Under the Chequered Flag
Broken Hill’s own sidecar legend COLIN ‘SPOT’
BURKE passed away in January.
Spot began racing on his 650 Triumph street bike on the big mile-plus TT dirt track at the old aerodrome area in 1952. He went on for the next 18 years racing all over country tracks, mainly big tracks like Romsey, the Pirie Mile and Half Mile, Whyalla Half Mile, and at his home track, the Broken Hill Half Mile. He also raced successfully at the smaller Mildura Speedway and at Rowley Park in the mid ‘60s. The local ‘Big’ Track was shortened to 800 metres in the late ‘50s to become the best half-mile in Australia. Spot competed in both the Up to 750cc class, and the All Powers on his quick 650, which was quite a task against the ‘good’ Vincents. He was well nigh unbeatable during the ‘60s in the 750 class no matter what size track. On retiring in 1970, Spot had won 3 Australian 750 Big Track titles and 14 state Big Track titles. His photo on the Wall of Fame at Mildura Clubrooms and the Gilman Speedway VIP room are testament to the “little bloke from Broken Hill”. Spot leaves his wife of 64 years, Rhonda, and family of Peter, Colin (dec) and their families.
Spot Burke with Tom Fitts passenger on their 650 Triumph (27) neck and neck with Spud Renshaw’s 750 HRD at the Port Pirie Mile in 1960.