well and truly on track after he won the inaugural Central Coast Harley Davidson Gold Bar Classic at the Gosford Showground on Saturday night the 28th of December.
The return of speedway to the Gosford Showground attracted a large and appreciative crowd who were entertained by a big program of exciting solo and sidecar action.
After winning the Jason Crump Invitational Cup at Kurri Kurri on Boxing Night, Holder made it back-to-back victories at Gosford despite being put under pressure by some of Australia‰Ûªs best young talent.
Holder has only been able to get back on the bike earlier this month after having suffered severe injuries in a crash in England early in July. Despite admitting he was underdone and far from race hardened Holder was well pleased with his performance where he was made to work hard in many of his races.
Holder‰Ûªs starts were one aspect of his riding that were below his usual high standards, but several of his slower starts were followed by his best rides as he stormed through the field to win all but one of his races.
Queenslander Ryan Douglas turned heads when he became the only rider to defeat Holder on his way to finishing as equal top scorer, with Holder, from the 20 heats of the Gold Bar Classic.
Hunter Valley riders Alex Davies, Sam Masters and Mason Campton were in fine touch to book their places in the semi-finals, where they were joined by Sydney rider Joey Ringwood and two interstaters.
Another Queenslander Nick Morris was in the thick of the action winning three of his heats, and falling while leading in the other two. Reigning Australian Under 21 champion Max Fricke from Victoria recovered after not scoring in his opening ride to book his berth in the semis.
Chris Holder‰Ûªs younger brother Jack was on track for a place in the semis before an awkward tumble in his final heat.
Danish rider Rasmus Jensen improved as the meeting progressed and more is expected of him at the upcoming Gosford meetings on January 2 and 25.
It was not the best of nights for the Kurtz brothers as Todd went off the boil after a good start, while Brady had a forgettable night plagued by mechanical problems that cut short his night.
The semi-finals produced plenty of drama as Nick Morris won the first with Alex Davies blowing his chances of getting into the final with a heavy fall leaving Ran Douglas to progress ahead of Mason Campton.
Chris Holder had to work hard to keep Sam Masters behind him in the second semi as Max Fricke and Joey Ringwood bowed out.
Chris Holder again had to be at his best in the final before Ryan Douglas‰Ûªs challenge ended with an awkward fall leaving Nick Morris and Sam Masters to follow Holder home.
Sidecar racing also thrilled the crowd as two of Australia‰Ûªs best dominated proceedings. Darrin Treloar and passenger Blake Cox edged out Grant Bond and passenger Glenn Cox to take the honours with young Shane Hudson and passenger Brad Pitt the next best.
The young riders on the 250 / 350cc machines showed that the future of the sport is in good hands as Denny Cox was unbeaten despite the efforts of Queenslander Zaine Kennedy and Max Croker.
The next meeting at the Gosford Showground will be on Thursday night, January 2.
Central Coast Harley Davidson Gold Bar Classic Results:
Ryan Douglas (Qld) 14,
Chris Holder 14,
Alex Davies 12,
Sam Masters 11,
Nick Morris (Qld) 10,
Max Fricke (Vic) 10,
Mason Campton 10,
Joey Ringwood 8,
Jack Holder 7,
Todd Kurtz 6,
Rasmus Jensen (Denmark) 5,
Jye Etheridge 4,
Alan Macdonald 3,
Tyson Snow (Qld) 2,
Jake Allen (Qld) 1,
Brady Kurtz 1.
Senior Sidecar Final:
Darrin Treloar / Blake Cox
Grant Bond / Glenn Cox
Shane Hudson / Brad Pitt
Junior 250/350cc Final: