BUNBURY SPEEDWAY 1972 > 1975
1972 BUNBURY SPEEDWAY SLIDESHOW
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1972 BUNBURY SPEEDWAY PROGRAM SLIDESHOW
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1972 BUNBURY SPEEDWAY TV SHOW
Community interest in Speedway was at a all time high after Bunbury Speedway opened in 1972, no longer did family's have to pack up the car at lunch time Friday's to make it to Claremont Speedway in time to watch the best the sport had to offer and then make the three and a half hour journey home, Bunbury embrased its new found attraction and everone wanted to be apart of it, so why not Television, Bunbury's Channel 3 put a weekley show to air hosted by Brian Kennedy, a past President of the Bunbury Club, the show was all about last week, next week and interviews etc
World champion here on Saturday
Bunbury Speedway officials are confidently excepting a record crowd of more than 12,000 people at the North Boyanup Road track on Saturday night when four time world solo champion and current titleholder Ivan Mauger will compete in six match races against the top riders in WA.
Track manager Tom Dillon said yesterday, This will be World class racing never seen before in the South West.
Every effort has been made to ensure that spectators will see the stars in the best possible conditions, So that the riders will not be hindered by the setting sun, and to ensure latecomers will not miss Mauger in action the programme will start at 7.30pm
The opening minutes will be taken up with an official welcome and the presentation to speedway fans of Mauger and the other track aces The first race will be at 7.45pm
It will be an unforgetable night. Presenting a star of Mauger's calibre to Bunbury sport fans is the equivalent of a boxing promoter bringing Cassius Clay or George Forman here.
Malcolm Simmons the British star is expected
to be Mauger's toughest opponent
The New Zealand born Mauger (pronounced Major) is known as the Galloping Major because of his tremendous speed and skill on the track. He has a spectacular list of successes behind him. He first won the World Title at Gothenburg, Sweden, in 1968, again at Wembley, England in 1969 and once more the following year at Wroclan, Poland, to become the first rider to win the title three years in a a row.
In 1971, at Gothenburg, he finished 2nd to Denmark's Ole Olsen but regained the tital last year at Wembley when he beat Sweden's Bernt Perssen in a run off before a crowd of more than 80,000 people.
Mauger also was the European Champion in 1966, 1970 and 1971, The British titleholder in 1968, 1970, 1971 and 1972, with his partner won the World Championship pair for New Zealand in 1969 and 1970, and has captained his club, Belle-Vue, Manchester, to British league success for the last three years.
Because most of his work is in Europe, Mauger lives with his wife Rae and three children in a luxury $70,000 home in Cheshire, England, drives a Mercedies Benz, is a director of a merchandising company, the author of 2 books on speedway, and is a regular columnist for magazines and newspapers in England, the USA, Australia and New Zealand.
On Saturday afternoon Mauger and his wife will be givern a reception by the Mayor of Bunbury Mr PJ Usher.
Ron Johnson (left) and Neil Munro who with Len Bowes form Australia's three greatest sidecar drivers. On Saturday night they will be taking on the cream of WA sidecar stars in a series of five match races at the Bunbury Speedway. Aspecial weekend of entertainment has been arranged for the Australian aces by the Bunbury Car Club Inc. The visiting drivers and their sidecar passengers will be guests of honour at a party, will sample some of Bunbur's tasty crabs and will go water skiing, that will be something to see, for Johnson is 6ft 4ins tall and weighs 17 stone.
Track manager Tom Dillon said yesterday, We promised Bunbury enthusiasts the best in speedway entertainment, but to bring over stars of the calibre of Johnson Munro and Bowes is an expensive venture. It would not of been possible but for the generous gesture of many Bunbury business firms, too numerous to mention, who together have subscribed $700 towards expenses and prize money, A local car dealer is providing cars for the convenience of our star guests. On behalf of the club I offer sincere appreciation to all these good hearted people.
1972 RICHARD (THE SHAKER) HARTZER
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1972 JUNIOR SEDAN RACING
Junior sedan racing had already taken of in Collie by the time the new Bunbury Speedway circuit had opened in 1972, big fields flocked to the new speedway under light venue at Bunbury.
Phil receives one of his many trophy's from juniors
Bunbury Car club
Phil had already started racing juniors at the new Collie Speedway track that had just opened in the previous year, his first car an Austin A40 was discarded for the more favourable Ford 100E Prefect.
Some older cars were racing at the time such as Jim Liddle and Greg Jones sharing an old grasshopper Ford Prefect and Peter May in an Austin A50, struggled against the more modern 100E Prefects,
The 100E Prefect would domininate the results until the Triumph Herold arrived later,
Phil would later move into a Triumph Herald with success.
