Championship motorcycle racing will return to Coffs Harbour this weekend (July 29 and 30) for the first time in seven years when the 2023 Adventure Powersports & Outdoor New South Wales Senior Track Championships is staged.
The Coffs Harbour Motorcycle Club has undertaken plenty of work on their racetrack complex at Phil Hawthorn Drive and all those efforts will be rewarded this weekend when a huge line-up of talented performers will be chasing championship honours.
The newly titled Brian Mallet Long Track, honouring a long-time life member and massive contributor to the club, will be the scene of the big programme of 124 races over Saturday and Sunday.
Both the MX Open class and the premier Pro 450 class have attracted a big entry list that necessitates four heats in each of the four rounds before the top ten riders qualify directly to the six-lap final where they are joined by the top two riders from the repechage.
Finding a favourite for those two classes is difficult given the quality of the line-up.
The best credentialed entrant is multi national title winner Luke Richards, but he has been a very infrequent racer over the past few years.
Now a member of the Coffs Harbour club Richards will spearhead the hopes of the locals along with Bailey Spencer, Alex Hurst and brothers Tyler and Kristian O’ Donnell.
Three well performed Queenslanders Cyshan Weale, Seth Qualischefski and Rory McQualter all have experience on the Coffs Harbour track and they will certainly not be coming just to make up the numbers this weekend.
The likes of Jordan Dall from Gunnedah, Daniel Wicks from Cowra, Jarryd Oram and James Chapman from Kempsey, Grant Charnock from Penrith, Cody Lewis, Rory and Angus Hutchinson from Kurri Kurri and David and Peter Smith from Central Coast all bring good credentials to the title meeting.
Two championships that will have a hot favourite will be the Womens class where Brisbane rider Briony Hendrickson has been the benchmark performer in recent years, while Matthew Griffiths will clearly be the rider to beat in the ATV Open class.
In contrast, both the Dirt Track Sidecar class and the Pro 250 have a very evenly matched field of contenders.
As well as the championship classes there will be plenty more variety with classes for old bikes in the Pre 90s, old riders in the Over 35s, the more exotic Flat Track Twins and the 19” TT Feature which will showcase one of the fastest growing areas of the sport.
Last but not least there will be four junior classes, featuring a number of successful performers from the Australian Junior Track Championships staged earlier this month at Raymond Terrace.
On-track action gets underway at 10am on both Saturday and Sunday.