The world’s best reinsmen will soon land Down Under to give the Vics the flick, a challenge the state’s top drivers are only too happy to accept.
Victorian pride will rest in the hands of Chris Alford, Gavin Lang, Greg Sugars, Kerryn Manning and Jason Lee, who will defend their state’s honour in the International All Star Series. The six-meet spectacular, which runs from March 7-12, has drawn superstar US drivers Yannick Gingras, Corey Callahan and Brett Miller as well as New Zealand’s Anthony Butt and World Champion Dexter Dunn.
Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) General Manager – Operations Vaughn Lynch said the series celebrated the industry’s heroes and exposed Victoria to a global market. “This gives us a good chance to promote five of our best drivers as well as the great community aspects at our country clubs and the great regional attractions in each area,” Lynch said. “HRV is also committed to the globalisation of the sport and to have such great drivers from the US and New Zealand competing in the series really exposes the Victorian industry to those markets.”
Manning said she was looking forward to meeting the international drivers and racing among the vastly different styles. “It looks like it will be a fun week with good racing,” Manning said. “It will be intriguing to meet the overseas drivers. The style of the Americans is pretty different, and then the New Zealanders are a bit different again, which should make for a good mix and it should be a good series.”
The series, run with the support of the State Government, begins in Melton on March 7 and then traverses Echuca, Maryborough, Ballarat and Bendigo before returning to Tabcorp Park Melton on March 12 for the Pryde’s Easifeed Great Southern Star. Drivers, who will wear personalised silks they helped design, will face-off in four races for each night of the series except for the last at Melton, where they meet once.
“This is going to be great. I’m so excited to be heading to Victoria for the first International All Star Series,” Gingras said. “There will be no holds barred out there and I’m really looking forward to getting on track, as I imagine all the guys will be.”
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