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 Compact Speedcars.
Bodie Smith (Qld)
This impressive teenager has made an impression in Compact Speedcars within his first two seasons.
Now at the age of 18, Smith has been near unbeatable in a Compact Speedcar in his home state of Queensland and it included him sensationally winning the 2019 Australian Championship.
Despite his limited experience, Smith has shown just what a talented racer he is and his future in speedway is sure a bright one.
Photo: 44 Photography
Justin Paull (Vic)
Paull is rated as one of the leading Compact Speedcar competitors and he has a swag of results in major events to back it up.
Over his five seasons in Compact Speedcars, the 26-year-old has tasted a lot of success, but nothing comes close to his 2018 Australian Title triumph. Other standout results so far in his career included the Victorian Title and multiple memorial event wins.
When it comes to Compact Speedcars, there is no doubt that Paull has the potential to be one of the class’s finest.
Ayden Elliott (NSW)
Despite focusing on his move into Speedcars last season, Elliott has been a force with the country’s best Compact Speedcar racers over the previous three seasons.
Apart from his front-running form within his home state of NSW, the 24-year-old has always been on the pace when he competes interstate with standout results being minor podium finishes in the Australian Title and Victorian Title.
Elliott’s girlfriend, Brooke Wray, made a few cameo Compact Speedcar appearances last season. The 23-year-old stepped into a Compact Speedcars following some time in Speedway Karts.
Photo: Maximum Action Photography
Ethan Brown (NSW)
Graduating out of RSA Junior Sedans four seasons ago, Brown chose the Compact Speedcar class to continue his speedway career as a senior competitor.
Now after three seasons in Compact Speedcars, the 20-year-old, who was part of the 2018 Speedway Australia Rising Stars program, is improving with every outing and is working his way closer to the front of the field.
Jack Stokes (NSW)
This 20-year-old is passionate about the Compact Speedcar class and is committed to working his way towards being consistent front-running challenger.
Despite last season’s debut campaign being hindered by some misfortune but it saw him pick up a maiden feature-race win which took place at his home track, Nowra Speedway, Stokes can’t wait for the new season to get underway and continue his learning curve.
Stokes, who had bought his first race car with the funds that was set aside by his grandparents originally for a university degree, is no stranger to speedway, having followed the sport since he was a youngster and then his dad Lee moved into the Compact Speedcar class as a competitor, which saw him follow in his dad's tyre tracks.
Photo: Anthony Snedden
Robert Heaton (NSW)
The surname Heaton is synonymous within the world of Compact Speedcar racing with Robert’s dad, Mark, regarded as one of the country’s leading racers in the class and the current Australian Champion.
While Robert only has one season to his name in Compact Speedcars during the 2017-18 season and it saw him show impress pace throughout his rookie season. It’s hopeful that the 19-year-old can return to the driver’s seat of a Compact Speedcar sooner rather than later.
Photo: Lone Wolf Photography
Andrew Parkes (Qld)
With three interrupted seasons to his name in Compact Speedcars, Parkes has still managed to be a top-five contender.
The 26-year-old is eager to get more consistent track time this coming season and he plans to work his way closer to the front of the field.
Photo: Matthew Paul Photography
Connor McCullough (Qld)
The former Queensland Microsprint Champion made regular appearances in the Compact Speedcar class last season and came away with the Rookie of the Year honours within the Queensland Club.
McCullough, aged 20, enjoyed quite a lot of success in Microsprints and he is aiming to transfer that form into the Compact Speedcars and develop into a consistent front-running contender aboard the Ron and Jeff Barton owned Yamaha R1 powered Spike.
Photo: 44 Photography
Joseph Penkeyman (Qld)
One of the newest faces on the Compact Speedcar scene, Penkeyman is this coming season preparing to join the class.
Another racer to come out of a Microsprint background, the 28-year-old, who has long-term goals of moving into Speedcars down the track, has proven to be competitive during his handful of appearances over the past two seasons in that class.
The move into Compact Speedcars aboard a Mazda powered Jackson car is going to see Penkeyman competing against larger fields and he is hoping to come to grips with the class quickly and begin to trouble the front runners.