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Vale: Michael Gorman

ALL STARS—UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT???? Bishop back to Sprintcars! Gary “BP” Eastwood


Rolling Thunder e-Mag. Issue 17 Sept/Oct 2011 Editors; Ray Solomon, & Brett “Pirate” Swanson PHOTO’S Courtesy of: Pirate Media. Swanson.1@bigpond.com Geoff Gracie Photos inactionphotos.com.au MEDIA RELEASES: • Pirate Media—Brett Swanson • Dean Thompson (DMT Media). • SRA Media. (Ian vale). • Formula Motorsports Group Pty Ltd. • All Stars Media

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CONTRIBUTORS; Brett Swanson Ray Solomon Dean Thompson Got something to contribute? All contributions welcome send to swanson.1@bigpond.com or ray@fmg.au.com

COPYRIGHT:

Material contained in Rolling Thunder Racing E news is protected under the Commonwealth Copyright Act 1968. No part of this publication may in any form or by any means be reproduced without the prior written permission of the Publisher. The publisher has taken all reasonable precautions to ensure the complete accuracy of material contained in this publication, however, it is a condition of receiving this magazine that the Publisher does not assume any responsibility for any loss or damage which may result from the content of material published in this magazine. Although Rolling Thunder Raceway Promotions Inc uses its best endeavours to ensure the accuracy of everything it publishes, the Fair Trading Act 1985 requires Rolling Thunder Raceway Promotions Inc to disclaim any belief in the truth or falsity of information whish is supplied to it and which is published in other than editorial comment. Unsolicited editorial contributions are welcome, how ever, no responsibility can be accepted for their safety or return. The options of contributors are not necessarily those of the Publisher.

7 Lambeck Drive Tullamarine, Victoria. Australia. 3043 PH: 03 9338 0120 FAX: 03 9338 0315


Vale—Michael Gorman 02/08/1994—05/10/2011 The speedway fraternity has lost many of its cherished participants in recent times due to natural age related causes or illness, but is especially hard to accept when one of our younger family members is taken much too early. Victorian Junior Sedan stand out Michael Gorman was sadly killed on October 5 in a two vehicle road accident while on his way to Mt Panorama for this years V8 Supercars Bathurst event. Michael was a passenger in a camper owned by long time sponsor and close family friend Rod

Meakins that was involved in an accident near the town of Young in NSW that also injured both drivers and Meakins. The unnamed driver of Meakins’ camper was airlifted to Canberra hospital in a serious condition. The driver of the other vehicle was also airlifted to Canberra with serious arm injuries. Meakins was taken to Young hospital and later released. Michael was one of Victoria’s best Junior Sedan competitors

and had just graduated from that division and was looking forward to progressing his career in the senior ranks amongst the Victorian Modified Production Sedan ranks. Rolling Thunder E Magazine extends its deepest condolences to Michaels family, Robbie, Lynda, Kate and all of his friends and fellow competitors.

See news report


QUICK NEWS Race Radio reported that their recent show had the largest number EVER listening live!

Quality Performance Lubes (QPL) is the first of a number sponsors that have thrown their support behind the Sprintcar Thunder Series which is to be held at Rolling Thunder Raceway and Redline Raceway this coming season. QPL provide a full range of quality oils to the trade/ industry market. These include: Passenger Car Motor Oils Heavy Duty Diesel oils Industrial Oils Automotive Gear Oils Transmission Fluids. Farm Oils Coolant Greases Degreaser Food Grade Oils & Greases

“Who would ever think our show would last 12 months. This weeks show was our 73rd and we are still going strong,” stated host Andy Ticehurst. “Every week our live and podcast numbers get better and better. Our news format has reached a new demographic and our Bid 4 Jase winner, Brian Van Der Wakker aka “The Wakker” is doing a great job.”

