Willowbank revs up this week with series titles on the line

THE stage has been set for scintillating Street Series showdowns at Willowbank Raceway this week.

Twenty-four racers across three categories are set to fight it out in a shootout for their respective titles tomorrow (Powder Puff) and Saturday (Street Sedan and Street Bike).

When the penultimate round of the Street Series was held on October 4, the top eight for each of the three brackets of Street Sedan, Street Bike and Powder Puff were found.

The 24 racers can now battle for the title.

Leading the Street Sedan field is Josh Fletcher, who will be joined in the chase by Ray Ross, Brett Paige, Russell Sticklen, Gerard Horne, Richard Maddern, Bruce Casos and Gordon Larfield.

With four Street Sedan titles, Fletcher is the most successful racer for the bracket over the 20 years the series has run.

"I have clinched back-to-back titles before so I am hopeful I can do it again," Fletcher said.

"The car is 40 years old this year, so that would be a great celebration for that milestone to bring home another Street Series title.''

In Street Bike, 2011 champion Paul Astridge will face Denis Ryan, Stuart Macmillan, Craig Banks, Ken Rice, Michael Beaton, Peter Harper and Wendy Whatley.

"While this may be a grassroots type series, it isn't an easy or so called 'fun' series as far as what it takes to win,'' Astridge said.

"The reaction times alone reflect the intensity of racing seen in group one, it is tough.

"The finale is impossible to predict.

"If I can win this year it will be my second Street Bike title, but I am not confident - that would be foolish. There are seven other competitors alongside me who all want it just as badly as I do.

"If I can get it done, it will bring a great sense of satisfaction - racing creates pressure, so when it is all over, especially if it goes well, there will be relief too!''

In the women's only Powder Puff bracket, Rhonda Larfield leads Susanne Fletcher, Jody Wentworth, Belinda Brockhurst, Tammy Goldthorpe, Deb Mackay, Carol Rauchle and Nikki Horne.

"It is very exciting to be on top of the leader board,'' said Larfield, who is one of a family of drag racers alongside father Gordon, mother Maureen and sister Michelle.

"Usually I only just make the top eight, so to be leading is just great. The entire eight are talented racers and each race is different, so the title could really go to anyone.''

The Powder Puff shootout will be held tomorrow night as part of the Test n Tune event.

The Street Sedan and Street Bike finals will be held on Saturday, as part of the Test n Tune event scheduled for that day.

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