Flashback Friday – Sprite National Challenge

The Easter Long weekend has traditionally been the meeting of the Sprite Clubs of Australia for the National Challenge. This year it was to be held in Warwick, Queensland, but due the effects of COVID-19, this event had to be cancelled.

The Sprite National challenge started as an annual competition meeting between the Victorian and NSW Sprite Clubs, with SA initially visiting and taking home a few trophies. Over the years the Queensland Sprite Club joined in as well. Even a few members from WA headed across the Nullabour for the SA hosted event.

The organisation of the event was shared between Vic and NSW clubs and the location was generally central to most clubs. The circuits and locations used have included Hume Weir, Hay, Catalina Park, Winton, Oran Park, Phillip Island, Wakefield Park, Calder Park. South Australia organised the 2001 event which was held at Mallala, while Queensland has hosted events at the Morgan Park circuit.

The event initially consisted of circuit practice on Good Friday, sprints on Saturday and motorkhana on Easter Sunday. As the event grew and the inclusion of more road going vehicles to the National Challenge, driver training and regularity events were added to the Friday and a concours was held before the motorkhana on Sunday. Social drives to local wineries, cafes and points of interest were added for those members who were not involved with the competition side of the event.

The evenings were a very social event with quiz nights, spark plug changing competitions, sing-a-longs, dummy-spitting competitions, theatrical skits and rocker cover racing. The presentation dinner was a glamour themed event covering black tie, 50’s style, funk’n’groove, “where were you in 1958” and space themes to add colour and fun to the event. With plenty of food and an array of beverages (or 2…..or 3!!) these nights were enjoyable to all.

The highlight of these nights were the presentation of the trophies for the various events over the weekend. South Australian members have been very successful in bringing home some silverware including fastest in sprints, motorkhana and lady drivers, concours winners both in the various classes and overall, and the coveted Top Sprite award for the best result over the regularity, sprint, motorkhana and concours events.

Part of the event was getting there, via major highways, country lanes, tourist routes and other means. Some made this a holiday taking in the tourist spots on the return journey home.

If you have not been to a Sprite National Challenge before please consider it, you will meet a great group of like mined Sprite and Midget people. Many a friendship has been created at the first event you attend and these friendship are still strong all across Australia.

2 thoughts on “Flashback Friday – Sprite National Challenge”

  1. Hi Gordon, thanks for the article about our challenges. I went to my first one in Hay in the early 1970’s, and to many since then. I was a Victorian back in the day, but have been a Queenslander for the past 36 years. Being a Sprite competitor & organiser, I always enjoy the Challenges.
    Stay tuned for news from us cane toads, as we work out what to do next about the Challenge. Our committee has not yet met to plan this, but will let you all know as soon as we do know. Can you re-print your great article after that? Maybe there will be more South Aussies coming to the rescheduled Challenge. Cheers from Alex

    1. Thanks Alex. It was a shame your event had to be postponed, we know the planning and preparation that is required for a National Challenge is a lot of work for a Committee, only to have to put it on hold! Let us know the updated plans for the National Challenge and will promote to our members. Regards GB

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