Speedcars in speedway action

THE feature vehicles at the Grafton Showground this Saturday night are the latest incarnation of the original speedway racing cars known as speedcars.

While they obviously don’t look or perform anything like the originals the class has kept fairly close to the original formula.

The engine size is similar and is in the front of the vehicle driving the rear wheels, the driver still sits over the tailshaft just in front of the diff, they have direct drive rather than a clutch and gearbox and they don’t have wings to aid traction.

Some might say that the modern speedcar is not as attractive as the beautiful cars from the 1950s through to the 1980s when the wedge design took over. But they are very fast, functional and safe compared to those early cars.

They are also much faster due to modern engine design, better chassis and suspension set up and tyres with much more grip. They are probably still the purist form of speedway vehicle and still produce very fast, close racing.

The other forms of open wheel vehicles at this meeting are Amcas and Stock Rods. In comparison to speedcars the Amcas are not as pure a racing car as they are based on a Holden One Ton chassis which was definitely not designed for racing purposes.

However, they have been adapted very well by skilled engineers and they handle well and certainly sound the part with their Holden V8 engines running on methanol.

They are probably the toughest and most reliable class in speedway and the drivers always put on a great show.

The Stock Rods are designed for speed but also because of all the bar work that they are allowed to have around the outside of the vehicle they are allowed, even encouraged, to have contact.

They are a bit like a high speed demolition derby except they are all going in the same direction.

All of the Stock Rod drivers at the moment come down from Queensland but they have been so impressed by the hospitality of Grafton people and the high standard set by the Grafton promoters that they now view Grafton as their home track and they want to compete here at every meeting.

This is a great pat on the back to the promoters and the friendly style of people in Grafton.

In the sedans this meeting we have the Juniors, 4 Cylinders and Stockers. Some of our Junior drivers attended Parramatta Speedway last weekend for the NSW Junior State Title and the meeting was absolutely dominated by Northern Rivers drivers.

They won almost every race and came first and third in the title. Kirt Wilson from Lismore was the winner and Mitchell Haynes came home third. Dallas Rose won his first heat easily but was out for the rest of the night with engine problems.

Brayd Stephenson won his first heat but then seemed to be the victim of some dubious decisions by officials.

These are the same drivers you see here most meetings and they are the future of speedway racing so come along and give them your support.

The 4 Cylinder drivers are also very competitive around the state and Trent Dhu from Casino is the current NSW State Champion but he never has things his own way up here.

The local Stocker drivers are as competitive as anywhere in the state and it is only a couple of years ago that Grafton’s Geoff Hayes won the Australian Stocker Title.

Please come along and support all of the local people involved.

“While they obviously don’t look or perform anything like the originals the class has kept fairly close to the original formula.”

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