Currently contesting his debut season in Junior Quarter Midgets in the 160cc class, Declan Robinson is loving every minute of his new speedway racing campaign.
Being based in Lara, Victoria, right on the doorstep of Geelong’s Avalon Raceway, the 14-year-old racer has been a regular spectator over the years, closely following the career of Sprintcar racer Michael Cunningham and becoming a real student of the speedway game.
It’s no wonder that fourth-generation racer Riley Taylor would eventually follow in his family’s tyre tracks by undertaking his own competitive racing career, with the youngster currently contesting his first season in Junior Quarter Midgets.
After making his debut at the beginning of the season in the Novice B class, where he picked up a number of wins, Riley progressed into the Novice A class within two race meetings and has steadily built up his confidence and become more competitive.
Joining the nine-year-old driver, from Carrum Downs in the south-east of Melbourne, this season is his younger sister Eliza (7), who made her debut in the Novice B class in the middle stages of 2016-17.
It was no wonder why Junior Quarter Midgets racer Koby O’Shannassy wanted to pursue competitive racing, having grown up in the speedway oriented town of Warrnambool in the south-west coast of Victoria.
After an impressive debut season in Novice A in the 2015-16 season, which saw him come away with two feature-race wins and consistently finish amongst the top three, seven-year-old O’Shannassy made the move into the 120cc Open class, where he has experienced a character building, but promising season, which has been highlighted by a fourth-place finish in the recent Australian Grand Prix.
Currently running in the Novice A category, Junior Quarter Midgets racer Hudson Moorfoot has certainly stepped up during the 2016-17 season, becoming more and more competitive each time he takes to the track.
After graduating from Novice B in his first season with the class, Moorfoot, from Colac in the south-west of Victoria, has significantly improved this season, showing good pace and coming away with a number of impressive heat-race wins.
As one of the older drivers in his category, Junior Quarter Midgets racer PJ Matheson has taken it upon himself to be something of a mentor for his younger counterparts, helping to build their confidence by giving them as much advice as possible.
Currently running in the 160cc Open class, the 13 year old, from Werribee in Melbourne’s south-west, knows exactly what it’s like to be a newcomer to speedway racing and as such, he continually makes a conscious effort to help his fellow racers, taking them out on to the track during private practice sessions to allow them to race against him and put his tips into practice, therefore giving them added experience and confidence to pull off racing manoeuvres, such as taking to the highline to pass competitors on the outside.
A well-known surname throughout speedway circles in Victoria, the Balcombe family speedway racing tradition is well and truly being continued, with the family’s next generation of drivers currently racing in the Junior Quarter Midgets class.
Upgrading to their own cars in their second season with the class, after sharing two cars previously, Chelsea (10) and Blake (8), who currently contest the 120cc Open class, along with seven-year-old twins, Jamie, who contests Novice A, and Leah, who contests Novice B, have a rich history in Australian speedway, which has been passed down through three generations, beginning with their grandpa Gary Balcombe, who was instrumental in the commencement of the Wingless Sprints class.
It’s inspiration that has given Junior Quarter Midgets racer Dakota Luckett her determination to join the 160cc class this season, with the young lady striving to follow in the tyre tracks of her role models.
Having so far contested half-a-dozen race meetings at Geelong’s Avalon Raceway in her debut season, Luckett’s confidence in being able to hold her own against the boys steadily continues to grow and is further increased by seeing fellow female drivers excel in their fields against some of the best drivers in both Australia and America.
It’s been an encouraging debut for Junior Quarter Midgets racer Mallacai Windsor since joining the Novice A 120cc class earlier this season, having already achieved some promising results.
Despite suffering from Autism, the determined nine-year-old racer from Buninyong near Ballarat hasn’t been held back from chasing his passion for speedway racing and has already achieved a major milestone, collecting his maiden feature-race win at Geelong’s Avalon Raceway, along with a handful of minor podium results.
With a handful of race meetings under his belt thus far in the 2016-17 season, Talon Humphrey has had a solid start to his Junior Quarter Midgets debut, with the racer having already shown good confidence on the track.
Currently contesting his first season of competitive racing, the eight-year-old racer has been able to step straight into the Novice A class, rather than first joining Novice B, after showing good confidence and maturity from the moment he hit the track.
Third-generation racer Jayden Lock is carrying on his family’s speedway racing tradition, currently contesting his fourth season in the Junior Quarter Midgets 120cc Open class.
Following in the footsteps of his dad Murray, who previously raced Wingless Sprints and is crew chief for his brother (Jayden’s uncle) Phil Lock, who is currently racing 360 Sprintcars, the 10-year-old racer has a rich speedway pedigree, with his grandfather Jim Lock also having raced in the Sportsman class in the 1970s and 80s.