Some of Australian best young motorcycle racers will this Sunday (April 24) contest a meeting at the Loxford Park Raceway honouring Moto GP world champion Casey Stoner.
The career of Stoner adds further proof to the evidence of just how significant racing in junior dirt track and track racing can be in laying a foundation for success at senior level.
Of course not all young riders head in to road racing like Stoner did.
Stoner was a member of the Kurri Kurri Junior Motorcycle Club from six years of age, through to when he headed overseas as a 14 year old with his family to start road racing, which he would not have been able to do in Australian at the time until he turned 16.
In recent years the Kurri Kurri Junior Motorcycle Club has annually staged a Casey Stoner Cup meeting with victory in the feature Casey Stoner Cup for the Pro Open Senior class becoming a much sought-after honour.
Favourite for the feature is North Brisbane rider Jarred Brook who even at 17 has built up an enviable record in senior competition. Just two weeks ago Brook was the dominant performer at the Trackmasters meeting at Raymond Terrace and is now determined to add the Stoner Cup to his record.
Perhaps the toughest opposition for Brook may come from a 16-year-old Kurri Kurri club member Boyd Hollis who was placed third behind Brook in three classes at Raymond Terrace in what was his first ever senior meeting.
The senior entry list for Sunday includes several interesting names, among them speedway star Taylor Poole. After turning his back on returning to the UK this year, Poole is adopting a more relaxed attitude to his racing and is looking forward to returning to dirt track racing this Sunday.
Two other riders who will be closely watched are Sean McLellan and Zach Thackeray. McLellan is returning to senior competition after a layoff, following plenty of success in his junior days while Thackeray has also recently returned to racing on the dirt.
As well as the Pro Open class, seniors will contest Pro 250 and Pro 450 classes, while the Over 35s and the women are also programmed.
The junior classes will again showcase the fine young talent coming through the ranks.
For them, this Sunday will be a shakedown run for the New South Wales Junior Dirt Track Championships at the same venue on the weekend of June 11 and 12.
At least five Australian champions will be on show this weekend, including the three stand-outs in recent racing for the older juniors in the 13 to Under 16s.
Local club member Mackenzie Childs will be defending home track honours against Singleton based Billy van Eerde and North Brisbane rider Max Whale ‰ÛÒ a trio who always turn on quality action.
Other local riders like Angus Hutchinson, Ryan Smith, Harrison Ryan and Cameron Dunker and the Central Coast‰Ûªs Senna Agius are also expected to be prominent.
Riders‰Ûª briefing and practice gets underway at 9am on Sunday, with racing at the conclusion of practice.
For fans it is a cheap day out with just a $5.00 per car entry, and a gold coin for motorcycles, with full canteen facilities available
The Loxford Park Raceway is situated in Dickson Road, Loxford