TAREE Motor Cycle Club will conduct a twilight race meeting on Saturday January 19 that will attract the best dirt track riders in Australia.
However, the club won’t be conducting the Troy Bayliss Classic.
TMC president Troy Baker said the classic is still on the club’s radar.
“We’re working towards that,’’ he said.
Mr Baker added there’s a ‘90 percent chance’ that Bayliss will be riding here on January 19.
“If he hasn’t got other commitments I think he’ll be here,’’ Mr Baker said.
However, he expects top liners including former Bayliss Classic winner Mick Kirkness, Luke Richards and Marty McNamara to be here, lured by lucrative prizemoney. Kirkness was the inaugural winner of the Bayliss Classic and rode here at the recent Taree club championship round.
The club also hopes local international stars Josh Hook and the Cudlin brothers, Alex and Damian, will be available.
“It’ll be back-to-basics racing,’’ Mr Baker said.
“We’ll have a full program – all the classes along with juniors, sidecars and quads.’’
Mr Baker said the club first ran a twilight meeting around 2012 where Bayliss raced.
“And that sort or morphed into the Bayliss Classic,’’ he explained.
The classic soon grew into the Manning’s premier sporting attraction, drawing crowds of nearly 6000 to the Old Bar Roadside Circuit. It also drew international riders, with Amercian Jared Mees winning the event twice.
However, the program was curtailed by rain in 2016 and the crowd for the 2017 classic was down. TMC officials believed this was a result of the problems from the previous year.
Early in 2017 Bayliss said the classic wouldn’t be held in 2018, saying increased operating costs and reduced income from that year’s edition threatened its viability.
There were initial plans for the classic to return next January and then be held every two years.
While the classic won’t be held in 2019, Mr Baker said the club will continue negotiations with Troy Bayliss Events.
“We’ve applied for funding to upgrade the lights at the track. That’s what’s needed for TV coverage and that’s what Troy’s hoping to attract,’’ Mr Baker said.
While he agreed the twilight meeting won’t draw the numbers that attended the Bayliss Classic, he is still confident of a healthy turnout.
“We got about 3000 there for our first twilight meeting,’’ he said.
Mr Baker said racing will start around noon the program should be finished by around 8.30.
He said the club is currently looking for a naming rights sponsor.