“Bringing Wes Beadman into the fold has also changed the dynamics of the show. He has a true passion for motorsport and has a huge following in the speedway sedan ranks. We all know he has an opinion on everything and that’s just PARR Motorsports in conjunc- fine with me” continued tion with QPL are providing a Ticehurst $100 voucher at each Sprintcar “Our live numbers last night Thunder Series round

were fantastic due to our indepth exposure of the Super Sedan engine dramas that have plagued that division over the wi n t e r. ” “Brett Swanson has been here since day one and is like a rock. His cool claim style is a big winner with our listeners and we receive many complementary emails about “The Pirate”. “Our American correspondent Andy F o s t e r works hard on the West Coast to get those exclusive one on one interviews and US insight.” “Thank you to each and every listener and YES your emails of support do go a l o n g w a y . “ If you have any news and information please email us at race@raceradio.com.au www.raceradio.com.au is the link you need to listen to LIVE every Wednesday night from 7:30pm or to the podcast available shortly afterwards. Race Radio is now fully iPhone and iPad compatible.


burn wingless sprintcar division.

JONES and BROOKS

racer Andy Howard who also drove Jones Sprintcar before Simon Amato slotted his 410 engine between the rails (pic below) for a frustrating 2010/2011 season.

Discussions are taking place between Ron Jones and Colin Brooks about The South Australian and former All Star series champion driving Jones’ 97 sprintcar. NEW TWO SEATER SPRINTCAR Ron is quick to admit that he does not have the resources A new 2 seater sprintcar is of Colin’s previous car currently being built by Gary owner, Tony Bartlett, how- Bruce and Paul Solomon. ever he thinks that with the right driver, the #97 can be a The 2 seater will spend consistent performer in most of its time on location at Rolling Thunder Raceway most 360 races. where it will be utilised for Brooks drove the #75 Cool drive days and for sponof Tony Bartlett for the last 4 sors/spectator rides at years and in doing so won speedway events. the All Stars series 2 years The engine, which is yet to ago. be installed, will be either a Jones for his part has been Formula Motorsports race a great car owner with his engine or one of the new SDAV Hot rod that was Holden gen III spec engines driven by third generation used in the new Wayne Mil-

Bookings are available. RE CERTIFICATION OF HEAD AND NECK RESTRAINTS SDAV President Phil Jenkins advises those drivers choosing to wear a Head and Neck Restraint system, that additional information has been received from the SFI dated 23rd September 2011. Those drivers with such systems are encouraged to contact SDAV Headquarters to receive a copy of the latest Quality Assurance Specification document. As of January 1st, 2012, all restraint systems in excess of 5 years old from the initial date of certification, are required to be returned to the original manufacturer for possible re certification. The SFI advise the re certification can only be completed by the manufacturer and not an agent or re seller. Contact SDAV President Phil Jenkins at SDAV Headquaters for more information.


1800 00 22 12

Pitcher (pitchered below) is a classy competitor and is exciting to watch and is a welcome addition to the Victorian ranks. Former Australian AMCA Champion

SDAV - Preferred Methanol Supplier Confirmed SDAV President Phil Jenkins is pleased to announce that Power Plus Speciality Race Fuels have confirmed their continuing support of the SDAV by offering teams heavily discounted methanol for the forthcoming season, as well as a trophy at season end. “Power Plus Speciality Fuels have been with us for a couple of seasons now. We greatly value their support of the club and trust teams will consider purchasing Power Plus Methanol through the club”. 360 RANKS TO SWELL. At the recent Rolling Thunder Raceway test day a number of 360 Sprintcar teams were out in action testing and checking prior to the new season.

Mark Weaver looked quick in Mark Skidmores neat shell #71 ably assisted by his crew chief daughter Liz. Liz is married to US crew chief Gary Isom but visa delays have prevented from joining her hubby stateside.

