TINONEE'S Hayden Nelson is a contender for major honours in the final round of the motorcycle Oceania Junior Cup (OJC) to be raced at Wakefield Park near Goulburn this weekend.
The OJC is a junior road race academy aimed at developing Oceania's next road racing stars. Riders aged from 11 to 16 are involved.
Hayden, 13, sits in fifth place after the opening round held at Phillip Island in February. However, the other rounds were postponed due to the pandemic and resulting border closures.
This weekend five races and two rounds will be decided, three tomorrow in the second round and two on Sunday in the third.
A full grid of riders is expected to be at Wakefield for the finale. This will also be the final round of the Australian Superbike Championship.
Initially the cup was to be held over six rounds, racing at venues around Australia.
Lucas Quinn leads the cup after winning all three races in the opening round at Phillip Island. He has 75 points and is 30 points clear of second.
Hayden is on 45 but just five points shy of second. A third placing in the second race in February was his best effort in what was his debut in the cup.
There's 125 points on offer this weekend, so Hayden is still a mathematical chance of claiming the cup, although Lucas Quinn will be heavily favoured.
"He's just looking forward to getting back to racing,'' Hayden's dad, Craig, said from Wakefield Park yesterday.
"The only racing he's had since February was the State dirt track titles held at Kempsey last month.''
Here Hayden finished with two championship wins - the 85cc 12-16 years and the 250cc 13-16 years.
He's been riding his dirt bike regularly during the long break from racing, but understands this weekend will be another challenge.
Regardless of what happens at Wakefield Park, Hayden will be a sure starter in the OJC next year.
"All the paper work has been done, so he's right to go,'' Craig assured.
Testing will be conducted midway through next month, with the opening round to again be held at Phillip Island in late February.