Willowbank News and Media
STREET SERIES CHAMPIONS TO BE CROWNED THIS WEEK
Article Date: 20 October 2014
The stage has been set for scintillating Street Series showdowns at Willowbank Raceway this week, with 24 racers across three categories set to fight it out in a shootout for their respective titles across Wednesday 22 October (Powder Puff) and Saturday 25 October (Street Sedan and Street Bike).
When the penultimate round of the Street Series was held on 4 October, the top eight for each of the three brackets of Street Sedan, Street Bike and Powder Puff were found, with those 24 racers now set to do battle for the title.
Leading the Street Sedan field is Josh Fletcher, who will be joined in the chase by Ray Ross, Brett Paige, Russell Sticklen, Gerard Horne, Richard Maddern, Bruce Casos and Gordon Larfield.
“It is always nice to have your name on top of the points, I have clinched back to back titles before so I am hopeful I can do it again,” said Fletcher, who with four Street Sedan titles, is the most successful racer for the bracket over the Series’ 20 year history.
“The car is 40 years old this year, so that would be a great celebration for that milestone to bring home another Street Series title, but it doesn’t matter where you are in the top eight heading in to the shootout – anyone can win on the night.
“While the shootout is a different format to the rest of the season I will just be doing what I have been doing for many years now by taking it one race at a time, that is all you can do!”
In Street Bike, 2011 champion Paul Astridge will lead Denis Ryan, Stuart Macmillan, Craig Banks, Ken Rice, Michael Beaton, Peter Harper and Wendy Whatley to battle.
“The first stage of this challenging series is complete with my top eight qualification and my points lead, which was retained all season long, but the prestige of that will be quickly over-shadowed now as we head to the more challenging stage of the shootout for the title,” said Astridge.
“While this may be a grassroots type series, it isn’t an easy or so called ‘fun’ series as far as what it takes to win – the reaction times alone reflect the intensity of racing seen in group one, it is tough!
“The finale is impossible to predict. If I can win this year it will be my second Street Bike title, but I am not confident – that would be foolish. There are seven other competitors alongside me who all want it just as badly as I do, so no win lights will come easy.
“If I can get it done, it will bring a great sense of satisfaction – racing creates pressure, so when it is all over, especially if it goes well, there will be relief too!”
In the ladies only Powder Puff bracket, Rhonda Larfield leads Susanne Fletcher, Jody Wentworth, Belinda Brockhurst, Tammy Goldthorpe, Deb Mackay, Carol Rauchle and Nikki Horne.
“It is very exciting to be on top of the leader board, usually I only just make the top eight, so to be leading is just great,” said Larfield, who is one of a family of drag racers alongside father Gordon, mother Maureen and sister Michelle.
“The entire eight are talented racers and each race is different, so the title could really go to anyone – I would love to clinch it of course, that is what we are all racing towards and it would be just awesome, certainly something to tick off the bucket list, and then I could tell Dad that I am number one!
“This season has been a very good one for me, with eight rounds of racing including three runner-up results and one win, I couldn’t be happier with how things have gone so far and I just hope the car and I can do what we’ve done all season long this weekend and go out with a bang!
“No matter what happens, I have to say a big thank you to Autobarn Bellbird Park for sponsoring not only the ute but also my dad’s racing car, which has also made the top eight shootout for Street Sedan – and of course my dad for allowing mum and I to drive his work ute for our own drag racing pursuits!”
The Powder Puff shootout will be held first, on the evening of Wednesday 22 October as part of the Test n Tune event, while the Street Sedan and Street Bike finals will be held on Saturday 25 October as part of the Test n Tune event scheduled for that day. For full info, please click here.
Willowbank Raceway is Queensland’s premier drag racing facility, located 45 minutes from Brisbane or just a short drive from Ipswich, offering a year-round program of events for the entire family. For more information including a full event calendar, please visit www.willowbankraceway.com.au
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