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2017 Southern Classic

Broadford, November 3rd & 4th 2017

Words Marty Thompson – Images Stevenson Photography

Riders, teams, officials and spectators were kissed on their sidevalves with absolutely perfect racing conditions at Broadford State Motorcycle Complex for the 36th running of the Shannons Southern Classic.

Although the nights were still frosty, with even some stalwarts from balmy Mount Gambier claiming to be chilled to the bone overnight in the campground, the days were simply stunning with bright sunshine and warm but still mild temperatures. This proved less taxing on machines, tyres, riders and pit crews. It all combined to deliver great racing for the riders, and  thoroughly enjoyable viewing for the large crowd who attended over the course of the weekend.

There was a great mix of well known and not so well known machinery, teams and riders from the early 1900’s right through to machines of the 80’s to keep every classic motorcycle enthusiast happy.

From the well known T-Rex Hondas built by Rex Wolfenden and steered by Chas Hern, to the Vincent of Phil Canning, long time sponsor of Australian Superbike Yamaha rider Daniel Falzon.

Chas Hern with Rex Wolfenden in the background - Image by Marty Thompson
Chas Hern with Rex Wolfenden in the background – Image by Marty Thompson

As well as some freshly built machinery, including the Suzuki powered Harris framed GSX of regular 600 Supersport punter Brendan Wilson.

Chas Hern, from the Rex Wolfenden stable, was using the Southern Classic as a shakedown for the Australian titles being held this coming weekend at Wakefield Park near Goulburn NSW. Rex had freshened up the motor in the T-Rex Harris framed Honda CB1100 and the Southern Classic was a good opportunity to iron out any bugs.

Hern and the T-Rex CB1000 were in a class of their own all weekend. Each race Chas would pull a large gap on the opening lap, then back it off to cruise comfortably to the finish line. Careful not put any undue stress on the freshly built motor, keeping it in optimum condition for the upcoming Australian Championship.

Chas Hern - Image by Stevenson Photography
Chas Hern – Image by Stevenson Photography

Mind you, the first few laps were spectacular to watch, as Chas certainly wasn’t hanging about. The ‘can ride anything’ now ‘almost’, veteran was laying down lap-times that most modern Superbike riders would be happy with.

Brendan Wilson - Image by Stevenson Photography
Brendan Wilson – Image by Stevenson Photography

Irish ex-pat, Brendan Wilson debuted his self-built Harris Framed GSX and his results were amazing. Especially considering the bike had little to no time to be tuned or have the chassis set up sorted prior to the weekend, the first practice session being literally the first outing for the bike.

Brendan Wilson - XR69 Harris - Image by Marty Thompson
Brendan Wilson – XR69 Harris – Image by Marty Thompson

Thankfully, apart from a small error entering the pits, where the bike had a small brake issue, locking the front tyre and biting the pitlane tarmac, it remained upright for the remainder of the weekend, gaining some impressive results and putting in some fast laptimes. This combination will be one to watch when Brendan has had time to both sort the set-up, and get himself properly familiar with the new bike. The motor is also in a relatively mild state of tune, so there is massive potential there to give it some more power once he comes to grips with the current output.

Brendan Wilson - Image by Stevenson Photography
Brendan Wilson – Image by Stevenson Photography

Phil Canning had a stunning debut on his Vincent, taking a third place in his first ever race meeting. Prior to this his only track forays had been ride days punting Daniel Falzon’s previous years Superbike around. So to say he was surprised and delighted by his results would be an understatement.

Phil Canning - Image by Stevenson Photography
Phil Canning – Image by Stevenson Photography

His Vincent was also a newer build, and for a bike and rider to gain those sorts of result on debut hints at even better results to come in future.

Phil Canning - Image by Stevenson Photography
Phil Canning – Image by Stevenson Photography

There was a huge number of sidecars at the meeting, including a contingent of modern sidecars which were given entry to the meeting.

The sidecar handicap races were some of the best of the weekend, although I believe a rethink of how the handicap race is started could be considered due to the handicaps being greater than a full lap of the track.

Don Cooke and Chris Wisener - Image by Stevenson Photography
Don Cooke and Chris Wisener – Image by Stevenson Photography

To have a bike sitting stationary on the start-line, while other bikes come past at full-speed down the front straight, to me, seems dangerous. I’m not sure I would want to be the rider sitting stationary on the grid should something go wrong with an outfit thundering down the straight at a great rate of knots behind me…

Stan Mucha - Image by Stevenson Photography
Stan Mucha – Image by Stevenson Photography

Stan Mucha’s 1926 Indian Altoona 998 took out the battle of the American handshifters in the Harley Vs Indian Handshift battle.

Stan Mucha - Image by Stevenson Photography
Stan Mucha – Image by Stevenson Photography

I think only motorcyclists can appreciate what a challenge it is to ride a handshift motorcycle, let alone to race one and these riders certainly didn’t look like they were slipping down to the shops to pick up the milk. They rode them hard…….proper hard!

Handshift Harley - Image by Marty Thompson
Handshift Harley – Image by Marty Thompson

In the Unlimited Period 3 class, Garth Francis and Keith Campbell traded wins and second places in the four races.

Garth Francis - Image by Stevenson Photography
Garth Francis – Image by Stevenson Photography

Garth Francis getting the tupperware for the weekend on countback, courtesy of his race win in the final leg, a small consolation after a somewhat haphazard start to his weekend, after some initial garage placement confusion.

