||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (November 2011)|
|Date of birth||27 September 1959|
|Place of birth||Auckland, New Zealand|
|Current club information|
1983-1986, 1988-1989, 1991
New Zealand Champion
1982, 1983, 1984
|World Team Cup
British League Champion
British League Pairs Champion
Mitchell Owen (Mitch) Shirra (born 27 September 1958 in Auckland, New Zealand) is a former motorcycle speedway rider who rode with the Coventry Bees, Reading Racers, Swindon Robins and Ipswich Witches in the British League.
Shirra began riding at the Kembla Grange Speedway in New South Wales in 1973 at the age of 14, though he would consider the Liverpool Speedway in Sydney as his home track. In 1975 he joined the Coventry Bees and was loaned out to the Coatbridge Tigers for a year. From 1976-1982 he rode for Coventry then transferred to the Reading Racers. In 1987 he was loaned out to the Swindon Robins but returned to Reading in 1988-1989. In 1990 he was banned from the British League for a season for bringing the sport into disrepute after failing two drug tests. He returned to race for Reading in 1991, Swindon in 1992, and the Ipswich Witches in 1993.
He won the British League Pairs Championship in 1978 with Ole Olsen. In 1979 he was a member of the New Zealand team with Larry Ross, Bruce Cribb, Roger Abel and Ivan Mauger which won the World Team Cup. He won Brandonapolis in 1980 and the Overseas Final at Bradford in 1987. In 1984 he finished 3rd in the World Pairs Championship with Ivan Mauger. In 1992 he finished 2nd in the World Longtrack Championship and was only one point away from victory. Mitch won the Dutch golden helmet at Veenoord in 1982,He was also on the rostrum at the Golden Helmet of Pardubice where he finished in 3rd place. During his time on the track Mitch has also won four New Zealand championship titles.
With the help of American friend John Cook, Shirra rode to victory in the 1988 European Jet Ski championship winning in two classes. The same year he competed in a televised competition called Run The Gauntlet hosted by Martin Shaw, His team finished second.
Shirra won the Morgan mile title held in his home state of New South Wales on a hybrid fuel injected speedway bike in 1996.
Shirra now resides in country New South Wales, Australia. He has one son Jenz Mitchell Shirra (Born in England 11 August 1981).
World final appearances
- 1983 - Norden, Motodrom Halbemond - 11th - 7pts
- 1984 - Göteborg, Ullevi - 5th - 10pts
- 1986 - Chorzów, Silesian Stadium - 16th - 1pt
- 1987 - Amsterdam, Olympic Stadium - 9th - 12pts
- 1989 - Munich, Olympic Stadium - 6th - 10pts
- 1991 - Göteborg, Ullevi - 13th - 4pts
- 1992 - Wrocław, Olympic Stadium - 13th - 6pts
Speedway World Pairs Championship
- 1982 - Sydney, Liverpool Speedway (with Larry Ross) - 6th - 13pt (8)
- 1984 - Göteborg, Ullevi (with Ivan Mauger) - 3rd - 25pt (16)
- 1985 - Rybnik, Rybnik Municipal Stadium (with Ivan Mauger) - 4th - 15pt (7)
- 1986 - Pocking, Rottalstadion (with Larry Ross) - 5th - 32pt (12)
- 1987 - Pardubice, Svítkov Stadion (with David Bargh) - 4th - 36pt (16)
- 1988 - Bradford, Odsal Stadium (with Alan Rivett) - 4th - 32pt (24)
- 1992 - Lonigo, Pista Speedway (with David Bargh, Mark Thorpe) - 6th - 14pt (12)
World Longtrack Championship appearances
- The Sydney Morning Herald. - 7 December 1975
- "No regret" interview with Steve Magro in Backtrack, issue 22 (Sept./Oct. 2007)
- Oakes, P & Rising, P (1986). 1986 Speedway Yearbook. ISBN 0-948882-00-X
- Bamford, R. & Shailes, G. (2002). A History of the World Speedway Championship. Stroud: Tempus Publishing. ISBN 0-7524-2402-5