The world’s second oldest Midget/Speedcar event, the Victorian Speedcar Championship, is set to go under the hammer this special Sunday night, January 7th, at Warrnambool’s Sungold Stadium.
Befitting of an event with such stature which was first run in 1934/35 at Olympic Park in Melbourne, a large field in excess of 30 cars, actually nearly 40 cars, have nominated for the 73rd running of the hallowed event.
When an event has been run this many times and has been won by international racers such as Bill Reynolds (England – 1939/40 - Olympic Park), the legendary Bob “Two Gun” Tattersall (USA 1960/61, 1961/62 & 1962/63 – Tracey’s Speedway) and Zack Daum (USA 2013/14 – Warrnambool) as well as national and local heroes it takes on special significance and this year’s version is no different.
Heading the list of hopefuls is 2010/11 winner and former Australian Compact Speedcar Champion Travis Mills who along with his 2 time winning father John (1981/82 Avalon & 1988/89 Bendigo) is one of only two pairs of father and son combinations to have won the event. Mills was also the runner up to Nathan Smee at last year’s event at the same venue and is in great form so far this season.
The other father son combination is that of legendary South Australian Bill Wigzell and his son Terry. Bill won in 1967/68 at the new Melbourne Speedbowl and then again in 1975/76 at Warrnambool. His son Terry took the title in 1992/93 at the Nyora Speedbowl.
Now Todd Wigzell is looking to become the only third generation racer to add his name to the list alongside his father and grandfather and judging by his form in the recent Beasley memorial and other classes previously, he is a real rather than a sentimental threat to take the crown.
Harley Bishop has quickly found form in his new ride for Mark Harrington and Alison Dwyer having taken a win at both Murray Bridge and Portland and is keen to add his name alongside his 6 time wining father Ray “Noddy” Bishop (1980/81 Avalon, 1983/84, 1985/86, 1986/87 Melbourne Speedbowl, 1993/94 Simpson, & 1995/96 Bairnsdale).
Andy Pearce would love to emulate his father Wayne’s 1987/88 win at the Melbourne Speedbowl but his recent form would see this as something of an outside chance.
Domain Ramsey trumped the field to take the title on the Premier high-banks only 2 years ago and the veteran is in the best physical and race form of his career of late.
The popular Anthony Chaffey won the championship at Wangaratta back in 2009/10 and is due for another win while Troy Jenkins is no doubt one of the best to never to have won the prestigious event – yet.
Other chances include former multiple Australian AMCA Nationals Champion Adam Wallis who podiumed at Portland recently, and Michael Stewart who podiumed at last year’s title.
Matt Jackson driving Victorian Club President Tim Fisher’s V23 rates as a solid shot as does Justin McMinn who’s hot off a run of consecutive local wins. Ash Booker in the Power Racing entry which has won the title more than any other team has also greeted victory lane this season.
“We are very excited to be back at Premier Speedway for our State Title and also very excited to have a big field for the event.” stated Club President Tim Fisher. “If last year’s race and the season so far is anything to go by this could be one of the most open and evenly fought out titles ever.”
No doubt the ghost of inaugural 1934/35 winner Les Gough will be watching with interest as this stellar national field fights for the glory that is The Victorian Speedcar Championship.
If this year’s event is anything like Smee’s come from behind win last year then it will be an awesome event - make sure you don’t miss it. Keep up to date with any late nominations or changes via the Victorian Speedcar Drivers Association Inc Facebook page or the club’s website – www.vsdaspeedcars.com