Speedway Back at Newcastle this Saturday night


Speedway racing returns to the Newcastle Showground this Saturday night (February 25) for what promises to be a spectacular one-off show of top quality sidecar racing supported by solo racing.

The meeting will also feature a benefit for the Hunter region's Westpac Helicopter Rescue Service as several local people have paid sponsorship to take "a ride on the wild side" as a passenger with one of the State's top sidecar riders.

The racing will he highlighted by a round of the Ikon Suspension Sidecar Grand Slam which has attracted some of the nation's best to the Broadmeadow track, headed by the three riders who have won the biggest sidecar meeting on the world calendar.

Last November saw Sydney's Darrin Treloar officially crowned world champion, relieving South Australian rider Mick Headland of the title he held for the previous two years.

Subsequent battles between these two riders have been fierce, with honours evenly shared, and this Saturday's showdown looms as another exciting chapter in their battle for supremacy.

Throw into the mix Townsville rider Scott Christopher, who won the FIM Gold Trophy meeting which was a forerunner to the official World Championship, and it is obvious that Treloar and Headland will not have things all their own way on Saturday.

There is more to the challenge from interstate riders with Victorian Byren Gates, who was fourth in the recent World Championship meeting, talented Queenslander Brodie Cohen who has Australian Championship winning passenger Cal Campbell with him and Mick Headland's tearaway sons Trent and Jesse. Another South Australian Damian Niesche is also making the trip and will add to the quality of the line-up.

The local hopes for the meeting are split into two very distinct categories.

Firstly there is the "older brigade" with world No. 3 Grant Bond joined by fellow experienced campaigners Darren Cafe and Mick Farrell.

While there will be plenty of attention on all the big name riders there will also be plenty of interest in the performance of four teams who are all very new to senior sidecar competition.

Hayden Bond, Shane Hudson and Harley Blackwell have all graduated from the junior sidecars over the past few years, and along with well-credentialed dirt track rider Rodney O'Meley, it will interesting to see how this next generation of riders shape up.

To ensure fans get a taste of solo racing on the night promoter Graeme Boyd has lined young up and coming riders, including two who are about to head off to the 2012 season in the UK Premier League competition.

Alex Davies, Mason Campton, Michael Penfold and Daniel Begley will appear in one race in each round of the sidecar competition.

Practice starts at 4.15 on Saturday with the rider introductions and sponsored passenger rides at 6.15 with racing kicking off at 6.30pm.

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