In exciting news for competitors and fans of grass roots motorsport, selected events from the 2021 Motor Racing Australia season, headlined by May’s Sydney 300, will be broadcast live and free for the first time, as Motor Racing Australia (MRA) and Blend Line TV join forces to promote and broadcast the AASA sanctioned NSW based series.
Last June, it was Terry Denovan and his Motor Racing Australia team that brought Motorsport back to life in this country, after the season was suspended in March, as Australia went into lockdown, to deal with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
While some states could’ve returned to racing earlier than they did, and Victoria was off-track for longer than any other state, New South Wales wasted no time in getting going again, with June 13 the day of resumption – just under three months after the season was suspended prematurely, which resulted in far too many events being cancelled, and a handful being rescheduled to later in the year.
On that day in June, Blend Line TV broadcast the action, which was viewed by 57,000 people at various points throughout the program. (What the livestream from 2020 https://youtu.be/U97tVOx4zCo)
Fast forward to 2021, and Motor Racing Australia is back, bigger and better than ever, with two marquee events at Sydney Motorsport Park, including the second running of the Sydney 300 on May 15, and Blend Line TV is back as well.
In total, BLTV will broadcast FOUR events of the Motor Racing Australia season, all at Sydney Motorsport Park, and all featuring night racing, as MRA organisers look to capitalise on the new permanent lighting at the Western Sydney venue.
First up, it’s an ANZAC Day eve outing, that’ll feature endurance racing for the Superkart Club of NSW, Series X3 NSW Excels and the Super TT contingent, plus a sprint format for APRA NSW, all crammed in to the evening session – they’ll start and finish under lights.
There’ll also be racing from the Mazda MX5 Cup, Legend Cars Australia, and competition in the latest round of the Regularity Championship.
Then, three weeks later, it’ll be the second running of the Sydney 300.
The 300km races have rich history in Goulburn and Benalla, and while the formula has been tried under RACERS sanctioning in Queensland, and under Motorsport Australia sanctioning at Phillip Island, it’s the AASA that have built these events up to be signature events, staples if you like, of any grassroots motorsport season – the pinnacle of the circuit racing calendar at this level.
No two 300’s are the same, but all have their fair share of intrigue, drama and excitement, and the inaugural running of the Sydney 300 was no exception.
Just when it looked like Ed Kreamer and Stephen Thompson were destined to win the 2019 race, in the Mitsubishi Evo, along came the cruellest sting in the tail imaginable, as Thompson exited the last corner to a boxful of neutrals, and didn’t make it to the chequered flag.
Their misfortune meant elation for the Mazda MX5 entry of Todd Herring and Andy Harris, who snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, by 0.6s, over the Mazda RX8 of David Loftus and Phil Armour, after 77 laps, and 2 hours and 35 minutes of intense competition.
This year, a whole new challenge awaits the drivers, and an epic spectacle awaits trackside spectators, and Blend Line TV viewers, with the Sydney 300 to be contested under the Sydney night sky for the first time ever.
It’s the first time a AASA sanctioned 300 has been run in the dark, and given how autumn nights in Sydney are traditionally nice and cool, it’s bound to excite those driving the turbo cars, as overheating shouldn’t be an issue, as it normally is in the Wakefield and Winton 300’s, traditionally run in the warmer months.
While the lighting at Sydney Motorsport Park is substantially better than other facilities around the country, there’s no shortage of challenges associated with the art of night racing, not least contending with the glare of headlights from behind, as well as in front of you.
For some, this will be their first night race, period… for others, it’ll be the first time they’ve contested an endurance race after dark. Whether you’re a competitor, or someone tuning into Blend Line TV’s broadcast of the Sydney 300, it’s the race of 2021 that you don’t want to miss.
With no Friday practice available to them, teams and drivers are in for a demanding Saturday at the office, with the entire program crammed into a 14-hour window.
Aside from the 300, there’s an impressive support cast as well, including Series X3 NSW, Stock Cars and Super TT, plus the Alfa Veloce Series and Superkarts.
In the commentary box, veteran motorsport commentator Will Hagon returns to the Sydney 300, alongside a regular at MRA events over the years, Zak Caban.
Hagon, a doyen of the game, has been a prominent voice in motorsport circles since 1965, when he first called the great race for the Seven Network.
56 years later, he’s called Motorsport in seven different decades, his passion lives on, and retirement isn’t in his vocabulary.
His presence at the 2019 Sydney 300 was warmly welcomed by competitors – many of whom grew up listening to him call the sport on ABC TV.
For spectators, more details will be released in due course, but for competitors looking to enter the 2021 Sydney 300, click HERE.
Blend Line TV’s coverage of the 2021 Motor Racing Australia season will continue in July, when competition hits the Brabham Circuit on Saturday, July 10.
Sprint races will be the order of the day, headline by IPRA NSW, as Improved Production returns to the MRA card, with the Under 2L class and Over 2L division racing separately.
Also on the bill, the APRA NSW Series, the MX5 Cup and Super TT, plus Regularity and the Clubmans.
The final day-night event of the 2021 MRA Season won’t be staged until October 23, when the Mazda MX5 Nationals headline a massive day of action, on Blend Line TV, direct from Sydney Motorsport Park.
There’ll be three categories dedicated to the trusty little Japanese car, with regularity and sprint competition to compliment the racing program.
Supporting the MX5 Nationals will be an APRA NSW enduro, plus Series X3 NSW, Super TT, the fast growing NSW Production Car Championship, and the always entertaining BMW E36 Cup.
All the action, from those four events, will be LIVE, FREE & EXCLUSIVE to Blend Line TV.
For many years, BLTV has been the home of grassroots motorsport in Australia, from a broadcast medium point of view – they are without peer in that regard.
Blend Line TV’s online platforms are solely focused on showcasing motorsport at the amateur level.
Along the way, they’ve covered an impressive portfolio of events, and a just as impressive fanbase.
Currently, over 48,000 dedicated motorsport enthusiasts engage with Blend Line TV’s content, and that number is only expected to grow.
Last year, in a season where we were starved of content, due to event cancellations and postponements brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, BLTV still attracted a staggering 9.5 million video views on their Facebook page alone.
With the real world stuff on hold, Blend Line TV, like many of us, turned its attention to the virtual world, and got creative, by staging and broadcasting a series of simulation races, within the iRacing platform.
Like MRA, BLTV is back firing on all cylinders in 2021.
There’s no doubt that the Sydney Motorsport Park legs of the 2021 MRA season, headlined by May’s Sydney 300, will offer competitors their biggest platform yet to showcase their sponsors and racing.
We trust you’ll enjoy the action.
Support the Sydney 300, Motor Racing Australia, and NSW grassroots motorsport as a whole, with a range of sponsorship, advertising and partnership opportunities available for the 2021 season here: