It’s not often you can call a National Champion a ‘relative newcomer’ but in the case of newly crowned Aussie One Callum Harper that tag isn’t far from the mark.
Fresh from his stunning win in the Australian title in Warrnambool two weeks ago the livewire Tasmanian comes to Valvoline Raceway this Saturday night for the biggest Late Model event on the VR calendar.
And he comes in with an equal favourite pre-race billing.
Despite a crack lineup of NSW talent with all the regular main event marauders Harper still has all the tongues wagging in his #1 Wyllie Tiles entry.
The field includes drivers from Tasmania, NZ, West Australia, Queensland and Victoria plus the NSW heroes including the exciting inclusion of Sydney Speedcar Supremo Nathan Smee in the ACT#7 entry (that I believe is) owned by Scotty McPherson.
Smee, who has significant Sedan racing in his blood with his Dad Gordon being one of the Liverpool Speedway greats of yesteryear, is a passionate and determined racer in anything he drives so expect some exciting stuff from the second generation racer.
Australian Champion Harper has been stout in Sydney before in Super Sedans so he certainly has experience to refer to around the Parramatta clayway even if it was sitting on the opposite side of the car.
His win in the Aussie title recently further cements the Apple Isle as a Sedan powerhouse, particularly now that the category is growing legs in that State.
Kiwi lady racer Kristin Vermeulen makes her long awaited return to the Speedway by the freeway in the #V9 entry Saturday night.
Aggressive West Aussie Paul Stubber will be spectacular regardless of his end result in the Palice Property Group #31 as the former Super Sedan, Sprintcar and sometime bitumen nostalgic touring car racer stands on the throttle with both feet.
Queenslanders Brad Watson and Rod Pammenter represent the Sunshine State with Pammenter grabbing the wheel of the Bruce Mackenzie owned #6 Hitachi entry in what may be a successful weekend for the Toowoomba dark horse.
Victoria is well represented by the HDD dream team of Cameron Pearson and Daniel Barton.
There are many potential winners from New South Wales from both the north, central and southern regions of Sydney and the State and selecting just one as a pre-race favourite would be ambitious.
Following his emphatic preliminary night win at Warrnambool the Hunter Valley second-generation racer Dave Robertson must now emerge as a potential Easternapolis victor.
Fellow Novocastrians Nathan Disney and Jessica Cassidy would be feeling confident as would Central Coast hard charger Ryan Fenech and always joint-favourite Sydneysiders David Doherty, Darryl Grimson and Ben Nicastri.
The field also boasts exciting rookie Brad Giffen, father and son team Robert and Joel Carrig, Michael Hickey, Dean Hickey, Tim Bink, Warren White Jr and Daniel Moon.
The 2017 Easternapolis is presented by United Acreage Marketing and Property Marketing.
An impressive line-up of Speedcars returns to Parramatta this Saturday night also with hot NZ racer Brock Maskovich in his Valvoline Raceway debut.
Maskovich can expect a less than warm on track greeting from Michael Stewart, Bob Jackson, Troy and Darren Jenkins and impressive newcomers Michael Jordan, Reagan Angel and Kaidon Brown to name just a few.
With the disappointment of last Saturday night’s rain out of the NSW Wingless Sprint title in Lismore defending NSW #1 Jason Bates gets to keep his number just a little bit longer in what will no doubt be a typically hectic field assembled for VR.
Gates open at 2pm this Saturday night at Valvoline Raceway located at 21 Wentworth Street Clyde.
Saturday, March 11, 2017 Gates open: 2pm Action on track: 6pm Location: 21 Wentworth Street Clyde Advance tickets: www.speedwaytickets.com.au www.valvolineraceway.com.au Follow Valvoline Raceway on Facebook and Instagram.