By Duane Ranger
For the first time in the six-year history of the Australian Drivers Championship, a brother and sister will represent their State in the one-night Series – and they both hail from Queensland.
Twenty-eight-year-old Peter McMullen and his 25-year-old sister, Narissa, will fly the Queensland flag at the Triple M Australian Drivers Championship at Ladbrokes Park Elwick in Hobart on Saturday night.
The siblings will leave Brisbane on Saturday morning, and even though they would love to quinella the prestigious event, they are also determined to finish ahead of each other on the points table.
“He’s my big brother and of course I want to beat him. Our family rivalry makes us better drivers,” Narissa said.
Big bro agreed.
“Narissa is one of my toughest opponents here in Queensland and she takes some beating. She’s a real good driver. I’m super proud of her, but everything I compete in, I want to win.”
It will be the fourth time McMullen (Peter) has competed in the Australian Drivers Championship. He won it in its inaugural year in 2014.
For his sister, it will be her first time at the Championship. She was made aware of her selection yesterday morning (Wednesday) by Racing Queensland after Grant Dixon’s late withdrawal.
Harness Racing Australia, Tasracing and the Tasmanian Trotting Club are hosting the seven-race series.
It is the third time that the Championship will be held in Tasmania. Two drivers have been selected from each State’s controlling body.
The field comprises: Queensland - Peter & Narissa McMullen; Tasmania - Mark Yole & Ricky Duggan; Victoria - Kerryn Manning & Greg Sugars; New South Wales - Todd McCarthy & Lauren Tritton; South Australia - Dani Hill & Ken Rogers; Western Australia - Gary Hall Jnr & Ryan Warwick.
Harness Racing Australia said the Series would be used as one of the selection tools to determine Australia's representative at the World Driving Championship, which is held every two years.
“It would be an honour to represent my country at the Worlds. I have been selected as a reserve previously,” the older McMullen said.
Narissa goes into the Series having already won the Australian Female Drivers Championship and the Australasian Junior Drivers Series.
“I’m just so proud to get the late call-up and be part of it all. That is an honour itself, but I won’t be flying down there to make up the numbers. Like Pete, I want to win it,” she said.
“Regardless of what happens I know Mum (Jennette) and Dad (John) are very proud of us,” she added.
It will be the first time that Peter will have driven in Tasmania, but Narissa drove in the Australian Female Drivers Champs in Launceston on March 11 last year.
Tasracing has been able to secure Sky Racing 1 Coverage of the meeting that will be staged in the premium Saturday night time slot. Sky Racing 1 will also feature an on-course hosting with Queensland’s Brittany Graham, live trackside.
Tasmania will also be in the national spotlight the day prior with Harness Racing Australia hosting its Annual General Meeting in Hobart.
Past winners of the Australian Drivers Championship have been - 2018: Todd McCarthy (NSW), 2017: Chris Alford (VIC), 2016: Wayne Hill (SA), 2015: Grant Dixon (Qld) and 2014: Peter McMullen.