LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON: Five pairs of fathers and sons, including Ipswich-based Alan and Alan Junior Annis (pictured far right), are involved in the Winternationals starting today at Willowbank Raceway.
LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON: Five pairs of fathers and sons, including Ipswich-based Alan and Alan Junior Annis (pictured far right), are involved in the Winternationals starting today at Willowbank Raceway. Dragphotoscomau

Father-son duos ready to go in drag racing event

WHEN the annual Fuchs Winternationals blast off in Ipswich today, five father and son pairings will be keen participants on two-wheels.

Proving the age-old adage of "the family that plays together, stays together'', the father and sons are rearing to go at what is the largest championship drag racing event outside of North America.

Mick Mundey, Craig Edwards, Reegan Ward and Ken Collin - and their sons Brandon Gosbell, Ace Edwards, Mitchell Ward and Chris Collin respectively - will be at Willowbank Raceway. All but Gosbell will race in the competition bike bracket among more than 500 competitors involved over the four days.

Another father and son combination is Ipswich-based Alan Annis and his son Alan Annis Junior.

The pairing will be represented by the father only in modified bike.

Engine damage sidelined Alan Junior's Winternationals plans.

Alan, 59, has been competing in the sport for 40 years.

"Racing alongside my son is awesome,'' the proud dad said.

"Bring it on. It's just fun.''

Alan is the 2004/05 Townsville track champion, 2008 Willowbank Raceway track champion and 2007 Australian Nationals class winner.

"Willowbank Raceway is just like home, I love it,'' he said.

"I modified my push bike as a kid and then I got my first motorbike - a Yamaha road bike that I raced.

"This is such a great family sport - a good day out and a great chance to catch up with old friends from near and far.

"With bikes it's just the thrill of the ride.''

Although not competing this year, Alan Junior shares the excitement.

"I grew up watching dad race and I always wanted to compete alongside him,'' said the 35-year-old pest control technician from Springfield.

"It's great fun racing against my dad and it makes me try harder to give the old boy a floggin'.

"Willowbank is like my second home. I've made some great friends out there.''

The other father and son teams come from other locations.

Reegan Ward, 41, is from Gladstone. He's been racing for six years.

His son Mitchell is a panel beater, also from Gladstone. He has been on the racing circuit for three years.

"Willowbank is the best track that I've ridden on. It's very well set up,'' Mitchell, 20, said.

Ken Collin, 55, is from Anstead. He has 34 years experience.

His son Chris is a 24-year-old graphic designer who has been racing for 17 years after starting in the junior dragster ranks.

Mick Mundey, 42, is from the Gold Coast, with 11 years racing experience.

His 19-year-old son Brandon is a greenkeeper who has been in the sport for 12 years.

"Brandon and I haven't raced each other, only had qualifying passes together,'' Mick said. "When we do, whoever wins will have bragging rights for a long time.

"More families should give racing a try. It isn't that expensive to get started.

"Race against your wife in the street series or just take the family car to a test and tune.''

Craig Edwards is a heavy machinery operator from Glenlee. He's been racing for 25 years.

"Bikes are a hell of a rush and modern bikes easily make big horsepower,'' he said. "Fast is fast once and then it's never fast enough, unfortunately."

His son Ace is a 23-year- old-electrician from Parkhurst. Ace has been racing for 10 years.

"I sometimes find myself looking into the other lane to see how his bike is running,'' Ace said.

"Willowbank is a world class facility. It would have to be my favorite place in Australia to race. The atmosphere at those big events is just unreal.''



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