Sport

I want to win this for dad

ON A MISSION: Visiting speedway racer Jarrod Harper has a special reason to win the Australian Super Sedan Championship at Lismore Speedway this weekend.
ON A MISSION: Visiting speedway racer Jarrod Harper has a special reason to win the Australian Super Sedan Championship at Lismore Speedway this weekend.

TASMANIAN star Jarrod Harper has a very special reason why he wants to win the 2009 Custom Transporters and Trailers Australian Super Sedan Championship at Lismore Speedway this weekend.

Harper, a three-time state titleholder, comes from a family deeply etched in Australian super sedan speedway racing history. His father Neville, who died of cancer last year aged 65, was one of the stars of the very first running of the national title at Canberra's Tralee Speedway in 1971.

Neville Harper finished equal third with NSW star David House and only a countback of points gave House the third placegetter's sash.

Neville, driving a superbly tuned 1966-model HR Holden, was one of the early barnstormers of nationally controlled and organised sedan racing and raced successfully on the mainland for many years. He was an Australian Test match representative against a touring New Zealand sedan team in 1971 and also did a lot of administrative work in the early years of the Australian Saloon Car Federation (ASCF).

His best result was a third placing in the 1974/75 season Australian Sedan Championship at Toowoomba.

As far as Jarrod is concerned the upcoming national super sedan title, which will be held at Lismore Speedway on Friday and Saturday nights, represents some unfinished family business to finalise.

Harper, who will drive the latest model Bullet chassis-Pontiac GP V8 machine, pointed out he was only three years old when his legendary dad raced in the very first Australian Sedan Championship at Canberra's former Tralee Speedway on October 3, 1971.

Despite his tender age Jarrod was well aware of his dad's racing endeavours.

“I knew he was around and as I was growing up I remember we did a lot of travelling to races,” Jarrod recalled.

“He had a lot to do with getting the ASCF up and running. He never won an Australian Sedan Championship so I hope this weekend to fix that for the family.”

Jarrod knows just how important it is to win the 2009 Australian Super Sedan Championship.

“I really need to win one,” he admitted. “I led the first half of the national title at Murray Bridge before I finished second behind Darren Kane. Then the last one that was held in Tassie a few years ago I led for much of the race before finishing third. I really want a win for dad, our family and myself.”

Harper has been a model of consistency in the Australian Super Sedan Championship placings over recent years.

Last season he was placed third behind runner-up Steve Jordan and winner Jamie McHugh to compliment the third placing at Tasmania's Latrobe Speedway in the '04/'05 season. His best placing was a runner-up finish to Kane at the Riverview Speedway, Murray Bridge ('03/'04).

Harper comes to Lismore chasing that elusive victory for not only a place in the sport's history, but also a very special place in the Harper family album beside the deeds of illustrious dad, Neville Harper.


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