Nitro Racing Winter Champs coming to Penrith

PDNR is hosting its famed Winter Champs in July.
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One of the biggest events on the Penrith sporting calendar will take place next weekend, but there’s a chance you probably have never heard of it until now.

From July 5-7, Penrith District Nitro Racing (PDNR) will be hosting their Winter Champs event at the P3 car park of the famous Sydney International Regatta Centre.

The Winter Champs has been an annual event since 1997, with PDNR enjoying the hosting duties for the past 16 years.

Next weekend, more than 200 entries from around the country, including Australia’s best RC drivers, will converge on the former Olympic venue for the exciting competition.

PDNR Competition Secretary Tony Firth said the 2024 Winter Champs is shaping up to be their biggest event ever.

“There are sanctioned events around the country, like State and National Titles, but this is probably bigger than some of those in many ways,” he said.

PDNR is hosting its famed Winter Champs in July.

“At Winter Champs, we have a variety of classes, like Nitro and Electric, all in the one event on the one weekend, which doesn’t happen at a sanctioned event.”

Starting in 1997, the Winter Champs has a rich history in Australia and is considered the ‘big daddy’ of radio control events.

“Back in the day, there was an Australian magazine called Racing Lines and the guy that put that together would coordinate and promote this event,” Firth said.

“Each year he would share it around to different clubs until we got a hold of it in 2008 and he was really impressed.

“Unfortunately, no one has heard from him in 10 years, we think he’s just passed away quietly. We want to continue the event as a legacy to what he started.”

Next weekend’s Winter Champs is free for spectators to attend and locals are encouraged to head down and check out all the action.

PDNR is hosting its famed Winter Champs in July.

Firth said the weekend will be jam-packed with things for the community to see and do.

“We’ve got some really good drivers from around the country as well as some big announcers,” he said.

“We have Scotty Ernst – the world’s best commentator and announcer – coming over from the USA, along with Australia’s best RC commentator Chris Mitchell coming over from Perth.

“Ernst is American and is the worldwide voice of RC and has been doing it for 20-30 years.”

The 2024 PDNR Winter Champs will be held from 8am-5pm on July 5-7 at the Sydney International Regatta Centre in Penrith. Entry is free.

Nathan Taylor

Nathan Taylor is the Weekender's Deputy Editor and Senior Sports Writer. He also compiles the weekly Chatter on the Box TV column. Nathan is an award-winning journalist, who has worked at the Weekender for a decade.

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