Australian champion Brad Blake from Western Australia puts his car through its paces at Lismore Speedway in preparation for the NSW Late Model Champioship.
Australian champion Brad Blake from Western Australia puts his car through its paces at Lismore Speedway in preparation for the NSW Late Model Champioship. Jay Cronan

Tight Lismore circuit shocks champ

WEST Australian Late Model driver Brad Blake couldn't believe his eyes yesterday when he saw the Lismore Showground track for the first time.

The four-time Australian champion has never raced in Lismore and knows he will have his work cut out in the NSW Late Model Championship at Lucas Oil Lismore Speedway tonight.

"I've never raced here before and I nearly died when I saw the track," Blake said.

"Our tracks at home are three times wider, so this will be tough."

Among those standing in his way is American duo Steven Francis and 16-year-old Devin Moran.

"Steve is ranked top 10 in the world and races 150 times a year," Blake said.

"I've just raced against him for two weeks in WA and he hammered us.

"Young Devin is here to prove a point and is on the way up."

But Blake is confident in his Rocket chassis with an SP2 engine that produces 770 horsepower.

He plans to use the event tonight as a trial for the Australian championship in Sydney in a fortnight.

The 44-year-old has raced Late Model cars for 10 years after previously racing street stocks, modified sedans and sprint cars.

He dismissed suggestions that the Late Model division is for older drivers.

"No, definitely not, Devin is only 16," Blake said. "They get up on the bars and they're fun to drive."

Blake has previously taken out10 WA titles, as well as a NSW and Queensland title.

Other contenders tonight include Blair Granger, Darryl Grimson and David Robertson.

Gates open 3pm; racing at 6pm.



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