Former Australian Wingless Sprint competitor Andy Caruana overcame some blocked injector nozzles on his ASCS 360 engine to find some speed before a spin saw him hit the turn one wall (pic below). Thankfully Caruana only sufferd minor damage to the Jacobs ladder. Kristy Ellis also looked speedy in the families’ familiar #12 but sadly the engine locked up later in the day, leaving dad Steve with some issues to resolve. VSC Sprintcar competitor Shane Fisher (cover photo) was also out in force and was smooth and fast until a broken driveline sidelined him. Fisher said he was going to be a pioneer and run his 337ci car against the bigger 360’s. “I don’t expect to come out and here and win, Dual SDAV Victorian Hot Rod Champion but it’s close to home and if I can just run Allan Pitcher is back for another crack at well, have some fun and not get in anybodies way, I’ll be happy.” He said. Sprintcars in his 360ci machine.


Sweet deal for Eastwood BRAD SWEET

Leading up to the following race season in Australia, Brad took up Gary’s invitation to come to Australia for a holiday. Whilst he was here, Brad was invited to run a very old Stealth Sprintcar (Formula Motorsports Group) with only a very ordinary 360 motor, in the SRA Series in Victoria.

Californian Brad Sweet who has been a regular visitor to Australia over the past 6 years, has certainly been in the news of late. After taking over Joey Saldana’s car after his injury, Brad has featured prominently in the WOO Sprintcar events and qualifying on the front row of the Knoxville NaAt that time Brad said tionals. “This drive is a real bonus Brad first came to Australia in for me. I wasn’t coming 2004 after an Australian here specifically to race Sprintcar spannerman, Gary but obviously I was hoping Eastwood struck up a friend- to pick something up. I was ship whilst visiting a speed- really coming here for a bit way in California. Gary of- of a holiday and to try and fered Brad some help on the arrange something for next night and the friendship blos- year.” somed from there. The then 18 year old Grass

Valley California resident had a wealth of experience despite his young age with over 10 years in karts, Mini Sprints and 360 Sprintcars. In the recently completed US season the “Simpson Race Gear” sponsored driver finished third in the Californian Sprint Car Civil War Series. “Since arriving in Australia, Gary (Eastwood) and Bob Forbes have hastily put their old Stealth together so I can at least have a drive.” Sweet gratefully acknowledged “They were also quick to point out that the old car will be somewhat underpowered against some of the local guns, but It’s a chance for me have some

BRAD SWEET and GARY EASTWOOD (December 2004)


ROLLING THUNDER TV SPEEDWAY Videos fun and meet some Aussies, and besides, I’m used to running smaller underpowered cars against bigger engined machines. I do it nearly every week at my home track at Placerville.�

in the second round of casions driving for Rod M a t h e ws and Bruce heats. Stephens and also having a Brad started at the rear of stint in the David Crabtree the A main and after fighting speedcar. his way up to 8th place, he was forced infield when the Brad received world wide motor stopped, he managed exposure when he crashed to get it started again and specularly at Tri State rolled out to rejoin the race Speedway in the Eastwood at the rear of the field again. Motorsports wingless sprintHe again forced his way up car in the USA. The footage to 9th place. It was a great was broadcast around the drive in an very mediocre world on CNN. car.

Brad certainly impressed everybody at Redline Raceway Ballarat in the Fireball Derby. Brad did not finish the first heat due to mechanical Brad has since retuned to problems and finished 2nd Australia on a number of oc-

SEE VIDEO


GARY EASTWOOD. Gary Eastwood (pictured right) is one of the quite achievers in Australian speedway scene having become good personal friends with some of the sports biggest names. Eastwood, when not working as a the chief engineer on ships supplying the many “off shore” oil rigs scattered between Australia and our northern neighbours, has regularly crewed in the USA or Australia for such notable racers as Jack Hewitt, Brad Sweet (as previously stated), Joey Saldana, Shane Stewart, Bud & Tim Kaeding, Casey Shuman, Josh Fisher and his great mate, the late Jesse Hocket. Eastwood’s relationship with Hockett went beyond being mates and helping Jesse out along the road whenever possible to owning the speedcar that “The Rocket” Hockett drove to 12th place in the 2008 chili bowl. Eastwood also owns an ART Chassis that Hockett used as part of his arsenal of speedway weapons before his untimely passing which severely shocked Eastwood who was back in Australia at the time. Jesse was planning to visit Australia last season for his second racing sojourn driving for Bruce Stephens, but unfortunately, Jesse passed away soon after the arrangements were made. The seat was then filled by fellow Missouri speedster Josh Fisher. See Interview with Josh Fisher and Brett Swanson