Keith Campbell - Image by Stevenson Photography
Keith Campbell – Image by Stevenson Photography

Noticeable by their absence were Ron Mathews and Ken Lucas. It was disappointing in particular not to see Ken out there with his machinery. Ken has been racing bikes since 1946, and was a major contributor to the building of the Broadford road race circuit. Ken’s bulldozers did much of the earthworks and he is a much respected racer, not just here in Australia, but overseas also. We hope to see him back out again next year and trust that at 86-years young, it was a machinery or logistics issue which forced him out.


2017 Southern Classic Results

Period 3 up to 650cc sidecars

  1. Robert TODD / Lloyd TODD 0 25 25 25 75
  2. Peter LARGE / Wayne ROWE 18 18 20 18 74
  3. Neil PROWSE / Colin MAGNAY 17 17 18 17 69

Period 3 unlimited sidecars

  1. Don COOKE / Chris WISENER 20 20 25 20 85
  2. Garth FRANCIS / Paul KENNY 25 25 0 25 75
  3. Chris LARGE / Peter HEYWOOD 14 16 18 17 65

Class C

  1. Ross BOLDING 25 25 25 20 95
  2. Michael BEAUMONT 18 20 20 25 83
  3. Peter HEHIR 17 18 18 18 71

Harley Vs Indian Handshift challenge

  1. Stan MUCHA 25 25 25 16 91
  2. David MORSE 20 20 20 25 85
  3. Nick STONE 17 17 18 20 72

Vintage up to 500cc

  1. David MORSE 25 25 25 25 100
  2. Nick STONE 20 20 20 20 80
  3. Des HEANEY 18 18 18 18 72

125cc PERIOD 4

  1. Peter LARGE 18 20 25 25 88
  2. Chris PANAYI 25 25 18 20 88
  3. Des HEANEY 20 18 20 18 76

125cc PERIOD 5

  1. Peter FORKES 25 25 25 25 100
  2. Kevin YOUNGSON 20 20 20 0 60
  3. Clark RUSSELL 18 18 18 0 54

250cc PERIOD 3

  1. Link WILSON-TUCKER 25 25 25 20 95
  2. Peter O’NEILL 20 20 20 25 85
  3. Peter LARGE 17 17 18 18 70
  4. Darrell BAILEY 18 18 17 17 70
  5. Bruce MEREDITH 0 16 16 16 48

350cc PERIOD 3

  1. Greg WATKINS 25 25 25 25 100
  2. Eric SALMON 20 20 20 20 80
  3. Dave DICKSON 18 18 18 18 72

500cc Period 4

  1. Link WILSON-TUCKER 25 25 25 25 100
  2. Peter O’NEILL 20 20 20 20 80
  3. Haydn JONES 18 17 18 18 71

500cc Period 5

  1. Chris HAYWARD 25 25 25 25 100
  2. Tim LARGE 20 20 20 18 78
  3. Peter LARGE 18 18 17 17 70

600cc Period 5

  1. Mark LITHGOW 25 25 25 25 100
  2. Richard OLBRICH 18 20 20 20 78
  3. Alec SIMPSON 20 0 18 18 56

PERIOD 4 SIDECARS – 836cc

  1. Geoff GRANT / Chris PANAYI 25 20 20 20 85
  2. Tim LOONE / Joanne MICKLESON 18 25 17 17 77
  3. Leigh CORBETT / Warren GRUBB 17 18 18 18 71

PERIOD 4 SIDECARS – UNLIMITED

  1. John CLANCY / Chrissie CLANCY 25 25 25 25 100
  2. Max HOOPER / Brad GORRIE 20 20 20 20 80

SIDECARS – PERIOD 5

  1. Ray EARLY / Rod FOSTER 25 25 25 20 95
  2. Geoff IRWIN / Eric MORRISON 0 20 20 25 65
  3. Adrian VAN UITER / Mark HOLLOWAY 20 0 18 18 56

UNLIMITED PERIOD 4

  1. Chris PASH 25 25 20 25 95
  2. Tony WILKINSON 18 20 25 20 83
  3. Michael GALLY 20 18 18 18 74

UNLIMITED PERIOD 5

  1. Chas HERN 25 25 25 25 100
  2. Bernie LEEN 20 18 20 18 76
  3. Brendan WILSON 16 17 17 20 70

250cc PERIOD 4

  1. Robert DAY 20 25 25 20 90
  2. David KEENAN 18 20 20 25 83
  3. Kevin YOUNGSON 17 18 18 18 71

250cc PERIOD 5

  1. Grant BOXHALL 18 20 25 25 88
  2. Ben SHAW 25 25 20 18 88
  3. Rob HEATHER 20 18 18 20 76

500cc Period 3

  1. Greg WATKINS 25 25 20 20 90
  2. Bob ROSENTHAL 20 0 25 25 70
  3. Paul McGAHAN 16 18 18 18 70

350cc PERIOD 4

  1. Keith CAMPBELL 25 25 25 25 100
  2. Chris PANAYI 18 20 20 20 78
  3. David CAMPBELL 20 18 18 18 74
Keith Campbell - Image by Stevenson Photography
Keith Campbell – Image by Stevenson Photography

350cc PERIOD 5

  1. Chris HAYWARD 20 25 20 25 90
  2. Grant BOXHALL 25 20 25 20 90
  3. Ben SHAW 18 18 18 17 71

UNLIMITED PERIOD 3

  1. Garth FRANCIS 20 25 20 25 90
  2. Keith CAMPBELL 25 20 25 20 90
  3. Russell CRADDOCK 17 17 17 17 68

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