Ray Eggins works to get his V8 Dirt Modified car ready for the Australian Championships to be held in Lismore.
Ray Eggins works to get his V8 Dirt Modified car ready for the Australian Championships to be held in Lismore. Jay Cronan

Need for speed in Lismore

BEING fast in a car is not the only prerequisite for a successful V8 Dirt Modified driver, according to Lismore’s Ray Eggins.

As the city prepares to host the Australian Championships at the Lismore Speedway, starting tonight with a free street V8 CARnival in Magellan Street, Mr Eggins said it took commitment to put a car out on the track.

“You do need the ability to drive a car,” he said ahead of contesting the titles this weekend.

“But you also need to be able to do the work in the shed underneath the car. Then you have to be able to pick the track on the night so you set the car up right.

“You also have to learn to promote yourself because you totally rely on sponsorship to help pay the bills. It’s hard to go and ask for sponsorship, especially if you don’t have the gift of the gab.”

Mr Eggins admits being a V8 Dirt Modified driver in your own team is like having a second full-time job – but don’t feel sorry for him.

The 42-year-old describes the pleasure of being strapped into his 650hp Chevy 355 with its Dominator chassis as an almost orgasmic experience. “Racing is like sex on wheels,” Mr Eggins said.

“I know a few guys who are 60 now who used to drive and they said you have to walk away from the sport for a few years when you quit, not even become a spectator, or all you want to do is race again.”

The love affair with racing extends to the car.

“The Dirt Mods themselves are great cars. They’re brutal and you have to take them by the scruff of the neck,” Mr Eggins said.

“The interesting thing is your personality comes out in how you drive. If you are wild then that can come out and if you are gentle you can still be fast and that comes out.”

Tonight, Magellan Street will be closed to traffic between Keen and Carrington streets from 4pm, to allow up to 30 V8 Dirt Modified cars from all across Australia to be set up for the 6-10pm event.

The night will include high-performance vehicle displays, interviews with drivers, race replays on a giant video screen, face painting and rides for children, and performances by the Summerland Rock’n’Roll Club dancers.



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