Farmer's Union Fireball Derby set to Ignite Adelaide
Adelaide will come alive to the rumble of eighteen 800 horsepower Late Model Sedans on January 8 with the inaugural running of the $20,000 Farmer's Union Fireball Derby at Speedway City, the richest ever race for the category in Australia.
The Late Models have one-third more horsepower than a V8 Supercar at one third less weight and this event has attracted ten top competitors from Western Australia, including current Australian Champion, Brad Blake. Blake, known as The '0' Show, is one of the more flamboyant personalities in Australian Speedway racing. His record this season is without peer -- he has not been defeated in any race conducted in Perth this summer.
"Brad has had a sensational run this season, he is very content at the moment," said Managing Director of the East Coast Late Model Association, Bruce Mackenzie. Amazingly, Blake is lucky to be racing at all after severing his thumb just weeks before the season began.
Joining Blake from the West will be two father and son outfits -- those of Ben and Brad Ludlow (Brad is Australia #2) and Derrol and Jaron Crane (Australia #3), who travel six hours south every weekend from Esperance just to compete in Perth.
Coming from the East Coast will be the top drivers from Parramatta City Raceway this season, Michael Hebditch and Kevin Stevens, who are locked together on two feature wins apiece. They will be joined by Scott McPherson, who will thrill the fans with his trademark high line runs, along with Kieran Dal-Maso in the spectacular orange Hess Building Monte Carlo.
One of the pioneers of Late Model Racing in Australia, Ben Ludlow firmly believes that Late Models are the future for dirt track racing in this country. "I'm very excited about our product, everywhere we run, people are thrilled with what we do," the elder statesman espoused in a recent interview with Speedway Racing News Magazine. "Late Models are the future of Speedway in this country."
Late Models are one of only three four-wheeled Speedway categories conducted in Australia that mirror their counterparts in other parts of the world. "Late Models are one of the most popular divisions in the United States attracting upwards of 230 cars for their bigger events," observes Mackenzie. "ELMA have made a conscious decision to adopt the rule book of the World of Outlaws Late Model Series in America. This means that our category is truly international. The Americans can bring their cars to Australia and we can take our cars there and race on an even playing field. There are not many divisions in Speedway, or Australian motorsport as a whole, who can say that."
"The Farmers Union Fireball Derby is very exciting for the division," concluded Mackenzie. "It's great that Adelaide's fans get to come out and see this show, as Late Models are one of the true spectacles in dirt track oval racing."