High Octane Action for Blue Ribbon

CHANCE: Horsham’s Daniel Simpson looks to have the best shot of the local drivers in this weekends Australian Title at Blue Ribbon Raceway. PHOTO: M&L Speedway Photography
CHANCE: Horsham’s Daniel Simpson looks to have the best shot of the local drivers in this weekends Australian Title at Blue Ribbon Raceway.
PHOTO: M&L Speedway Photography

Horsham Motor Sports Club in partnership with Octane Alley Performance and Speedway Sedans Australia, proudly bring to Blue Ribbon Raceway the Australian Title for Modified Production Sedans on the Easter weekend.

In excess of 55 teams have entered this prestigious event in what is the second ever Australian Title presented to the club at the track in the paddock in Kalkee. The only other coming was in the 1997/98 season for the GP Midget Australian Title and is a great show of persistence and perseverance for the legion of volunteers that have powered the club over the years.

“It’s happening primarily because of the hard working officials and volunteers,”  President Mick Fitzgerald said. “It’s all because of the volunteers. The ones that turn up to working bees and volunteer on race nights, holding the Title at Horsham is a real feather in their cap,” Fitzgerald said.

31 Victorians, followed by 14 Queenslanders, 6 from New South Wales, 4 from the West, 2 from Tasmania and a lone representative from the ACT, plus the involvement of Geelong’s Octane Alley Performance as title sponsor and continued support all the existing sponsors and supporters, ensure the event will be a spectacle for all.

Queensland driver Matty Smith who holds the current title of Australian Champion is making the long trip down from the north to try to retain the number 1 on his car. But the strong field that will include the Tasmanian Champion of Brad Herbert and the South Australian and Victorian Champion of Aiden Raymont, will not make that easy for Smith.

Fifteen of the entrants in this year’s title race have had State title success of the years past and 33 feature race winners have been won by the entrants. Former National Champions, Raymont, Worling, Smith, Blackwell and Drew will find the going tough with the likes of former Production series champions Noakes and Atkins and Street Stock past champion Robbie Faux eager to showcase his talents along with the former junior sedan champions Brock Atkins and Nick Cockerill.

Horsham natives will feature in a number of cars eager to showcase their local knowledge. Daniel Simpson is looking to be the best chance with top showings over the last number of rounds of the VMPA series. “I’m just trying to treat it like a regular race meeting and from a club perspective it will be a great boost for the club,” Simpson said. “I’ve competed in three titles previously and would love to win in front of my home crowd and sponsors that have stuck with us through thick and thin over the years,” he said.

“Having an Australian title on my home track is a pretty big deal, said Michael Hayden who has grown up on the clay of Blue Ribbon Raceway. “Everything is standard on the car from the suspension and with the track at Horsham changing during the weekend  it will be a challenge and with all the great cars and drivers coming my chance of winning first time out will be like winning powerball ,” he said.

The father/son teams of Graham and Matt Gerlach will add to the interest of the fans to see who will have bragging rights for the year.

Festivities for the Octane Alley Performance SSA Modified Sedan Australian Title will start on Good Friday March 30 with scrutineering and practice followed on Saturday the 31st. Saturday will see 12 lap heats with support classes and Sunday will see 12 lap heats followed by C,B and A Main Feature races and support races.

Support classes for the Octane Alley Performance Title will be the always competitive Three Litre Sedans who return to the track after their recent Victorian title race and the always entertaining racing of the JSPA Junior Series.

If you have not seen the Juniors Sedans in action, it is great to watch these young drivers who, when dressed in race gear look like helmets with legs, get in their 4 cylinder rockets and try their hardest to emulate their idols. In a recent event in Portland they didn’t fear getting up on two wheels and battling hard to keep their parents busy banging out the dents and scrapes.

Easter at Blue Ribbon will be the highlight of the race calendar for race fans and should see huge crowds out to enjoy the early Autumn weather at the track in the Paddock. Full catering will be available and facilities are accessible to fans with mobility challenges in what should be a great spectacle.