Challenge back for another year

WINGED WARRIORS: Sprintcars will be back at the Borderline Speedway on Thursday night for the annual Kings Challenge. Picture: STEVE RICE/SR PHOTOS

By Trevor Jackson

THE annual Kings Challenge Sprintcar event is all set to roar into action next Thursday night, with a strong field being assembled.

The time-honoured event has been a mainstay of the speedway calendar for many years and will continue that tradition, despite the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year the Kings Challenge will be part of the Sprintcar Super Series, created recently after the World Series Sprintcars season was cancelled.

Funds have been injected from the WSS, which is sure to attract some top drivers.

The series kicks off at Avalon in Geelong, heads to the Borderline Speedway, then back to Victoria for rounds three and four at Warrnambool.

Bordertown will host round five on the following Monday, with the final at Whyalla.

While some logistical issues face competitors, with border closures continually changing, club president Cary Jennings was confident of a top night of entertainment.

Daniel Pestka will be a focal point for many Limestone Coast fans, as he pushes the Stark car out of Port MacDonnell hard around the Borderline Bull Ring.

Pestka has been in impressive form this season, claiming the first feature race win for the Limestone Coast team recently, then backing up with another a week later.

Glen Sutherland is always a crowd favourite and will hope to improve on what has been a tough season for him.

Names such as the in-form Lachy McHugh, Tasmania’s Jock Goodyer, David Murcott, Matt Egel, Brad Keller, Eddie Lumbar, Peter Doukas and Grant Anderson have all nominated, along with others.

Lisa Walker has been at the pointy end of the field this season and will be out to continue her good run and fly the flag for the girls.

Other big names are expected to nominate but may hold off to see what the coronavirus restrictions throw up.

Jennings said while the Kings Challenge will be different this year due to those restrictions, he still expected a good field.

“We will have a good field,” he said.

“We don’t know exactly who it will affect at this stage.

“This year we won’t see any American drivers but when nominations close (tonight) we hope to see some top Australian competitors.

“I think we will end up with 25-30 cars.”

Also on the night will be Classic Super Modifieds – the forerunners of the current Sprintcars – along with Junior Sedans.

Crowds up to 2000 will be allowed through the gates, with tickets to be purchased online if possible.

Remaining tickets will be available at the gate.

Gates will open at 4pm, with racing to kick off at 5pm.