1972 ROBBIE HARDING
Brian Moyle recalls: as the speedway was so for out of town the Car Club orginised for Coopers to run a bus service from Central Arcade in Bunbury to the track each night and return, other services also ran, I think for the Harvey area stopping at the Roelands mission, the problem with the service was it worked to a timetable and often on the big nights the race meeting would finish late, this meant leave before the features or walk, because of this the patronage fell away and the service ceased. as mad keen speedway fans in those day we would often walk.
On a good night we sometimes could hitch a ride home on the the back of S&R Wreckers tow truck or Fred Beauglehole would cram a heap of us in the back of the McKenzie Motors ute, other nights when we had to walk all the way the traffic was so heavy leaving the Speedway that the we could make it to the Ring Road turnoff before we ran out of car headlight to light up the road home.
1973 BUNBURY SPEEDWAY SLIDESHOW
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1973 PROGRAMME SLIDESHOW
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$100 trophy for "big bangers"
Production Cars will be featured at the opening of Bunbury Speedway's 1973-1974 season on Saturday and sparks are expected to fly when the big bangers compete for the 15 lap Giaci Bros $100 trophy.
The local challenge will be strong against Perth's leading drivers, Richard Hartzer in his Falcon GTHO, burst the packed field apart with his forceful power-sliding at the opening of Claremont Speedway last Friday - and got 3 stiff fines to boot.
Mick Triplett has spent many hours in practice in his two door Falcon XA, The 1972-73 South West Champion, Barry Blake has completely overhauled his Torana and Alan Nylander has nominated in his Ford Super Dog and is anxious to make amends for his sudden excursion into the Claremont fence last Friday. Bunbury's John Hudson driving his $5000 HQ GTS Monaro will also be a force to be reconed with.
Nominations for the stock production races are heavy. Defending champion Vern Baker is confident of holding off Darryl Thomson in his powerfull Valiant, Making her debut in the big time will be 13 year old Junior Rod champion Jenny Turnor driving a Honda Scamp.
Strongly represented on Bunbury's wide track are the Supermodified, reaching speeds up to 90mph, They are led by Alf Barbagallo, Ray Geneve, Martin Laughton, Bill Sullivan and local stars Colin Resta and Dennis Lamp.
A dozen riders from the Bunbury region have nominated for the Solo events, The programme will start with a parade of all competitors and vehicles, the secretary's trophy going to the best presented car, Dr EC Manea will officially open the new season and drive a lap of honour in Hartzer's car.
Dr E C Manea officialy opened the Bunbury Speedway season on Saturday night, Following his speech he drove a lap of the track in Richard Hartzer's GTHO Falcon, The Falcon with Hartzer behind the wheel proved to be the fastest car in the open production class, Hartzer won all three races in his class to emerge as the star of the evening.
Speedway off to a fiery start
The Bunbury Speedway 1973-74 season literally got off to a fiery start on Saturday night.
About six gallons of fuel were spilt on to the track after a smash in the production car race and soon after the fuel exploded, sending flames 30 feet into the air and bringing a roar from the capacity crowd, no one was injured and quick action by track officials soon had the fire extinguished.
The fuel was from Claremont champion Barry Blakes Torana XU1 which ruptured its fuel tank after hitting the fence. The race was restarted but exhaust flames from one of the cars set the fuel alight, The fence was slightly scorched.
The main event of the programme was a 15 lap open production car race for the Giacci Brothers Championship $100 perpetual trophy
Bunbury's Richard Hartzer drove a hard race to take the trophy from Claremont's Vic Trimble.
Hartzer broke away from the field soon after the start and had the whole track at his disposal to get the most from from his big Falcon GTHO.
Trimble drove his Mini well but could not match the Falcons power and speed down the straights.
A trophy was presented to Bunbury Car Club President Mick Triplett for his beautifully presented XA Falcon.
Hartzer drove purposefully all night and went on to win all the open production car events, his driving tactics have earned him "The Bad Boy from Bunbury" and we should see some exciting driving from Hartzer throughout the season.
The solo bike competition produced some hard and fast racing and the credit must go to the official for the way in which the track was prepared.
Local rider Peter Ecclestone won the first race of the evening from Peter Rollinson and Wayne Patterson.
Three riders fell in the ninth event, a novice solo handycap race, and this was the only serious incident of the night.
Two riders Paul Niperess and Ray Wood, slid into the fence but were not seriously injured, the race was cancelled.
After event five the season was officially opened by Dr E C Menea, who spoke of the financial difficulty facing the speedway, He said he beleived that the people of Bunbury will suport the orginisation and soon turn it into successful venture.
