Welcome to the Top of the South Speedway
SIDECAR DUO ROLL BACK THE YEARS
Not so much a geriatric as a geri-hat-trick.
When 59-year-old quadruple heart bypass survivor John Warwood and passenger Laurie McMahon (56) won the Anchor Construction South Island sidecar championship on Saturday, it was Warwood's third title at an age and stage when some of his peers are eyeing their pensioner bus pass.
The years have not diminished the Canterbury combination, though. After a tentative start at the Tahuna Beach Holiday Park Speedway, the pair got faster as the night went on and were bike-lengths better than their closest competitors in the four-bike, four-lap final.
After the meeting, Warwood admitted he should have had his heart surgery a long while ago. "I can't believe how much energy I have, things happen much more quickly than they did before."
Warwood's startline reactions were testament to that. The championship was run over a series of heats with the quality bikes surviving cuts until only four were left for the final. In both their semifinal and final, Warwood and McMahon welded their opposition to the start.
"We got out early and, on a great track, we can be pretty hard to get past," McMahon said. "We have been doing this for a lot of years and when we get a lead, we can generally hang on to one."