IT will be a big night at the Hobart International Speedway outside New Norfolk this Saturday night as the state sprintcar series nears its end. The program will also include two state titles and round eight of the street-stock sedan championship, plus a variety of support class racing.
State championships will be decided for the lightning sprints and bombers categories, with support action from wingless sprintcars, sidecars and speedway karts. The Lyell Highway entrance will open at 3pm, with racing for speedway karts and sidecars from 4.30pm and the main program getting underway from 6pm.
Launceston sprintcar driver Jamie Bricknell currently leads the series but his lead is only tentative, with a 28-point break over defending series champion and former state champion Tim Hutchins, of Sassafras, and up to 300 points up for grabs this weekend. Bricknell and Hutchins have swapped the lead in the series throughout the season and either would prove a fitting winner, with Bricknell chasing his first series title after being close several times in recent seasons, winning three rounds of the series to date this summer. Reigning state champion Jason Dawkins, of Launceston, has also won two rounds and is currently in third place, but a big performance this weekend could upset Bricknell and Hutchins.
The sprint championship could see a continuation of a Tasmanian speedway dynasty with Sassafras driver Luke Redpath chasing his first title. Redpath has been in solid recent form and will start favourite, aiming to take out the 36th state title won by a member of his family since 1966, including the sixth to win a lightning sprint title, with his father and four-times winner Bobby Redpath, the last winner, in 2004. His biggest dangers could be George Town’s Nathan Hale, former state champion Kerry Short, of Burnie, Longford charger Bruce Pitt, Sassafras youngster Brock Webster, and visiting South Australian driver Kate Wiese, who proved competitive in her Tasmanian debut at Carrick last weekend.
The Tasmanian bombers championship looks to be a fairly open affair with reigning state champion Josh Knight, former champions and brothers Mick and David Hart and the consistent Sean Devine among the main contenders in a title which is sure to have as much emphasis on survival and luck in what will surely be a brutal final.
Read more on the speedway website here.