On Saturday the 1st May 1999, Terry Poole, Sydney Speedway promoter, promoted the first ever Speedway meeting at the New Sydney Showground Homebush NSW. Homebush was the venue for the 2000 Olympic Games.
The theme for this meeting was " THE TRADITION CONTINUES " referring to the tradition of Speedway at the old Sydney Showground Speedway at Moore Park in Sydney, The Royale, that ran Speedway from 1926 to 1996 when it was eventually closed down due to noise complaints from NEW neighbours ( that moved to the area 60 years after Speedway had started at the Venue !! ).
This Homebush meeting was to be as close to the old format as possible with an unofficial USA vs Australia Solo Test Match, Sidecars , Midgets ( now vintage Midgets, demonstrations only ) and Modifieds
( now vintage demonstrations only ).
There was a 4 hour static display of 35 vintage midgets and modifieds on the forecourt outside the main entrance during the afternoon. Poor weather did not help with attendance at this historic meeting, as it rained most of the day and a lot of people assumed the meeting would not go ahead. The rain stopped late afternoon and the track dried out fairly well. The evening events got under way with the meeting being opened by two Solo greats, 6 times Individual World Solo Speedway Champion, Ivan Mauger and Aussie Solo legend, Jim Airey.
The colourful cover of the programme from this historic meeting. ( I still have some available for collectors )
Promotion for the meeting started during the preceding November ( 22nd Nov.1998). Terry Poole. left, is seen here with his Marketing Manager for the meeting, David Klutter.
The idea was to have a Solo, Sidecar and Midget posed on the infield grass of this fabulous stadium, but the Sidecar bloke didn't turn up ! Terry and David are shown here with the ex Bill Goode Falcon midget Q5 and Mick Poole's Solo bike.
Terry gets some ' seat time ' in a midget of old.
Nov 22.1998 . Q5, the first midget to turn a wheel on the new Showground, sits on what is turn 1 at the venue in front of the new Sinclair Stand.. This shows the track width and proximity of the spectators, a great Speedway arena in my opinion. Extra fencing was to be erected for the meeting.
Came the evening of the 1st May 1999 and the two solo greats, Ivan Mauger and Jim Airey officially open the Homebush Sydney Showground Speedway.
1950s Sydney and International solo star, Don Lawson, step brother of Aub, does a parade lap in front of the fans.
Sydney star solo rider, Brian Collins, does his parade Lap.
Stars of the past !. Midget aces Bill Shevill, left, Peter Cunneen,centre and solo star Bill Bryden on a lap of honour.
Sidecar heroes from Sydney's past. Left, the late ex Aussie Champ., Billy Bingham, Doug Robbo's ex passenger, Rob Lewis and Arthur Lincoln.
Ex Sidecar stars, Phil McCurtayne left with Doug Tyerman.
The vintage midget demonstration runs were a big hit during the evening. Here am I in Q5 on the outside of #2 the BERCO with Bruce Arthurson at the wheel and Allan Birkett in the ex Barry Midson Holden # 93 bringing up the rear.
Three ex International solo stars of the 1950s Left, Allan Quinn, Keith ' Buck' Ryan and Don Lawson.
Ex Showground and Liverpool riders, Ricky Day. left, Bob Baker and Brian Collins.
Roger Jenkin and his restored ex Johnny Stewart Shell Trackburner Holden Australia # 1.
'Scarem' Sid Middlemass in the famous Wells Volvo # 54.
It was a great night of nostalgia for Sydney Speedway fans to see these cars and drivers back in action on the dirt as they were remembered.
Ex New Zealander, Kevin Gormly shifts a bit of dirt in the black ex Barry Butterworth Capitol Motors Chev II # 27 midget.
Graham Gallagher had his immaculate ex Bob Tattersall Valvoline Offy # 35 out for it's evening run.
The mighty 1100cc outfits put on a great display on the fairly narrow track that had plenty of dirt on it as well.
Darren Cafe and Damien Walters.
The colourful O'Brien brothers from W.A. Glenn & Nathan.
Darren Cafe and Damien Walters thought it might be easier to push than ride.
Vic Martin and Bob Hill from Queensland's Gold Coast..
Vic Martin leads the pack out of turn 4.
All photos ( except Benette's one ) Copyright of Brian Darby.
I was fairly busy at this meeting, what with driving Q5 in the demonstration runs and photographing the meeting for Peter White's Speedway World publication.
On to Page 2 for the unofficial USA vs Australia Solo Test Match pics.
Young Ben Shields in the solo support programme.
Sydney rider Rod Colquhoun.
A great atmosphere for Speedway. The starting line.
Ben's older brother, Adam Shields.