Oakburn gets thumbs up as a Stadium Cross track

TAMWORTH’S first-ever Stadium Cross has been a roaring success, with the temporary track getting rave reviews from senior and junior riders.

Over 1000 spectators watched 100 riders in nine classes scream around the track built inside the Oakburn Park Speedway on Saturday.

There was plenty of big air thrills, as well as a few spills as the night wound up to the main event, the Pro Opens.

Toby Stevens, from Lismore, took out the main event, although local rider Tyler Bullen was runner-up in his first ever senior event.

Bullen lives in Uralla but rides out of Tamworth and has only just turned 16 to qualify for the opens event.

Course designer and local rider Ben Clark wasn’t so fortunate.

Clark came off his bike during the main event and never recovered, finishing at the back of the pack.

Fortunately for the champion, he had already claimed honours in the Shootout event, winning a series of one-on-one hot laps of the track.

Jake Ridley also took out the pro light event to add to the local silverware.

Club president Paul Slade said it was a night of good weather, good crowds and good riding.

“These were the numbers we were hoping for,” Slade said.

“It was a great show with no dramas and no one got hurt.”

The president was especially pleased to see so many junior riders getting involved in the night and the sport.

There were plenty of numbers in the 65cc and 85cc classes in the afternoon.

A lot of meets and clubs separate the senior and junior riders but  Tamworth actively encourages them to compete on the same day.

“That is what it is all about,” Slade said.

“It gives the kids a place to ride their bikes.”

“They love having the older guys in the pits and the big crowd cheering them on.”

Tamworth junior Mason Bayliss managed a second in the 65cc class behind Brisbane’s Jack Kitchen.

Another local junior to get on the podium was Jac Maiden, who came third in the 85cc.

The riders all gave the granite and sand mix fast track the thumbs up.

The club is already fielding enquiries as to when the next event will take place.

“We still have to clean up and get past this one,” Slade said.

“But it was such a success we will definitely go around again next year and try to make it an annual thing.”

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