THE explosive crunch of metal on metal, roaring engines, the acrid aroma of burnt tyres and dust, so much dust. That heady combination is what you can expect at the Australian Demolition Derby Championships at Taree Show on Sunday, October 13.
Before the national title event roars into life at 3pm, Taree Show spectators will be given a teaser of the action to come with the inaugural Ladies' Demolition Derby - but if you listen to competitor, Kellie Isaac, there will be nothing lady-like about this event.
"I'd like to smash it!" laughed Kellie.
A Valiant will be her weapon of choice against possibly eight other drivers. She says she has absolutely no idea what type of Valiant she will be driving - that little detail she leaves to her husband, Ray.
"Hubby makes it and I get to break it!" she declared.
This shared passion for demolition derby and Valiants will see them both compete this year at Taree Show. Ray is set to vie for the top title in the Australian Demolition Derby Championships and he will also drive a Valiant. Watching from the sidelines will be their two daughters, Loren, 14, and Alicia, 11 years. Time will tell whether the infectious enthusiasm of their parents for derby will drive the girls to get behind the wheel, strap into a Valiant, and then drive backwards into any other car they can sight.
Kellie describes derbys as big dodgems cars for grown-ups, but stresses the event is controlled by numerous regulations which control car types, engine capacity and safety.
"It's an exciting sport and yes, you do get a little war wound every now and then, such as whiplash, but it's very unusual to get a serious injury in derby," Kellie explained.
"It is also great for your marriage as we can save it, and then get it out in the ring!"
Ray introduced Kellie to demolition derby about 15 years ago, and with that came an unexpected, but very positive benefit.
"It's a great thing to do with my husband. It's great marriage counselling, it gives us a shared interest and we get to enjoy time together with the wonderful community of local derby people," Kellie explained.
"It's given us a great deal and yes, there is prizemoney on offer, but we don't do it for the prizemoney. It is for us."
So with the teaser at 2.30pm, spectators will then see about 45 cars drive into the ring to smash, bash and crash into each other for a chance to secure the title of Australian Demolition Derby Champion and a chunk of the $4500 prizemoney pool.
Taree Show Society secretary and demolition derby co-ordinator, Chris Taylor said the prizemoney would draw drivers from Sydney, Wollongong, Dubbo, Tamworth, Cessnock and Newcastle. First place is $3000, and the title, second is $1000, and third $500. Last year saw the return of the demolition derby to the Taree Show program after a four-year hiatus. The event is believed to have boosted the 2012 Taree Show attendance figures and is tipped to do the same again in 2013.