Award honours Murwillumbah speedway legend
THE achievements and influence of one of Australia's greatest-ever speedway sedan competitors will be honoured when the 2007/2008 Carline Mufflers National Super Sedan Series fires-up tonight at Rockhampton Speedway. John Leslight, 56, of Murwillumbah has spent more than 30 years competing in speedway sedan events across Australia, accumulating an unprecedented record of success at race venues in every Australian state. In recognition of his stellar career, series organisers have announced the introduction of the John Leslight Drivers' Driver Award as part of the 2007/2008 series. The speedway award is presented to the driver who accumulates the most votes from fellow competitors during the course of the series, upon consideration of results, attitude, professionalism and sportsmanship. It is a fitting tribute to a man whose influence on the sport is profound. "We are extremely happy that John has accepted our offer to attach his name to this award. We believe John represents the type of competitor that will win this award each year," said National Australian Speedway Racing general manager, Tim McAvaney. "That is, a competitor who is respected by his peers for his ability, fairness, excellence and commitment." A legendary figure held in high esteem by competitors, spectators and track operators alike, Leslight retired at the conclusion of the 2006/2007 season, drawing the curtain on one of the most enduring careers in Australian speedway. Leslight was a fierce competitor who travelled extensively every season to attend all of the major events on the Australian Super Sedan calendar, often with great success. "I'm pretty honoured to have this award named after me and it'll be great to keep my hand and interest in the sport," Leslight said prior to leaving for his long trek north. "I'm fully retired, but I've sold my car and all the gear at this stage...so I'm pretty much retired." In recognition of his stellar career, series organisers are very pleased to announce the introduction of the John Leslight Drivers Driver Award as part of the 2007/2008 Carline Mufflers National Super Sedan Series. Continuing to play an active role in the sport assisting other competitors, Leslight will be attending every round of eight-round national series around the country between now and mid-March. Current series leader and defending NSSS champion Wayne Randall headlines the entry list and will be hard-pressed by Murwillumbah's Wayne Brims who is rated a major chance of grabbing overall honours during this year's series chase. Meanwhile, Leslight will be keeping a close eye on a Brisbane bank manager who is set to commence his fourth season of racing. Gavin Northfield, 35, is a business bank manager with Suncorp and bought the former Murwillumbah-based machine just three weeks ago. "My family raced and I've been going to the speedway since I was two weeks old and I just followed it and followed it and now have a great car to race off one of the sport's real legends," Northfield said. "The history of the car had a lot to do with me buying it."