Southern Classic races
The Historic Motorcycle Racing Association of Victoria, (HMRAV) were once again the proud promoters of the Shannon’s Insurance Southern Classic, held at the road race circuit, Broadford Victoria. Now in its 35th year, the “Southern” is a major event on the historic road racing calendar. As usual we were well supported by racers from all over Australia. With 225 entries, including 40 sidecars, it was always going to be an action packed weekend. Racers started arriving on the Thursday, securing good campsites and preparing for the Friday’s MV practice day. Race practice and qualifying took place Saturday morning, with the first two legs of each of the ten races in the schedule, being completed by the close of racing. Spirits were high amongst the campers and racers as everyone relaxed while The Firebird Trio, a Melbourne-based Blues band, entertained the crowd. Sunday morning and after the warm ups had been completed, the racing resumed. The first of the feature races
was the Lindsay Urquart Post Classic Sidecar Handicap. This was run and won by Zane Dodds and swinger, John Haynes, fittingly on an Urquhart framed Triumph. Next was the Ray Kelly Memorial Classic Sidecar Handicap. Considered “THE RACE” to win in classic sidecar racing, this was won by Geoff Allport and Toby Frisch on their Triumph outfit. Close second was Luke and James Rockcliffe on their Norton ES2 powered outfit. It was great to see the Rockcliffe’s in the points as they’ve been long-time supporters of HMRAV, regularly travelling over from their home in Tasmania. The Rockcliffe’s only recently jumped the fence and started racing and it was a great reward for the team. Final feature race was the Southern Classic Fastest 30 Classic Solo’s. This event developed into a two-man battle between Keith Campbell on his ESO 500 and Garth Francis on his Norton 750. The boys battled for the lead at every corner and after 6 laps there was barely half a bike length between them. Garth was the eventual winner but the two of them put on a great show for the crowd. The Southern was also the final round of HMRAV’s “Hand Shift Battle”. This is the 2nd year for this event, with 2016 being run over three race meetings. The “Battle” continues the decades-long rivalry between Harley-Davidson and Indian and follows the US AHMRA’s Class C rules very closely. Apart from the great on-track action, HMRAV have managed to attract an almost 100% increase in entries for this class since the battle began in 2015. Once again, the overall point’s winners were the Harley-Davidson Team but the Indian camp has vowed revenge! This year as an added bonus for historic racing fans, HMRAV engaged the services of Blendline TV to produce a feature on the event. You can find this on YouTube, just search under HMRAV Shannon’s Southern Classic. It’s an hour and a quarter of great historic racing action with highlights of every class and all the feature races. Results from all the races at the Southern Classic can also be found at the Computime website. Keep up to date with all the historic racing action at www.hmrav.org and follow us on Facebook.
ABOVE 500cc Forgotten Era winner David Murray on his ex-John Woodley Suzuki RG500. BELOW Bruce Meredith took second place in the 350cc Post Classic on his Ducati.
Lincoln Wilson-Tucker on his 1962 Yamaha 250. INSET Craig Hemsworth on his Harley-Davidson XLR. Class C runners glisten in the morning sun. LEFT Patrick McGahan shows some style on his 7R AJS.