After the opening he proved his driving skill by taking Hartzer's car for a lap of the circuit.
Stock production events produced some keen racing with big fields competing, There was a big pile up in one event and several cars were badley damaged, fortunately no-one was hurt.
The drivers generally acquitted themselves well, and skilfully avoided many potentially serious accidents.
Though the fields were a little depleted Supermodifieds saw some keen action, highlighted by a constant tussle between Bunbury's Colin Resta and Martin Laughton from Claremont.
Resta won the first event but Laughton's machine proved too fast later in the evening and he emerged the leader in the field.
Potential champions were seen in action in the junior rods competition and some of these youngsters drive very competitive races. Agreat tussel developed between Jenny Turnor, driving a Mini and Peter Baker in his Triumph Herald.
Speedway fans were givern an added thrill when solo rider Wayne Patterson gave a stunt riding exhibition during the interval. Patterson riding a scramble machine, showed marvellous control to ride around the circuit on the back wheel, while standing on the seat.
1973 > 1974 SPEEDWAY RACING NEWS REPORTED
The club owned circuit opened for business in November of 1972 on an optimistic note, At the seasons conclusion the club found a long list of creditors were owed a staggering seventy two thousand dollars, Approaches were made to the Bunbury Town Council for a loan to cover the these debits but the application was rejected, A meeting of creditors followed were it was agreed to open for the nineteen seventy three nineteen seventy four season so that an attempt could be made to repay the outstanding debit from profits of the speedway, After four race meetings it was obvious that the speedway under the management of Allan Blake, was operating well in the black.
1973 RAY BOTTOMLEY
Ray was a local boy that took up solo racing at an early age and competed at Bunbury Speedway in the early seventies, more to follow
1973 5th July
Fast track leads to good times
Hard and fast driving highlighted an exellent Bunbury Speedway meeting on Saturday night.
The Boss: Mick Triplett behind the wheel and in charge
House is confident of a good showing after a successful American tour in the Gene Welch Camaro, He has won major races in every Australian state except Western Australia and is looking forward to a win in Bunbury.
Speedway manager Allan Blake has orginised a challenge series between solo teams from Bunbury and Claremont, This should prove to be a real crowd pleaser, as Les Leisk and Glynn Taylor have been contracted to ride for the South West.
Bunbury rider Wayne Patterson has been selected in the team and has improved dramatically over the last few meetings at Claremont, Bunbury and Collie.
Phil Micheledes qualified for selection in the Claremont team after a very impressive performance at Claremont's last meeting.
The second round of the Collie v Bunbury production car series will be held this Saturday night. The Bunbury team is leading 137 points to 97 after an exciting opening round at Collie last Saturday night.
Colin Harper drove a very fast first race to bring up top points for Collie, but struck disaster in the second heat when his car lost a wheel and hit the fence ending up a complete write-off.
Bunbury's Chas Thompson won the second heat but also lost a wheel in heat three, rolling the car six times, fortunately nobody was injured.
Ahard fought duel developed between the rival Mini's of Vic Trimble (Collie) and Johnny Clapp (Bunbury), Clapp had the upper hand in the straights with slightly more power under the bonnet, but Trimble's hard driving closed the gap on the corners.
Bunbury's Bill Barr gave a great exhibition of team driving , he consistently blocked out his opponents and ended up top points scorer for the night.
NOVEMBER 10, 1973
Hartzer gives champion a lesson
Bunbury Speedway's Saturday night meeting produced some of the best competition ever seen in the South West, The South West v Claremont solo challenge series was most successful and provided exhilarating solo racing.
The second round of the Bunbury v Collie production car challenge saw an upset win to the Collie team, Vic Trimble driving for Collie won the first race but was unlucky to blow his engine in the second, Colin Harper drove his Valiant very hard for the Collie team and was a major point scorer. Bill Barr was the best performer for the Bunbury side, his teamate Johnny Clapp pushed his Mini hard and thrilled the crowd with some aggressive driving.
Final scores inthe production car challenge were Collie 121 points, Bunbury 109. Bunbury won at Collie the week before.
The solo challenge was won by the South West team, final scores being South West 30 points, Claremont 24, Captain of the South West team Peter Thompson rode consistently well, but the honours must go to Glyn Taylor as his never say die tactics won him the admiration of the crowd.
In one race Taylor almost went underneath Claremont's Andy Cowan in a desperate bid to hit the front, Les Leisk was another good performer for the South West side.
Claremont and State solo captain Bob O'Leary demonstrated his skill as a rider and was almost invincible. He set his machine up perfectly for the corners and is a pleasure to watch.
