The wheels are in motion

The wheels are in motion

There is sure to be plenty of high-octane action at the Bairnsdale Speedway tomorrow night for the first meet of the 2019/20 race season.

Bairnsdale Speedway president, Mark Laity, said a lot of hard work had been put in during the off-season to ensure spectators and competitors could enjoy a unique racing experience.

“We have been busy over the off-season. There has been lots to do,” he said.

“We replaced some of the lighting in the pits, fixed the concrete wall along the back straight and started building the new toilet block, which the foundations are down for.

“It has been a huge workload. We are trying to make the Bairnsdale Speedway more user friendly by trying to build the new toilet block, updating the facilities and making sure the spectators and competitors are safe.

“We are expecting a fair size crowd. We aren’t sure how many there will be due to the local circumstances as it is dry and things are tough. We do hope for a good crowd.

“The next closest track is Rosedale. We are out of the way in Bairnsdale in the speedway world so that’s why we have to try and make sure our facilities are very good to try and coerce competitors to come along.

“We put on a really good show for spectators.”

A large field of Victorian Speedway Council (VSC) sprintcars have nominated to compete for the first points of the Victorian Sprintcar Association season. The standard saloons, who will race in the Bairnsdale 400, and the junior standard saloons are also featured. Adding some variety to the night’s schedule is the limited sportsman.

“We have a lot going on this weekend,” Laity said.

“The VSC sprintcars are competing in the first round for points. In the last couple of rounds one was cancelled and the other rained out.

“It is the third round but it will be the first time they are competing for points.

“While there is a small field in the standard saloon juniors, they will put on a good show.

“We also have a big field of the normal standard saloons. There are more than 20 cars. There are new cars being built for the drivers so that class is going very well.

“The VSC sprintcars also expanded. We normally get 12 or 13 but we have a field of 18 this week, which is really good.

“We did have the division two hot rods on the card, but we decided to drop it because there weren’ t enough competitors for it. We are a little bit disappointed in that.”

With the absence of the current and former Victorian champions in the VSC sprintcars, the race is up for grabs. Shane Steenholdt will start out on paper as the favourite, however, Adam Greenwood, Alastair Bastian and Dillon Siely know their way around Bairnsdale Speedway.

The class is increasing in numbers with former Gippsland wingless sprint racer, David McKay, returning to Bairnsdale in his sprintcar. Owen Bulman returns after some time driving Hyundai Excels on the bitumen and Jordan Abbott steps into a winged warrior after racing wingless sprints in recent seasons.

Eighteen standard saloons have entered the Bairnsdale 400 with two veterans, Leigh Gooding and Gordon Russell, keen to take the victory.

Joshua Thomas and Patrick Farry are among the many young guns in the field that also includes Natasha Curtis, who won at Drouin earlier this season.

Jack Yeoman leads nominations in the boost to drive junior mini feature with Blake Smith, Nathalya Westwood and Beau Stuchbery also in the field.

The top two ranked Victorians, Lindsay Trotter and Darren Adams, are joined in the small limited sportsman field by Tim McKenzie, who won the final event of the last year, Mark Both, Brett Maxwell and Jason Hurley.

Refreshments will be available at the volunteer-run canteen and the night kicks off at 5.30pm.

PICTURED: Bairnsdale’s Shane Steenholdt will be gunning for a win in the first point round of the Victorian Sprintcar Association season at the Bairnsdale Speedway tomorrow night. There will be plenty of thrilling races on the night including standard saloons, junior standard saloons and limited sportsman.