With less than a week to go before the opening round kicks off at Wakefield Park, the 2014 Swann Insurance Australasian Superbike Championship and the 2014 YMF Loan AFX-SBK Championship are both ready for action.
Huge rider entry numbers, a host of new sponsors and cranked up live-streaming services are just a few of the indications to suggest that the series’ will feature the best road racing action seen in Australia for years.
Close to 150 entries across all classes have been received for the opening round which will take place at the iconic Wakefield Park Motor Racing Circuit in New South Wales from 14-16 March.
Speaking about the preparations for the season starter, ASC series promoter Terry O’Neill said that the increased support for the series in 2014 has been higher than anticipated.
“We knew it was definitely going to increase – we anticipated that, but right now it’s looking like we are heading towards 150 entries and if we get up to that, it’s back to the days of five, six or seven years ago,” he said.
“It’s hectic – it’s so busy, we have now reached over 140 entries which is fantastic – 30 in Superbike, 29 in Supersport and 25 in the new FX 300 Ninja Cup class which is just excellent and we’re looking forward to the first round of the Swann Series.”
The reintroduction of Swann Insurance as a major sponsor of road racing in Australia is particularly pleasing for O’Neill, and he hopes its support, together with continued support from YMF Loan, will elevate the series to levels seen in years gone by
“We are very lucky. The Saturday series is the AFX-SBK which we have retained our previous sponsor in YMF Loan and that is separate but is a mirror image to the Sunday which will be the Swann Series,” he said.
“I must admit I am very excited about having Swann back as a major event sponsor.
“They haven’t sponsored a series since the Swann Series back in 1987, so to have them come back on board is a huge vote of confidence in our series and where we are going.
“The actual name ‘The Swann Series’ brings back fond memories of everyone from that era of road racing and highlights how great road racing can be in this country. Having Swann back for the Sunday series means we can brand it as something being as great as it was back then.”
According to O’Neill, Wakefield Park is an underrated venue that is the perfect place to stage the opening round.
“For spectators there is no better track in Australia. It’s like a giant fishbowl where it doesn’t matter where you stand or sit, you can see the rest of the track and it’s absolutely fantastic.
“For rider’s it is an extremely technical track – this is a track you need to learn to make the most of it, and the guys who will have the early running are the guys who have spent time on the track and got used to it.
“Having said that, with six races over the weekend there is plenty of time for people to catch up and get on the pace so from a racing perspective I think it will produce some of the most exciting racing we have seen for many a year.”
And all the action can be seen in person at the track, or live around the country thanks to the live streaming available via the ASC website and Facebook pages.
“All races on Sunday will be live streamed from approximately 10am onwards, so every race can be seen live as well as post race interviews.
For the first time this year we will have a dedicated commentary team just calling for the livestream, and our partners in AVE TV have updated their graphics packages so the live streaming will look like an actual television show – it will have its own grid graphics, live race results, it will have everything – I can’t wait to see it!”
For spectators interested in attending the opening round, the General Admission cost is $25 for adults per day, or $30 to attend both days.
Children under 16 acocmpanied by an adult are free, and parking is available at the top of the track offering great views of the whole track.