Welcome to the weekly series called Generation Next, which highlights the young talent (under the age of 30) coming through the ranks. This week’s Generation Next spotlight are the Modlites.
Sam Gollschewsky (Qld)
Since making his debut in the 2017-18 season after coming from a drifting background, Gollschewsky (pictured right) has rocketed towards the top end of the Modlites class. His second season saw some solid victories and regular visits to the podium. This season past, the 25-year-old racer got wins at Archerfield Speedway and Kingaroy Speedway and continued to venture outside Queensland and Northern New South Wales. He scored the runner-up trophy in the Victorian Title.
Neil Gregson (Qld)
Gregson had a solid season just gone taking podiums in both the South Australian and Victorian Titles. A former drifter, the 28-year-old made the long trek interstate from Bundaberg. He’s been a pole-sitter for the Australian Title (2018-19 season) and taken feature-race win at Maryborough Speedway. He is certainly another fast Queenslander to watch next season.
Photo: 44 Photography
Kyle Honour (Qld)
In just his second season in the category, Honour rocketed to the top by taking out the 2018-19 season Australian Title at the Kingaroy Speedway bullring. The 23-year-old started third in the field and had to hang tough to collect his first Australia # 1 with several challengers coming his way throughout the 30-lap feature race. This backs up his third placing in the previous season’s Australian Title chase in his debut season. This season just gone saw Honour run limited race meetings, but he is now searching for driving opportunities heading into this coming season.
Sean Butcher (Qld)
The surname Butcher is familiar to those who followed the sport throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s with Sean’s parents Allan and Denyse being Grand National and Super Sedan front runners throughout that heady time of the sport. After starting in karts at eight years of age, he moved into Modlites back in 2013. He scored a runner up in the 2015-16 season Australian Title, but oddly enough is still chasing an elusive feature race win. Could this be the 27-year-old Bundaberg charger’s 2020-21 season?
Photo: Darrell 'Mr Click' Lockhart
Luke Fraser (SA)
Fraser is a recent convert to the dirt after an almost 10-year career on the bitumen. His tar career yielded several Championships, including South Australian Formula Vee (2011), Formula Ford (2012) and Saloon Car Championships (2015). He also won the hotly contested Australian Suzuki Swift Title in 2013. His first run on dirt was in January this year and it didn’t take him long to get into victory lane at Whyalla's Westline Speedway. Heading into the 2020-21 season, Fraser is looking forward to his first full season aboard Kyle Honour’s Australian Title winning car.
Photo: Terry's Pro Shots Photography
Patrick Hewitt (SA)
Inspired by a school visit from Extreme Sports icon Travis Pastrana when he was in Year 6, Hewitt is an adrenaline junkie! He started on two wheels between BMX, Downhill Mountain Bike riding and Moto Trials from the age of seven. His family are mad Sprintcar fans and they looked at Modlites to transfer from two to four wheels. Coming out of his first season, despite some early mechanical issues, by the end of the season, the 17-year-old walked away with second placings at Murray Bridge Speedway’s popular Ultimate Pink Night and another at Waikerie’s Sunline Speedway.
Photo: Terry's Pro Shots Photography
Jacob Carlier (SA)
A second-generation racer, Carlier enters his fourth season of Modlites. The 20-year-old has been around the sport his entire life with his father a V6 Sprint racer and a crew member for South Aussie Sprintcar racer Matt Egel. Carlier started racing in AIDKA Dirt Karts at 10 - using his dad’s # 29 - and he combines dirt karting in the wild 250cc Outlaws with his Modlite racing. In 2018, they ventured to Western Australia for the AIDKA State and National Titles and he was SA # 3 in the dirt karts in 2019. In Modlites, he got the Encouragement Award in 2017-18 season and Most Improved in 2018-19 season after finishing eighth in the Club Championship. With some off-season upgrades - he’s expecting the Blues Crues # 29 car to move forward this coming season.
Mitch Pammenter (Qld)
Pammenter has had the smell of methanol in his nostrils since being six months old. The son of Modified Sedan front-runner, Rodney, his career started at 10 in Junior Sedans with a trusty Datsun Sunny. He moved into Modlites and scored a podium finish in just his third outing. He impressed in more ways than one in the King’s Royal support races at Kingaroy Speedway among 50 competitors. He took a heat race win...and was also ‘awarded’ Speedway Australia’s Rollover of the Week - not a bad weekend! With only 10 nights of racing under his belt, Pammenter made the feature race every night out and is looking to use next season as a launching pad.
