Siblings rivalry at nationals
GYMPIE brothers and budding speedway drivers Brendon and Michael Learoyd are itching to contest the Australian ASCF Junior Titles in Latrobe, Tasmania, next week.
A field nearing the 50 mark is expected to have a shot for top honours in Latrobe, and the Gympie pair has prepared with an appearance at the Tasmanian ASCF Junior Titles at the weekend.
The event was held in Hobart and the brothers finished with contrasting results.
While Michael, 13, finished seventh in the final, Brendon was beginning to make up ground when mechanical problems intervened.
Their father, Bryan, said both boys raced hard and showed plenty of maturity on the track.
“Both boys raced well and it’s good preparation for the Australian titles,” he said.
“It gives them some more track time and confidence.”
Bryan said Michael was gunning for a top six finish after a strong effort in the qualifying heats, only to lose a place in the dying stages of the final.
“Michael qualified fifth and was sitting inside the top six when he was nudged in the final stages and pushed back into seventh,” he said.
Brendon, meanwhile, was left to consider what could have been after his car’s drive shaft was smashed, forcing an untimely withdrawal from the final.
“Brendon started in 13th and was coming ninth when the mechanical problem occured,” Bryan said.
“It was a bit of a shame because he was working his way up through the field nicely and gaining some serious ground.”
The track in Hobart was more rough than the Gympie boys are used to, but Bryan said it gave his sons a chance to try their skills in new conditions.
“The cars weren’t really suited to the rough track, but it was a test for them,” he said.
With a week remaining before the Australian ASCF Junior Titles, Brandon’s car has been repaired and a new part placed on order.
The family, meanwhile, is using the time to holiday and enjoy the sights.
Come next week, it will be down to business as Michael and Brandon not only compete against each other, adding another chapter to their sibling rivalry, but some of Australian’s best future speedway talent.