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Welcome to the weekly series Generation Next, which highlights the young talent (under the age of 30) coming through the ranks. This week’s Generation Next spotlight are the Speedcars.

Matt Jackson (NSW)

This third-generation racer is regarded as one of the country’s best Speedcar racers and he has an array of achievements to back that up.

Making the move into Speedcars over a decade ago at the age of 17, the 29-year-old has achieved a lot in his home state of NSW, which includes NSW Club Championship and Valvoline Raceway Track Championship wins and minor podium finishes in events such as NSW Titles, 50 Lappers and Australian Grand Prixs. Proving that he is not just a home-state wonder, Jackson has tasted a fair amount of interstate success, which includes the 2019 South Australian Title and last season’s Beasley Family Memorial.

Despite no solid results in previous Australian Championship attempts, Jackson, who has competed internationally in America and New Zealand, is eager to turn that around sooner rather than later.

Kaidon Brown (NSW)

For someone so young, Brown has achieved a lot than many racers have achieved in their whole career.

The 20-year-old has already achieved Australian Championship success in 2018, which occurred in sensational fashion at Murray Bridge Speedway in South Australia, along with numerous other results throughout his home country and commendable performances while competing internationally over in both America and New Zealand.

When it comes to Brown’s future, it certainly looks to be a bright one.

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Photo: Tony Loxley

Michael Stewart (NSW)

Despite splitting his time over the past two seasons between Speedcars and 410 Sprintcars, Stewart remains at the top of the Australian Speedcar ranks.

No matter where he competes around the country, the 25-year-old has over past seven seasons has built the reputation as a front-running contender.

Stewart has achieved a lot of success at his home track – Valvoline Raceway – but has yet to breakthrough for a major event win – despite coming painfully close on a few occasions. We are confident that a major event win in Speedcar isn’t too far away for the Canberra, ACT-based racer.

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Photo: Tony Loxley

Rusty Whittaker (Qld)

Whittaker is one driver that doesn’t take a backwards step, which in turn has seen him achieve a lot of success in his home state of Queensland.

After seven seasons in Speedcars, Whittaker’s success in Queensland includes various Queensland Club Championships, Polar Ice Series point standing wins and minor Queensland Title minor podium finishes.

Not content with his home state performances, the 23-year-old is now aiming to establish himself on the national scene. He made a giant step towards that goal during last season’s Australian Championship at Premier Speedway in Victoria, where he was in outstanding form and brought home a sixth-place finish in the feature race.

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Photo: Corey Gibson Photography 

Kaiden Manders (WA)

Despite focusing on his Sprintcar activities in recent years, Manders is still more than capable of jumping into a Speedcar and running at the front of the field.

The 22-year-old has two Australian Championship wins in 360 Sprintcars to his name but without a doubt his biggest achievement so far in Speedcars was his outstanding victory as a 16-year-old in the 2014 Magic Man 34 event at Perth Motorplex.

With more time spent back in Speedcars, there is no doubt that he can achieve more major event success.

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Photo: Wade Aunger

Tom Payet (WA)

Although he has only been competing in Speedcars for less than two seasons, Payet has certainly made an impression during this time.

Coming from a 410 Sprintcar and Speedcar background, the 25-year-old enjoyed a sensational debut campaign last season that saw him dominated his home state competition and then travelled over to Premier Speedway in Victoria for the Australian Championship and charged his way from the back of the field to finish just off the podium in fourth.

Payet is without a doubt a driver on the rise within the Speedcar ranks and one to certainly watch out for.

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Photo: Corey Gibson Photography

Brock Webster (Tas)

With the Speedcar class only being in the state of Tasmania for the past three seasons, one of the drivers who has really stood out is Webster.

Last season, the 27-year-old went to another level domestically by winning the Tasmanian Title and then travelled over to the mainland to run the Australian Championship and the Victorian Title. It was during these two events that Webster showed that he was certainly no pushover and his performances over those two weekends saw him receive plenty of praise from many of his fellow racers, including New Zealand star Michael Pickens.

Webster is an exciting racer and one who isn’t afraid to mix it with the best of them, and if he can continue to run more major events on the mainland then he is only going to get better.

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Photo: Corey Gibson Photography

Dillon Ghent (Vic)

Growing up around Speedcar racing, Ghent moved into the class three seasons ago after stepping out of Speedway Karts.

