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Vaughan Style wins King of the Cross and gold nugget mined from the circuit

Vaughan Style wins King of the Cross and gold nugget mined from the circuit

Vaughan Style wins 1983 King of the Cross

1983 King of the Cross winner Vaughan Style (By Peter Kitchingman)
1983 King of the Cross Wayne Fanderlinden and Steve Marshall Crash

Photos: [Left] 1983 King of the Cross Vaughan Style (NSW Honda) launching off the ski jump on the main straight at Carnicelli Park,  Southern Cross (WA); and [Right] Wayne Fanderlinden and Steve Marshall crashing their Norton WASP sidecar after landing awkwardly at the same spot (By Peter Kitchingman)

Vaughan Style wins 1983 King of the Cross and first gold nugget mined from the race circuit

On this weekend 40 years ago, New South Wales rider Vaughan Style took out the prestigious King of the Cross at Southern Cross, 370 kms east of Perth in Western Australia.

During the 1970s to 1980s the King of the Cross was one of the biggest annual events with the richest prizemoney on the Australian National Motocross Calendar. The tiny gold mining town only had a population of around 900 people during that period. And on the first weekend in August each year this figure would reach up to 5,000.

On Sunday, 7 August 1983 more than $13,000 was up for grabs across all classes, with the winning A Grade solo rider Style receiving $3,000 and a bar of gold, in what was the Southern Cross Motorcycle Club’s tenth anniversary and ninth King of the Cross.

That year Honda rider Style became the first to win a gold bar that was actually mined from the Carnicelli Park motocross circuit, beating home past champions – New South Wales riders Stephen Gall (1980 Yamaha), Anthony Gunter (1979, 1981 Kawasaki), and Western Australians Jeff Leisk (Honda 1982) and Graeme Smythe (1975, 1977 and 1978).

Style scored the most points over 4 x 8 lap races on the hard, fast circuit, which also featured a sandy, hilly section just before the start of the long, fast main straight with a spectacular ski jump right in front of the thousands of spectators (see main photo below and crash sequence on webpage).

Sickening sidecar crash dampens the day

Photos: Wayne Fanderlinden and Steve Marshall crash sequence at Southern Cross in 1983, filmed by track photographer (Peter Kitchingman) as the sickening sidecar accident unfolded.

1983 King of the Cross Wayne Fanderlinden and Steve Marshall Crash 1 (By Peter Kitchingman)
1983 King of the Cross Wayne Fanderlinden and Steve Marshall Crash 2 (By Peter Kitchingman)
1983 King of the Cross Wayne Fanderlinden and Steve Marshall Crash 3 (By Peter Kitchingman)
1983 King of the Cross Wayne Fanderlinden and Steve Marshall Crash 4 (By Peter Kitchingman)

It was on this ski jump where shocked spectators witnessed, as Revs Magazine described it, as “one of the worst crashes in the history of the sport”, which put a damper on the day.

With passenger Steven Marshall filling in his injured brother Dean, 1980 State Sidecarcross Champion and King of the Cross Wayne Fanderlinden spectacularly crashed his Norton WASP, landing awkwardly off this jump. The pair were catapulted into the air and hit by the outfit on its downward flight as it continued to roll out of control down the main straight.

Wayne broke several ribs and a received a collapsed lung in the accident and Steven broke a finger and a small bone in his back. Fortunately, they both made a quick full recovery with Wayne back racing within weeks.

Despite the shine going out of the day and a bit of apprehension among the sidecar teams, Joe Grasso – Peter Williams went on to convincingly win their second Sidecar King of the Cross (and the $500 prizemoney) ahead of reigning champions Mick Wimmer-John Steyntjes, with both teams that year racing brand new Yamaha EML sidecars, purchasing the Dutch chassis’ from Ellis Imports in South Australia.

1979 Sidecar King of the Cross winner Max Hills (with Irvine Oliver) finished third on a Weslake WASP, with Simon Cassell in the chair.

1983 Joe Grasso and Peter Williams - three-times King of the Cross winners
1983 Grasso-Williams at Southern Cross (By Peter Kitchingman)
1983 Grasso Williams Yamaha 998cc EML

Photos:  [Left] 1983 Sidecar Kings of the Cross Joe Grasso-Peter Williams (Yamaha EML sidecar) lead Max Hills-Simon Cassell (Weslake WASP) and Mike Wimmer-John Steyntjes (Yamaha EML); [Centre] The winning combination in action; and [Right] Grasso’s new 998cc Yamaha EML outfit (By Peter Kitchingman)

1983 Kings of the Cross

Photo:  1983 King of the Cross Vaughan Style (NSW, Honda)

Australian Motocross Champion Vaughan Style
1983 King of the Cross Vaughan Style Honda Ad

Solos
1. Vaughan Style (Honda)

Sidecars
1. Joe Grasso-Peter Williams (Yamaha EML)
2. Mick Wimmer-John Steyntjes (Yam. EML)
3. Max Hills-Simon Cassell (Weslake WASP)

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