Photo left—Hockett about to head out for some Chilli Bowl action. Previous page— Brad Sweet in action at driving the Rod Matthews V9.


Jason Johnson Wins JESSEE HOCKETT/ DANIEL McMILLIN Memorial

The Jesse Hockett/Daniel McMillIn Memorial at Lucas Oil Speedway was won by Jason Johnson who raced into the lead at the outset and then held off some fierce challenges from Tim Crawley in the closing rounds in the fast-paced, nonstop affair to secure the $6,000 triumph aboard the Don Ottpowered Haynes/Mesilla Valley Transport/Pope Properties No. 41 Maxim. This was Johnson’s 54th career ASCS National win and sixth of the year.

just over eight minutes to complete after rain delayed the start of the program by three hours earlier in the night.

Johnson explained in victory lane. “I wish those guys were here”

A total of 72 different drivers competed in the Jesse Hockett/Daniel McMillin Memorial event over the course of the weekend including 66 in Fridays preliminary event and 68 in Saturday night finale.

Starting from the pole position, Johnson paced all 30 circuits although Crawley threatened to take his third win in a row atop the Lucas Oil Speedway clay oval in the nightcap that took

The preliminary final on the Friday night was won by Crawley as he broke into Lucas Oil ASCS National victory lane for the first time Crawley battled past race-long leader Jack Dover on the 19th circuit and then held off a fast-closing Brian Brown to become the 13th different series winner of the year . Crawley beat 18th-starter Photo left—Eastwood stands back and casts his eye over some Chilli Bowl set up changes. Above—Another action shot of Hockett in the Eastwood midget at the famous Chilli Bowl.


Brown to the stripe, with Johnson and Dover also locking into Saturday night’s $6,000-to-win Hockett / McMillin Memorial championship main event.

Photo right—Eastwood and a crew member hussle to make some changes for Jesse.

Photo left—A great moment for Eastwood as he shares the joy of another victory with his mate, the late, great Jesse “the Rocket” Hockett.


Former enduro motorcycle racer Mick Cunningham has been bitten badly by the Sprintcar bug since making his debut last season. During the off season the Kyneton businessman has left no stone unturned with updated equipment and spares and plenty of testing at both Redline and Rolling Thunder Raceways. “It’s too hard to try to learn things when you’re out there racing,” stated Cunningham. “This way I can try different lines and set-ups without getting in anyone’s way and I’ll be ready for when the new season start.”

See Interview with Mick Cunningham on his first night of racing at Avalon Speedway.

Interview with Brett Swanson


BUTLER and BISHOP It seems that Johnny Butler and Harley Bishop have teamed up for an assault on the 360 sprintcar scene this coming season. Car Owner Johnny Butler has a wealth of experience in speedway running a Limited Sprintcar briefly back in the late 80’s and then more recently an AMCA National, again only briefly. This car is now doing well in the hands of Grant Cullinger. Butler is probably best known for his tireless efforts crewing for his great mate Mark Brown in “Brown Dog’s” speedcar exploits and for helping out anyone at any time. Butler has also spent plenty of time learning his trade on the cars of Tom Matthews, Ian Lewis and many others.


Harley Bishop is the progeny of Victorian speedcar legend Ray “Noddy” Bishop and is.well known to Victorian and Sydney Speedcar fans in particular. Harley “The Wild Child” drives like his nickname and has some great wins under his belt in the midgets against top flight local and international opposition. Bishop has previously driven Sprintcars for the likes of Bob Forbes, Bruce Stephens and Ray Maloney without the success that his speed deserves. Undoubtedly Bishop will be fast in the 360 ranks and his style may just ruffle a few feathers as well but no doubt he will be a welcome addition to the driving roster and is sure to be a crowd pleaser.


night after at Nyora is again a feature of the calendar and the season comes to an end with the Victorian Championship in May. The Gold Cup Challenge series will appear at Redline, Bairnsdale, Rosedale, Nyora and Rushworth all traditional supporters of the Mini Sprints.

BIG SEASON AHEAD FOR VICTORIAN MINI SPRINTS CLUB The off season has been busy for the Melbourne Mini Sprinters who have undergone a name change for season 2011/2012 and will be now known as the Victorian Mini Sprints.(VMS). The members and committee made the decision to change the name after 20 years in an effort to grow the member base and attract more drivers to the category from outside of Melbourne and also to attract more interest from venues on the Western side of the West Gate Bridge. Victorian Mini Sprints have organised a sponsor for each race meeting this season and their series will be a five round series titled the ‘VMS Gold Cup Challenge’. Scrutineering for all competitors will take place on Sunday the 16th of October in Tooradin South Gippsland with all interested parties encouraged to

All series rounds and non series race meetings will have club points on offer which drivers will accumulate to take the make contact with the club as overall club championship agthe day will double as a social gregate. gathering for members. The upcoming season will also The club has a full race calen- see some new cars with differdar confirmed around Victoria ent engines adding to the specfor the upcoming season with tacle of racing that people many feature races part of the have come to appreciate over the past 40 plus years of club calendar. The season includes 3 dates at history as Toyota 4AGE enRedline Raceway in Ballarat gines, 1000cc motorcycle enand four dates at their tradi- gines and 1500cc car engines tional home, Nyora Raceway. become the norm from the The annual Boxing Day event at Bairnsdale followed by the Geoff Moule Memorial the

Amy Phillips # 54


once popular 1200cc Datsun engines.

front.

New drivers include reigning Australian Junior Speedway Kart Champion Ebony Hobson the eldest child of Dirt Modified legend Lloyd Hobson, and former Open Sedan Champion Simon Bent who will have a steer in the open wheelers for the first time. Both have super ability with Bent likely to be on the pace quickly. Bent will be driving for Stuart Ferguson as part of a two car team with Ferguson driving the other car. Jason Andreatta returns to the class after a season out of the seat and all the usual suspects of Danny Milton, Matt Parsons and Craig Oliver will be charging hard at the

At this stage the rest of the troupe include Chris Milton, Owen Milton, Amy Phillips, Kevin Bomford, Dave Schickert, Jason Lynn, Wayne Herford and another rookie Rod Jeffrey.

Matt Parsons # 73

As we go to print marketing partners include Maxim Tool Boxes, Blue Tongue Campers, Bass River Motors, Alfred Lewis Engineering, Bass


January 8th Drouin Speedway supported by Elite Metals (Club Points) January 21st Rosedale Speedway Round 3 of the VMS GCC supported by Bass Concreting February 11th Redline Raceway supported by Alfred Lewis Engineering March 3rd Nyora Raceway supported by CusThe full calendar with supporting financial part- tom Haulers (Club Points) ner is scheduled as follows: March 24th Nyora Raceway Round 4 of the VMS GCC supported by Kool Freighters th October 29 Redline Raceway (Club Points) April 6th Rosedale Speedway supported by Bass November 12th Nyora Raceway supported by River Motors (Club Points) Blue Tongue Campers (Club Points) April 7th Bairnsdale Speedway supported by Bass Baulk Haulage (Club Points) December 10th Redline Raceway Round 1 of the VMS Gold Cup Challenge supported by April 28th Rushworth Speedway Round 5 of the VMS GCC supported by Cranhaul Transport Maxim Toolboxes th December 26 Bairnsdale Speedway Round 2 May 19th Alexandra Speedway Victorian title of VMS GCC supported by Bass River Motors December 27th Nyora Raceway Geoff Moule Memorial Feature (Club Points) Concreting, Cranhaul Transport, Bass Bulk Haulage, Elite Metals, Custom Haulers & Kool Freighters whilst anybody else keen to talk to the club about some cross marketing opportunities should speak to President Danny Milton on 0419 348 926.


