The Collie Motorcycle Club in the southwest of WA recently put on a “Weekend of Wheels” to celebrate the last ever Australian street circuit road race, which was conducted in Collie 20 years ago, 1996.
Many of the then participating road racers were in attendance, some of whom managed to locate the machines they competed on at that final event.
The club had managed to obtain road closures for about two hours to enable some Parade laps by solos and sidecars.
Collie local Brad Thompson managed to source his last ever Collie Cup winning Honda RC30 from its current owner to do some Parade laps around the street circuit.
As parades go, this was the fastest parade you’ll ever witness. Colin Cameron, Travelling Marshall for the day set the pace early doing quite a rate of knots and pulling some impressive wheelies.
Cameron Stronach got into the act on the Motorcycle Movers Ducati and with some impressive stand-up monos.
Another feature of the parade laps was Pierre Knight and Geoff Rous, two-time State Sidecar champs had the outfit sideways and smoking up the rear tyre for most of their last lap. Entertainment for sure. Crowd loved it. The rumour about them having put 80psi in the rear was partially confirmed later.
Another high profile sidecar pairing of Murray Stronach and Steve Marshall was seen getting seriously sideways under heavy acceleration on their first out lap. The unswept suburban streets provided a few moments for a number of riders. After the first session, our Travelling Marshall incurred the wrath of the Officials and had to slow it down a little.
Bikes from all eras were in attendance dating back to around the ’30s till the current day. Anthony McFadden was in town with his fleet of V4 Hondas. MCRC stalwarts, Trevor Adams, Peter and Adam Senior, Bill Robson, the Stronach family (riding solos and sidecars) and many others from the Motorcycle Racing Club of WA were all participating to help out the Collie Club with their festivities.
A huge turnout of spectators came from far and wide, people were spread out right around the circuit. The locals in on the act, sitting on the front verandah in party mode with full eskies watching the days proceedings. It’s been a long time since they could do that.
Local business were big winners. Rooms were hard to find and the town was most welcoming of the invasion. Former Suzuki racer and MCRC member, Jim Penman came from Queensland to catch up with some of his old cronies. Good effort Jim.
After the local police had reopened the streets most convened at the local football club which was pumping for a lengthy bench racing session. This kicked on for most of the afternoon.
The evening saw the local speedway get into the action with a bikes only event on Saturday night. Local champ Clayton Mills made a comeback to Speedway after a hiatus of over 20 years. Millsy competed on a borrowed “Mitch” framed machine and did himself proud, coming second overall on the night after some fierce racing. Great effort.
But the master himself was there, many time State and Australian Champion, Russell Mitchell was almost untouchable on the night. However Mills and the Bishop’s kept him honest.
Solos were very entertaining as was the Stock Bike field. A great evening’s entertainment and another well run event put on by Collie locals.
The weekend kept on giving. Sunday produced Vintage MX at Stockton Park MX circuit and The Historic Racing Club along with junior road racers had a good day out the local road circuit.
There was something for everyone on at some point over the two day event. Local Collie former road racer Steve McDermott ably assisted by his brother Gary and the Collie Motorcycle Club sure know how to put on an event. Great party atmosphere throughout.
Take a bow Collie Club and Collie residents. That was pretty special. Some talk of this event going biannual. Let’s hope so.
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