Sidecars set to take centre stage


Twelve sidecar teams will take to Barbagallo Raceway this Sunday for the season opener.
Twelve sidecar teams will take to Barbagallo Raceway this Sunday for the season opener.

Twelve sidecar teams have entered the event, which will be a warm-up to the State Road Race Championships that start in May.

A-grade rider Graeme Studd returns to the track after a long retirement with new passenger Dion Marshall, son of Steve Marshall, who returns to passenger with Murray Stronach this season.

Rod Walker and daughter Alix Walker also return after a short break away. They will be joined by newcomers Lance Baylis and Ivan Juggins as well as Gary Cushnahan, who now steps up as the driver having been a passenger for Des Harvey for many years.

Solos will also feature on the day with graded races open to 600cc and 1000cc machines plus 125GP two-strokes and production class racers up to 400cc.

In the A-grade competition, Adam Senior will have his first race meeting aboard the new 2016 Yamaha R1 before he heads to NSW for round two of the Australian Superbike Championships over the Easter weekend.

He will have strong competition from Ben Stronach riding the ZX10 Kawasaki that took him to second in last year’s State Championships.

B Graders Rhys Clay, Scott Pettit, Glen Lowe and Tim Simmons could all be contenders for a podium finish on the day, while in the C Grade division, Daniel Rignall, Malcolm Johnson and Rob Connaughton could all finish strong.

Production racing will have the strongest field of the day with almost a full grid of 29 bikes.

This new entry-level class is open to novice level riders as well as D, C and B grades.

In the two-stroke 125GP class, reigning champion David Doughty and second placed David Manson will have to fend off the younger riders with an expected challenge coming from last year’s Supersport Championship winner Thyron Van Vuuren who is stepping down from a 600cc machine to a 125cc this season.

Practice and qualifying starts at 9am with racing from 12.30pm.