Last Friday, June 16, Spanlift Stadium lit up with the first open meet of the Northern Territory season, the ‘Tropic Thunder Dash for Cash’.

There is a whole lot to be happy about if you’re a member at Satellite BMX Club, the club track has had a major facelift and in October the best riders in the NT will be in town to ride at the state titles.

For over 12 months eager BMX riders have cruised past the construction site of Spanlift Stadium, waiting in anticipation for the day that they could race for glory on the apparition that was manifesting before them. The Satellite BMX Club venue was temporarily closed down for a major upgrade and the transformation has not disappointed, with the new covered track drawing the attention of riders right around the country.

The venue has been open for a few weeks now and many of the riders in the region have spent time dialling themselves into the idiosyncrasies of the new track.

Come last Friday, June 16, Spanlift Stadium lit up with the first open meet of the season, the ‘Tropic Thunder Dash for Cash’. The event saw over 130 riders battling it out for glory on a challenging new track. Racing produced a number of highlights, as some riders used the meet as preparation for the world championships, others riding with an eye towards October’s state titles. See some of those highlights below!

Wowing the crowd were the young chargers in the mini wheeler and sprocket classes, as they demonstrated mastery on the five-metre hill, before age group racing took over, with close racing aplenty.

In the 8-year’s boy’s event Taj Sartori aced the motos, while Kayla Sartori made her mark by winning the 8-9-year’s girl’s from a flying Abbey Pope. In the 9-year’s-boy’s Tait Gleeson was on another planet as he rocketed to the top, possibly spurred on after competing at the 2017 BMX Australia National Championships.

Following some time away from BMX, Tykira Yuke returned with a strong showing in the 10-11-year’s girl’s racing, matching the performances of Poppy Goat.

The 12-13-year’s girl’s event was another highlight, as a storming Catherine Carter took up a challenge to Caitlin Jong, however Jong got to the line first. Her win in the 20-inch class adding to the win she had in the 11-13-year’s Cruiser Class racing earlier in the night. Isabella Spooner claimed third place in behind Jong and Carter.

In the 13-boy’s Kayden Hekkinen was fastest, but he was forced to lay down some seriously hot laps to keep Cale Maurice and Noah Faull at bay, the duo buzzing his rear tire the entire way.

Come the 14+ events it was an arm wrestle between Emily Ballard and April Schenk in the girl’s racing, Ballard taking the win despite an extended break from competition in the recent past. In the corresponding boy’s event, Riley Patrick made good on his speed to win the event in a dead man, Kyle Fox the second man across the line.

The night built to a crescendo with the eight-metre hill coming into play, and with it the speed of the pro classes. Mikayla Perkins relished the opportunity to go hurtling down the big hill, and take on the likes of Kira Jaenke. Perkins took the win.

The pro men’s racing turned into a three-way battle between Matt Ellison, Chris Jones and Talon Dobson. Ellison blasted out of the gates and down the hill, but it was Dobson who held the aces after coming through the huge triple into the first corner best of all, and had a silky smooth performance down the pro straight to set up victory.

In just a few short months Satellite City will become the home for all things BMX in the Northern Territory, with the state titles to be held on October 6-7.

 All information provided by Northern Territory BMX.