Warrnambool driver Grant Stansfield takes gamble in joining sprintcar ranks

BITING THE BULLET: Warrnambool driver Grant Stansfield is in his first 410 sprintcar season after six years in the formula 500 class. Picture: Rob Gunstone

BITING THE BULLET: Warrnambool driver Grant Stansfield is in his first 410 sprintcar season after six years in the formula 500 class. Picture: Rob Gunstone

GRANT Stansfield sold his formula 500 to live out his sprintcar dream.

The Warrnambool driver will have his fourth start in the powerful 410-cubic inch class when he races for the Victorian title at Allansford’s Premier Speedway on Saturday night.

Stansfield, 29, said he decided to “bite the bullet” and test himself on the hotly-contested circuit.

“It’s always been a childhood dream to have a go in a sprintcar but the cost-factor was what was always going to stop me,” he said.

“I decided if I don’t do it now, while I’ve still got some youth on my side, I am never going to do it.”

Stansfield said support from his car owners and sponsors had helped kick-start his first season.

“I just thought I’d get a start and finance myself to start with,” he said.

“I’ve been lucky enough to team with Paul and Kylie Robilliard. They had a car so I just had to supply an engine, so I sold my formula 500 stuff.

“My goal for the year is to do as many races as I can and make a few A-Mains.

“I’d love to do the (Grand Annual Sprintcar) Classic but ultimately that decision depends on finances because it’s such an expensive outlay for one weekend.”

Stansfield said he had adjusted to his new setup and was enjoying life in a larger, more powerful car.

“We’ve had three meetings now and haven’t wrecked it, so that’s a good start,” he said.

“It’s going a bit better than I expected it to. I had a really good run last weekend in Warrnambool and qualified fifth in my time trial group and picked off a few cars in the B-Main.”

The diesel mechanic is unsure how he’ll fare in the Victorian title.

Stansfield is among 43 entrants nominated.

He said his previous state attempts made him “a bit of a bridesmaid”.

“I’ve placed in 13 national or state titles combined in formula 500s but I’ve never won one unfortunately,” Stansfield said.

The Jack Willsher Cup – a highly-rated prize in Stansfield’s former class – will also be run.