When you look to the form books the names Bradley Sharp and Neville Chalmers would be nowhere to be seen but they had a night to remember at the Peter Blick Memorial Sidecar meeting at the Russell Cunningham Properties Oreti Park Speedway tonight.
The pair started the night well with a win in heat one but had plenty of competition from Aiden Thwaites and Daniel Gillett, Kevin McDonald and Karl Hosie and the pairing of Craig McMaster and James Dawson all constantly at the sharp end of the field.
All those pairings did enough to make the final but one spot was still open in the repecharge and it was taken by Jason Harpur and Mark George narrowly holding out Daniel Harper and Brad Waddock and Erwin Tree and Nigel Cukow to book a place in the winner takes all final.
If you were a betting man you would have placed your house on the combination of McDonald and Hosie to win the final, the pairing had won all four of their heats by comfortable margins but a jumped start saw them eliminated from the final, and left the result wide open.
This was the oppourtunity Sharp and Chalmers were looking for as they were quick out of the starting blocks and unchallenged right throughout the final to claim victory in one of the catorgories' most sort after trophies.
McMaster and Dawson rode well all night and deserved second place, stealing it from Harpur and George in the last lap.
It was also fitting that Sharp and Chalmers won the Peter Blick Memorial Trophy, as it was Peter Blick's son who painted the bike for the newly crowned champions.
It was also best pairs racing for the Solo "A" Grade riders and Grant Tregoning once again showed his class.
He was teamed with Jeremy Godfrey and the pairing scored maximum points in heat one but Godfrey had a spectacular fall which left him out for the remainder of the night.
Tregoning showed that even without his partner he wasn't going to be an easy beat, and managed to bag enough points by himself to win the best pairs along with Godfrey, from the team of Hayden Sims and Alex Cunningham and the experienced teaming of Paul Hayes and John Tuffley.
The dash for cash was also won by Tregoning in one of the best races of the night, the real battle was for second and third when Sims and Jack McRae rode wheel to wheel for the majority of the race before the presure got too much for Sims and he crashed in spectacular fashion, taking Tuffley out also.
McRae continued to finish second and Hayes third.
In support races Hayden Brookland dominated the Pee Wees, Sam Taylor the Juniors, Les Payne the Classics, Jake Gillespie the Solo Supports and Zane Pay won the 250cc Solos.
There is no rest for the Oreti Park team as thet return again next Saturday when Southland takes on Canterbury in the Interprovincial Solos Final and the Sidecar teams contest the Southland Championship along with Juniors and Pee Wees.
- The Southland Times