VMX comes to Darkan…

The sun rose to a misty morning over the pretty open fields of the Hillman Farm with a gentle wind that one could describe as “Brisk” but, if going by the general response from the few brave souls who had camped overnight, would more accurately described as “Bloody Freezing!”

More importantly though for the first time the VMXWA circus came to the Darkan motocross track.   

The track was built inside the old Darkan Speedway track with tight and technical inside sections and faster parts where the old speedway track has been incorporated.  There were also a few good jumps and a whoop-de-do section that was a new and interesting challenge for the old bikes.  To top it off the majority of the track surface was the classic south west red clay and ball bearing gravel which meant there wasn’t a lot of grip to be found, but a big helping of power sliding if you were feeling brave.

The official proceedings began with a moments silence for Collie motocross rider and sidecar legend Bill McDermott who passed away recently.  Bill was a hard charger on his AJS sidecar in the 60’s/ 70’s and has been a longtime Collie MC club member involved in many forms of bike racing.  Our condolences and thoughts go out to his family and friends and the many in the Collie racing fraternity who knew him.

With the official formalities and announcements out of the way 41 riders took to the track and racing was underway.

Up first were the A grade riders who despite being few in number put on some excellent racing with Steve Melvin on his Suzuki battling hard in the morning rounds with Rick Speak on his Maico.  In the early B Grade races it was a good tussle between Ian Brown and Vice Prez Hayes Forsyth with myself desperately trying to stay in touch with them both.

Some of the day’s best racing came in our Feature 125 two stroke/250 four stroke event.  Throughout the day you could have thrown a hoop over Warren Patterson and Robert Dillon who were bar to bar all day.  Warren was doing an excellent job on his little Elsinore CR125 holding off Robert who drew healthy praise for the way he was riding the wheels off the BSA 250.   Rob was certainly throwing everything he had at him but Warren held strong and rode some great races.

The sidecars put on their usual show with Wayne and Ryan Fanderlinden setting the pace throughout the day along with the team of Cliff Cook and Neal Fletcher.  Even more impressive was Ryan continuing to do two more races after dislocating his shoulder in the race just before lunch.  There was a good mix with every team spending some time out in front and yes even your less than illustrious captain managed to finally win a sidecar race.  My apologies to Jamie for that dive across the whoops at the end but I really, really wanted to win one.  Well held sir….well held!

Allan Mitchell was as fast as ever in the Over 55’s with some good rides as well from Frank Barron and Stan Read.  Thanks to the combining of grades after lunch I can confirm that yes Allan, that Husky does seem awful bloody wide when you want it to!

Some breakdowns and drop outs saw the A and B Grades combined as well as the C Grade and Over 55’s for the afternoons racing.  The day was capped off with the All In.  I would like to tell you who won but they were so far off in front that I didn’t manage to catch the number plate!

All in all it was a great days racing with no incidents and you can’t ask for much more than that.  Though the poor flaggies and officials around the track wouldn’t have complained if it had been just a tad warmer.  Much appreciated guys!

A huge thanks to Dirk and Nicole Wansmann for having the VMXWA out to the Darkan track and on their property.  It was an excellent venue and one that I hope we will be able to come back to in the future.

For the next race we will be heading back home to Dandaloo Park on  July 24th at Narrogin.  The feature race is European so bring out any of your bikes originating from the old world.


See you at Narrogin!

Luke B.

“Real riders like a bit on the side!”