Mules the latest convert
FORMER kart racer Richard Mules is the latest convert to local compact speedcar ranks, with six cars ready to hit the track and another three being constructed for the upcoming Lismore Speedway season.
"When I finished kart racing I looked around for a competitive, exciting, affordable racing division to move into and compact speedcars ticked all the boxes," the 21-year-old Lismore spray painter said.
"We purchased a car at the end of last season, had two race meetings and were on the pace from the outset."
With a complete strip-down and rebuild during the winter, the car looks to be really competitive for the upcoming season with a second place finish in the feature at Maryborough a fortnight ago.
Compacts will have their first run of the season in Lismore next Saturday and a strong line-up of Queensland cars are nominated along with local drivers Tony Brearley, Craig Smith, Mark Stanger, Warren King, rookie Mark Linder and Richard Mules.
Mules expects that their Suzuki-powered Cheetah Chassis should be a front-runner in Lismore, particularly after he finished fifth at the track in his first run last season.
The step from the bitumen kart racing circuits to the dirt ovals hasn't been such a great hurdle for the three-time Queensland and one-time NSW karting champion, who started in the Midget class as an eight-year-old and progressed to the top flight Rotax Light class in his 11 years of kart racing.
But it was time for a change and Richard and his father Dallas who has a long association with drag racing and later speedway, having built motors for V8 Dirt Modified legend Steve Robinson decided that compact speedcars were the logical step.
"The cars are a real adrenalin rush to drive," Richard Mules said.
"The power-to-weight ratio is unbelievable, with the cars weighing less then 400kg.
"They really fly around the almost circular Lismore track and last season many drivers had trouble holding their heads up towards the end of the feature race as the G forces gave the their neck muscles a real workout."
This season Mules will follow the Queensland Compact Speedcar Association schedule, which includes meetings at Maryborough, Brisbane, Toowoomba, Lismore and Grafton, along with attempts at the Australian and Queensland championships.
"I'm really looking forward to the first Lismore meeting, as the track has a real atmosphere to it that you don't get at some of the other tracks, plus the local fans really get behind their speedway," he said.
n V8 Dirt Modifieds will start their season at Grafton tonight.