Words and Images by Paul Griffin
The Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic is Australia’s most prestigious Sprintcar event. This year is its 44th running and a stunning 124 Sprintcars from around the country and overseas nominated.
The iconic event is run over three nights , the first and second night being qualification nights for the two halves of the total field (62 + 62) and the final and 3rd Night being the Champion decider. The Classic weekend enjoys a key support event that enjoys a cult following just like the racing itself at Sungold Stadium.
This support event is the Fan Appreciation day where fans flock to the car park of the Flying Horse Bar and Brewery in Warrnambool and hook up with a plethora of Team displays that not only showcase the brilliance of their racing machines, but also the Driver themselves and of course the Team’s Merchandise.
There are give-aways, the chance of autographs and chatting with Drivers and a great stage show where Driver’s are introduced to the public
Local Sungold stadium commentator Gavin White was the MC for the gathering and he arranges the “BIG SCREEN” from the Premier Speedway racing venue to relocate and provide a spectacular backdrop.
Top drivers are interviewed and they provide an insight into what lays ahead in the quest for victory. They join in with the giveaways of tee shirts, stubby holders, posters and the like.
Here is a quick glimpse of the Fan Appreciation Day for the 2016 Lucas Oils 44th Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic…….
WA's Jason Pryde - awesome outfit
Ryan Jones (49)
Terry McCarl - Always happy to meet the fans
Terry McCarl's #2 is flanked Kirsty Ellis's #12 and Chris Rodda's #14
Darren Jensen from QLD
Dirt Track Cowboy - Jordyn Charge
Top wing of Jordyn Charge's V60 - showing images of Wade Aunger & Adam Brand
Brad Sweet's immaculate #99
USA's Kyle Hirst signing a fan's helmet
The Luch Monte owned #17 Milwaukee Tools display was particularly popular - Kyle Hirst drove the #17 Maxim
Jamie Veal and James McFadden sign autographs for adoring fans
Sprintcar Models were in abundance
The car that Danny Smith campaigned in 1985 and 1986 - the #4 Nance. Note the helmet has a "Mud Eater" attached to the side
The Danny Smith Nance again - Danny raced his last race in Australia at this year's Classic
Big Crowd !
Keen Fans: Zara and Dad Brett get into the spirit of things
View from the Big Screen Stage
The ladies were accommodated for as well in the fashion stakes
The Danny Smith 2016 car as used in The Classic
Gavin White interviews Kraig Kinser (L)
Tyler Griffin tries out a Quarter Midget at Fan Appreciation Day
David Murcott showed off his Aust #1 car
David Murcott's Australian Title trophy - Murcott will be defending his Title the week after The Classic at Premier Speedway
The Victory Lane V88 looks so COOL - Young SA Driver Daniel Pestka is the Pilot in the 2016 Classic
Not only the cars on display had wings !
Daniel Pestka shows off his V88
Something for everyone: Cousins Tracey (L) and Jodie (R) with Tyler at the Fan Appreciation Day were blown away with the cars on display
Terry McCarl shares a moment with young WA fan Riley Miller
Jye is a local Victorian fan and was rapt to bag this $10 Adam King (V48) Tee Shirt
WA fan Riley Miller did the rounds and didn't miss a trick. Here we see Riley and Jye O'Keeffe (V42) "rubbing shoulders"
Brad Sweet's #99
USA Star Brad Sweet signs a shirt for local fan Jye
Family Spin: Tracey & Tyler Griffin get their picture with Tim Van Ginneken - Tyler is proudly showing off his newly purchased Tim Van Ginneken Tee Shirt
Tim Van Ginneken's V36 Sprintcar looked pretty cool on display, and the Tee Shirts were even better !
David Murcott - Current Australian #1 Champion
Torque Tube editor Paul Griffin catches up with Tasmanian sensation Shaun Dobson
Sean Dobson poses for the camera