Tasracing has today announced the drivers for the 2019 6ty° Youngbloods Challenge with ten upcoming drivers having been selected for the series.
The six-race series will be held in Devonport on 29 November, Hobart 8 December and Launceston on 13 December, with two heats to be staged at each venue.
In an added bonus for owners and trainers to support the series, all race are penalty-free meaning that all winners will not receive a national rating penalty.
It will be the 20th running that 6ty° (previously known as Bullock Consulting) has been the naming rights sponsor of the states premier junior drivers series.
Drivers competing in this year’s series are:
Hannah Van dongen – finished in tenth position on the states drivers premiership last season with 24 wins and 38 placings and the Carrick based driver has already started the 2019-2020 season well recording six wins and nine placings.
Van dongen’s biggest win to date has been the 2019 Burnie Cup aboard the Ben Yole trained Perfect Mach.
Taylor Ford – will be out to follow in the footsteps of her father Phillip who is a past winner of the series.
Ford registered 18 wins last season with a further 25 placings to her credit to finish in third position on the states female drivers title.
Lachlan Dakin – had his first race drive in March 2018 before driving his first winner in August that year aboard Goggo Gee Gee.
Dakin, who works for trainer Todd Rattray has shown continued improvement in the sulky which seen him drive six winners last season, with a further two wins added to his tally this season.
Ben Woodsford – hails from New Zealand and had been gathering experience in Australia from several leading stables before finding his way to Tasmania earlier this year.
Woodsford had his first race drive at Menangle in May 2016 aboard Big Bang Penny who gave him his first winner at Newcastle in August 2016. He has driven a total of 37-wins through his career including two victories this season on Rocket Blaster.
Charlie Castles – is continuing a strong family tradition into the industry and is the sole north-west coast based competitor in this year’s series.
Castles drove four winners last season but found himself amongst the placegetters on 25 occasions.
Georgia Hayward – is still chasing her first winner in the sulky but she has shown in recent drives that her first win isn’t too far away.
The Scottsdale reinswoman has gained valuable experience through trainer Kent Rattray and she has also spent many months in the past working for dual Inter Dominion winning trainer James Rattray at his New South Wales stables.
Andrew Freeman – is a relative newcomer to the sport only having his first race drive this year aboard Mighty Spark in Burnie.
His first winning drive was on the Ben Yole trained Hez The One in Hobart in April.
Matthew Howlett – is the most experienced driver in the series with 68-wins and 169 placings to his credit since his first race drive in November 2012.
Howlett set a Youngbloods Challenge record when he became the youngest driver to win the series at 16 years and seven months winning the series in 2013 while also claiming the title in 2016.
Samantha Freeman – recorded her first win in July 2013 and has found the winners stall first on a further 27 occasions.
She dead-heated for first in the BOTRA Claiming Novice Drivers series in 2014.
Justin Howlett – drove his first winner at his very first race drive on Rock And Run in Hobart in June 2008.
A talented concession driver in his time Howlett has elected to take a back seat and allows his brothers Matthew and Braden do most of the driving for their father Chris.
Wade Rattray (First Emergency) – started his driving career in June 2014 and registered his first win a month later in Hobart on Divas Delight for his uncle Barrie.
Rattray won the series in 2015.
Previous winners of the Youngbloods series: