Nation’s best drivers set to compete in Hobart

Wednesday 5 July 2017

THE best harness racing drivers in Australia will converge on Hobart in October to take part in the fourth Australian Drivers Championship.

The event will be held at the Luxbet Racing Centre at Elwick on 28 October when the Tasmanian Pacing Club, in conjunction with Tasracing and Harness racing Australia, will host the six-race event that will boast a star-studded line-up.

Queensland is likely to be represented by Shane Graham who will represent Australia at the World Driving Championships in Canada next month and Grant Dixon who won the series in Launceston the last time it was held in Tasmania in 2015.

Two drivers from each state (12 drivers in total) will contest six races for points to decide the winning driver.

Tasracing chief executive officer Vaughn Lynch said Tasmania was home to some remarkable driving talent of all ages.

“The championships provide an opportunity for local drivers to compete on one of their home tracks against the best drivers from interstate,” he said.

“In addition, the meeting will be in a prime wagering timeslot, a Saturday night on Sky 1, delivering Tasmanian harness racing to a national audience.”

Mr Lynch thanked Tabcorp and Sky Channel for scheduling the race meeting on a Saturday night, an outcome that demonstrated the close working relationship of the parties.

HRA chief executive officer Andrew Kelly said he was delighted that Hobart would host the 2017 event.

“After a successful meeting in Launceston in 2015, it is great to be headed to Hobart to see Australia’s best reinspersons vying for the 2017 title.” he said.

“Some of the things I particularly like about this event is the opportunity for drivers to build camaraderie among themselves, as well as meeting and mingling with passionate owners and trainers they may otherwise never have the chance to.”

TPC chief executive officer Steve Devereux said the club was privileged to be selected to host the series.

“We are very much looking forward to showcasing our track and our facilities, and the quality and competitiveness of our horses to a wider national audience,” he said.

Last year in Adelaide, Tasmania was represented by Mark Yole and Rick Duggan.

The drivers who finish first and second in the Tasmanian driver award (season ends 31 August) will represent the state in the 2017 championships.