If experience is what counts in a demolition derby then Wayne Fanderlinden comes into this Saturday night’s crash-fest as one of the favourites to take home the $10,000 prize.
Fanderlinden competed at the very first demo derby, held at Claremont Speedway in 1977.
“When it was announced as a new initiative I was already sold on the idea,” he said. “I had watched American demo derbies on TV and they really caught my interest.
“Since then I have done about 35 or 36 seasons at the Motorplex, Claremont and country tracks, even though I missed a few seasons in the late 1980s.”
“I still get excited about the adrenaline rush and the opportunity to match the car that I built against other competitors,” he said.
“I like it to boxing or UFC. Win or lose you take a lot of knocks and you give a lot too. It’s a fairly safe sport but you do end up a bit sore next morning. It’s exciting and challenging to drive a car that is badly wounded and to keep it going while still inflicting damage on others.”
While a demolition derby car is nowhere near as refined as the Sprintcars or Late Models that will also hit the Perth Motorplex speedway on Saturday night, Fanderlinden said preparation does pay off.
“I have built many demo derby cars, from early Holdens, Fords and Valiants to the current four cylinder front wheel drives we use now,” he said.
“I spend a lot of time just checking everything. Even basics like wheel nuts, wiring, steering, fluid levels and suspension. Most of the cars have been taken off the road for some reason and in some cases people have started their own repairs and never finished.
“In the early days I was sometimes stopped by basic machine failures. Nowadays it is usually major damage that stops me and I have built a good record of finishing top six quite often.”
“This weekend I’m super pumped to have two of my sons back on the track. Adam is the current WA demo derby champion and Ryan is making a comeback after a couple of seasons away. They have both won a $10k demo derby in the past.
“I would be happy if all three of us were still running in the last 6 and I would love to win that $10k because I’m the only one who hasn’t won it before.”
Fans can catch the action of the demo derby at the end of the Gold Cup Grand Final, which features the Maddington Toyota Sprintcar Series, Di Candilo Steel City Late Models, The Pool Shop Group Speedcars, plus two wheeled action with Speedway Solos and the Flat Trackers!