||Last Updated: Mar 15th, 2016 - 19:38:03
There is every likelihood that a current or former Australian champion will come out on top of the Woodlands 2016 Grand Slam meeting to be staged at Temora this weekend, March 19 and 20, simply because so many of them have entered.
The big payout for riders in the premier Pro 450 class has lured just about all of the ‘big guns’ of dirt track motorcycle racing to Temora.
After winning three of the four classes he contested at last year’s Australian Dirt Track Championships, Luke Richards demands favourtism for this weekend but he knows he has to overcome another six national champions, plus others who are likely to challenge for those honours in the future.
Friendship between Richards and Marty McNamara will be put aside , as they battle the likes of former AMA flat track campaigner Michael Kirkness, two Under 19 champions in Ty Lynch and Matthew Davies and veteran performers Darren Herrick and Paul Caslick.
If there is to be an upset, and someone outside of the ‘Aussie Champs club’ was to win there are several hopefuls who stand out.
Arguably Australia’s best never to have won a national title, Ian Hamilton, the fiery Mildura rider Nicholas Waters and Team Husky young gun Max Croker all have strong credentials.
Multi Australian Dirt Track sidecar champions Corey and Tom Banks headline entries for that discipline with West Wyalong duo Scott Sandow / Wayne O’Meley likely to be their most serious challengers.
Like the dirt track sidecars the ATVs have only a small entry but again reigning Australian champion Matthew Griffiths will be the rider to beat.
The big program will also feature racing for junior classes which will showcase the talented youngsters currently making their way through the age groups
There will also be several classes of competition for older riders on older machines, showing that the sport still can cater for a wide cross- section of participants.
The program will involve 129 events over both days.
In those classes where there is just the one grid of riders the result will be decided over five rounds, while bigger entries in other classes will mean four rounds of heats and a repechage before the finals.
For both the A and B Finals of the Feature Race there will in fact be three rounds of the finals, all over a gruelling eight laps of the Woodlands track to see who claims the biggest slice of prizemoney.
Practice gets underway on Saturday at 9.00 am, followed by the first round with club officials hopeful of running three rounds on Saturday.
It will be a 9.00am start again on Sunday with the last two rounds and the finals which should wrap up proceedings by early afternoon.
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