Australian Sprintcar Championship

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The Lucas Oil Australian Sprintcar Championship is a dirt track racing championship held each year to determine the Australian national champion for winged sprint car racing. The single championship meeting runs in either late January or early February and has been held each year since the Windsor RSL Speedway in Sydney hosted the first championship in 1963. After the first nine championship meetings were held in New South Wales, the Sprintcar Control Council of Australia (SCCA) now holds the meeting in a different state on a rotational basis, with 1972 seeing the first championship held outside of NSW at the Premier Speedway in Warrnambool, Victoria. The Australian Sprintcar Title is only open to Australian drivers and is run and sanctioned by the SCCA.

History[edit]

The championship has gone by different names over its 52 years as in that time Sprintcars have evolved from crude modified 'hot rods' to the dual winged, 410 cubic inch engined cars of today. The majority of race cars and engines are imported from the USA, although some local chassis builders still exist. Sprintcars themselves are modular, with many combinations of chassis and engine possible. Equipment is highly specialised. Wheels, suspension, wings, drive train and fuel tank all bolt to a chassis.

From 1963-64 the title was known as the Australian Sportsman Hot rod Championship. In 1965 this changed to the Australian Hot Rod Championship. This was again changed in 1966 to the National Super Modified Championship but the 1965 name re-appeared in 1967. From 1968-1970 the meeting was known as the Australian Super Modified Championship while from 1971-1978 the title was then called the Australian Modified Sprintcar Championship before changing one more time in 1979 to its current name, the Australian Sprintcar Championship.

The Australian championship, along with the Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic held exclusively at Warrnambool's Premier Speedway, are seen the two most prestigious single Sprintcar meetings on the Australian speedway calendar. Another prestigious race is the Australian Sprintcar Grand Prix held annually at the Sydney Speedway.

The championship is separate to Australia's national Sprintcar series, the World Series Sprintcars which has been running since 1987. Unique restrictions apply to the Australian Championship. Only Australian residents and citizens are eligible to participate; foreign drivers are not eligible to participate in this event.

Retired Sydney based driver Garry Rush holds the record with ten Australian championship wins and 18 podium finishes between 1966 and 1998. New South Wales based drivers have dominated the title with 36 wins from 52 championships. Six drivers were from Victoria, three each from South Australia and Western Australia, two winners have been from Queensland, and one from Tasmania.

While many successful Australian Sprintcar drivers started out racing Speedcars, only three drivers have ever won both the Australian Sprintcar Championship and the Australian Speedcar Championship. They being Sydney drivers George Tatnell and Robert Farr, and Adelaide's Phil March. Victorian driver Max Dumesny, who won the championship in 1991, 1998 and 2002, was also the Australian Formula 500 Champion in 1981 and 1983, and is the only driver to achieve the Formula 500-Sprintcar double. Dumesny is also the son-in-law of former racer Sid Moore, having married Moore's daughter, Melinda, herself a former Sprintcar driver, in 1992.

On 25–28 January 2012 Speedway City in Adelaide hosted the 50th Anniversary Australian Sprintcar Championship.[1] Sydney driver Brooke Tatnell won his 5th Australian championship and repeated the feat of his late father George Tatnell who won his only Australian Sprintcar Title at the track in 1988 (the 1988 meeting was also the younger Tatnell's first appearance in the championship at just 16 years of age). George and Brooke Tatnell are one of only two father-son combinations to win the championship, the other being Sydney's Steve and Garry Brazier

The 2014 Australian Champion was former Tasmanian driver David Murcott who won his first national championship after finishing third in 2012 and second in 2013. The 2014 championship was held at the Latrobe Speedway in Latrobe, Tasmania. Murcott, who is based in Victoria, became the first Tasmanian driver to win the Australian Sprintcar Championship.

The 2015-16 Australian championship was held at the Premier Speedway in Warrnambool, Victoria on 29-31 January 2016. Sydney's Kerry Madsen won his second Australian title (having won his first also in Warrnambool in 2003) from Brooke Tatnell with Jamie Veal finishing 3rd.[2]

Winners since 1963[edit]

