Carnell Raceway next for entertaining State of Origin battle

Thursday 17 June, 2021
Photos: Len Falknau
For just the second time this year, the Short Circuit Motorsport Association will host some thrilling motorsport action with more than 50 competitors locked in to take part in the double-event. 
Every year, the Queensland based club runs two combined Queensland and New South Wales series simultaneously with each of the four rounds to be on the same weekend and at the same location. 
This weekend, Carnell Raceway in Stanthorpe has the honour of hosting the second round of both the Short Circuit Series and the Sprint Challenge. 
Instead of offering one separate event on each day, the club runs both events intertwined allowing participants from each series to sit back and enjoy watching the other in action.  

Competitors in the short circuit series will get at least three heats and a final on both Saturday and Sunday, giving them plenty of opportunities to take out the round and add to their season tallies. 
Across the weekend, competitors in the Sprint Series will get a minimum of five competitive runs as they look to post the fastest lap time around the 960-metre racetrack. 
However the most exciting aspect of the weekend is arguably the special State of Origin that takes place late on Saturday afternoon, where five chosen competitors from Queensland take on five chosen competitors from New South Wales in a lap-for-lap battle. 
Run in the style of a FIFA World Cup penalty shootout, competitors from either state will post a lap one-by-one with the lowest accumulated time for each team deciding the winning state and earning those five drivers a special plaque. 

Interestingly, the competitors are chosen based on their times in one of the day’s earlier heats with the fastest five not always selected to make it fairer to both states.  

Ahead of just the second event in 18 months, club spokesperson Patricia Murray was looking forward to another round of the multi-club series. 
“We’re really excited to be able to run this event as it’s been such a long time since we were able to get some stability in our series,” Murray said. 
“These events are really enjoyed by everyone involved because the competitors get to sit back and enjoy the other competitions when they are not in their cars. There are few who do both, but I think the competitors like to sit back and watch motorsport from time to time.  
“While it’s all enjoyable, the State of Origin aspect of the event is possibly the most popular as it adds lots of drama – especially because there is a big Queensland/NSW rivalry.  
“The format enhances the spectacle. There is lots of pressure on each driver to do well and more often than not, that pressure will get to a driver, which of course adds to the theatrics of the event – although it’s all in good fun at the end of the day. 
“The other thing we like to focus on is our junior development. Although we don’t have as many numbers as we used to have with 20-30 competing each round, we are still great believers in helping young aspiring drivers gain experience and really encourage them to compete at the events.” 
The second rounds of the Short Circuit Motorsport Association’s Queensland/New South Wales Sprint Challenge and Short Circuit Touring Cars Series take place at Carnell Raceway in Stanthorpe on 19-20 June. 

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