It’s not rare for speedway to draw in multiple members of the same family, but for WA Formula 500 standout Ryan Higgs it is something of a dynasty.
Higgs is currently leading the Perth Motorplex track championship, and he comes into the City of Kwinana Cup this Saturday ready to solidify his position.
Surrounded by passionate Formula 500 racers on all skids, Higgs barely had a chance of escaping one of speedway’s most fun divisions.
“My uncle Graham Higgs is the manufacturer of HRC chassis, and my Dad raced Formula 500s,” he said. “My brother was racing Formula 500s when I started and my Grandad is a former national Formula 500 champion, so it seemed to be the division for me.”
Higgs has been driving in Formula 500s since he was 16 years old, when another former national champion, Ken Neilson, put him in a car for a season.
“Driving a Formula 500 is an awesome experience,” he said. “I’m sitting five inches from the ground doing 140kmh around the Perth Motorplex, turning lap times often only second to Sprintcars. Everything happens very quick but the handling of the cars and how direct they are sometimes feels like it slows down time.”
While all looks good right now in the points, Higgs’ season got off to a rough start.
“We had our race trailer, all of our tools and spares stolen just before the season started,” he said. “We almost gave up but with the help of some good friends at RPM Race Products we managed to build another trailer and get just enough equipment together to continue on this season. I’m glad we did.
“This season we’ve had some great success, winning the first two rounds of the Perth Motorplex track championship and another West Coast Series win down in Esperance. There has been a few podiums that have got away though through silly things so I’d like to get a bit more consistency towards the end of the season.”
The opportunity to chase a championship is a rare one for Higgs. He has spent many years working FIFO jobs, denying him the chance to complete a full season.
“It would mean a lot to be able to take out the championship against some tough competitors and put my name on the trophy amongst some champions,” he said. “As long as we have speed at the Motorplex – which we’ve had lately – I think we just need to get through our heats as best as possible and start on the first few rows of the A Main and we give ourselves a good chance at another win.”
The City of Kwinana Cup features not just Formula 500s but also the Maddington Toyota Sprintcar Series, BGC Late Models, Pool Shop Group Speedcars, Red Pepper Promotions Wingless Sprints and the spectacular Carbusters Demolition Derby. Gates open at 4.30pm this Saturday, with heats from 5pm and the feature show from 6pm. For more information, go to www.motorplex.com.au
Words by Luke Nieuwhof
Pic by Peter Roebuck