Defending KTM King of Nepean Champion Marty McNamara from Gunnedah will have to contend with the strongest field ever in an effort to defend his title for 2012. The King of Nepean, Australia's biggest dirt track event, will be run on Sunday 15th July at the Nepean Raceway.
McNamara will line up alongside Australia's best riders all desperate to win the prestigious KTM King of Nepean title and the richest prizemoney on the circuit. The field for this year's race reads like the who's who of dirt track talent in Australia and includes Michael Kirkness an AMA Flat Track champion and two of our best road racing riders Jamie Stauffer and Josh Hook. Also looking for revenge will be Brody Nowlan who finished second in last year's King of Nepean. Young Brody led the final race until the last corner, only to be passed by Marty McNamara in a last ditch effort to take the title.
USA Flat Track Pro rider Michael Kirkness will provide a new level of competition for the locals. Mark moved to the States in 2009 and in 2010 was named "Rookie of the Year in the AMA Grand National Championships in his first season. To earn a place in the Grand Nationals, a rider has to earn enough points from racing in the feeder classes and just to make it in is an accomplishment. In America, Kirkness is sponsored on two XR 750 Flat Track Harleys as well as two SV Suzuki's for the AMA series.
Jace Castle from Queensland also has the credentials to win King of Nepean. In 2011 he won the Australian Dirt Track National Titles twice, firstly in the Pro Open class and also in the Unlimited Open, claiming the Duke of Edinburgh trophy in the process. They will be joined on the start line by locals Joey Ringwood from Camden, Justin Burdis from Blacktown and Tamworth brothers Keiran and Keegan Gaskin, all capable of winning the event. Just to add a wild-card into the mix, multi Australian Superbike and Supersport champion Jamie Stauffer has also entered KTM's King of Nepean.
Stauffer, from Kurri Kurri in NSW, is no stranger to dirt track racing. Jamie started riding at the age of 4 and competed in junior dirt track races from 1991 to 1995 winning 17 State and 9 National titles. From 1995 to 1999, he moved up to the senior dirt track division and won an additional 32 State and 7 National titles. Jamie's brother-in-law Adam Shields races speedway in the UK and Jamie still races a speedway bike for fun on his home track at Mulbring.
Another road racer to enter King of Nepean 2012 is Josh Hook. Josh, 19, was born in Taree on the NSW North coast. He started racing dirt track as a 12 year old at the Taree's Old Bar circuit. At age 16 he competed across Europe in the Red Bull Rookies Cup before coming back to Australia to race in the 125cc class. In 2011 he was signed to campaign the 600cc Supersport Australian Road Racing Championships for Honda Australia. Josh still goes back to dirt track to keep fit in the off-season.
Hosted by the Nepean Motor Sports Club the KTM King of Nepean will be run over two days, Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th July, with hundreds of competitors racing in nine classes including Pro Lites, MX Open, Pro Open, Unlimited, Women's Open and Sidecars, with support from five Junior classes including Nippers. More information can be found here.