Year Venue City/State Winner Runner-up 3rd place
1963 Windsor RSL Speedway Sydney, NSW Bill Willis (Vic) Ray Forrest (NSW) Graham McCubbin (Vic)
1964 Windsor RSL Speedway Sydney, NSW Dick Briton (NSW) Bill Willis (Vic) George Polley (NSW)
1965 Windsor RSL Speedway Sydney, NSW Bill Warner (NSW) Dick Briton (NSW) Graeme McCubbin (Vic)
1966 Westmead Speedway Sydney, NSW Dick Briton (NSW) Bill Warner (NSW) Garry Rush (NSW)
1967 Westmead Speedway Sydney, NSW Dick Briton (NSW) Garry Rush (NSW) Ray Brett (NSW)
1968 Sydney Showground Speedway Sydney, NSW Bob Tunks (NSW) Ray Brett (NSW) Tony Ward (NSW)
1969 Morisset Speedway Morisset, NSW Jim Winterbottom (NSW) Ray Skipper (SA) Peter Dickerson (NSW)
Year Venue City/State Winners Runner-up 3rd place
1970 Morisset Speedway Morisset, NSW Bill Wigzell (SA) David Lander (NSW) Les Harrower (Vic)
1971 Sydney Showground Speedway Sydney, NSW Dick Briton (NSW) Joe Scruise (NSW) Les Harrower (Vic)
1972 Premier Speedway Warrnambool, Vic Graeme McCubbin (Vic) Phil Hereen (SA) Wayne Fisher (SA)
1973 Rowley Park Speedway Adelaide, SA John Moyle (SA) Allan Jones (SA) Ron Clark (Vic)
1974 Fraser Park Speedway Canberra, ACT Jim Winterbottom (NSW) Les Harrower (Vic) Ron Smith (Vic)
1975 Archerfield Speedway Brisbane, Qld Dick Briton (NSW) Graeme McCubbin (Vic) Garry Rush (NSW)
1976 Latrobe Speedway Latrobe, Tas Noel Bradford (WA) Graeme McCubbin (Vic) David Conlin (Vic)
1977 Bunbury Speedway Bunbury, WA Garry Rush (NSW) Noel Bradford (WA) George Tatnell (NSW)
1978 Parramatta City Raceway Sydney, NSW Garry Rush (NSW) Jimmy Sills (United States) Steve Brazier (NSW)
1979 Premier Speedway Warrnambool, Vic Steve Brazier (NSW) Bill Wigzell (SA) Tim Moncrieff (Tas)
Year Venue City/State Winners Runner-up 3rd place
1980 Speedway Park Virginia, SA Steve Brazier (NSW) Alf Barbagallo (WA) Graeme McCubbin (Vic)
1981 Brisbane Exhibition Ground Brisbane, Qld Garry Rush (NSW) Bill Barrows (SA) Dick Briton (NSW)
1982 Tralee Speedway Canberra, ACT Garry Rush (NSW) Bob Kelly (QLD) Ian Sams (NSW)
1983 Newcastle Motordrome Newcastle, NSW Garry Rush (NSW) Brett Lacey (Vic) Ray Lacey (Vic)
1984 Rockhampton Speedway Rockhampton, Qld Garry Rush (NSW) George Tatnell (NSW) John Walsh (NSW)
1985 Claremont Speedway Perth, WA Ron Krikke (WA) Lee Foster (WA) Max Dumesny (Vic)
1986 Premier Speedway Warrnambool, Vic Garry Rush (NSW) Bob Tunks (NSW) Ian Lewis (Vic)
1986* Northline Speedway Darwin, NT Brett Lacey (Vic) Steve Brazier (NSW) Garry Rush (NSW)
1988 Speedway Park Virginia, SA George Tatnell (NSW) Garry Rush (NSW) Max Dumesny (Vic)
1989 Tralee Speedway Canberra, ACT Garry Rush (NSW) George Tatnell (NSW) Brett Lacey (Vic)
Year Venue City/State Winners Runner-up 3rd place
1990 Archerfield Speedway Brisbane, Qld Garry Rush (NSW) Max Dumesny (Vic) George Tatnell (NSW)
1991 Carrick Speedway Carrick, Tas Max Dumesny (Vic) David Anderson (Vic) Brooke Tatnell (NSW)
1992 Parramatta City Raceway Sydney, NSW Garry Rush (NSW) Max Dumesny (Vic) Rod Bowen (NSW)
1993 Claremont Speedway Perth, WA Ron Krikke (WA) Garry Brazier (NSW) Mark Wells (WA)
1994 Premier Speedway Warrnambool, Vic Garry Brazier (NSW) Brooke Tatnell (NSW) Robert Farr (NSW)
1995 Borderline Speedway Mount Gambier, SA Garry Brazier (NSW) Brooke Tatnell (NSW) Garry Rush (NSW)
1996 Archerfield Speedway Brisbane, Qld Todd Wanless (Qld) Paul Lindberg (Qld) Garry Rush (NSW)
1997 Parramatta City Raceway Sydney, NSW Garry Brazier (NSW) Kerry Madsen (NSW) Peter Murphy (NSW)
1998 Bunbury Speedway Bunbury, WA Max Dumesny (Vic) Garry Rush (NSW) Skip Jackson (NSW)
1999 Premier Speedway Warrnambool, Vic Phil March (SA) Kerry Madsen (NSW) Max Dumesny (Vic)
Year Venue City/State Winners Runner-up 3rd place
2000 Speedway Park Virginia, SA Garry Brazier (NSW) Max Dumesny (Vic) Nathan MacDonald (Qld)
2001 Brisbane International Raceway Brisbane, Qld Skip Jackson (NSW) Garry Brazier (NSW) Max Dumesny (Vic)
2002 Parramatta City Raceway Sydney, NSW Max Dumesny (Vic) Robert Farr (NSW) Brooke Tatnell (NSW)
2003 Premier Speedway Warrnambool, Vic Kerry Madsen (NSW) Garry Brazier (NSW) Brooke Tatnell (NSW)
2004 Bunbury Speedway Bunbury, WA Robert Farr (NSW) Max Dumesny (Vic) Mark Wells (WA)
2005 Riverview Speedway Murray Bridge, SA Brooke Tatnell (NSW) Ryan Farrell (WA) Cameron Gessner (Qld)
2006 Brisbane International Raceway Brisbane, Qld Brooke Tatnell (NSW) Max Dumesny (Vic) Cameron Gessner (Qld)
2007 Latrobe Speedway Latrobe, Tas Brooke Tatnell (NSW) Max Dumesny (Vic) Robert Farr (NSW)
2008 Parramatta City Raceway Sydney, NSW Garry Brazier (NSW) Robert Farr (NSW) Ian Loudoun (NSW)
2009 Perth Motorplex Perth, WA Garry Brazier (NSW) Trevor Green (SA) Ryan Farrell (WA)
Year Venue City/State Winners Runner-up 3rd place
2010 Northline Speedway Darwin, NT James McFadden (NT) Stephen Bell (Vic) Jamie Maiolo (WA)
2011 Premier Speedway Warrnambool, Vic Brooke Tatnell (NSW) Kerry Madsen (NSW) Steven Lines (SA)
2012 Speedway City Virginia, SA Brooke Tatnell (NSW)[3] Shaun Dobson (Tas) David Murcott (Tas)
2013 Brisbane International Raceway Brisbane, Qld James McFadden (Qld) David Murcott (Tas) Steven Lines (SA)
2014 Latrobe Speedway Latrobe, Tas David Murcott (Tas) Robert Farr (NSW) Trevor Green (SA)
2015 Bunbury Speedway Bunbury, WA David Murcott (Tas) Steven Lines (SA) Jamie Veal (Vic)
2016[4] Premier Speedway Warrnambool, Vic Kerry Madsen (NSW) Brooke Tatnell (NSW) Jamie Veal (Vic)
2017 Valvoline Raceway Sydney, NSW Kerry Madsen (NSW) Ian Madsen (NSW) Robert Farr (NSW)
2018 Borderline Speedway Mount Gambier, SA ? ? ?

