By Trevor Jackson
THE Borderline Speedway returns this weekend for the opening night of the 2021-22 season, albeit with some disruption.
Covid-19 has reared its ugly head yet again, leaving the original drawcard – Round 1 of the Eureka Garages and Sheds Sprintcar series – out in the cold.
Despite that road bump, club president Cary Jennings told The Border Watch the show will go on, but will instead showcase a South Australian run Sprintcar event.
The main act will be well supported by Round 4 of the SA Formula 500 state series, the first round of the MJS Street Stocks, after Round 1 at Whyalla was called off due to weather, plus group of Classics ready to put on an inspired display of old machinery in action.
A full lineup of drivers is expected in all categories, with the Sprintcars still boasting some of the big names in the sport among a field of 25-plus.
The likes of Jamie Veal, Brad Keller, Tim Van Ginneken, Matt Egel, Luke Dillon and Cory McCullagh – to name just a few – are expected to go head-to-head with several Limestone Coast drivers and teams, if all goes to plan.
That includes Glen Sutherland, Scott Enderl and Daniel Pestka in the Starks car out of Port MacDonnell.
The Starks team has been in impressive form this season, with a couple of podium finishes to suggest they will be at the pointy end of the field.
While the Limestone Coast drivers and teams will start as crowd favourites, the list of challengers goes on.
Max Vidau, Lisa Walker and Ricky Maiolo simply add to the long list of contenders.
The Formula 500s provide the perfect support act for the big-brother Sprintcars, with more local focus.
Josh Munn, Ryan Harry, Brendan Zadow, Jordan Mansell and possibly Matt Weyers will look to stake a claim for the win against possible Victorians Leigh Van Ginneken, Tim Rankin and Alex Ryan – among others.
More than 20 drivers had nominated at the time of going to print, with action guaranteed.
Street Stocks are always popular in the Limestone Coast, with some of the best drivers historically coming from the region.
Now being the first hit-out of the season it promises plenty of action.
Australia number 1 Anthony Beare will look to use his local track to good use, but well have plenty of challengers as is always the case in the category.
For club president Cary Jennings it is a welcome return to racing.
However, due to the coronavirus restrictions, there will still be limits on tickets available, which includes 1000 people at the venue, not including staff.
That number does include drivers and crew, which limits the fans on the hill somewhat.
However, Jennings said he still expected a big crowd with no shortage of entertainment value on the night.
He said the Sprintcars would provide a huge night of entertainment in their own right.
“To me, it is not quite a World Series field, but it is close,” Jennings said.
“None of the drivers are there to make up the numbers, so we should see some exciting racing.”
As for the Formula 500s, Jennings said they always provided plenty of action, with the local drivers sure to be popular in the big field.
“We could end up with five Mount Gambier competitors in the Formula 500s,” he said.
“I think all our racing is going to be tip top.
“The Formula 500s will put on a show, the Sprintcars will do something and the Street Stocks will certainly provide action.
“Most of the Street Stock guys have been running in Murray Bridge.
“Four Mount Gambier competitors have had a skid up there and young Jayden Edwards won the feature up there recently.
“I think it will be real good racing.
“I can picture 80+ cars in our pits with non-stop action from 5pm.”
For those attending masks are not mandatory for outdoor settings, but will need to be worn when attended the canteen or indoor areas.
Marking will be laid out on the grounds to provide social distance parameters.
Gates open at 4pm with hot laps from 5pm.