Cowan returns for shot at prize money at Big 3 weekend
A SERIOUS case of sibling rivalry will play out at the Rockhampton Showgrounds on Saturday night as Leigh and Matthew Williams go head-to-head.
The Rockhampton brothers will do battle in the Super Sedan Summer Slam event of the Rockhampton Saloon Car Club's "Big 3" weekend of racing.
Leigh, who has recently returned to the track after spending five years out of the driver's seat while he opened a business, said brother Matt was his toughest rival heading into the event.
"It has been a couple of months since I've had a skid and it's going to be good, I'm looking forward to it," Leigh said.
"I'll definitely be looking out for my brother Matty; I definitely want to be in front of him.
"I'll probably just have to jump the gun on him I think, he's definitely got a quick car.
"It's always good racing against him, but I'll definitely have to be in front of him and just give it to him. He's a bit quiet at the dinner table when I beat him."
From the race track to the pits, Leigh said speedway was a family affair in all aspects.
"It has been a big family sport for us, dad started years ago and then Matt jumped in and I was racing go-karts," he said.
"Then I jumped in dad's car and started racing.
"My car for the weekend is looking good; the old boy (dad) rebuilt the engine. He does a lot of work on the cars, without his help I wouldn't be able to do it."
When it comes to maintenance and trackside support, Leigh knows he can always rely on his dad, but as for the cost of racing, he said he couldn't do it without his loyal sponsors.
"These cars are worth close to $100,000 and to run one for a night costs about $2000 so without the sponsors I have and have had over the years, I wouldn't have been able to keep racing," Leigh said.
"Buddy from Buddy's Fire, Adnought Sheet Metal Fabrications, Evolve Medical Rockhampton, Katch IT, Slick Signs and Regional Waste Services, if it wasn't for them I just wouldn't be able to race. I'm always grateful for the help that everyone gives me."
The Super Sedans won't be the only cars tearing up the track on Saturday with round one of the F500 Rocky Rumble Series getting underway as well as the CQ AMCA National Stampede along with Street Stocks, Super Stockers and juniors.
With great prize money up for grabs at the Big 3 event, AMCA National driver Darren Cowan has also decided to make his return to the track for the first time this season.
But with 21 other drivers also making the trip, Cowan will have to be on his game.
"I was predicting that we'd have about 18 drivers and at this stage it looks like we have 22 cars coming up here which is a really good car count," Cowan said.
"We've got a lot of money up for this event so I thought I'd climb back in and have a go myself.
"Nathan Battersby is going to be hard to beat as a local driver, Glenn Boulter has also been on the pace, Luke Frenken has been going really well and Shane Newsted from Casino goes pretty well too.
"They're travelling a long way so I think they're going to be up to take our money away from us."
Cowan hoped the strong numbers on the track would be reflected in the grandstand.
"The first couple of meetings struggled for numbers in the crowd, it would be good to have the community's support at this event," he said.
"I'd like to thank the supporters and sponsors from around town. It's good that they've got on board to give us some decent prize money."
ROCKY SPEEDWAY BIG 3
Super Sedan Summer Slam, CQ Amca Stampede, F500 Rocky Rumble Series Round 1
Supported by Street Stocks, Super Stockers, juniors
Food vendors, amusement rides, licensed bar, trade displays
Program underway from 4.30pm
Super special price on family passes: Adults $25, pensioners $15, children $10, family (2 x adults, up to 4 kids) $50