Sprintcars, Served Country-Style
If you’re anything like me, you get a buzz when you walk into a new race track for the first time.
On Saturday night, The Race Torque wandered out to Nyora Raceway – a venue that certainly had country vibes, even if it is only 45min from the eastern edge of Melbourne at the end of a classic meandering rural road.
Picture the town of 1,500, with a school, the cricket club and speedway nestled in a block just off the main street.
The attraction – the Australian Sprintcar All Stars, the Lightning Sprints national titles, plus a full assortment of local tin-top categories.
Although we are clearly circuit racing focussed, we love a crossover into the roundy-roundy realm over the summer when we can.
Another circuit racing staple who has crossed over is Cam Waters, stepping into a 360 Sprintcar emblazoned with many of the logos that can typically be found on his regular Tickford Mustang.
And he was handy too on the 380m long clay oval– setting the fast time in the qualifying run before earning the Hard Charger Award for carving his way through from 17th to 6th in the feature.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing, though, with a tangle in the opening heat after starting from pole essentially sending him to the back for the finale.
Outside of the obvious utility of keeping sharp in the off-season, the side racing in Sprintcars is excellent for the Cam Waters brand, from multiple fronts.
While a lot of teams were selling t-shirts from the back of their trailers, Water’s crew had the full range of Sprintcar-centric merch available from a tent at the top of the spectator banking, and judging by the crowd, it did a roaring trade.
Also, with thanks to the nighttime chill, the hoodies became an incredibly popular commodity.
During the pit invasion by punters at interval, Waters had far and away the most fan attention – and judging by the chat amongst those congregated on the hill, he has picked up the admiration of many speedway-focused folks, who were appreciative that a name driver would venture out east.
Sprintcars – what can you say about them?
Even around a bullring like Nyora, they turned on a heck of a show…
…and by virtue of being a tight track, the venue played right into the strengths of the Lightning Sprints, which were only around a second a lap off their big brothers with V8 power.
The 1000cc screamers were good value.
The local sedan classes in attendance turned on their own brand of entertainment.
A bit of bash, crash and a soup of mechanical failures all added to the mix.
How was the experience? The crowd was huge, ditto the list of events for the evening.
Nyora has been starved of this sort of action for some time – it was third time lucky for the meet following COVID-19 and weather-related postponements.
With the speedway faithful making the drive, and many locals having a big night out, the place was chockers.
The lights were great, and the quality of food from the adjacent cricket ground canteen was bang on.
There probably could have been more bins, more food options, more loos, a slightly better PA, and an earlier finish than midnight.
But who’s complaining? We got to go racing.