THERE will be no shortage of speedway action at the Mountain Dew Ice Raceway, near New Norfolk, with three V8 divisions headlining an action-packed 26-event program on Saturday night. The main event will be for V8 super sedans, but the program will also include racing for V8 sprintcars, V8 AMCAs, plus the second round of the lightning sprints super series and action from wingless sprintcars, street stock sedans and bombers. Gates at the Sorell Creek venue will open at 3pm and racing will start at 6pm.
The appearance of V8 super sedans at the southern venue this Saturday night will be the first for the season and local drivers Leon Cleary and Steve Latham will be aiming for a home track victory. Veteran Cleary missed a large chunk of last season for various reasons, but has been on the pace in the first two V8 super sedan events of the 2012-13 season to date at Carrick and Latrobe, but has yet to break through for a win. Latham has not raced yet this season and is battling against time to have his car ready for Saturday night, but the former state champion is hoping to be on the track. The man both have to beat is reigning national super sedan series champion Brad Smith, of Devonport, who has won both finals so far this season and has been in awesome form. Fellow coastal drivers Callum Harper, of Hellyer Beach, and Devonport veteran Grant Hopkins have been competitive with Smith at times in recent weeks and will be hoping to get the better of him this weekend.
On the other side of the coin, the three finals for V8 sprintcars so far this season have produced three different winners. Reigning state champion Jason Dawkins, of Launceston, showed blistering pace at Latrobe last weekend to win the final, but didn’t race at New Norfolk last month. That final was won by former state champion “Tornado” Tim Hutchins, of Sassafras, who will be keen to back up again this weekend. Fellow coastal racer Mark House, from Forest, has also posted a win at Latrobe this season and was third behind Dawkins last week, but will be hoping to take his solid home-track form south this weekend. Launceston’s Jamie Bricknell, despite being one of the pacesetters in heats, has yet to win a final this season and will be desperate to break the ice in Hobart, as will fellow Launceston speedster Kurt Luttrell and Devonport youngster Curt Smith, who was second at Latrobe last weekend and on the verge of a big win.