Australasian Young Drivers kicks off this week

Harness racing's big trans-Tasman showdown for the young guns kicks off at Melton just outside Melbourne on Tuesday.

Three Kiwis - Sarah O'Reilly, Crystal Hackett and Sam Thornley - will battle it out with six of their Australian rivals in the Australasian Young Drivers' Championship (Profiles for each NZ driver here)

There will be nine heats spread across four meetings, and is held in conjunction with the Inter Dominions, that finish up this Saturday at Melton.

Cameron Hart spearheads the Australian contingent while O'Reilly is the official defending champion. She won it the last time the championships were held in 2019. The subsequent championships were cancelled because of Covid.

There are six female drivers this year. They have won the last three championships. Before O'Reilly three years ago the champions were Sheree Tomlinson (2018) and Queensland's Narissa McMullen in 2017.

The schedule is:

Tuesday, December 6 (Melton): Two heats

Wednesday, December 7 (Ballarat): Two heats

Thursday, December 8 (Maryborough): Two heats

Friday, December 9 (Bendigo): Two heats

Saturday, December 10 (Melton): Final heat

The 2022 Australasian Young Drivers Championship Competitors are :

Sarah O’Reilly – NZ

Sam Thornley – NZ

Crystal Hackett – NZ

Tayla French – Victoria

Cam Hart – NSW

Samantha Pascoe – SA

Emily Suvaljko – WA

Jordan Chibnall – Tasmania

Brendan Barnes – QLD


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