The feature of the evening was was the appearence of Australian Marlboro production car champion David House, House recently returned from a successful American tour in the Gene Welch Camaro, showed his style on the Bunbury track, but Bunbury's Richard Hartzer had the edge on House and managed to win every race from him, House's Torana XU1 was not handling well and Hartzer was able to force his way through on the inside as the two charged through the corners.
One particalarly fierce duel between Hartzer and House had the large crowd on their toes, House jumped away to a quick lead but Hartzer closed the gap and took the lead, however Hartzer faltered through Catalano corner and House was quick to take advantage, but Hartzer would not give in and the two cars were locked together as they flashed across the finish line, Hartzer had managed to get the nose of the Falcon GTHO in front and won the race by inches.
The Junior rods produced some of the nights most spectacular racing, A car rolled as the field moved into Catalano corner for the first time and the race was restarted, but no sooner was it under way when another car rolled, almost in the same spot.
Spectators were thrilled by the performance of those young drivers and rewarded them with a load applause.
Supermodified's saw some keen racing and a battle developed between Bunbury's Dennis Lamp and Claremont's Martin Laughton.
Jim Matta was unfortunate in blowing his expensive Corvette V8 engine early in the programme.
A big field of stock production cars saw plenty of action and some fast driving for these cars. Eddy Gobby was once again in fine form and won a special prize for being the first driver under 20 to cross the line in event 18
Speedway manager Allan Blake said after the meeting that he intended to sustain the high standard of racing at the circuit and that fans could look forward to more action as the season progressed.
DECEMBER 22, 1973
Starcevich to return
Ace Production Car driver Stan Starscevich returns to Bunbury Speedway on Saturday night for the first time this season.
He will be driving his new powerfull Trans-am Mustang in the Southern Districts "750". this series carries very high prize money and has attracted other top production drivers in this state.
But spectator interest will centre on on the inevitable duel between Starcevich and Bunbury Star Richard Hartzer, they will be matched in a field of eight cars and competition between the two is expected to be fierce and unrelenting.
The Southern Districts "750" series will be concluded at Bunbury Speedway Boxing Day meeting when 24 cars will compete over 25 laps in the final.
Also to be featured this Saturday night is the City of Bunbury solo championship in which 16 riders will be fighting it out over eight heats, this will be followed by a match race between the two highest points scorers in the championship.
Two Bunbury riders Wayne Patterson and George Payne have been promoted to A grade for the championship and they will line up against such redoubtable opponents as Bob O'Leary, Glyn James, Les Leisk, and Peter Boston, who will be having his first ride at Bunbury since returning from a season in the British Speedway League.
ACTION AND THRILLS FOR SPEEDWAY FANS
Two Bunbury meeting within five days provided speedway supporters with plenty of action, thrills and spills.
Saturday nights meeting featured probably the best production car racing event staged at the track, brilliant solo riding by Peter Thompson and a spectacular crash, spectators were convinced that 16 year old high school boy Brad Patterson was seriously hurt when he fell right in front of Peter Nipperess who was unable to avoid riding over the youngster.
Other riders lay down their machines to avoid an even worse pile up. Patterson was taken to hospital but was back on the track at the Boxing Day meeting.
The eagerly awaited appearance of top production car driver Stan Starcevich in his Trans-Am Mustang fulfilled all expectations. Last Saturday night Starcevich won both the Southern Districts top star's invitation match race's and one of the two qualifing rounds of the Southern Districts "750".
The other was won in brilliant style by Barry Blake who set a new 8 lap record of 2min 58.5sec, They were not easy wins for Starcevich for, apart from Blake, he was pressed all the time by other determined drivers in Richard Hartzer, John Hudson and Paul DeLacey.
Hartzer got his revenge in a special 3 lap event put on at the insistence of the crowd, He beat Starcevich in this match race, taking advantage of a moment of error by the Perth driver to drive through and cross the line in a new record time of 1min 11sec.
The City of Bunbury solo championship was won in immaculate style by Collie's Peter Thompson who was undefeated all night including a special match race against championship runnerup Doug Underwood.
Only 11 cars qualified for the Southern Districts "750" Grand final at the Boxing Day meeting but the racing could not have been more exciting, Lead positions changed hands several time during the 25 lap race but Starcevich remained supreme to win the coveted.
1974 BUNBURY SPEEDWAY SLIDESHOW
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1974 PROGRAMME SLIDESHOW
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1974 GENE WELCH (USA)
Gene Welch to make fairwell appearance
1974 JUNIOR SEDANS
Bunbury Car Club
After a successful stint in the 100E Prefect Phil upgraded to the more competitive Triumph Herold, with this came winning results, fierce competition was building amoungst the top competitors, Some decided to go down the path of racing Mini's, this period's results were dominated by the drivers of the Triumph Herolds and the Mini's, along with Phil Mike Jamison campaigned a rare hard top version of the Herold, between them races were won.
