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Australian Motocross Championships Arthur’s Creek 1960

Australian Motocross Championships Arthur’s Creek 1960

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Australian Motocross Championships Arthur's Creek

28 September 1960, Arthur’s Creek - VICtoria
Ken Rumble - Seven-times Australian Motocross Champion
Gordon Renfree Australian Champion 350cc - 1950-60s
Charlie West Australian Motocross Champion

Photos: [Left]  Victorian Ken Rumble (B.S.A.) clinched his seventh Australian Motocross Championship in muddy conditions at the 1960 Australian Motocross Championships at Arthur’s Creek in Victoria; [Centre] Gordon Renfree (WA, B.S.A. won his first title – in the 250cc class; and [right]  Four-times Australian Champion Charlie West (WA, B.S.A.) placed in 350cc and 500cc Championships, after being run over and injured by  Keith Stacker in the 250cc class.

Mud lark Rumble wins his seventh National Motocross title at Arthur's Creek

On Sunday, 28 September 1960, Victorian Ken Rumble became Australia’s most decorated motocross racer winning his seventh national title at Arthur’s Creek in Victoria.

With Ray Fisher and Roy East overseas and Alan Nicol in temporary retirement, Rumble dominated the 1960 Australian Motocross Championships, which were held in wet, muddy conditions by the now defunct Olympic Motor Cycle Club.

The grassy slopes of the Arthur’s Creek circuit with two creek crossings in the valley and ten days of continuous heavy rain, quickly became a quagmire.

Many riders fell victim to the elements and the meeting resembled the inaugural Australian Championships in 1953 at Korweinguboora (VIC) when Rumble won his first three National titles.

Riding a BSA, as he did throughout his career, Rumble was suited to the muddy conditions and won both the 350 and 500cc National titles and finished second in the Unlimited class to Graham Burford (SA, B.S.A.).

B.S.A. greeted scrambling’s second decade with a blitz of the solo titles, filling twelve of the fifteen placings in the solo classes.

The track conditions were so difficult in the 500cc class that only four of the first heat 18 starters and five of the 20 heat second starters finished.  But the wily veteran Rumble charged the creek crossings at top speed and won the 500cc title ahead of Charlie West (WA, B.S.A.) and Don Can (VIC, B.S.A.).

However West, the four-times Australian Champion, was riding in pain and the West Australian was ruling in very “foreign” muddy conditions, used to the sand in the west.

On the third lap in the 250cc race, West fell in the mud and Keith Stacker, who was immediately on his tail, rode over him, bruising his chest, ribs and shoulder.

Despite this, West also finished third in the 350cc class behind Rumble and John Armstrong (VIC, B.S.A.) in second.

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Renfree wins the 250cc Australian Motocross title

 

With West crashing out in the 250cc race and Rumble (on the ex-Ray Fisher BSA) and Les Fisher (riding a production Jawa) also not figuring highly due to early falls, this race was thrown wide open.

Ray Owen on his trusty Triumph 250 was a clear leader until he became bogged and Gordon Renfree came past to take the flag. 

Neville Doyle, a young rider from Sale in Victoria, rode a Greeves Hawkstone into second place; beginning his long and successful association with two-stroke racing engines. Fisher got up to run third.

May becomes first to win Australian sidecar & solo title

When Victorian rider Charlie May won the 125cc Australian Championship, the 1959 Senior Sidecar Champion became the first and only rider to win titles in both the solo and sidecar classes.

A field of 18 of Australia’s best 125cc riders left the starter, but the conditions were near impossible for the smaller engines. May was the only rider to finish the event through sheer physical effort, with much of it on foot.

Conditions were also difficult for the sidecars with only one team finishing the Unlimited sidecar title – Victorian Alf Highland on an Ariel.  Highland finished second to George Murphy (VIC, Ariel) in the Junior Sidecar Class. Seven starters fronted for the final but after two laps only two remained, and for the remaining three laps they slogged it out.

The race commentator described it as the “longest race ever held, over the shortest distance.”

1960 Australian Motocross Championship Results

125cc

1. Charlie May (VIC, B.S.A.)
No Other Finishers

250cc

1. Gordon Renfree (WA, B.S.A.)
2. Neville Doyle (VIC, Greeves)
3. Les Fisher (N.S.W., Jawa)

 

350cc

1. Ken Rumble (VIC, B.S.A.)
2. John Armstrong (VIC, B.S.A.)
3. Charlie West (WA, B.S.A.)

500cc

1. Ken Rumble (VIC, B.S.A.)2. Charlie West (WA, B.S.A.)
3. Don Cann (VIC, B.S.A.)

 

Unlimited

1. Graham Burford (SA, B.S.A.)
2. Ken Rumble (VIC, B.S.A.)
3. Terry Prestage (VIC, Matchless)

 

Junior Sidecars

1. George Murphy (VIC, Ariel)
2. Alf Highland (VIC, Ariel)
No Other Finishers

 

Unlimited Sidecars

1. Alf Highland (VIC, Ariel)
No Other Finishers

 

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