This weekends opening meeting includes a large variety and two classes which have never appeared at the Blue Ribbon. They are the Humpy Holdens and the Golden Oldies, both comprising of Holden or Falcons mainly from the 50’s.
The Golden Oldies, another class representing Classic sedans and also programmed this weekend includes FC, FX, FE, EJ Holdens and an XK Falcon. Both these classes are beautifully presented and it is amazing to see what they can do on the Speedway track.
In the Classic section of this wekends program, there will be a large number of Super Modifieds, which are the Sprintcars of yesteryear. These cars all have great history and have been well preserved and still put on an amazing display on the track. Also in the classic section the heavy hot rods have a large contingent, including models like Dennis Bald from Mt Gambier with his 1938 Ford with external roll cage. This demonstrates teh changes in Speedway over the last 20 to 30 years. Many of the Super Modifieds run 350 Chev motors and Ian Winslade from St Arnaud one who is running a 390 V8 side valve. As usual Graham Scott from Mt Colah in NSW is making the long trek for his annual visit to Horsham with his 1959/1960 with his fuel injected V8 Chev, which was originally from California, USA.
The Speedcars, Midgets and Three Quarter Midgets will demonstrate their talents and beautifully presented cars as usual and among them is Ash Kindred from Granville, NSW making his annual visit to Horsham. Many of the Midgets an Speedcars are powered by Holden and Chevy motors as well. On a local level we have Rex Konig from Murtoa, who is bringing his Standard Sportsman out for one of it’s few trips per year, down memory lane.
This weekend also sees the growing number of Juniors, largely due to the very successful junior development program being conducted at the Blue Ribbon Raceway. Horsham is the only Victorian track currently conducting the National Association of Speedway Racing’s Junior Development Program. Local Juniors Jeremy Beddison from Kalkee, Gus Walsgott from Kalkee and Amy Yole from Dimboola will all make their first appearance on the track this weekend. Many of others in the groups of successful local teenagers who have completed the course are planning ways they can go racing. Names are now being taken for the next group interested in participating in the junior Program.
Speedway karts will also visit Horsham this weekend to conduct the first round of their 2002-03 Victorian Speedway Kart Series. These drivers love the Horsham track because, due to it’s size, it’s pedal to the floor and all go, with unbelievable speeds reached during their races.
Other modern classes of Speedway programmed this weekend include Street Stocks and Production Sedans. Street Stocks is also a fast growing class at the Blue Ribbon this year with 5 new drivers taking to the track for the first time this weekend.
These include Rick Lia and Barry Johnstone-Brown from Goroke, and locals Nigel Quick, Justin Hately and Robert Jamieson.
This season at the Blue Ribbon promises to provide some fantastic racing with the return of the Super Sedans in January being one of the major features. The Club has had to make many changes to open the gates this year due to the Public Liability battle. To fund the $30,000 premium for the season drivers are now paying a substantial premium to race, put crew and pit visitors have increased costs and the public admission has unfortunately needed to be raised by $2. The Horsham Club discussed many alternatives to fund the increase and decided to spread the cost as much as possible and hope that everyone would support the Raceway during the season.
Due to the large program for the season opener this weekend, the action starts with the Grand Parade at 4.30pm, and is expected to finish at approx 9.30pm. The lawned spectator banks and full catering facilities at the Blue Ribbon Raceway make it a great family evening out, but don’t forget the rugs and coats for the cool night air later in the program.