Upon last night’s news that the Global Racing team has closed its doors, Totally Speedway’s Daniel Powell has looked back over the team that left their mark on the 410 Sprintcar scene in such a short period.
Heading into the 2016-17 season, a new team owned by Aaron Wright entered the Sydney 410 Sprintcar scene in the form of Global Racing. After purchasing most of their equipment from fellow NSW-based team Dyson Motorsport, they revealed ex Speedcar and Wingless Sprint racer Courtney O’Hehir as their driver. On the eve of 2016-17 season, Global Racing held an impressive season launch at a western Sydney hotel and from that point onwards, they showed they were going to be a serious deal.
One Becomes Two
After the debut season with O’Hehir leading the team, where they did a lot of racing at their home track of Valvoline Raceway and travelled interstate on numerous occasions, Global Racing expanded from one to two cars for the 2017-18 season, with team owner Wright taking up the driver’s seat aboard the second car. However, the step into 410 Sprintcars for Wright was a massive one and he only ran a total of three race meetings before stepping away. The highlight of the 2017-18 season for O’Hehir was her feature-race podium finish (third) in a Development event at Valvoline Raceway.
From the outset, Global Racing were committed to not only going racing but raising the bar when it came to professionalism within the sport of speedway. Apart from the cars and its equipment, they were able to give their sponsors a whole new level of exposure through an expansive marketing program, which began with their season launch. They knew what was needed when it came to professionalism and they were able to execute their objectives.
In the sport of speedway, sponsors tend to go as quickly as they come. For the Global Racing team, they knew how to service all their sponsors, which left most rival teams in their shadow. Over the seasons, they both took part and held various corporate events, whether it was at trade fairs or end-of-season corporate thank you days at Valvoline Raceway. With team driver O’Hehir and then later Michael Stewart, they were able to engage with corporates on various levels, which was a massive benefit to the Global Racing team.
Following O’Hehir stepping away from the full-time driver duties at the end of the 2017-18 season, due to falling pregnant with her first child, Speedcar talent Michael Stewart joined the team. Stewart was able to take the team to another level by quickly becoming competitive during his debut 410 Sprintcar campaign for the 2018-19 season and in one of his early shows at Valvoline Raceway came away with a Development event feature-race win. The only lowlight of the season for Stewart was being forced to step out of the driver’s seat for a short period in early January due to needing to rest up following a massive Speedcar crash. New Zealand star Michael Pickens joined the team for a few cameo appearances at Valvoline Raceway. During what turned out to be the team’s final season (2019-20), Stewart once again impressed and by virtue of this form finished inside the top 10 of the final Ultimate Sprintcar Championship point standings.
Due to ongoing business commitments and consequently not being able to dedicate the necessary time required to go racing properly, the Global Racing team announced that the 2019-20 season was their last in 410 Sprintcars. Despite only being on the 410 Sprintcar scene for a short period, they certainly left an impression.