The 32nd staging of the Trackmasters motorcycle meeting at the Barleigh Ranch Raceway this Sunday (November 26) will honour the memory of four names that have been synonymous with dirt track racing in the Hunter region.
While numbers are down in some classes at the end of a busy calendar of racing the Hunter Motor Cycle Club has been able to fit the 77–event programme into a big day of racing on Sunday, instead of the originally planned two-day meeting.
Despite the smaller than expected entry list, there is still plenty of quality across the classes which should ensure great racing in the major events.
In a big coup for fans among the entries is Forbes teenager Tom Drane who is just back home after finishing second in the season-long AMA Flat Track Singles class in his first full year in the competition, highlighted by winning four rounds.
Three of the senior classes will have a memorial trophy for the winner, and each of the trophies will remember an identity who has made a significant contribution to the sport.
The Pro 450 class will race for the Rod Allen Memorial, in memory of the man who was for many years the voice of dirt track and speedway commentary in the area.
Cody Lewis is the defending champion and having won this class at the recent Australian Senior Dirt Track Championships at Albury he will obviously be hard to beat on Sunday.
The inaugural secretary of the Raymond Terrace Motorcycle Club which later became part of the Hunter Motor Cycle Club, Don Begley, is honoured with the trophy for the sliders class and without last year’s winner a new name will definitely be added to this trophy.
The Dirt Track sidecars have the George Watson Memorial up for grabs honouring the championship-winning dirt track sidecar rider over many years.
The new Australian Dirt Track Sidecar champions Corey Forde and passenger Darren Freudenstein will try to wrap up their stellar year by going one better than in this race last year, but they will again face their toughest opposition from the duo of Jarred Marko /Shaun Fuller.
After all the classes of racing have been finalised the top four from the Unlimited class, plus one additional rider nominated by the club, will then vie for the Max Toth Golden Helmet in a series of match races, with last year’s winner Luke Bush striving to make it back-to-back wins.
Max Toth was a life member of the Wallsend Motor Cycle Club and this trophy was first awarded in 1965 when the Wallsend Club were involved in the promotions at the Heddon Greta Raceway short circuit track for a number of years up until its conversion to a speedway in the late 1960s.
It was then awarded for the Club’s season pointscore until the Wallsend Club also became part of the present-day Hunter Club.
Other senior riders who are likely to be prominent on Sunday are Central Coast duo Connor Ryan and Peter Smith, Blake Wilby from Tamworth, Jett Carter from Bathurst and local Brayden Gay.
There are plenty of talented young riders entered for the various junior classes, including several who have national championship wins on the board.
Barleigh Ranch is a great venue where fans can take in the entire track and they can see the action for a $20 admission charge per car. Practice starts at 9am.