Big challenge for Hope in first State title

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
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Albany’s Hope Batchelor is the only local competitor that will hit the dirt in this weekend’s WA Junior Sedan Title at Attwell Park Speedway.
Camera IconAlbany’s Hope Batchelor is the only local competitor that will hit the dirt in this weekend’s WA Junior Sedan Title at Attwell Park Speedway. Credit: Laurie Benson

Almost 50 of the State’s best young speedway drivers will take to the track at Attwell Park Speedway in Albany this weekend for the running of the 2018-19 WA Junior Sedan State Title.

Emerging competitor Hope Batchelor is the sole Albany resident among the field of 48 entries, as she prepares to contest her first State title since taking up the sport four years ago.

Hope is among a stack of female drivers in the field for this year’s title, with each competitor racing in four qualifying heats before the finals on Sunday night.

The 14-year-old began racing at the age of 10 and has produced strong recent results in Manjimup and Albany, boosting her confidence ahead of tackling the State’s best young racers on her home clay.

“I’m nervous and excited,” she said. “It’s going to be tough but the car is going really good.

“I just plan on keeping it straight.

“I want to make it into the A- main and not crash out. If I could make top five that would be great.”

Albany’s Hope Batchelor is among 48 drivers contesting the WA Junior Sedan Title.
Camera IconAlbany’s Hope Batchelor is among 48 drivers contesting the WA Junior Sedan Title. Credit: Albany Advertiser

\Earlier this season Hope had a big crash in Albany, requiring a new car shell and plenty of work with her father Jason to switch parts and gear across to the new machine.

They have a whole car of spare parts ready to use this weekend and Hope hopes hoping to do her family and friends proud in the stands.

Esperance resident Hayden Mortimer, who is an Albany member, will also compete, while leading contenders Blake Webb, Blake Iwanow, Travis Strelley, Elysha Cooper and Izzac Delaporte will be ones to watch.

Albany will host the WA Junior Sedan Title for the sixth time this weekend, with previous winners at the venue being Mitchell Hade (2010-11), Nicholas Bomback (2001-02), Veronica McCann (1999-00), Jason Pearce (1994-95) and Alan Noble (1984-85).

Blake Watson was the last Albany driver to finish on the podium of the WA Junior Sedan Title in 2013-14 and the most recent local winner was Harlee Madden after he triumphed in Geraldton in 2009-10.

Scrutineering and practice will be held tomorrow before the first three rounds of heats on Saturday night, followed by the last round of heats and finals on Sunday evening.

WA Junior Sedan Title nominations

W2 Tyler Fraser, W3 Summer Shore, W4 Emma Ahearn, W5 Bronty Fraser, W6 Rory Elsum-Beaumont, W7 Alex Swift, W8 Brody Day, W9 Mitchell Baker, W11 Erin Fraser, W12 Jesse Steele, W13 Elysha Cooper, W15 Matthew Thomson, W17 Cody Mackellar, W18 Hayden Mortimer, W19 Bradley Short, W22 Luke Malcolm, W23 Hope Batchelor, W24 Blake Iwanow, W26 Jasmine Arnold, W31 Ethan Cooper, W33 Olivia Smith, W34 Amber Shore, W47 Rohan Thomas, W57 Brooke Sutton, W63 Bryden Southwell, W66 Seth Hinsey, W67 Nikita Donohue, W73 Darryl George, W75 Tylah Steele, W77 Jared Coutts, W84 Beau Oldfield, W87 Riley Beaumont, W88 Izzac Delaporte, W95 Kayne Dellar, W96 Izak Davies, W108 Blake Webb, W117 Travis Strelley, W118 Jade McKeagg, W119 Joshua Ahearn, W121 Taj Vanzetti, W133 Lexie Smith, W166 Jaicinta Lawrence, W171 Kurtis Blackburn, W177 Mitchell Delaporte, W187 Riley Hanson, W195 Lachie Dellar, W198 Brandon Buszan, W295 Chloe Dellar

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