News 17 Nov 2009

Dirt Track: Nine riders win Australian Junior titles in Canberra

Two NSW Clubs dominated the results, and nine excited young racers took home 11 first place trophies this weekend at the Anthony Costello Automotive sponsored 2009 Australian Junior Dirt Track Championships at Canberra’s redeveloped Fairbairn Park Dirt Track Complex.

The ACT Motor Cycle Club President, Allan McNeice, said today “These are great results, and they are on a high, and many who tried so hard were just unable to overcome the strong competition”

“And the event itself triggered highs and lows of another kind; there were high emotions from some after unexpected circumstances interrupted the schedule, forcing MA officials to cut the Nippers and 50’s program and reduce the number of heats for Championship Classes”

The weekend started on a high note on Friday afternoon, with sign on, scrutineering and “real world, simulated ride-by full throttle” noise testing to comply with the ACT’s EPA Motor Sports Noise Policy. All 220 bikes passed the test.

Club member and Senator for Canberra in the Australian Parliament, Kate Lundy, a keen dirt bike rider, opened the event on Saturday morning.

She told the 156 riders and their families from Clubs all over Australia, that Governments recognise the important role that sport plays in kids lives, and despite what some they may have heard, the ACT MCC’s Fairbairn Park tracks are not closing down over recent noise issues.

“The Club’s members and Hewatt Earthworks have worked really hard to upgrade this whole complex and sound proof the tracks”, Senator Lundy said.

“The ACT Government is right behind this sport and Fairbairn Park is here to stay”.

Mr McNeice said “In the last few months we transformed the old dirt track venue into a spectacular man made amphitheatre that gives spectators a bird’s eye view of the track, reduces noise emissions to nearby residential areas, and enhanced rider safety.

“There’s also extensive on site parking for all and larger pits for the competitors.

“The organising committee put together a great program of events; and the Canteen menu included Alison’s Egg and Bacon Rolls, and Kath’s famous chicken and onion gravy marinated Rib Fillet Steak and Salad in a fresh baked sesame seed bun.

“Our naming rights sponsor, Anthony Costello, convinced other local business to back individual events, and provide high end trophies for each.

“But an un-seasonal heat wave hit the Canberra track late in the week and constantly dried out the compacted granite surface, requiring more down time for track watering and grooming.

“The water truck broke down on day one, and we had to bring out a grader to bring moist material to the surface, and the transponder loop suffered an intermittent fault that affected time keeping and lap scoring.

“The Clerk of the Course had to make the hard calls and cut a number of heats from the program to allow it to finish before the 5pm EPA noise curfew.

“The “Touch the start line tapes and you are out rule” raised its ugly head and at least one poor kid was eliminated from a final. I reckon that one needs to go in the round filing cabinet.

“A lot of families were disappointed that these decisions meant their kids missed out on some of the rides that they should have had, or worse still, in the case of that rule, missed a once in a year opportunity to win an Aussie title.

“We feel for them; we understand how they feel; because we’ve felt that way before and don’t want that to happen to anyone’s kids.

“We are mums and dads too and many have made the same sort of financial and emotional investment that these parents have made for their kids, taking their kids to major external events, often over great distances and in different states.

“We know what it’s like to experience that gut wrenching feeling when you are hundreds or thousands of kilometres from home and something goes wrong that you can’t undo, and you can see the pain and heartbreak in your child’s eyes when they miss out. It breaks your heart.

“But what we have also found is that the hardworking volunteers in Clubs that host these events do everything they physically can do, often with limited resources, little support and little thanks from those that should help, to make visitors feel welcome, enjoy the event, and want to come back.

“We accept responsibility for the things that we can control, and accept those things that we couldn’t control, and make a commitment to those heavy hearts to learn from our experience and make sure that we do better in the future.

“On the flip side we were buoyed by the encouragement and support from many families who said they really enjoyed the event; some reckoned it was one of the best they have ever been to and want to come back.

In an interview with Canberra’s Sunday Times, Wayne Gardner, 1987 500cc grand Prix World Champions said “They have done a really great job with the upgrade. It’s probably better than the other states.

“We need more facilities like this in Australia so we can continue to develop our young riders.

In separate thank you messages to the Club, Federal Senator Kate Lundy, after opening the event, said “I am sipping coffee in the shade overlooking the best looking flat track in Australia!”

Paul Feeney, Australian MV Agusta Motorcycle importer and distributor, and Husqvarna’s newly crowned World No 1 Distributor, from Queensland, said “Sue, both the boys and I had a great weekend and if you can send me a calendar of events, we would like to come down for some races next year as well.

“I take my hat off to your team at the club the track presentation was excellent. Thanks again for a great weekend.”


65cc 7 & 8 yrs
1. Noah Stewart
2. Matthew Gilmore
3. Mitchell Cluff

65cc 9 to 12 yrs
1. Noah Stewart
2. Matthew Gilmore
3. Mitchell Cluff

85cc Modified 4 Stroke 8 to 10 yrs
1. Lawson Walters
2. Jack Dawes
3. Mitchell Cluff

85cc Modified 4 Stroke 11 to 13 yrs
1. Hunter Anderson
2. Jake Aramini
3. Billy Dawes

85cc Two Stroke & 150cc Four Stroke Standard Wheels 9 & 10 yrs
1. Jack Dawes
2. Remy Gardner
3. Dakota Ballantyne

85cc Two Stroke & 150cc Four Stroke Standard Wheels 11 & 12 yrs
1. Joshua MacDonald
2. Ben Cook
3. Josh Pickering

85cc Two Stroke & 150cc Four Stroke Big Wheels 11 & 12 yrs
1. Joshua MacDonald
2. Ty Lynch
3. Josh Nicholas

85cc Two Stroke & 150cc Four Stroke Standard Wheels 13 & 15 yrs
1. Robbie Menzies-Sergeant
2. Michael Blair
3. Patrick McLaughlin

85cc Two Stroke & 150cc Four Stroke Big Wheels 13 & 15 yrs
1. Robbie Menzies-Sergeant
2. Brady Kurtz
3. Nathan Trigg

100cc to 150cc Two Stroke 13 to 15 yrs
1. Sean McLellan
2. Josh Bunt
3. Brayden Elliott

200cc to 250cc Four Stroke 13 to 15 yrs
1. Josh Bunt
2. Luke Burgess
3. Jake Allen

The podium results for the two Support Classes were:

50cc Nippers, Low Powered Automatics 4 to 8 yrs
• Jacob Cain
• Ben lachlan
• Mitchell Martin
• Cyshan Weale
• Layne Riordon
• Blake Sherd
• Brock Hall
• Emily Hayes
• Jemma Watson
• Bradley Page
• Cooper Holroyd
• Joanna Garoni
• Isaac Dawes
• Kelsey Pollard
• Broc Feeney
• Jude Welch
• Kynan Quarthy
• Jack Junker
• Flack Rankin
• Dawson Fuller
• Jack Gee

50cc Division 2 High Powered Automatics 7 & 8 yrs
• Joshua MacDonald
• Ben Cook
• Josh Pickering