TESTING TIME: Wondai touring car driver Malcolm Rea will compete in his first sprint event at this weekend's Wondai Street Sprints.
TESTING TIME: Wondai touring car driver Malcolm Rea will compete in his first sprint event at this weekend's Wondai Street Sprints. Keagan Elder

Rea to test himself on new sprint track

YEARS of planning have finally paid off for touring car driver Malcolm Rea, 67, as the inaugural Wondai Street Sprints finally gets started.

Rea felt the South Burnett was in need of a big event to boost its economy and as a region with a good motorsport following the sprint competition made sense.

He later teamed up with organiser Kevin Krosch who shared a similar idea but wanted the track in Kingaroy.

However, Rea felt the track would be better suited around the Wondai industrial estate.

Eventually the plans were approved and the 1.6km stretch was resurfaced to create one of Queensland's longest sprint tracks.

"It's probably one of the longest sprint tracks in Queensland," Rea said.

"Most are around 1km."

Wondai Street Sprints preview: Former Bathurst driver Malcolm Rea runs through the new Wondai Street Sprint track.
Wondai Street Sprints preview: Former Bathurst driver Malcolm Rea runs through the new Wondai Street Sprint track.

Rea said drivers would be tested by the track which holds a number of sharp right hand turns and chicanes - particularly those driving with racing slicks.

He said warming the tyres to get them hot enough to provide the necessary grip would be an issue as the drivers don't get a warm up lap.

"The hotter the tyres the faster the car," he said.

The race at the weekend will be the first street sprint Rea has competed in despite having raced for decades around the world.

He started out in speedway in Kingaroy but when he moved to the Sunshine Coast the touring car scene was his calling.

Rea used to race touring cars in the Asian-Pacific Touring Car Championship and raced in 10 Bathurst 1000s.

"I've got a big race history but I've never done a street sprint, I've never been interested," he said.

This all changed however after he got roped into the organisation of Wondai Street Sprints.

The Wondai Street Sprints will be held over both Saturday and Sunday.