World champion Tai Woffinden thrills big crowd at new Pinjar Park Motorcycle Speedway to win WA 500cc solo title

West Aussie and UK-based Tai Woffinden on his way to his maiden WA 500cc solo title. Picture: Woza's Photography
West Aussie and UK-based Tai Woffinden on his way to his maiden WA 500cc solo title. Picture: Woza's Photography

THREE-time world champion Tai Woffinden thrilled a big crowd at the new track at Pinjar Park Motorcycle Speedway to win his maiden WA 500cc solo title on Saturday night.

Woffinden, who left Perth as a youngster to pursue a career in the UK and Europe, won each of his heats and the final in style to claim the same championship as his late father Rob.

“Obviously I grew up here and my dad won the state title here so for me and him to both win is a very special achievement that not many people would be able to do,” Woffinden told race caller Grant Woodams.

“The track was really tricky for solo riders tonight. If it was a grand prix, it would have been off 100 per cent; they would have cancelled it.

“But I got the boys revved up as much I could and said ‘we’ve got to put on a show, there are people who have come to watch us’ and I think we did a good job.”

Woffinden thanked everyone involved in building the new Pinjar Park track and stadium, which was officially opened before the racing.

“To finally have it here is amazing and I’m super stoked to win a title and be back racing in Perth,” he said.

Runner-up Cameron Heeps said “if anyone you want to lose to, it’s the world champion”.

Tai Woffinden (second from left) with fellow riders Cameron Heeps, Kane Lawrence and Daniel Winchester. Picture: Woza’s Photography

Trackside commentator Chris Fayle said seeing Woffinden crowned WA 500cc solo champion was “very, very poignant for me and most people”.

“Repeating the feat of his father and his father being one of the men responsible for the track being at Pinjar Park in the first place

“The pitts area has always been known as the Rob Woffinden Pitts for very good reason. Rob used to spend day after day after day on the machine building that little junior track on the hill.

“And this was his dream; a grand prix track and his son winning the state title.

“So that’s why ladies and gentlemen it is a little bit of an emotional night.”

Trent Hedland and Darryl Whetstone won the 1000cc sidecars WA title.

Hedland and Whetstone at Pinjar Park Saturday night . Picture: Woza’s Photography

WA speedway legends Chum Taylor and Dennis Nash joined Wanneroo Mayor Tracey Roberts to officially open the new venue.

Soil from Claremont Speedway was sprinkled on the track.

The ceremony included the unveiling of the Peter Muller Main Straight.

READ MORE: Triple world champion Tai Woffinden returns to Pinjar Park for 2019 Rob Woffinden Classic on Saturday January 19

REIGNING WORLD CHAMP’S TITLE DEFENCE

Tai Woffinden has already started preparations to defend his world title this year.

He’s aiming to go back-to-back for the first time.

“We’re pretty full-on with pre-season training,” he said.

“I don’t want to stand back and go ‘oh I could have put another 1 per cent in there’.

“So we’re putting everything out, balls to the wall and I’ll back my world championship up this year 100 per cent.”