NSW Junior Dirt Track Championships this weekend

Some of Australia’s most exciting young dirt track motorcycle racers will converge on the Hunter this weekend for the New South Wales Junior Track Championships to be staged August 1-2.

The title showdown is being held at Barleigh Ranch Raceway, situated north of Raymond Terrace (turn off the Pacific Highway into Italia Road).

Eight riders who were crowned as national champions at the national titles held earlier in July will be on show, coming from as far afield as Coffs Harbour, Kempsey, Taree, Central Coast and Forbes.

Trying to stop the visitors from cleaning up will be a strong contingent from the Hunter Motorcycle Club which is hosting this weekend’s action.

It is unfair to describe the competitors as ‘tomorrow’s stars’ as certainly in the case of the older riders – some of them turning 16 this year – are already becoming very accomplished performers capable of turning it on just as well as the senior ranks.

One rider who will be contesting his final race meeting as a junior before he steps up in to the senior ranks Mitchell James.

Earlier this year, James turned in a brilliant performance at the Trackmasters meeting at the Barleigh Ranch track, but this weekend he will face the likes of Max Whale of Brisbane and Sam Davies of Kempsey who were both winners at the recent Australian Championship meeting at Kempsey.

Whale and another leading contender Billy Van Erde were recently included as the only dirt track riders in Motorcycling Australia’s inaugural Elite Performance Academy squad for 2015.

Most racing superstars start out in dirt track like former Moto GP and World Speedway champions Casey Stoner and Chris Holder and junior dirt track racing continues to be a highly productive nursery of talent – although of course they do not all finish up on dirt – so fans may well see riders who will finish up as big names on the world stage in the future.

On-track action starts with practice at 10am on Saturday before the first round of races, while it will also be a 10 am start on Sunday.

There is no charge for spectators on Saturday; while on Sunday there will be a cost of $10 per vehicle which will enable fans to see the culmination of the championship action on Sunday afternoon.