1974 BUNBURY CAR CLUB PRESENTATION
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1975 SOUTH WEST TIMES REPORTED
Bunbury Speedway roars
off with 17 - event night
The 1975-76 Bunbury Speedway season roars off on Saturday night with a 17 event programme plus the official opening by the Mayor of Bunbury, Mr Pat Usher, followed by a grand parade and fireworks.
The GT Falcon in which Colin Harper is expected to make a winning challenge for the trophy in the main division one saloon car event at Bunbury Speedway on Saturday night.
1975 SOUTH WEST TIMES REPORTED
Colin Harper speeds to the finish line to win the Giacci Bros trophy for the second successive year at the opening of the Bunbury Speedway season on Monday night.
1975 BUNBURY SPEEDWAY SLIDESHOW
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1975 PROGRAMME SLIDESHOW
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1975 JOHN HUDSON
John Hudson has been associated with the Bunbury Car Club since it was founded by his grandfarther in 1954, John,s first actual competition drive was at the age of fourteen when he competed at the Blunders mud scramble in a car he bought for twenty seven shillings.
Two years later John would race local engine reconditioner, Terry Veale's FJ Holden at Caversham road race circuit. John also competed in many rally's in that era and holds the creditable record of six winning drives from 8 starts.
With the emergence of modern style Super Modified racing in 1966 John commissioned his long standing friend Allan Nylander to build him a chassis to run a 186 Holden worked engine, John raced the car with success for 3 seasons and set the Blicks one lap record at 19.2 seconds, a record that still stood the day the track shut.
During this period John also jumped into Geoff Prosser's twin engine supermod for a few runs.
By 1972 when Bunbury Speedway opened, John had moved into sedan racing and taken on the Presedent's position of the Bunbury Car Club, his choice of car in a VC Valiant was not the right one, John could not get on top of the handling problems and his success was limited.
With the start of the 1973 season John was behind the wheel of a very fast Chevrolet powered Holden Monaro, the car initialy had some reliability problems but the crew of Terry Westbrook, Fred Murren and John's brother Terry soon put that behind them.
During the 1973 / 1974 season John was selected to represent WA in a saloon car team tour of the eastern states.
After the tour John returned a much more fierce competitor.
March 1975 saw the Bunbury Club host the WA Saloon Car Tital, this would be John's year, well it was John hit the lead early in the feature and held it comfortably until lap 23 when a transmission problem forced him out of the race.
In the 1975 / 1976 season John won the WA Saloon Car Tital at Boulder Speedway, the remarkable story behind this was that one month earlier the car was written off in a crash at Bunbury Speedway so it was no surprise that John dedicated the win to his mates, pannel beater and fellow racer Robert Harding, brother Terry and mechanics Terry Westbrook and Richard Roberts, along with local sign writer Ray Freeman.
1974 CHIEF STEWARDS RULING
Suzi Barr recalls: I can remember dad telling me, one day while he was racing at Bunbury he and another driver came under the notice of the chief steward Brian Lee, the problem was that the two dollar prize money was to be paid to the winner of the stewards ruling, so Brian Lee very much in keeping with his line of thinking nothing's a problem and not wanting to upset one of his mates, he simpley ripped the two dollar note in half, handed half to each driver and upset both his mates, Bill still has that useless piece of currency in his photo album.
1975 PHIL BAKER
After a very successful stint in junior sedans, Phil's farther Vern decided to upgrade his EK Holden production car to the later EJ model, this gave Phil the chance to jump into the drivers seat in the EK and continue racing.
1975 MAL COOPER (SHOOTING STAR)
As far as photographers go in WA one of the most traveled would have to be Mal Cooper.
Mal started snapping speedway action in the mid seventies at Waroona and Bunbury, as his interests grew he found himself working every weekend of the year travelling as far north as Karratha, Port Hedland and Broome.being based in Busselton Mal was able to travel south as far as Esperance and throughout the wheat belt.
Ellenbrook and Bibra were on Mals list as well as every speedway in the South West, as Mal reflected he explained there is only Kalgoolie and Pithara I can think of I never made it to, Mal hung up the camera in the mid 90's although Mal is still open for photo sales and can be contacted on 04 0852 3028.
1975 WA SALOON CAR CHAMPIONSHIP NOMINATION FORM
1975 MARCH 27 SOUTH WEST TIMES REPORTED