When the Les Walkden Enterprises Motorsport Australia Khanacross Championship takes place in October, there will be plenty of history surrounding the event.
After vying for the rights to host a national championship event for multiple years, the Motorsports Club of Tasmania was selected to run the khanacross for 2020 – making them the first club from the Apple Isle to host a national auto speed test discipline.
Unfortunately COVID-19 forced a 12-month delay for their big moment, however it was a blessing in disguise for the club as it allowed extra time to finish a key project that had been in the works for quite some time.
That project was the development and construction of a brand-new state of the art khanacross facility at Symmons Plains, which will officially launch at the Les Walkden Enterprises Motorsport Australia Khanacross Championship.
Club President Matt von Bertouch was looking forward to unveiling the new course during the championship in what would be another first.
“This has all been a matter of right timing,” von Bertouch said.
“We were looking at moving from our old location to Symmons Plains and getting the rights to run the Australian Khanacross Championship became the catalyst for the facility to get built and in the time that it did.
“There were a few elements we had to take into consideration - we got feedback from members for what they wanted, then we had to try and utilise the large space available to us and build something with the incredible funding we received.
“It’s essentially finished now with the track completed, but our club members have been doing working bees every weekend for the past six months to put the finishing touches on the rest of the complex.
“We plan to do a little test day in August, but the official opening will be the khanacross which is exciting.
“I think running the event at a course that no one has ever competed at will certainly level the playing field.”
Around 60-80 competitors from around the country are expected to compete in the national event with the club having opened up expression of interests to sound out potential entrants.
Already a large contingent from Tasmania have confirmed their position in the event, while there has been lots of interest from interstate competitors - most notably former champion Bradley Clements and the large portion of the Clements family.
With drivers from New South Wales, Victoria and Northern Territory also announcing their desire to run at the event, von Bertouch was excited for what was in store.
“We’re very excited. We have good momentum; some great sponsors on board and we’re really looking forward to what should be an awesome weekend," von Bertouch added.
“This is the first time Tasmania has held a national championship like this which is great because the auto test scene here is really strong. In fact, we usually get fields of 40 plus at every event, which is awesome.
“To host the national championship gives us the opportunity to showcase the strength of this community and the talent that we have here.
“Right now, we’re hopeful things will calm down. There is still plenty of time to go before the event, so we have lots of confidence that we can have a fully inclusive championship event.”
Entries for the event will open on 1 September, and the event is scheduled to take place on the last weekend of October where competitors will complete 12 to 18 tests on tarmac, grass and gravel surfaces.
The Les Walkden Enterprises Motorsport Australia Khanacross Championship takes place at Symmons Plains Raceway on 30-31 October.