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Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi!

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  • Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi!

    Last night working third shift I got the World Series Sprintcars race at Avalon Raceway on speedwayaustralia.tv live streamed. Hot laps kicked off around 1am EST and final checkered flew at 6am. There were 41 cars in attendance, including names like Cory Eliason, Kerry Madsen, Jamie Veal, James McFadden, Jason Pryde, Darren Mollenoyux, Steve Lines and a lot of other heavy hitters. One of the most interesting things about the race is the format. It was very different than anything I had seen before.

    The format was a points format awarding points for qualifying, and two separate heats awarding passing points. The heats appeared to be an invert of 8 for the first heat based on qualifying, with the second heat an invert of 8 based on the combined point totals from heat 1 and the qualifying efforts. The total points from the preliminary action locked the top 8 drivers into the "shootout" and the 9-16 in the A-main lined up with the highest in points at the front moving back. The most intriguing spot of the format is the Shootout. Firstly, positions 5-8 take their turn in the bronze shootout. Each shootout is 3 qualifying laps in which the fastest two move into the silver shootout, and then from the silver into the gold. The front 4 rows are lined up by essentially re-qualifying. Which seems to me a good balance between the risk of a dash and still being able to improve your position for teams and drivers. The remaining drivers competed in the C Main in which the top 2 moved on to the B main, and the B Main advanced the top 4 to tag the rear of the A for a field of 20 cars. The preliminary Mains were lined straight up on points accrued.

    The feature was absolutely outstanding, Darren Mollenoyux started on the pole with Cory Eliason starting outside of him. Note that Eliason was originally slated to start 6th in the feature but had earned his way to second via the bronze, silver, and gold shootout. Eliason took the early lead but Mollenoyux had caught him once Eliason reached traffic and they had started a slider-fest between the two for the lead. Eliason eventually got out in front and broke away for the lead as Jamie Veal and McFadden had worked their way by Mollenoyux and Lines to move into second and third having quite the battle of their own all the way. Eliason had nearly checked out from the field as he worked through lapped traffic but clipped the infield tire and knocked the front end out of the Diamond Bay Motorsports 26 (ironically blue/black similar to the Rudeen car he will be in this year). Veal inherited the lead on the ensuing restart ahead of Mollenoyux and and McFadden. Mollenoyux closed in on Veal with 5 to go and even took the lead at one point, but it was Veal who would come out victorious for the second time in the past two attempts at Avalon Raceway, also claiming the boxing night win earlier in the week.

    Overall very impressed with how racy the track was. A bit more bumping as it's more of a bullring style track but nothing significant or blatantly dirty that I saw. The format encouraged hard racing all the way through with the best drivers starting near the back in each of the 4 heats. McFadden railing the top from 8th to 3rd was probably the biggest highlight in the preliminary action all night. There were also a few drivers who were running different engines under the hood. There was one competitor using a Ford engine and I believe one of the drivers was using a Volkswagon engine. Highly recommend checking an event out through speedwayaustralia.tv if you catch a case of insomnia one night, broadcast was perfect all night despite some worrying comments I'd seen before on facebook. Keep in mind the very big time and day jump. The December 30th race at 5PM in Australia had hot laps starting around 1 Am December 30th here, and they do have varying time zones as well.

    All this being said, has anyone else watched racing in Australia either in person or online and what did you think of it?
    2019 Race Counter: 12
    Attica (6), Butler (1), Fremont (2), Lawrenceburg (1), Wayne Co. (1), Mansfield (1)

  • #2
    I have watched quite a few Australian Sprint Car races and a lot of highlight videos on Facebook. Never have seen a bad race and they do seem to have a competitive yet fair format. I like that they do everything based on points.

    While most hate qualifying, I have no problem with it and actually like the outlaws format. While some hate having the fastest cars upfront, I think the races are actually much more competitive and racier. While yes it is exciting seeing the fast cars come up from the back of the pack, the competitor in me hates seeing a guy potentially be penalized because of a wreck in front of him, bad track conditions, etc. The Aussie format takes that away with the point structure and their shootout lineup format.

    Seeing photos of the tracks and some of the equipment that the teams have, it seems like there is more money involved down there. At least that going off of optics with how the tracks look, the rigs, the cars, and equipment. It seems to be that Sprint car racing is a little bit more celebrated in the australian culture than here.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Sprint14 View Post
      Seeing photos of the tracks and some of the equipment that the teams have, it seems like there is more money involved down there. At least that going off of optics with how the tracks look, the rigs, the cars, and equipment. It seems to be that Sprint car racing is a little bit more celebrated in the australian culture than here.
      It’s more of a mainstream sport there certainly. In all reality though the pay there even for the Workd Series Sprints is pretty meh. WSS is $10k to win AUD which is $7k and change to win in USD. I’d say the cars are overall probably not quite up to par (for the most part) with American cars. Although there are certainly some exceptions. The %age of big money teams versus family operations seems a little lower over there as well, more family operations from what I could tell.
      2019 Race Counter: 12
      Attica (6), Butler (1), Fremont (2), Lawrenceburg (1), Wayne Co. (1), Mansfield (1)

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      • #4
        Originally posted by GTigers55 View Post
        It’s more of a mainstream sport there certainly. In all reality though the pay there even for the Workd Series Sprints is pretty meh. WSS is $10k to win AUD which is $7k and change to win in USD. I’d say the cars are overall probably not quite up to par (for the most part) with American cars. Although there are certainly some exceptions. The %age of big money teams versus family operations seems a little lower over there as well, more family operations from what I could tell.
        Not sure if you follow a group called world wide Sprint car fans on Facebook or not. Usually they have multiple updates from Australia including doing some pit walks. Just looking at the setups the teams have just makes it look like their is more money invested into the sport. The tracks are certainly different and a lot more narrow so I am not sure the performance needs are the same there as they are here. From some of the western springs, queensland, premier speedway, and Avalon videos I have seen I have not seen much difference in the performance of the cars there than here. I don't put too much stock in the purse structure due to the different countries. When you get into those things one countries dollar can possibly be stretched further than another country for differing reasons. It just looks from a distance on a national platform the racing seems to do better there than here

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