AMCA Race Dates for 2011/2012 The exciting AMCA nationals again have a full season of racing ahead with both the Action Series and the Country Series being run this coming year. State organizer, Chris Overall has been busy arranging races at most tracks throughout the State of Victoria and major races interstate.

January Wed 4th Simpson. Fri 6th Darlington. Australian Championship—Hamilton 26th Cullcutta. 27th Heats 28th Heats & Finals. February Sat 4th. Rolling Thunder.

October Sat 22nd Rushworth Sat 29th Avalon.

Sat11th Ballarat. Sat 18th Rockhampton, QLD. Sat 25th Warrnambool.

November Sat 12th Nyora Night 1 B.W. Reidy Memorial. Sat 19th Rosedale. Sat 26th Avalon Night 2 B.W. Reidy Memorial.

March. Sat 17th Swan Hill VIC Title. Sat 24th Dubbo. N.S.W. Title.

December Sat 10th Hamilton. Tue 27th Horsham. Wed 28th Rolling Thunder.

April Sun 8th Waikerie. S.A. Fri14th Portland. May Sat 21st Rolling Thunder. Sat 5th. Ballarat.


Is the All Star Circuit of Champions headed for new ownership and expansion? Moves are afoot for a potential takeover/buyout and subsequent expansion of the All Star Circuit of Champions franchise in the USA.

that the All Stars have recently announced a return to the awesome Eldora on October 2nd, a track which has held more All Stars races than any other.

Our well placed spies tell us that a well known Sprintcar racer/team owner is considering purchasing the All Stars from owner Guy Webb with the view to expanding the series and possibly amalgamating the Dirt Late Models shows with the Sprintcars wherever possible to bring a complete package of on track excitement to the racing fans.

“The object is to expand the various series’ as the drivers are all telling us they want and need more races.” Stated the man who is being head hunted to run all the relevant classes but whose name we can’t reveal just yet. “Wherever possible the Late Models and the Sprintcars would be combined on the same night, although that wont always be the case as some areas and tracks are big supporters of one class or the other but not necessarily both.”

At the end of the 2009 American season, moves were being made to see a rival series established to go head to head with the Ohio based All Star Sprintcars. The prime reason then was the opposition to the Goodyear control tyre deal that was put in place with the World of Outlaws series and the All Stars adoption of the same rule. Support was sought with many high powered players pledging their support including some tracks, but when all was said and done the tracks became a little nervous and stuck with the All Stars rather than embrace a World of Outlaws/National Sprint Tour type of situation. As a result, the famous Eldora raceway, which had pledged allegiance to the renegades, was struck off from the All Stars Calendar and hasn’t been part of the championship since. However, keen eyed fans will have noticed

As with last time, some of the same major supporters have again pledged their support, however this time as the idea is not to rival the established series but rather make a non hostile buy-out there is a much greater chance of a happy ending. The All Stars Circuit of Champions has a long and successful history and anyone who is anyone in speedway, especially in the Sprintcar division, has contested and won ASCoC races. Ohio Legend Kenny Jacobs has four Championships and 99 feature wins, while Chad Kemenah took four straight titles before heading off to the Outlaws. Currently Tim Shaffer is the defending Champion and is leading the championship chase which is broking down into separate titles –


Passenger Car Motor Oils Heavy Duty Diesel oils Industrial Oils Automotive Gear Oils Transmission Fluids. Farm Oils Coolant Greases Degreaser Food Grade Oils & Greases holds a handy points break. The other ASCoC Sprintcar championship Is the Midwest Series which has already concluded and was won by Rob Chaney ahead of veteran Danny Smith.

