The final major speedway event of the current season at the Perth Motorplex will be a two day epic with a total of 11 divisions to compete over this Friday and Saturday night.
Making a popular return to Australia’s premier speedway venue will be the V8 Dirt Modified, fresh from their state title event.
After a third place at Margaret River Speedway, Brad Cooper is ready to return to the fast Perth Motorplex for what he calls a return to his home track.
“I raced speedway when I lived in Darwin, and then I joined the Navy and had a hiatus from the sport for six years,” he said. “The Navy is what brought me to Perth. I went along to the Motorplex for a Fast Friday looking for a team to help out. That was when I met a couple of Dirt Modified racers and the rest is history.”
Cooper formerly raced NT Outlaw Sprintcars in Darwin, but the Dirt Modifieds captured his imagination with their outlandish looks and hot performance.
“The way I describe a Dirt Modified to people is that it looks like something out of Mad Max,” he said. “It is not like any other speedway division. We run Sprintcar rear tyres, but with half a body and an open front end. There’s a big and beefy V8 up front and it is something different altogether.”
While a Dirt Modified looks a little like the offspring of a Sprintcar and a Late Model, Cooper said they share little characteristics with set up.
“The suspension in the rear is similar to a Late Model, but we run coil over fronts and only a two-link rear end. Some of the components are interchangeable but not a lot. We should be in the high 16s to low 17s in terms of lap times at the Motorplex, depending on conditions.”
Dirt Modified racers have a few engine options. Cooper is sub-classified as a Sportsman racer, which means he can use a GM 602 crate engine or an LS1.
“A couple of years ago I started running the GM crate engine as a cheaper alternative,” he said. “We got third overall at the state title and we were first in the Sportsman category. It was awesome to beat a couple of the open cars.”
For his return to Perth Motorplex, Cooper will return to a set up he last used at the track several years ago. He doesn’t see any reason why it shouldn’t work, even with the more powerful engine he now has in place.
“It worked well when we won the Fast Series track championship at the Motorplex,” he said. “My own fitness is something I’d like to improve. The feature went flag to flag at Margaret River and I think that proved we (the field) weren’t as fit as what we hoped we were!
“Getting back to the Motorplex and being able to showcase our local sponsors at an awesome venue while racing in front of family and friends is going to be just great.”
Friday night at Perth Motorplex will feature not just the first phase of the Speedway Grand Final, but also street cars and bikes racing on the drag strip.
Gates open at 4.30pm with heats from 5pm and the main show from 6pm.
Words: Luke Nieuwhof
Pics: (above) Peter Roebuck and (below) Fastlane Photography