Rachael Jenkins (Qld)
One of the few fast femmes in Modlites, Jenkins will enter her 11th season of racing this year. Like many, the 23-year-old started in Junior Sedans, but before moving into Modlites two seasons ago, had a time in the National 4s Sedans. In her third season just gone, she finished seventh out of 35 cars in the Modlite Mayhem Series. She’s quite proud of being one of just three female drivers in the category - and there is another rivalry that Rachael enjoys getting the better of - beating home Sean Butcher - who happens to be her fiancé! Sean used the 2019 Australian Title at Kingaroy Speedway to pop the question! And of course, she said yes!
Nathan Politch (Qld)
Joining the category in 2014, Politch is more than just a Modlite racer. He’s been importing the Edge Chassis for the class to Australia since 2016. The cost effective and highly competitive nature of the class first attracted him to it. The 28-year-old - who finished third in the 2019 Australian Title at Kingaroy Speedway - has steadily established himself as a Modlites front-runner. The Toowoomba competitor has taken more than a fair share of feature-race wins in his home state and over the past few seasons has been a regular visitor to the podium at many events.
Photo: The Art of Speed Photography
Casey Collins (Qld)
Graduating out of Junior Sedans with a pair of Queensland Title wins to his name, Collins made the move into Modlites three seasons ago. Within three seasons, Collins hasn’t taken long to develop into a front-running contender, and it includes feature-race success. When it comes to the future, Collins certainly has a bright one.
Pacey Clegg (Qld)
Clegg is making a name for himself both on and off the speedway track. The 20-year-old Kingaroy product is one of the few young administrators in the sport, being Vice President of the Kingaroy Speedway Club for the last two seasons. An apprentice boilermaker, he jumped into the sport with both feet at 16, racing in Modified Sedans - in arguably the hottest field for the category in Australia at Kingaroy Speedway. He collected numerous top 10s before making the decision to move into Modlites the season just gone. He took his first heat-race race win and bagged numerous feature-race top 10 finishes. He was running seventh out of 37 in the Campbell’s Truck and Bobcat Series before the season came to a halt and next season will aim for more feature-race wins.
Photo: 44 Photography
Jared Stephenson (NSW)
The Stephenson family are Modifieds through and through. Jared grew up watching his father racing V8 Dirt Modifieds and since then his brothers Jai, who now races 410 Sprintcars, and Brayd have both raced V8 Dirt Modifieds after stints in RSA Street Stockers. After helping his brothers, the emergence of Modlites sparked the interest of young Jared as a stepping stone to the bigger V8 Dirt Modifieds. After a mixed season, he’s aiming this time around for more consistency on the track and hoping the results will flow from there.
Nikolas Keeley (Qld)
Growing up in Gove in the Northern Territory, Keeley moved to Queensland four seasons ago. Learning his craft in Dirt Karts around Gove’s Nhulunbuy Speedway, the 18-year-old spent three seasons in Junior Sedans when moving to Queensland. After graduating out of Junior Sedans, he moved into Modlites. He has run two seasons now in Modlites and his highlights so include qualifying straight into the 2019 Australian and Queensland Titles in Modlites.
Abi Meehan (Qld)
Another youngster to come out of Junior Sedans, Meehan has completed two seasons in Modlites. With a strong fanbase and a high level of professionalism. Meehan is certainly an asset to the Modlites class. When it comes to on the track, the more track time she gets, the more her confidence and speed increases.
Dakota Laverty (Qld)
Laverty recently graduated out of Junior Sedans and when it came to the move into senior competition, her first choice was the Modlites class. The 17-year-old enjoyed her first taste of Modlites last season, and she is now really looking forward to next season and continuing her learning curve.
Joel Smith (Qld)
From the outset, it was clear that Smith would develop into one of the state’s leading Modlite racers and he didn’t disappoint and has a fair share of impressive performances to back up that claim. Smith now has three seasons in Modlites to his name and we are confident that a breakthrough major win in the Modlites class isn’t too far away.
Photo: Gary Reid
Jacob Childs (SA)
A new face to the Modlites scene in South Australia, Childs has only run a handful of race meetings in the books since jumping into the class last season. Coming out of Dirt Karts, Childs has made a competitive start to his time in Modlites and it’s that Dirt Kart background is certainly benefiting him.
Photo: Terry's Pro Shots Photography
Paige Charlson (SA)
Another recent Dirt Kart graduate, Charlson last season made the exciting move into the Modlites class. During her appearances last season, Carlson was far from disgraced during her six race meetings and showed that it won’t be too long before she moves her way up the field.