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TOPICAL | IRONMAN MOTOROSS SERIES | Features | Latest | News | Race Reports

The Ironman Motocross Series is helping riders to compete in bigger ponds and increase their skill level to race here and overseas.

Over the years I’ve often heard people say things like “somebody should do…” and then go on to list whatever shortcomings they may have noticed somewhere and it’s no different in the world of motocross. It seems everybody has an opinion but very few are prepared to actually do anything other than offer advice. Well Ben Blanchette has not only noticed something that needed doing but actually got stuck in and did something about it creating the Ironman Motocross Series for northern NSW. It’s a regional motocross series taking in an area from Newcastle to Tweed Heads and as far west as riders and tracks can be found, designed to replicate National events and to help regional riders prepare for bigger things than their local club events.

Ben has the background having grown up and raced in the Camden area west of Sydney and competing as a junior alongside racers like Anthony Gobert and Matt Mladin. You can’t argue with a pedigree like that. As an adult he pulled stumps and moved north to Coffs Harbour and soon realised the potential for a motocross series to be spread around the north and west of NSW. He has had some experience not only as a racer but also in designing and building tracks so it was a case of the right man for the job.

He came up with the concept of the Ironman Series and its motto “By the Riders, For the Riders” and went looking for suitable tracks and clubs willing to work with him. Ben’s goal was the fostering of young talent and giving them a taste of the longer type events they would face at a national level. Allowing them to start at the shallow end at working up instead of jumping straight into the deep end so to speak.

The series was born in 2023 and is now in its second year and has proven more popular than free beer and pies at a brickies picnic attracting up to 300 riders over the 14 classes and two days that each round of the six round series runs for. Ben has said that the response to his series has been better than he had hoped for and we at ADB feel sure it will keep growing. The cost of travel and the time involved is often a pretty big obstacle for anyone pursuing a career in motocross and once a rider becomes a big fish in a little pond he needs to search for bigger ponds or his skill level will plateau. The Ironman Series is helping riders to compete in bigger ponds and thereby increase their skill level and that has to be a good thing and some big fish are starting to look at the Ironman Series as well.

Megan Rutledge has been using the series as a training exercise to acclimatise to longer races as have Travis Olander, Blake Fox, Connor Rossandich and Liam Atkinson. The reputation of the series has been spreading by word of mouth due to having well prepped and challenging tracks and a smooth running format through the day. As a result it now attracts rider from well outside the region luring entries from over the border in Queensland and from as far south as Canberra.

 At the time of writing rounds one and two had been run at Inverell and Coffs Harbour with upcoming rounds scheduled for Moree 15/16 June, Maitland 3/4  August, Cessnock 31 August /1 September and Hastings Valley 12/13 October and Dubbo will gain a round next year. By the time you’re reading this there should be time to get an entry in for the last three rounds.

So what can you as a rider expect from the Ironman Motocross Series? You can expect a lot of competition from the large rider numbers for a start, and that is great experience. There’s a class for everyone from beginner to pro as well as the usual capacity classes for juniors and seniors and an over 40’s for those who have yet to stop riding. The tracks are all properly prepared beforehand, being ripped, rotary hoed and watered to make sure the surface is in the best condition possible and you can expect races of about eight minutes for the 65 and 80cc junior classes and 20 minute races for all the other classes with John Armstrong doing the commentating.

Even though it’s a regional series, the Ironman Motocross is attracting riders from outside the area, who need to join one of the clubs within the region. The two good points about that is the boost in club membership and the local riders getting to test themselves against a wider field of competitors, in similar conditions to what they would experience in national competition. The junior events are attracting riders ranked in the top ten nationally to the start line and the senior ranks are following suit, and that can only enhance the skill levels and race craft of everyone involved. At the end of the series Junior and Senior Ironmen and Ironwomen are crowned.

The Ironman Motocross Series has the potential to become a must have on any riders resume much like the Mister Motocross Series did, which in its heyday outshone even the National Championship. Of course an event like this can’t be done without the help from sponsors and if Ben’s aim of making the Ironman Motocross Series a full open event so it can expand into Queensland he’ll need even more. Currently supporting the series are the following, Morgans Financial, Coffs KTM, RHINO Co, Prospec Concreting, RGFX, Vince Strang Motorcycles and the clubs involved are Inverell MCC, Coffs Harbour MCC, Moree MCC, Maitland MCC, Cessnock MCC & Hastings Valley MCC. Any potential sponsors can contact Ben, we’re sure he’ll be happy to talk to you.


PHOTOS Keyworth Nock –