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Grafton driver Tony Blanch recently defended his title at the Queensland AMCA Nationals held at the Kingaroy Speedway earlier this month. Image: contributed.

Full speed ahead for a lot of fun

Emma Pritchard

The night couldn’t have gone any better for Grafton driver Tony Blanch as he scorched the track during the Queensland AMCA Nationals Titles at the Kingaroy Speedway on November 7.

After drawing pole position, winning three heats and subsequently qualifying for the final, Mr Blanch fought hard and raced consistently to edge clear to win the event and secure the Queensland AMCA title for the second consecutive year.

Describing it as a “fairy tale night”, Mr Blanch remained true to his humble character as he thanked and congratulated his competitors for another great night of racing.

The event also marked the first competition Mr Blanch was able to compete in since February, following the Covid-19 pandemic and after waiting two hours to cross the border, he was eager to fire up his car and have some fun.

“I’m not involved with the sport to earn points or chase trophies or prizemoney,” he said.

“It’s an outlet for me, a chance to have some fun away from work and to do something I really enjoy.

“We were two weeks out from the Australian titles at Mildura when Covid-19 hit, so Kingaroy Speedway was the first real hit out since then.

“It was really great to get behind the wheel again and just have some fun out on the track.”

Away from the speedway, Mr Blanch and his wife Lynda run Smith’s Auto Performance in Grafton.

Mr Blanch has been racing for almost 20 after he started helping his friends fix their cars at the speedway, utilising his skills as a qualified mechanic.

After celebrating his victory in Queensland against several well-respected drivers including Bruce Marshall and Nathan Durston, Mr Blanch welcomed them to his home track when the Grafton Speedway roared into life on November 21.

Although Mr Marshall won the feature event on the night, Mr Blanch was happy to compete on his home track and content with his third place.

“All of the drivers put on a good show and we all had fun during the night,” he said.