Twelve of Australia’s best harness drivers will compete in Hobart on 28 October for the prestigious Yabby Dam Racing Australian Drivers’ Championship.
Jointly hosted by Tasracing, Harness Racing Australia and the Tasmanian Pacing Club (TPC), two drivers from each state will contest six races for points to decide the winning driver.
Tasmania will be represented by Todd and Gareth Rattray.
They will compete against a 62-year-old driver from Western Australia, Chris Lewis, and 18 and 19-year-olds from NSW, Ellen Rixon and Chris Geary. One of the Queensland representatives is Shane Graham who recently represented Australia at the World Driving Championship in Canada.
Tasracing chief executive officer Vaughn Lynch said given the calibre of the drivers travelling to Hobart, he expected a highly competitive series, but hoped the Rattrays would benefit from a home-track advantage.
“The Saturday night time slot for the race meeting on Sky 1 was an obvious benefit of hosting the championship,” he said.
“We have a close working relationship with Tabcorp / Sky Channel, and worked with both parties to secure the scheduling.”
TPC chief executive officer Steve Devereux said the club was looking forward to hosting the meeting and showcasing the track and facilities.
“It also provides us with an opportunity to demonstrate to the broader Tasmanian racing industry that the harness code can stage an event of this kind,” he said.
“The staging of the meeting is perfectly timed as we are coming into the summer months when we have a number of Friday night meetings scheduled and the Tasmania Cup in December.
“The drivers’ championship has generated interest from a number of local sponsors keen to work with us to promote harness racing.”