The King turns 30

THREE-PEAT: Popular driver James McFadden will look for a three-peat when he takes on the Kings Challenge at the Borderline Speedway on Thursday night. Pictures: FILE

By Trevor Jackson

THE Borderline Speedway is set to roar into life on Thursday night for the 30th running of the Kings Challenge.

The event has proved a real drawcard for the club over the years and this year has attracted 62 drivers, including 10 Americans ready to take it up to the Australians.

Club president Cary Jennings said he was pleased to see the event come together yet again after so many years.

“We had an Australian Championship here about 30 years ago and we thought it was time we had a big meeting of our own,” he said.

“It has been a successful meeting for us ever since, despite a few rain-outs.

“When we started Brooke Tatnell won it and this year James McFadden is looking for his third title in a row.”

However, McFadden will have a tough job to claim a three-peat, with plenty of opposition from home and overseas.

“Some of the American drivers have been competing in the World of Outlaws and winning,” Jennings said.

“We have Rico Abreu as a late entry who has been in good form.

“He will be a bit of an attraction.

“James McFadden will look for a three-peat and has good local support.

“But he will have some competition, with Jock Goodyer, who won the Australian Championship in Perth also in good form.

“He won Speedweek three nights in a row and has been on the podium more times than not this season.

“Ex-champion Marcus Dumesny, who was a recent Australian Champion, has entered, along with former champion Kerry Madsen and Lachlan McHugh.

“Brock Hallett won the Classic last year and Glen Sutherland is sure to be at the pointy end.

“It would be nice to see Glen take the Kings Challenge.

“But there are probably 20 competitors who could take it out this year.”

The list of American drivers include Justin Peck, Abreu, Sheldon Haudenschild, Riley Goodno, Aaron Reutzel, Chase Randall, Carson Macedo, Corey Eliason, James Inglis and Brock Zearfoss.

Haudenschild and Randall were here last year and are sure to have some local fans cheering them on.

Cameron Waters has nominated and is sure to garner plenty of support, along with the likes of Jamie Veal and Grant Anderson, while Lisa Walker will fly the flag for the women.

Add to that the likes of Scott Enderl, Daniel Pestka in the Starks car out of Port MacDonnell and Parker Scott and the local fans certainly have something to cheer for.

Some big names have chalked their name in the record books over the years, with the first event back in k1995 going to Brooke Tatnell.

Mount Gambier’s own Steven Lines has claimed the title twice, while American Donny Schatz has chalked up four wins.

Names such as Garry Brazier, Skip Jackson, Robbie Farr, plus Americans Danny Pittman and Jason Johnson have all tasted success, along with Madsen and McHugh who will look to repeat that this year.

The night will be well catered, with six canteens to operate, along with the booth and plenty of good viewing areas on the hill.

Gates will open at 3pm, with those who purchase tickets online able to enter a bit quicker.