Rocka Zemunik has always been a polarising figure in the sport of speedway, both on and off the track. His commitment and passion for the sport can never be questioned, and over the years he has fulfilled many roles.
Rocka was first introduced to speedway in 1965 when he crewed for his father Rocko Snr, who drove a TQ at Bibra Lake Speedway. In 1970 Rocka started racing in an FC Holden at Forrestfield Speedway and he then competed in a Mini at Claremont, having the first left hand drive machine in WA. He was also the first with racing rubber before he moved on to drive a super charged 6 Cylinder EH Holden.
Drag racing came next, with Rocka racing in an HK 327 Monaro, followed by an LJ Torana Sports Sedan at Wanneroo (Barbagallo Raceway), then an A9X. Back in the speedway world he designed and built Bert Vosbergen’s first Grand National sedan and was also involved in building VW engines for Neville Lance’s speedcar when he first started out.
In 1987 he found himself building an engine for Graeme Sexton’s Limited Sprintcar and this is where he became involved in the division, finding himself driving the machine for Graeme until he eventually purchased one. Not only did he drive, but he also built his own cars, engines and did all the set ups as well as the driving. Due to work commitments, he was unable to compete much at Claremont on a Friday night, so he packed up the family and they headed to many country tracks on most weekends to race in the Limited Sprintcar class where he won plenty of races all around the state.
He would record back-to-back state titles in the 92/93 and 93/94 seasons, the first one to achieve that feat in the class, then go on to become the 1996/97 Limited Club Champion. As his children Sean and Sarah grew up his own racing took a back seat and he concentrated on their junior racing until Sean stepped into a Limited Sprintcar at 13 years old followed by a 360, 372 and 410.
The team even headed to America for a number of seasons with Sean racing there. Sarah also had a stint behind the wheel of number of different Sprintcar classes at the Motorplex and both were successful in their own right, Sean with three feature wins at the venue and Sarah with five, both successful in the annual Sprintcar Muster events.
Rocka also competed in a few events and won two feature races at the venue, also with a Muster win to his name, an incredible family achievement. Rocka has also done a number of years as a Chief Steward for both SAWA and the Motorplex, but these days he enjoys working behind the scenes, helping out up and coming drivers to develop within the sport, including when he helped Dylan Sexton to a WA Title win just a few years ago.
The contribution Rocka has made to the sport of Speedway is immeasurable and we congratulate him on being recognised here tonight.