SIDECAR-Cross racing is not your average sport.
Think everything motocross and throw in custom made three-wheel bikes and a whole lot of teamwork between the rider and passenger and you will begin to understand the demands.
Wonthaggi couple Brian Anthony and Lara Wedge are making their way after combining as a team after long associations with the sport through their families.
The couple will travel to Murray Bridge in South Australia this weekend to compete in the Australian Sidecar-cross Association (ASA) Australian Championships.
Competing in the B Grade section together, Brian will also join forces with his uncle Trevor Anthony from Korumburra to ride in the A Grade section whilst Lara will team up with younger brother to ride in the pre-1990 class.
Fellow locals Clint Grabham and Neale Anthony will be also be competing in the A Grade section whilst Harvey and Jasper Anthony will race in the pee-wee class.
The couple met through racing and joined forces when Lara was looking for a passenger.
The Australian Championships consist of five rounds of racing over two days, but after success in last year’s event Brian and Lara are looking for more.
“We’re confident, it should be OK but we can’t be too confident; we certainly want to win, coming second sucks,” Brian said.
The couple’s main competition in the B Grade this weekend will come from a team which includes Lara’s father.
“It’s a bit of a family thing,” she said.
“Our families have always done it, I raced with my uncle since I was 16 and Lara raced with her family,” Brian added.
Brian is currently racing against time to overcome a broken collarbone, but after practicing at Outtrim on Sunday, said it was coming along well.
“I broke my collarbone just riding a normal bike, I’ve never had any injuries on a sidecar but a lot of near misses… touchwood,” Brian said.
The couple have become a strong team after crashing in their first race together.
“We both have to work together on the bike, you have to be on the same wave length, the passenger has a lot of the balance and a fair bit of steering control of the bike, and just having trust in each other is massive,” Brian said.
“It’s good fun, I enjoy it much more than normal motorbike riding. It’s a completely different style of racing, just because you’re a great motorbike rider doesn’t mean you will be a good sidecar rider and vice versa.”
Sidecar racing is a small competition in Victoria as compared to South Australia, where Lara originally comes from.
Brian and Lara admit to getting some perplexed looks whilst practicing locally.
“You get a mixed response, some people look at it and think it’s really cool others look at it and think it’s a bit different,” Lara said “… but as soon as they have a go they tend to enjoy it.”
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