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.
The Balcombe kids have had no shortage of exposure to speedway, with their dad, Mark, having raced Sportsmans and Wingless Sprints for 20 odd years, and Mark’s cousin, Mathew Balcombe, also currently racing Wingless Sprints.
Interestingly, Chelsea and Blake currently race against another third-generation racer in Jayden Lock, whose dad, Murray Lock, previously raced against Mark Balcombe.
Photo: Rock Solid Productions
Wanting to begin their own speedway ventures four years ago, the family built a speedway track in a paddock out the back of their Colac property in western Victoria, allowing the kids to build up their confidence and learn everything they could about their cars before hitting the track to make their competitive racing debuts last season.
Chelsea, Blake, Jamie and Leah thoroughly enjoy following in the footsteps of their idols, Mark and Gary, and look forward to continuing the family’s racing tradition by having as much fun as they can while racing.
Chelsea, Blake, Jamie and Leah would like to thank the following 2016-17 season sponsors for their support: QT Diesel Services, Colac Body Works and Country to Coast Painting Services. They would also like to give special thanks to their mum and dad, Stephanie and Mark, and their grandpa Gary Balcombe.
A Junior Quarter Midget is a quarter scale version of an actual open wheel midget (Speedcar) which is open to race for kids between five and 16 years of age. The cars are built around a tubular chromoly frame including ant-intrusion bars and kick-outs to stop wheel interference. All vehicles are fully suspended with coil over racing shock absorbers.
The vehicle bodies consist of fibreglass and aluminium and the cars are powered by Honda GX120 or GX160 single cylinder air-cooled 4 cycle engines providing 4.5-5.5 horsepower in standard configuration. The emphasis in Quarter Midget Racing is on participation and skill building and as such, the JQMA has a strict sealed, standard motor policy.
For more information on Junior Quarter Midgets Victoria, visit their website at www.jqmv.com.au or contact their President Graham Hutchinson on 0417 566 709.