After over three decades competing in numerous sedan classes throughout Victoria, Bryan Galley has decided to bring his driving career to an end, as he passes the baton on to the next generation.
Contesting the recent National Modified Sedan Title at Kingaroy Speedway, the 50-year-old racer couldn’t have picked a more prestigious event to act as his swan song. While it may not have ended the way he would have hoped, with engine damage dashing his hopes after impressively qualifying into the feature race amongst 100 odd other cars, Galley was able to look back fondly on the passion that he has pursued for the better part of his life.
Despite first stepping into the sport of speedway at the age of 15 in the mid-1980s, the legacy that has been created didn’t begin with Galley, but was handed down to him by his father Rick, who made his own introduction into the sport via the B Grade Sedans class, racing them throughout 1960s and ‘70s.
It wasn’t the most conventional way for Galley to make his debut, doing so at Moe Speedway during a ladies race, which required six drivers in order for it to be run. Strapping into a car, Galley came home in third place behind none other than race winner Marion Eastham, mother of Matt Eastham who later co-founded Victory Lane Racegear with Galley in 1995.
The following season (1986), Galley decided to follow in his dad’s footsteps, stepping into B Grade Sedans and contesting his maiden race meeting aboard a Holden Torana at Drouin’s Wattle Park Speedway, before going on to race at tracks such as Moe, Nyora, Bairnsdale and Rosedale Speedways.
It was Galley’s penultimate season in 3 Litre Modifieds that proved the most fruitful, with the racer winning the 1996-97 season Victorian Title. Running second while attempting to defend his title one season later, Galley decided to make the move into Modified Production Sedans in 1998-99, purchasing a VC Holden Commodore, which was the only race car that Galley had not built himself during his career.
Upgrading to a VK Holden Commodore for the next season, a spanner was well and truly thrown into the works when Galley, originally from Warragul, suffered a fractured neck in a road accident that consequently put him out of contention, with fellow racer Mark Smith guest driving the car for the duration of the season.
Returning to the track in the 2000-01 season and once again updating his car, this time to a VS Holden Commodore, Galley’s career remained consistent, with the veteran participating in no less than 15 National Titles, with his best performance being a fifth-place finish during the 2004 running of the event at Albany’s Attwell Park Speedway (WA).
His biggest highlight came during the Dave and Barbara Mill’s Trophy Race at Nyora Raceway back in his B Grade Sedan days, clinching the win for the second time in his career. Although he didn’t qualify for the feature race, Galley earned an inclusion when the rain caused one of the 20 drivers to crash off the starting line, and it was from position 20 that he impressively utilised the top of the track to drive around his competition and make his way to the front of the field in just two laps, clinching the win.
Other standout results for Galley include winning a pair of SA Titles (2007 and 2008), a NSW Title (2014) and an overall VMPA Series, while his best Victorian Title finish was a fourth place during the 2009 event at Warrnambool’s Premier Speedway.
With history seeming to repeat itself, it was the 2007-08 season that saw Galley taper back his own racing as his son Ty join the speedway fold, stepping into Junior Sedans where he experienced early success, placing runner-up in the 2009 National Title and third in both the 2009 and 2010 Victorian Titles.
When Ty graduated to senior competition, sharing driving duties with his dad in the Modified Sedans class in the 2011-12 season, with the pair purchasing a newer VS Holden Commodore, his younger brother Luke completed a short stint in Junior Sedans, but is now ready to take up the reins in a Modified Sedan.
Enjoying success alongside his dad, with the pair becoming the first father and son duo to each win an overall VMPA Series, 25-year-old Ty, who also finished second in the T-Bar Nationals at Toowoomba’s Hi-Tec Oils Speedway, will now take over full-time driver duties from his dad, piloting the Toyota Lexcen that was purchased in recent seasons.
Coincidentally, Luke, now aged 22, will make his debut in the class aboard the same VK Holden Commodore that was steered by Mark Smith just under two decades ago.
Now living in Colignan just outside of Mildura, Galley had always promised his wife Lisa that after turning 50, he’d never race another car. With the age now upon him, Galley, who built a reputation as a fierce competitor, looks back on his career with no regrets. Happy with everything he was able to achieve, Galley is now pleased to have his family’s speedway legacy continued by means of his sons Ty and Luke.
Special thanks go to Russell Hill from Ramsdale Wreckers, David Canobie from Hussey Performance, which was originally owned by Graham Hussey, valued pit crew member Kevin Fitzgerald, Galley’s wife Lisa, and his sons Ty and Luke.
To find out more about Galley and his team, LIKE them on Facebook by searching Team Galley Motorsport.