 • There were two races in 1986. The first was for the 1985-86 season, held in January. The second was for the 1986-87 season since the Australian Sprintcar Championship was held at Northline Speedway on the grounds of Hidden Valley Raceway in Darwin, and held early to avoid the October–April wet season. The 1988 race was for the 1987-88 season. The Australian sprint car racing season is technically July 1-June 30.

Australian 360 Sprintcar Championship[edit]

Since the early 2000's, Sprintcar racing in Australia has seen a shift into two divisions. This is down to the different cubic capacity of the engines used. The top division runs 410 cui (6.7 Litre) engines while those who use the smaller 360 cui (6.0 Litre) engines race in their own division. While the two divisions mix at regular track meetings, the 360 Sprintcars have their own state and national championships. Sydney based driver Robbie Farr is the only driver to have won both the open and 360 Championships having won the open division in 2004 and the 360 championship in 2013.

The current (2017) Australian Champion is Victoria's Jamie Veal who won the title at the Perth Motorplex in Perth, Western Australia.

Winners since 2004[edit]

Year Venue City/State Winner Runner-up 3rd place
2004 Timmis Speedway Mildura, Vic Stephen Bell (Vic) Alan Barlee (Vic) Tony Moule (ACT)
2005 Timmis Speedway Mildura, Vic Not Held
2006 Murray Bridge Speedway Murray Bridge, SA Jamie Cobby (SA) Darryl Wright (SA) Carl Downing (WA)
2007 Kalgoorlie International Speedway Kalgoorlie, WA Tony Moule (Vic) Shaun Bradford (WA) Rob Adley (WA)
2008 Murray Bridge Speedway Murray Bridge, SA Ryan Jones (SA) Stephen Bell (Vic) Darren Hickman (Vic)
2009 Murray Bridge Speedway Murray Bridge, SA Ryan Jones (SA) Rick Barrand (Vic) Alan Barlee (NT)
Year Venue City/State Winners Runner-up 3rd place
2010 Murray Bridge Speedway Murray Bridge, SA Alan Barlee (NT) Darren Hickman (Vic) Darryl Wright (SA)
2011 Murray Bridge Speedway Murray Bridge, SA Ryan Jones (SA) Michael Lovegrove (SA) Mark Caruso (SA)
2012 Murray Bridge Speedway Murray Bridge, SA Ryan Jones (SA) Craig Vanderstelt (SA) Brendan Guerin (SA)
2013 Bunbury Speedway Bunbury, WA Robbie Farr (NSW) Luke Dillon (SA) Matthew Reed (Vic)
2014 Murray Bridge Speedway Murray Bridge, SA Chad Ely (SA) Daniel Harding (WA) Mark Caruso (SA)
2015 Northline Speedway Darwin, NT Ryan Farrell (WA) Ben Atkinson (NT) Shaun Bradford (WA)
2016[5] Borderline Speedway Mount Gambier, SA Luke Dillon (SA) Matthew Reed (Vic) Cameron Gessner (WA)
2017[6] Perth Motorplex Perth, WA Jamie Veal (Vic) Luke Dillon (SA) Jason Kendrick (WA)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]