Richard & Emma Bansemer

HO7 STREET STOCK: Emma & Richard Bansemer
HO7 STREET STOCK: Emma & Richard Bansemer

I wasn’t sure if I was at the right address; but as I walked further towards the workshop I could see a collection of Falcons and Commodores, either waiting their turn or had their turn on the track!

Richard and Emma currently share a VY Commodore in the Street Stock class. The Street Stock class basically means it is pretty much the same car that is driven on the road. The body is stripped bare, and all safety cages and equipment installed, but the engine and running gear is ‘street stock.’

These guys met on the track. Em was driving for someone who brought Richie’s car in 2003. By 2005 they started dating at places other than the speedway. Now over 10 years later, they are married with a little 10 month old daughter, Olivia.

Em and Richie are constantly teasing each other about who can drive faster and who has done the most damage to the car. Emma does most of the repairs, swapping diffs, repairing panels, painting, fibreglassing, pretty much everything that needs to be done. Richard kept referring to himself as the “Fast One…” and Em quickly reminded him who had the fastest lap time at the Vic Titles!

They were apologetic of the condition of the car. “You can tell it’s just come out of the title run”. Street Stock Racing is a National competition, with both National and State Championships. This year saw the biggest field ever in Street Stock Nationals with 137 cars lining up in Ballarat. Richie qualified 10th out out them, so I guess he is the fast one.

Richie assures me that little Olivia will be behind the wheel by the time she is 4, it’s in her blood and she has already been to 5 or 6 tracks in her 10 months.

They take me out to the “grave yard”. There sits three ‘wrecks’ and one waiting for it’s moment of glory out on the track. They can ‘shell out’ a car in a week. That’s where they remove everything from the new car that can’t be there and put in everything that does need to be in the Race Car.

It looks like the SES have been practicing on the wrecks, one has no roof and is heavily damaged. Em wrote off that car only a few months ago in Bordertown. She had just a little bit of concussion, the car was swapped over and back on the track without missing a meeting.

Since little Olivia, one of them sits on the banks of the track with bub, while the other races. They were still debating, but Richie is racing this season and Emma will race next. They don’t currently have the time on their hands to be parents and keep two cars on the track.