MOTORCYCLING sister duo Sharnelle and Madi Sippel will share the track with a host of national and international stars at Taree this weekend.
More than 6000 spectators and 200 competitors are expected to descend on the Old Bar Raceway for the Troy Bayliss Classic.
The meet will incorporate an All Stars and Legends event, which will include the likes of Bayliss and three-time Speedway World Champion Jason Crump.
The star-studded line-up boasts no less than seven world championships and over 100 Australian championships between them, covering road racing, speedway, enduro, dirt track, motocross and supercross disciplines.
It was one of the attractions for the Sippels.
The other was the chance to race on an oil (oil-based) track.
“The Aussie titles are on oil this year and we’ve never ridden oil before,” Madi said.
Sharnelle has but she was only six at the time and it was on a 50cc bike.
This time she’s got another 400cc at least grunt under her.
The nationals are scheduled for Gunnedah in June.
Gunnedah, Taree and Kempsey are the only three oil tracks around.
“Most tracks are watered granite,” Madi said.
“We’re doing Taree to get used to it so we have a shot at the nationals in Gunnedah.”
Both are keen to do well there.
They’ll be competing against each other today, with both racing in the unlimited women’s open.
They’ve been doing that for a couple of years now, since Madi (17) finished in the juniors.
Sharnelle is three years the elder exactly – the two share the same birthday – and so far holds the honours when the two have raced against each other.
She had a pretty good year last year.
“I went to Wagga and came second in the state in October,” she said.
“Then in November at the Australian titles I placed a second, two thirds and a fourth.”
She was in a winning position in that last race before a fall.
“This year I’m going in hoping for top three in every meet,” she said.
Madi was sixth at Wagga but had a pretty bad nationals.
“I’m hoping to do pretty well on oil.
“My style is more for oil,” she said.
They’ll race five rounds after which the highest pointscorer will be declared the winner.