Some of Australia’s best junior speedway riders will be on the Central Coast this Saturday (February 5) when the M & K Eklund Transport New South Wales Under 16 Speedway Championship is up for grabs.
The Central Coast Junior Motor Cycle Club will stage the title meeting at the Allan Park complex at Debenham Road, North Somersby.
The meeting has drawn riders from Brisbane in the north and Albury in the south, and many country centres in between. Riders can start racing the 125cc machines in junior speedway from the time they turn nine years of age and can compete on those machines until they turn 16.
Many of the competitors who will be seen this weekend now have several years of experience in the sport and all have been part of the Speedway Experience Coaching programme.
Former world No. 3 Craig Boyce spearheads the programme in New South Wales and with former World Under21 champion Darcy Ward doing similar things in Queensland there has been noticeable and steady progress shown by all riders.
With meetings staged at different venues many riders and their families travel long distances to ride with the ultimate aim of progressing to be a full-time speedway professional competing on the world stage.
Defending champion this weekend is 12-year-old Beau Bailey from Grenfell who won last year’s title meeting staged at Cowra, as well as the Victorian and South Australian Championships, and also won the Redloh Cup at his last appearance on the Central Coast in December.
One of his toughest rivals will be Bathurst rider Noah Grabham, part of one of motorcycle racing’s greatest dynasties which has produced leading performers in many disciplines, now for a third generation.
Queensland will send a contingent of four riders headed by their State champion Jordy Loftus.
Joining Jordy will be his sister Anika, who partnered Jordy to win the Queensland Pairs Championship prior to Christmas, Lachlan Hawgood and Jai Bainbridge.
Anika Loftus will not be the lone girl competing as Kurri Kurri rider Ruby James is also in the line-up.
The adage that good things come in small packages is exemplified by two pocket rockets in Sonny Spurgin from Kempsey and Cooper Antone from Albury who are sure to win some admirers on Saturday.
Both the strong Cowra club as well as the host club is well represented in the line-up with Lachlan Russell the most favoured of the locals.
The riders’ briefing is at 10am will be followed by a short practice session and then the championship gets underway.
After 20 heat races the top three scorers progress directly to the deciding A Final, with the next four best scoring riders from the heats contesting the B Final from which only the winner goes in the decider.
There is no admission charge for spectators to witness the meeting that is sure to feature some champions of the future.