BUNBURY SPEEDWAY 1973
1973 - IVAN BURKE Stock Production
1973 - The action was always thick and fast at Bunbury in the Stock Production class. Photo: Ivan Burke.
1973 - The camera catches Ivan spinning the EJ Holden while Vince Cialla drives on bye. Photo: Ivan Burke.
1973 - Ivan had gained the attension of local spraypainter Ray Truman with this trick paint job. Photo: Ivan Burke.
1973 - BUNBURY SPEEDWAY 21st April 1973
22nd November 1973
British Lions far too Experienced
27th November 1973
1973 - BUNBURY SPEEDWAY SOLO SLIDESHOW
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1973 - BUNBURY SPEEDWAY PRODUCTION SEDAN SLIDESHOW
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1973 - BUNBURY SPEEDWAY SUPERMODIFIED 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.
18th October 1973
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.
11th December 1973
Joe Rechichi recalls: many years ago i worked with John Hudsons brother Terry at Bunbury Muffler and Towbar, He told me the story about the building of the Monaro.
At the time the Hudson family ran a very succesful caravan business in Bunbury, Terry was racing Supermodified's at the time and John was racing a V8 powered VC Valiant in Open Production, This choice of car proved to be a bad choice, so he onsold the car.
John then walked into McKenzie Motors one of the local Holden Dealers in Bunbury and brought a brand new Holden Monaro, drove it straight to Novel and Yates Panel beating shop, where it was completely stripped out, a roll cage fitted along with all the other external bar work.
The standard engine was removed and replaced with a race spec 283 Fuel Injected Chevrolet small block power plant, When it was painted and sign writing done John went racing.
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
5th July 1973
1973 - Crowd pleasing Junior Rod action, The drivers are between 12 and 16 years of age with parental permission. Photo: South Western Times newspaper.
Fast track leads to good times
Hard and fast driving highlighted an exellent Bunbury Speedway race 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 10th 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.
1973 - 1972 / 1973 Australian Champion David House in the Allan Blake Torana gives "King of Speedway" Richard Hartzer a nose to look at. Photo: South West Times newspaper.
1973 - John Mooney in the EH Holden leads Vic Trimble in the Mini with Mick Tripplet on the high line in the XA Falcon coupe. Photo: South Western Times newspaper.
10th November 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.
Wayne Patterson the solo rider
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.
Wayne Patterson the stunt rider
22nd December 1973
Solo action at Bunbury Speedway as Bob Stephens (lying on the track) is narrowly missed by Keith Madden.
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.