Call

Neil Cochrane today!

0425 755 730 or 03 5367 8794

For Late Model fans, the ASCoC Late Model series is currently being lead by the Million Dollar Man Donnie Moran, while his son Devin, who will hit our Aussie shores shortly, is leading that series’ rookie of the year standings.

The Great Plains, Ohio and National series. This was as a result of the fact that not everyone could afford to make the long haul to Florida in late January and early February each year to start the season. So the progressive ASCoC decided that it would provide more incentive for those Ohio based teams to contest the Ohio region championship and or the Great Plains series with series championship prize money being spread across the three regions rather than just on the national points.

The ASCoC had been supported by Auto Parts retailer O’Reilly’s over recent years but that agreement was terminated mid year when a scheduled sponsorship payment was not forthcoming. With this factor and the general down turn in the US economy, now might just be the right time for ASCoC owner Guy Webb to cash in his stocks and move onto something else.

Shaffer has already won the Great Plains title and is leading both the Ohio and National titles which will conclude at Eldora where Shaffer

Ph 0411 470 712


FORMULA V8’s If you run a Formula V8 Sedan, then the time is right to get your membership and registration sorted out. Fees have stayed the same as last season so make sure your crew is covered with insurance, and are members of the club.

Driver/Car $200.00 Driver Only $100.00 Crew $60.00 One Way Communicator $150.00 Driver Insurance (basic) $99.00 Crew Pit Insurance (basic) $69.00

There is a new tyre rule for this season. The new tyres will still be Goodyear’s, but a softer compound - either a G40 or G50. You can have a choice of 29” or 27.5” to allow a bit of offset. This will be a minimum compound, you can still use the harder compound which will be fantastic

for Rolling Thunder Raceway, and a new batch of these are coming as well. Cost will be approximately $220 each. Tyres should be in stock by the end of October.

2011/12 Race Dates October Insurance Upgrades are Sun 16 (day) Rolling Thunavailable at additional cost. der All Fees include B.S.D.C Inc Sat 29 Rolling Thunder Club membership. November. One Way Communicators Sat 12 Redline are now mandatory at a cost of $150.00 each, No Com- December Sat 10 Redline municator - No Race.

Sat 17 Rolling Thunder. Wed 28 Rolling Thunder January Sat 7 Rolling Thunder Sat 14 Redline Sat 28 Redline February

Sat 4 Rolling Thunder Sat 11 Redline Sat 25 Redline March Sun 11 Redline April Sun 8 Redline (Easter) Sat 21 Rolling Thunder (track championships) May Sat 5 Redline 3pm start, (track championships) Sun 27 (day) Redline (12pm start)


The Rolling Thunder Raceway 2011/2012 season is nearly upon us and hopefully for the new promotional team and also for the competitors and fans it is going to be a great year. Entry for both competitors and fans has been capped at a low price, designed to make it cheaper for everyone to go racing. Hopefully both the racers and the punters will become enamoured with this policy and will make Rolling Thunder Raceway a regular part of their racing season. The current season which kicks off on Sunday 16th of October will featured a varied program with just about every class of speedway vehicle getting a run at some stage of the season. A couple of things will be highlights of the RTR season and number one amongst those would have to be the return of the Sprintcar Thunder Series. This series, was really the impetus that got the 360ci Sprintcar division up and running solidly

in Victoria, and was then handed over to the All Stars after a couple of years of operation. The time is right however to rejuvenate both RTR and the Sprintcar Thunder Series (STS) which will be a brilliant Victorian based companion series to the wider travelling All Stars.


The STS will not be restricted to RTR however, with Ballarat’s Redline Raceway becoming a partner in the series as they did in its infancy. The other major highlight will be the first ever running of the Victorian Late Model Sedan Championship on February 4, one week after the national championship is held In Sydney.

