AUSTRALIA’S best four-wheeled quad riders will go head-to-head this weekend for the nation’s top prizes at the 2016 Yamaha Australian ATV Nationals that will take place at the Dandenong Motorcycle Club on the weekend of October 8-9.
Former Australian and Victorian quad champion Mitch Van Vliet is gearing-up for what will be a fantastic weekend of top-notch racing at the Victorian seaside town of Wonthaggi. “The last time I raced in an Australian ATV Nationals in 2014, I won, so I’m hoping to do that again, but the competition is going to be fierce this year,” Mitch, from Narre Warren North, said.
“We’ll have riders coming from New Zealand and all over Australia. It’ll be one of the biggest Pro Open races the discipline has ever since quads became really popular,” Mitch, who will be competing in the Pro class on the weekend, added.
Mitch, 25, who has also recently competed at the Finke Desert Race and is the 2014 China International ATV Invitational champion, loves the family-friendly nature of the sport: “It’s not as intensely competitive as the two-wheeled disciplines. It’s a really family-friendly sport,” Mitch, who’ll be up against his both his younger brothers Jake Van Vliet and Cooper Van Vliet, added.
Mitch is a big fan of the track at Wonthaggi too. “I’ve competed at Wonthaggi heaps of times before. I’ve had a number of coaching schools there and it’s a wicked track. It’s really wide, there’s lots of passing opportunities. With quads, one line usually forms but it doesn’t seem to at Wonthaggi so that’s why it was chosen,” Mitch added.
Dandenong Motorcycle Club representative Glenn Capuano is hopeful of expecting in excess of 1000 spectators for each day of the event. “The club is fired up for this event. The track is in perfect condition at the moment. Any more rain we can get between now and the weekend, the better off the track it will be,” Glenn said.
“We have about 80 entries for the weekend. I can’t wait to see 20 or so quads heading into the first corner. The speeds they get up to at a national level is a sight to see. It’s a fantastic spectator sport,” he added. Glenn would like to thank all the DMCC volunteers for all their efforts in helping organise the event for this weekend.
Asked what advice he’d give newcomers to the sport, Mitch added: “Give it a try. It’s a fun sport and it’s got a great atmosphere. I’d really like to thank our major sponsor Yamaha Australia for supporting this event too, plus my Mum, Trudy Van Vliet, and all our other supporters, including Legend Quads, Hardiman ATV, Vanika Industries, Quad Squad, Victory Meats, Austraco, Spy and Thor, who are getting behind us.”
Further information and updates can be found at the official Facebook Page of the Australian ATV Nationals: https://www.facebook.com/ATVMXNationals/.
General Public – Children under 15: Free
Adults – Saturday: $10.00 with free-entry for Sunday
Sunday: $10.00 only