VICTORIAN SPEEDCARS DRIVERS ASSOCIATION
History of the VSDA & Speedcars.
The Victorian Speedcar Drivers Association was established in 1934 and at nearly 86 years remains the oldest still active speedway club in the world.
The first Victorian Speedcar Championship was run at Olympic Park Melbourne on December 15 1934 and is narrowly the 2nd oldest championship race in the world behind the USA’s Thanks Giving Grand Prix which was held initially in November 1934.
In Australia, the halcyon period was between the 50’s to the early 70’s when they raced at the famous Tracey’s speedway at Maribyrnong and later at Brooklyn and were described as the most popular summer sport in Australia.
Speedcars or Midgets as they are know in the USA & New Zealand have continued to grow a larger and increasingly supportive fan base worldwide and are the Grand Daddy of all open wheel speedway classes.
Originally, they were home built chassis powered by stock type engines such as JAP, Willys Jeep, Le Francis and others then later the renowned Offenhauser engine and in Australia the Holden Grey engine was the potent power plant of its time along with the potent VW & Rotary engines of their time & all with no roll cages to speak of as we know them today.
Nowadays a Speedcar, is specially crafted in a chrome molly frame (chassis) with a 166 cubic inch (2.72Lt.) aluminium, 360 plus horsepower engine fueled by injected methanol into a car that weighs around 400kg’s running purpose built race engines like Esslinger, Eagle, Hawk, Fontana, Mopar, Gaerte, Chevy, Toyota & others in these spectacular racing machines.
These pocket rocket power houses are reliant on a power to weight ratio comparable to a Formula One race car & they have no dead weight, if a part does not contribute to the performance it is not put on the car every part and component is strategically placed for the balance of the car.
The outer panels are manufactured from lightweight fibreglass or carbon fibre and are perfect for showing sponsors logo and flashy paint jobs from all angles.
Speedcars compete on speedway circuits across Australia on track formulations of clay or dirt which provide traction for these aerodynamic race machines to perform at phenomenal speeds.
One of the major attractions for spectators of Speedcar Racing is the close open wheel racing that drivers (and their teams) produce on a regular basis.
The local competition continues to hot up this season within Victoria including the running of the 2nd Bill Evans Speedcar Classic at the historic Redline Speedway at Ballarat on the 30th November 2019,the Beasley Memorial at Warrnambool on the 5th January 2020, the Victorian Speedcar Championship at Avalon on the 22nd Feb 2020 & and nationally with the Australian Speedcar Championships to be run at Warrnambool on 28-29 February 2020.
Speedcars/Midgets have been the grass roots for motorsport identities such as, Sir Jack Brabham, John Harvey, Johnny Stewart, George Tatnell and USA drivers Mario Andretti, the legendary A.J Foyt, Kasey Kahne, Sammy Swindell, Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Bob “Two Gun” Tattersall among many others.