TITLE HOPES REST WITH LISMORE STARS
BY DENNIS NEWLYN
A big contingent of Lismore drivers will attempt to break a hoodoo when they contest the Australian Wingless Sprintcar Championship at Sydney’s Valvoline Raceway this weekend (February 2 and 3).
The national title was first held in 2009 and a driver from New South Wales has yet to win the championship. In fact home state competitors have seldom stood on the podium and Joel Rhind is the only exception when he filled third in the 2012 national title, ironically held at Valvoline Raceway.
Ending the NSW run of outs now rests with locals Trent Martin, Mick Santin, Michael Butcher, second generation Natasha Herne, David Eggins, Robert Mazzer and Warren King.
They face a tough assignment as Australian Wingless Sprint Racing (AWSR) national controlling body organisers have received 95 entries for the 2018 national title with representation from all mainland states and Tasmania.
It promises to be one of the most keenly contested Australian Wingless Sprintcar Championships ever held in the relatively short history of the event.
The national title will be held over two nights, this Friday and Saturday (February 2 and 3).
Castrol Edge Lismore Speedway has produced a number of national titleholders over the years in a variety of race car divisions and by the end of this weekend it is hoped the Wingless Sprints will be added to that list.
The big plus for Lismore fans hoping for a breakthrough NSW win is that all the local drivers entered are currently in good form and some have driven previously at the Sydney venue.
Mazzer did not have an ideal pre-title preparation after he blew an engine while recently competing at Castrol Edge Lismore Speedway. He and car owner Tony Powell have been forced to re-fit an engine they used previously, but are quietly confident of qualifying for the final. “It’s quick and it’s going okay,” Powell said in relation to the performance of their replacement engine.
The inaugural 2009 Australian title for the Wingless Sprintcar division was run at the Premier Speedway in Warrnambool, Victoria and won by South Australian Rory Botton.
The event in following years has been held in Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania, New South Wales and Queensland.
The Wingless Sprintcar category is one of the newer divisions introduced into Australian speedway within the past 20 years. The purpose behind its formation was to provide a cheaper, low cost entry class into Australian Sprintcar racing using a V6 engine.
The AWSR runs to a strict set of cost-efficient engine specifications that allows for the use of standard 3800cc V6 engines as used in Holden Commodore and Toyota Lexen VN series II VP or VR pre Ecotec models.
The Wingless Sprint class of racing has grown considerably in numbers over the past ten years and close to 500 cars are registered with AWSR.