Dirt Track

NSW Junior Track Championships Head To Barleigh Ranch This Weekend

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Some of Australia‰Ûªs most exciting young dirt track motor cycle racers will converge on the Hunter this weekend for the New South Wales Junior Track Championships to be staged over Saturday and Sunday.

Venue for the title showdown will be the Barleigh Ranch Raceway which is situated north of Raymond Terrace (turn off the Pacific Highway into Italia Road).

It is unfair to describe the competitors as ‰Û÷tomorrow‰Ûªs stars‰Ûª as certainly in the case of the older riders ‰ÛÒ some of them turning 16 this year ‰ÛÒ they are already very accomplished performers and are turning on action just as exciting as the senior ranks.

If you wonder where the next world champions like Moto GP winner Casey Stoner and World Speedway champion Chris Holder are going to come from, well they are most likely to start their careers in the dirt track ranks.

Early in July the Australian Junior Dirt Track Championships were staged at Kempsey and this weekend at Barleigh Ranch eight riders who were crowned as national champions will be on show. Those riders come from as far afield as Brisbane, Coffs Harbour, Kempsey, Taree, Central Coast and Forbes.

Trying to stop the visitors from cleaning up will a strong entry list, including a large contingent from the Hunter Motor Cycle Club which will be the host club for this weekend‰Ûªs action.

One rider for whom this meeting will be particularly significant is Mitchell James who will be contesting his final race meeting as a junior before he steps up in to the senior ranks.

Earlier this year James turned in a brilliant performance at the Trackmasters meeting at the Barleigh Ranch track, but this weekend he will face the likes of Max Whale of Brisbane and Sam Davies of Kempsey who were both winners at the recent Australian Championship meeting at Kempsey.

Whale and another leading contender Billy Van Erde from Singleton were recently included as the only dirt track riders in Motorcycling Australia‰Ûªs inaugural Elite Performance Academy squad for 2015. Junior dirt track racing continues to be a highly productive nursery of talent - although of course they do not all finish up on dirt ‰ÛÒ so fans this weekend may well see riders who will finish up as big names on the world stage in the future.

On- track action starts with practice at 10am on Saturday before the first round of races, while it will also be a 10 am start on Sunday.

There is no charge for spectators on Saturday; while on Sunday there will be a cost of $10 per vehicle which will enable fans to see the culmination of the championship action on Sunday afternoon.

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