Breakthrough Win Drive Louise Ridgway to Mildura
West Australian Louise Ridgway is locked and loaded ready to tackle Modified Bike at next weekend’s Sunset Nationals at Mildura’s Sunset Strip after enjoying a breakthrough victory at the Top End Nationals in Darwin.
The latest Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series event of 2023 will be held at the Victorian venue across September 16 and 17, with more than 160 racers entered to tackle the two-day schedule. Ridgway will be amongst the line-up, hoping to continue her winning success.
“Breaking through for my first win in Darwin felt absolutely amazing,” Ridgway enthused.
“I can’t even put it into words what it meant to me and my team to take that win.
“I went to Darwin to race for my big 50th birthday, the nerves were bad as they always are with me – I am not sure if that is a good or bad thing,” she laughed.
“But after I was the Decoglaze Glass Splashbacks Top Qualifier, the nerves settled quite a bit. Even so, taking the win was definitely a huge surprise.”
This will be Ridgway’s first visit to the Sunset Strip.
“I haven’t run at an eighth-mile event before. I haven’t got any expectations at the moment, but I am very excited to take part,” she said.
“Any chance I get to ride my bike is a win for me. I am really looking forward to it and will be giving it my best. Hopefully we can bag some points and also get my burnouts sorted while we are at it.”
Ridgway is also looking to add more tracks to her resume, and potentially a championship title.
“I am definitely planning on racing more national-level events. After winning in Darwin, it has given me the confidence to give the title a go,” she said.
Ridgway rides a 1984 Suzuki GSX 1166cc in Modified Bike, which was originally put together by 1993 Pro Stock Motorcycle champion Ray Easson for his daughter, before Ray himself rode it.
“I was having dinner with Ray and Jeanette Easson a few years ago when they offered me the bike to race. My very first race was at a Whoop Ass Wednesday at the Perth Motorplex in April of 2021,” Ridgway explained.
“Since then, it has been a slow process of one step at a time as we have made changes to the bike, and I have learnt how to best ride it. Ray has run 8.77 seconds on the bike, so I hope to get close to that time.
“I have been really enjoying running in Modified Bike – it is a good mix of bikes to run with and the dial your own format suits me as it is more important to be consistent rather than fast.”
As she gets ready for the September 16/17 event, Ridgway sends her thanks to her supporters.
“Of course, I want to say a huge thank you to Ray and Jeanette; to my crew and Mike my partner – I wouldn’t be able to do this without him; our son Nathan and daughter in-law Chloe; and my biggest fans, Kelly and her son William.
“What really helped in Darwin too was having a local racer, Nathan Riley, come over and help my team out, so I want to say a big thank you to him as well.”
Part of the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series, the Sunset Nationals will be hosted by the Sunraysia Drag Racing Association at Mildura’s Sunset Strip across September 16 and 17. For event information, visit www.sunsetstrip.org.au
The Australian National Drag Racing Association Ltd, or ANDRA for short, is the drag racing sanctioning body of Australia. The organization was created in 1973 from a more drag racing oriented faction of the Australian Hot Rod Federation. Today ANDRA sanctions races throughout Australia and throughout the year at all levels, from Top Fuel to Junior Dragster, on everything from temporary regional tracks to international standard facilities in capital cities. ANDRA and its members make drag racing a family-friendly, safe sport. So come along as a spectator or bring your street car to an “off-street” event and enjoy the excitement that is Australian drag racing. www.andra.com.au