CASTROL Edge Lismore Speedway promoter Dave Lander has accomplished something very unique in the sport by hosting a Queensland title at a NSW track!
This Saturday night's (January 19) running of the Queensland Speedcar Championship breaks a tradition that has stood for three quarters of a century!
Very seldom in the sport's long and glorified history, featuring both cars and bikes, has this ever occurred when a state title has been conducted over the border. What led to this phenomenon is a reflection of Lander's standing in the speedway community and serves as a clear endorsement for the Lismore venue.
It becomes even more intriguing as this year marks the seventy-fifth running of the Queensland Speedcar Championship – and it's a first for NSW as host state! Up until now the event has been the exclusive property – and ownership – of the Sunshine State.
The state title is sanctioned by the Queensland Speedcar Racing Association which has resided over Speedcar races in the past at the Lismore Showground.
The QSRA remained uncertain where to take their championship in 2019. A couple of options were on the table from previous Queensland host venues and while the QSRA held no qualms about returning to these tracks, the possibility of taking the Queensland Speedcar Championship to a new venue also was also being explored.
“Lismore promoter David Lander has always supported the QSRA in the past and so his track came into calculations during the decision making,” QSRA secretary/treasurer Dwayne Neilson explained.
“As time went on the more we thought about Lismore Speedway the more the likelihood of taking our event over the border became a distinct possibility. We spoke with David and then came to an agreement to bring the title to Lismore.
“Therefore, also because of his loyalty to the QSRA, David Lander got the verdict. So now another chapter in the long history of this event will be written this Saturday at Lismore Speedway.”
“I am truly delighted to host this very prestigious and time honoured event in the history of Australian Speedcar racing,” Lander said yesterday.
“I am sure the great tradition will continue with a fantastic race at Lismore,” he added.
For many years the Queensland Speedcar Championship was conducted at the world famous Brisbane Exhibition Ground after it was first held in 1946 and the late, great Ray Revell became one of the few New South Welshmen who have won the crown.
Since that inaugural running Queensland drivers and the likes of genuine superstars Blair Shepherd, Kev Jefferson, Ron Wanless, Bill Goode, Barrie Watt, Danny Davidson, Eric Mitchell, Keith Blicharski, Todd Wanless and in more recent years Michael Harders have their names engraved on the prestigious trophy.
Two NSW entrants this Saturday night, Nathan Smee and Adam Clarke, are also previous winners.
They are part of a group of illustrious NSW drivers who have won this race including Len Brock, Peter Cunneen, Johnny Stewart, Ron Mackay, Jack Porritt and Steve Graham.
Even Americans have got into the act and have taken Queensland Speedcar Championship honours, namely the great Leroy Warriner (1961) and Frank Brewer (1954), who had New Zealand heritage before becoming an American citizen. Meanwhile another Kiwi, Michael Kendall, also has won the event. The defending titleholder is Troy Ware (Queensland).
Another highlight this Saturday night will be the running of the 100-lap GP for Wingless Sprintcars - DENNIS NEWLYN.
Caption: Defending Queensland Speedcar Champion Troy Ware will put his title on the line this Saturday night at Castrol Edge Lismore Speedway. Photo: Tony Powell