V8 Dirt Modifieds are growing in numbers in the Garden state due partly to the National Championship being held at Avalon.

This will be a first time for the V8 Dirt Mods at RTR and they are being eagerly anticiA solid field is expected, with many teams pated. taking the opportunity to win some more silverware and, more importantly, the cash, Throw in the AMCA Nationals, all forms of on the way home to Adelaide or Perth after sedans at both the senior and junior level, and it should be a great season. For a full list of classes and dates see the full page ad elsewhere in this magazine.

their Aussie Title tilt. With that in mind the Thundering Late Models will also have a couple of other events here as a warm up and are sure to exit, just like they did here last October as part of the Trans Tasman Sedan Challenge.


26 YEARS AGO Recently we came across some old issues of various speedway magazines courtesy of former Mini Sprint racer Margot Spalding. It’s fascinating to read of some of the issues and politics and in particular it seems nothing has changed in almost 30 years with the ASCF copping plenty of flack back then as they still are today. In the December 1984 issue of Meyer Publishing’s Speedway Star magazine, there was an ad for one of the Meyer family’s American speedway tours - a tour which is still organised by the Meyer family. The ad for the 25th Anniversary Knoxville Nationals “Super” tour contained the following enticement.

“You’ve already missed A.J. Foyt, Parnelli Jones and Jan Opperman hook it up on the clay, don’t miss out on seeing present day legends Steve Kinser, Doug Wolfgang and Sammy Swindell. These three drivers have got to be seen to be believed and they can’t go on racing forever.” It’s amazing to think that some 26 years later, you can still go to Knoxville and see at least two of the three still racing while all of them have sons racing there as well. Maybe they can go on forever.


Former Ian Lewis crew member Bob Haselgrove had his beautiful ex Des Nash/Hearns Hobbies midget out for a run at Rolling Thunder Raceway recently and even put it out on the track amongst Braedon Palmers modern day equaivalent.


ROLLING THUNDER PRACTICE DAY 18th September 2011


LESTER LEAPS INTO LATE MODELS Queenslander Darran Lester who last season piloted the ‘Lester Motorsport’ # 59 ‘Lester Electrical & Air Conditioning’ Ford Mustang/Dominator Super Sedan on a limited schedule has decided to sell up and leap from Super Sedans to Late Models for the 2011/12 season after some deep thought from all within the team. Lester who early in the season was in third place of the Queensland Super Sedan Association points before work commitments scuttled any aspirations he had of completing the full season already has two Masterbilt Late Models on the way from the United States. Lester who was racing with a Ford engine and due to the Ford engines coming under recent scrutiny by the governing body and the amount of fiddling with the technical rules within the division Lester decided the time was

right to sell up. “We know because we had a Ford engine people are going to make some assumptions on why we are now going to the Late Models and I want to come forward and put to bed any possible rumours. Since we joined the Super Sedans after stints in various categories, the rules have consistently changed both with the chassis and engine’s. It wasn’t an easy decision because of friendships we have made, however we as a team have decided to join the Late Model’s as they continue to grow.” Shared Lester. Lester continued. “Like any Speedway category there are people with their own personal agenda’s that in my opinion are detrimental to the class moving forward and we felt that some of these people were getting in the way of our team and the categories growth. On the positive side

we are very much excited to be able to share with the Speedway public our new direction with our new cars expected to be on track after Christmas. We are also in negotiations with a driver from the United States that we hope to bring here to run some big shows in the New Year. We are also working on financial support for the team and will make some announcements with regards to that later this year.” As for the Super Sedan for sale, in the 2010/11 season the car and Lester won the Tsunami Charity event at Toowoomba’s Charlton Speedway and was driven to second place in the MacKay round of the SSA. Anybody interested can contact Dard a r r a n o n ran_lester@bigpond.com with their contact details and any questions you may have.



Issue 17 Rolling Thunder E-Mag