PREMIER Speedway is sticking to a one-heat-per-car format as the sport deals with a tyre shortage.
General manager David Mills said drivers would contest one heat rather than the traditional two at its New Year's Day meeting on Saturday night as they did for Max's Race on December 18.
The coronavirus pandemic is the main reason for the equipment shortfall.
"Speedway Australia have come on board and are going to provide a considerable amount of funding to assist with air-freighting of tyres to keep venues operating around the country which is a very generous offer," he said.
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"But the shortage is still there. People automatically think of the right-rear tyres but when you're trying to set up a sprintcar and need a different size left rear, depending on track conditions, the availability of those is equally as important.
"It is common sense at this stage, especially when there's a lot of racing over a 10-day period, that we make it viable for the racers.
"We want to see them go through the course of the season and contend for championships and the Easter trail later in the year.
"I think it's a smart move and we've come up with a format which still gives punters value for money."
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Mills is tipping the meeting, which has attracted 50-odd cars will determine the Victorian title, to be hard fought.
"In a one-heat format, the guys are going to be on the top of their game," he said.
American Carson Macedo is considered a challenger to James McFadden, who has dominated the January 1 meeting over the past decade.
"He's coming off the same amount of racing as James so providing he and Sean Dyson (of Dyson Motorsport) can gel quickly, he'll be good," Mills said.
Warrnambool's Jamie Veal, racing in Jack Lee's car, will be one to watch too along with veterans Steven Lines, David Murcott and Grant Anderson while up-and-comers Daniel Pestka and Tate Frost could surprise.
"The new track surface probably levels the playing field a little bit," Mills said.
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