TUMUT teenager Brayden Elliott’s year of achievements became even better after he recently won a NSW long track title and came second in another class.
Brayden consequently earned the unique honour of NSW champion recognition in dirt track racing and in long track racing in the one year.
He also became one of only 10 riders in Australia to be accepted into the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS).
Brayden was among about 130 riders in the NSW Long Track Championship at Wagga on October 13, with competitors coming from around NSW and Queensland, and some having been in world titles.
Impressively, October 13 was the first time Brayden had won a long track title at either junior or senior level following numerous second and third placings.
Brayden rode in the Under 19 and Pro Lites classes on his 250cc motorbike, and was on his 450cc motorbike in the Pro Open and MX Open races.
Each class involved four rounds of four races, with points added up in those heats. The top 12 in those rounds qualified for the final which was “like a grand final”, according to Brayden, as the decider involved one race of six laps to determine the result.
Brayden’s first placing was in the Under 19 race while his second placing was in the Pro Open. Whilst the first placing was a highlight, the latter occasion was also memorable considering it was the first time he achieved a top three placing on his 450cc motorbike in a title meeting.
Brayden had a crash in his first race as he became bunched in a corner and ran out of room. He hurt his knee, albeit not severely, and was able to rise quickly to finish the race and accumulate much-needed points.
In the Pro Open race, Brayden was as far back as sixth at one stage, and it was only on the final corner of the last lap that he progressed to second.
“(You’ve) got to ride smart but be aggressive at the same time,” Brayden said.
Brayden’s achievements earlier this year had been in dirt track racing, with top three placings in the Central Coast Cup at Gosford in May followed by a broken collarbone on the long weekend in June. This setback came as Brayden took part in the Australian Senior Dirt Track Championships in Brisbane.
Brayden subsequently claimed a first placing at Gunnedah in his maiden appearance in NSW Dirt Track Championships at senior level in August, before coming third in the Victorian long track titles at Albury on September 1 and 2.
Brayden said he was familiar with the Albury track for the Victorian titles, but not so familiar with the Wagga track for the NSW titles considering he had had little experience at the Wagga venue.
Brayden said the speed and length of the Wagga track was a bit faster than what he was used to, and was a bit more open.
As for the differences between dirt track and long track racing, Brayden noted the dirt track venues had left and right hand corners, and were a bit more technical. Venues for long track races by comparison had a bigger and open fast track with only left corners.
Brayden said he preferred dirt track racing because it was a bit more technical, and because he had been a bit better at it and enjoyed it more.
Selection for the AIS meanwhile was something Brayden had also experienced last year. Riders are selected from amongst every discipline, including speedway, dirt track, motocross, and road racing.
The training camp for a week in Canberra involves fitness, listening to lectures, everyday exercise, mental fitness and learning about sponsorship.
This year’s camp will be held from November 12 to 16 before Brayden takes part in his next challenge: the Australian long track titles at Tamworth on November 17.
Brayden said winning an Australian title remains a goal.