With a hunger to learn and experience in his corner with his dad being long-time Speedcar racer and three-time South Australian Champion Peter Ghent, the 23-year-old is developing into a consistent top-five contender. The highlight of Ghent’s time in Speedcars so far are his maiden feature-race win, which occurred during his first season at Geelong’s Avalon Raceway during the 2017-18 season, and a 13th place finish in last season’s Australian Championship.

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Photo: Grumpy & Sons

Charlie Brown (Qld)

Coming from a successful period in Formula 500s, Brown is now attempting to establish himself in the Speedcar class.

The 28-year-old over the past two seasons been focusing on his Speedcar commitments in his home state of Queensland and it has seen him claim a handful of feature-race podium finishes - including a victory at Archerfield Speedway. With more track time, there is a strong chance that more wins will begin to go Brown’s way.

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Photo: Lone Wolf Photography

Scotty Farmer (Qld)

Like Brown, Farmer came out of Formula 500s and he has now spent a total of four seasons in Speedcars.

Two seasons ago, Farmer enjoyed a breakout campaign, which saw him claim the Queensland Club Championship and Polar Ice Series point standings double. Also, that season, he went to another level and recorded a fifth-place finish in the 2018 Australian Championship at Murray Bridge Speedway in South Australia. In recent years, he has competed in both America and New Zealand, which has grown his experience tenfold.

After sitting out last season, the 26-year-old earlier this year announced his plans to head over to America and build a career in Midgets (Speedcars). After arriving in America back in April, Farmer has been limited with his racing opportunities due to the world-wide coronavirus outbreak and it’s so far only seen him make a single appearance at Petaluma Speedway in California.

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Mitch Brien (NSW)

Brien has spent a total of five seasons in Speedcars on a casual basis, but despite the sporadic racing, he has shown his talent on more than the odd occasions – with the highlight being so far a second-place finish in the Australian Grand Prix of 2019.

Moving into Speedcars from a short break following his time in Junior Quarter Midget ranks, there’s no doubt with more regular track time this 27-year-old from the Central Coast of NSW will be able to be amongst the front-running contenders on more than the odd occasion.

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Photo: Tony Hodskiss

Jay Waugh (NSW)

After time spent in Wingless Sprints and 410 Sprintcars – both here in Australia and internationally, Waugh just last season moved into Speedcars.

Teaming up with the Morton & May Racing team, the 29-year-old has managed to overcome a tough start in the class and has come on in leaps and bounds in the second half of the season to record a podium finish at Nowra Speedway and run an encouraging ninth in the Australian Championship at Premier Speedway in Victoria.

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Photo: Tony Loxley 

Harley Smee (NSW)

Like a lot of people involved in Speedcars, Smee didn’t land in this class by accident, as he has a long list of family members with long associations with the class.

The 25-year-old, who spent time in Legend Cars and Wingless Sprints prior to moving into Speedcars, has shown plenty of promise throughout his two seasons in Speedcars. The highlights so far for Smee have been numerous podium finishes, which included a third place in the 2019 Queensland Title and a feature-race win at Valvoline Raceway.

With more track time, there is no question that Smee, who’s the nephew of Nathan Smee and the step son of Mark Cooper, can turn into a consistent front-running contender – not only in his home state but nationally.

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Photo: Corey Gibson Photography

Ayden Elliott (NSW)

Following an impressive grounding in Compact Speedcars, Elliott last season made the move into Speedcars. In what was a massive step, the 24-year-old is handling it with plenty of maturity and is showing improvement with every outing. If his form in a Compact Speedcars is anything to go by, then expect to see Elliott moving closer to the front of the field sooner rather than later.

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Photo: Lone Wolf Photography

Reid Mackay (NSW)

To say that it’s been a challenging four seasons for Mackay in Speedcars would be quite the understatement.

The fourth-generation racer has so far experienced the highs of winning the 2017-18 season Australian Grand Prix and then later that season the confronting lows of the sport, following his massive crash at Valvoline Raceway that caused him severe injuries.

Despite all the highs and lows, the 24-year-old returned to racing last season and is committed to continuing his passion for Speedcar racing and being able to mix it with the country’s best racers.

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Photo: The Art of Speedway

Cameron Ware (NSW)

After last season stepping into Speedcars, Ware really stood up to be counted towards the end of the season by claiming an impressive podium finish at his home track of Valvoline Raceway. The future certainly looks to be a promising one for the 27-year-old and he has quite a lot of experience to fall back on in 410 Sprintcars, Legend Cars and Speedway Karts. 

