By Thomas Miles (courtesy Auto Action).
Just one week after the Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic, Warrnambool’s Premier Speedway will also host the 2024 Australian Sprintcar title where Jock Goodyer hopes to defend his crown.
The prestigious #1 plate will be awarded across two big nights of racing around the famous Victorian circuit kicking off on Australia Day before the big race on Saturday night.
After more than 100 cars chased the Classic crown, 84 and 86 cars have nominated for nights one and two of the Aussie title without the Americans who have lit up the summer so far, on their way out after dominating the Classic.
The driver all will be looking to stop is Goodyer.
Goodyer led all 35 laps of the 2023 decider at Perth Motorplex and left the likes of Lachlan McHugh and Callum Williamson for dust.
With the #1 on the wing, the fast Tasmanian has lost none of his momentum this season.
Since the 2023/24 summer of speedway began Goodyer has been a winning machine, taking six of his first seven races.
The final three wins of that stretch pushed him to the Speedweek crown and whilst the speed has not disappeared, he has been unable to hit the same heights in 2024.
Goodyer is still searching for his first win, but came close on New Years Day at Premier Speedway, coming within half a second of winner Jamie Veal.
He remained one of the fastest in race trim at the recent Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic, surging from 20th to fifth in the A Main after a troubled campaign which included a first-lap crash in the B Main.
Goodyer knows securing a much higher starting position will be the key as he hopes to follow in the footsteps of fellow Tasmanian David Murcott and go back to back.
“We know we have a pretty good package and always have good car speed so we just have to put the night together to give ourselves the best chance at defending it,” Goodyer told AUTO ACTION.
“Obviously we did not have the classic that we wanted to have but climbing from 20th to fifth proves we still have a fast package.
“Back to back titles would be sick. One was hard enough to win, but I am certainly very excited to defend it.”
One of the big talking points all season has been Premier Speedway’s track surface and over the Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic weekend Goodyer said it “changed a lot.”
With Late Models also on the support card, he is hopeful tyres won’t be worked out too much.
“The track changed a lot,” Goodyer said.
“It is going to be hard this weekend especially with Late Models racing as well so there is going to be a lot of horsepower laying down a lot of rubber which could be bad.
“We will see how it goes and hopefully they can make sure the track surface does not burn off tyres but we will take it as it comes.”
There are serveral other big names who will be hungry to steal the crown from Goodyer this weekend,
They include former champions James McFadden (2010,13) Kerry Madsen (2003, 16, 17, 18) Jamie Veal (2020) and Marcus Dumesny (2021).
Others who have shown plenty of speed this season include USA v WA Speedweek title winner Williamson, McHugh, Luke Oldfield, Brock Hallett, Tate Frost and Matt Egel just to name a few, while Supercars star Cameron Waters is also in the running.
Action begins from 17.30 AEDT on both Friday and Saturday