Hot field set for Championship Battle

WHEN you think of the spiritual home for V8 Dirt Modifieds, you automatically think of Lismore Speedway. This weekend the country’s best V8 Dirt Modified racers will converge at the northern NSW venue to fight it out for the 2023 running of the Australian V8 Dirt Modified Championship.

For this year’s Australian Championship, a very competitive field of 35 drivers from up and down the east coast of the country, which makes for one of the most competitive Australian Championships in many years.

Heading into this weekend’s Australian Championship, the hot favourite is without a doubt defending champion and local racer Mark Robinson. So far this season, he has been in winning form after claiming four feature-race wins, which includes the NSW Title and Paul Britten 44 Memorial, along with the recently concluded three-round Mr Modified Series at Lismore Speedway. Robinson is aiming for a fifth Australian Championship victory, and he would love nothing more than to do it in front of his home crowd for the very first time.

After having his Australian Championship streak of five broken last season at Brisbane’s Archerfield Speedway where he finished second behind Robinson, Kevin Britten has his sights on regaining the Australian Championship trophy. The Brisbane, Queensland-based racer has been in consistent form this season with consistent podium finishes and he is definitely one of the top Australian Championship contenders.

To say Mitchell Randall is hungry for a championship victory would be quite the understatement, and he goes into the Australian Championship as one of the favourites. Randall, from nearby Casino, is an aggressive racer who doesn’t take a backwards step, and his driving style is perfectly suited for V8 Dirt Modifieds. The best result in an Australian Championship for Randall was a second-place finish behind Kevin Britten back in 2019 at Toowoomba Speedway.

Andrew Pezzutti is one of the most experienced drivers in the field and despite his veteran status he is still a proven leading contender, which he showed during last month’s final Mr Modified Series round at Lismore Speedway, where he drove to an impressive win over David Clark (Qld) and Robinson.

Despite not racing on a regular basis in recent seasons, Brisbane’s David Clark remains a front-running contender wherever he goes, and this weekend’s Australian Championship is certainly no different. Clark has one Australian Championship win to his name, and it was achieved back in 2014 at Lismore Speedway.
Amongst the other front-running contenders are the likes of Chris Corbett, 2001 Australian Champion Scott Cannon, Andrew Firth, Todd Hobson (Vic), Brayd Stephenson, Joshua Rose, Blake Eveleigh, youngster Seiton Connor-Young, and veteran Ray Klarich (Qld).

Completing the Australian Championship nominations, which is no doubt going to include a number of surprise packets, are Luke Dunn, Zak Blanch, Brock Gardiner, former NSW Title holder Phil McNamara, Brock and Kyle Armstrong – Kyle picked up a surprise win in last weekend’s Prelude to the Championship at Lismore Speedway, Taylah Firth, Ryley Smith, Dale Corbett, Owen Scott, Brent Hall, Scott Quirk, Mick Reid, Phil Roberts (Qld), Trevor Wiley (Qld), Paul Markulin, Darryl Armfield, Brenton Bennie (Qld), Shane Laurie, Marley Weller, Darryl Armfield, and Marcus Reddecliffe (Vic).

For Lismore Speedway, they have hosted the Australian V8 Dirt Modified Championship on six occasions: John Brown (1994), Stuart Herne (1996 and 2002), Tim Morse (2006), Peter Britten (2011) and David Clark (2014).

The Australian Championship is going to be fought out across Saturday and Sunday nights, which will see Saturday night’s action consist of two rounds of qualifying heat races and the two Silver Dollar preliminary feature races, and then for Sunday’s second and final night, there is going to be a further two rounds of qualifying heat races, a last-chance B main and then the Australian Championship deciding 40-lap feature race.

When it comes to this weekend’s Australian Championship, there will be action plenty from beginning to end, and so many potential winners! It’s certainly going to be an Australian Championship to remember!

Photo: Butcher Photography

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