Speedway starts them young
WINGLESS Sprintcar Driver to America Series contender Mick Santin will have one eye on the opposition and the other on the Junior Sedan races at Castrol Edge Lismore Speedway tonight.
He will take more than a casual interest in the juniors because one of the competitors is his 10-year old son Jaiden.
Jaiden is steadily making his way in the ranks after reaching the eligible age of 10 to compete in the class in February.
He will race a rear-wheel-driven Toyota Corolla.
"I really wanted him to get a rear-wheel-drive car because when he gets out of Junior Sedans whatever he drives will be rear- wheel-drive,” proud dad Mick said.
Young Jaiden is not new to sitting behind the wheel of a racing machine, having started in karts when he was seven.
Speedway Sedans Australia now allows youngsters aged 10 to start their oval track career in Junior Sedans.
The age bracket goes up to the mid-teens and Jaiden could hardly wait to get started in his speedway career.
"It's great and I love racing,” he said after completing a pre-meeting practice session at Lismore Speedway yesterday.
Junior Sedans play a key role, not only in developing future stars of Australian speedway but also in road safety.
The division has coaches, mentoring and monitoring the skills of the young drivers as the kids learn the handling characteristics and driving techniques of a sedan.
By the time the youngsters are eligible to get a learner's permit to drive on the road, some will have had five years' experience in a street sedan vehicle converted for racing at the speedway.
Many of the youngsters also have progressed from karts - and combine speedway and karting.
Jaiden is making good progress in Junior Sedans, with his dad giving him all the right advice as he enters the speedway scene.
Meanwhile, Mick Santin does not need anyone to tell him what his game plan will be tonight as he contests a 15-lap shootout where the winner receives a return airline ticket to the United States.
He will start out of position three in a race that features the top 10 points scorers from the 11 rounds of the Lismore Workers Club Driver to America premiership.
Santin, who finished third on points after the qualifying rounds, will have David Eggins and Kevin Willis ahead of him on the front row.
"I'd rather start out of position three,” Santin said.
"From three I can pace myself with the two cars up front and plan my tactics as the race unfolds by watching the front-runners.”
V8 Dirt Modifieds
IT is also a big night for the wheel- hiking V8 Dirt Modifieds with the NSW championship up for grabs.
Officials are happy with the entry list that sees the return to Lismore from Queensland of Australia champion and former NSW titleholder Kevin Britten.
The heavy hitters also include Andrew Pezzutti, Scott Cannon, Phil McNamara, Brent Hall, David Clarke, Steve Milthorpe, Trent Scofield, Scott Quirk and Ray Eggins.
The support program includes AMCA Nationals, four-cylinders and production sedans.
Gates open at 3pm and the action starts at 6pm.