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The strange and wonderful world of speedway

Discussion in 'The Pub' at netrider.net.au started by hornet, May 3, 2010.

  1. I'll probably get into trouble with the 'picture posting' Ts&Cs but I hope you'll indulge me while I post some pics from yesterday's venture into the strange and wonderful world of provincial speedway.

    Brother was asked to commentate on a meeting at Canberra Speedway, and given the (still) delicate state of his ribs and knee, he asked me to accompany him and do some of the driving and other stuff.

    Thirty years ago we both worked at the old Tralee Interrnational Speedway in Canberra; a fully-equipped track, with lights, permanent seating, concrete commentary box, canteen, etc. Those days are long past, and the track was sold years ago. The local club have bought some land, and with volunteer labour have built another speedway, quarter-mile, like Tralee, but no power (generators), temporary seating, and the most basic of facilities, but with boundless enthusiasm. The track itself is unique in my experience, being built on the side of a hill and featuring a profound slope up from turn four to the finish line and turn one!

    Canberra Speedway 1.

    Canberra Speedway 2.

    Now if you're driven a kart on a tar track, you know how your spine and kidneys felt afterward? So how would you like to be driving a kart on a dirt-track speedway, where no matter how well-prepared the track is, there's going to be holes and bumps and goodness-knows-what to massage every bone in your body. These guys are tough. And if the name Corish rings any bells (Eric Debenham's amazing Vincent race bike), the Corish clan are fast in speedway karts.

    Speedway kart 3.
  2. Speedway kart 2.

    Speedway kart 1.

    There IS a strong motorcycle connection with two of the other classes of cars which raced yesterday. Both feature motorcycle engines and drive trains

    The Micro-Sprint cars use a 250cc two-stoke single motorcycle engine and chain drive in a 'shrunken' speedway sprintcar chassis and running gear. The regulations also allow for a 450cc four-stroke single engine, but all the cars there yesterday were shrieking strokers, with the biggest expansion chambers I've ever seen and the fragrant and long-misssed aroma of castor-based oil!!

    Micro-sprint 1.
  3. Micro-sprint 2.

    Micro-sprint 3.

    The third category racing was Formula 500. This is an old category, but its modern incarnation is wild. The cars are powered by either Suzuki RG-500 square-four two-stroke engines, or 600cc four-stroke, in most cases Yamaha R6 engines. Agian, in a smaller-scale sprintcar chassis with wings and all, and revving round to 14,000+ RPM, these things are fast!

    Formula 500 2.
  4. Formula 500 1.

    So, if you want to see some seriously sophisticated race cars with a motorcycle connection, and some passsionate racers having a lot of fun, head along to your local provincial speedway track and enjoy the scene.
  5. Never been a fan of sprints, but love formula 500's.. One thing I miss about north Queensland is Pioneer Park. I believe though I heard a rumor it's now gone too :-(

    Nothing better then seeing the sidecars of Gary Moon, Duane Dennis, Scott Christopher, Trent Koppe, Darrin Treloar and Justin Plaisted going around. I even like the solo's.
  6. I'm an avowed petrol head. If it's got an engine and it goes fast I'll watch it.