We’ve heard it said before, that speedway is the poor cousin of Australian motorsport; however, with many teams now focusing on professionalism and image, speedway is quickly becoming a leading fixture in Australian motorsport.

Recently, there have been a number of massive changes in the speedway world, which have been established with the aim to lift the profile of the sport throughout the country. Last season, we’ve seen the introduction of the Ultimate Sprintcar Championship and the USC Chase, which has now flourished into a coveted competition contested at various tracks throughout NSW, Queensland and Victoria, with South Australia also set to come on board.

Through free-to-air broadcasting on the 7Mate network and clay-per-view live internet streaming, this popular championship has significantly increased speedway’s publicity and has put to bed any doubts that Australian speedway competition is more thrilling as road racing, if not more so. With some of the country’s most talented drivers, such as Jamie Veal, Kerry Madsen, James McFadden and Brooke Tatnell, contesting the championship, the USC is definitely helping lift the sport’s image.

11 7 2016 Courtney OHehirPhoto: Blackjack Co

The progressive attitude is not restricted to speedway competitions, with drivers and teams doing their bit to improve the sport by beginning to take a more professional approach. A perfect example of this is Courtney O’Hehir from Global Racing – a recently launched 410 Sprintcar team based in NSW.

In return for the opportunity she’s been given, O’Hehir is putting her best foot forward in terms of representing her sponsors and team owners, Aaron and Bonnie Wright. Becoming the face of Global Utility Construction in the speedway world has meant that O’Hehir has a lot of hard work ahead, in order to maintain a level of professionalism at all times and ensure that she is fulfilling her sponsors’ expectations. With her proactive approach and hard-working attitude, O’Hehir has proved that she’s up for the challenge.

With teams now placing a large emphasis on image, through crew uniforms, media releases, regular social media and website updates, merchandise and more, and particularly with end-of-season awards such as Best Presented Car and Crew, they are solidifying the validity of Australian speedway racing, thus making it easier to gain sponsorship, as well as increasing the sport’s ever-growing fan base.

This polished approach is now being adopted by more and more teams, which in turn is causing the status of Australian speedway racing to consistently grow to a point where it is beginning to rival that of Supercars. With the sport continuing to move forward as more teams jump on board, the prospect for Australian speedway has never looked better.