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Photo: Tony Loxley

Glen Arnold (NSW)

Following back-to-back Australian Title wins in the Legend Car class, Arnold two seasons ago made the move into Speedcars.

The 27-year-old has handled the step into Speedcars in impressive fashion, which included a podium finish at Valvoline Raceway in his maiden season, and there is no question that he is only going to get faster in the coming seasons.

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Photo: Tony Loxley

Cameron Malouf (NSW)

Coming from a family of passionate Speedcar racers, it was inevitable that this 17-year-old would end up behind the wheel of a Speedcar. Although the Malouf has not even two seasons in Speedcars to his name, he is loving the experience and is improving with every outing.

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Photo: Lone Wolf Photography

Braydan Willmington (NSW)

Over his five seasons as a senior speedway competitor after coming out of Junior Sedans, Willmington has spent a considerable amount of time in Speedcars.

Despite switching his time between Speedcars and 410 Sprintcars in recent seasons, the 22-year-old is a capable front runner on his night. The highlights in Speedcars so far for Willmington are minor NSW Title and Victorian Title podium finishes.

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Photo: The Art of Speedway

Bodie Smith (Qld)

Smith burst onto the Speedcar scene during the 2018-19 season with a limited campaign and showed plenty of promise ever since.

At the age of just 17 and a former Australian Compact Speedcar Champion, Smith is quickly coming to grips with the Speedcar, which has seen him pick up a handful of minor feature-race podium finishes, and he is bound to continue to impress during the upcoming season and beyond.

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Mitchell Rooke (Qld)

After impressing during his first two seasons in Speedcars aboard the Rod Singleton-owned car, Rooke last season went out on his own and run his family-owned car and showed further improvement.

The 19-year-old’s highlights during his first three seasons in Speedcars was a fourth in the 2019 Brisbane 50 Lapper and a top-five finish in the final Polar Ice Series point standings of the 2018-19 season.

Following his impressive form during his first three seasons, Rooke is hopeful of going to a whole new level as a racer in the coming seasons.

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Photo: Matthew Paul Photography

Mitch Whiting (Vic)

This 26-year-old has proven to be a consistent front-running contender within his home state.

Coming from a Formula 500 and Junior Sedan background, Whiting moved into the class four seasons ago and is now a serious challenger at the pointy end of the field wherever he competes in Victoria. Just last season, he showed plenty of form in a stacked field to finish fourth in the Victorian Title.

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Photo: Corey Gibson Photography

Caleb Mills (Vic)

As a third generation Speedcar racer, Mills just last season completed his maiden campaign in the class.

In what was a baptism of fire, the 18-year-old, who comes from a Junior Quarter Midget background, came away from his first full season with his head held high and is now looking forward to further improvement this coming season.

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Photo: Corey Gibson Photography

Jack Day (Vic)

Day is one of the young talents on the Victorian Speedcar scene and someone who is becoming more and more competitive.

A second-generation racer, the 23-year-old is focused on further improvement and moving his way further up the field.

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Photo: Corey Gibson Photography

Toby Smith (Vic)

Coming from a Speedcar racing family of over three decades, Smith is continuing the family’s legacy.

After stepping into Speedcars following spending his time as a junior in Speedway Karts, the 20-year-old has just completed his first full season. Smith is excited about the future as he continues to learn the ropes of Speedcar racing.

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Photo: Grumpy & Sons

Rebekah Henri (Tas)

Henri has been racing Speedcars in Tasmania since the inception of the class to the state three seasons ago.

The 25-year-old is a consistent competitor in her home state, and she has proven to be capable of challenging for spots on the podium.

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Keenan Fleming (WA)

Running in the tough state of Western Australia, Fleming is quickly growing into a component racer.

With four seasons in Speedcars under his belt, the 20-year-old is regarded as a top-five contender in his home state – the highlight so far being his second-place finish in the 2019 Western Australian Title. Last season, he ventured over to the east coast to contest the Australian Championship at Premier Speedway in Victoria and gained some invaluable experience.

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Photo: Corey Gibson Photography

Beau Doyle (WA)

Doyle recently made the huge step into Speedcars and has so far been enjoying the journey.

The 18-year-old, who graduated out of Junior Sedans, has handled himself quite well throughout his first two seasons in Western Australia and he is only going to improve with more track time.

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Photo: Mel Parker