Drivers are displaying their 'Manners' at Pirie dirt circuit meetings

MIND YOUR 'MANNERS': Dirt-circuit racers Craig, back left, and Stan Manners and, front, Stan's grandchildren Alexa and Lucas Manners stand beside one of their cars outside Craig's garage.
MIND YOUR 'MANNERS': Dirt-circuit racers Craig, back left, and Stan Manners and, front, Stan's grandchildren Alexa and Lucas Manners stand beside one of their cars outside Craig's garage.

Dirt-circuit racing’s elder statesman Stan Manners is being “lapped” by two and possibly three younger drivers in his family.

FLYING MINI: Stan Manners and his dirt-circuit Morris Mini get airborne in an event at Coonamia in the old days.

FLYING MINI: Stan Manners and his dirt-circuit Morris Mini get airborne in an event at Coonamia in the old days.

In what is thought to be a first for the local club, the Manners clan has achieved three generations of participation in the sport.

Stan, 69, a multiple club champion and runner-up state title-holder, got involved about 1974 when aged in his 20s.

He took his street car, a Morris Mini, around a slalom track at Coonamia on an open day and was “hooked”.

He then built a dirt-circuit Mini which he once got airborne over a jump.

His son Craig, 38, started in the sport at 12 years old about 1992, initially in his Dad’s buggy then in a V8 Holden Monaro.

The duo has plenty of knowledge about cars because they run Manners Auto Wreckers at Bungama.

Following their footsteps is 11-year-old Lucas Manners, Stan’s grandson, who had a few hot laps, reaching 85 kmh amid some frantic gear-changing, at the newer circuit off Port Germein Road.

“I don’t think he found it as easy as Pop makes it look,” Stan said.

And now Stan’s grand daughter Alexa Manners, 12, is waiting for a Holden Gemini race car to be finished so she can, in her words, “just try something different and see what Dad and Pop do”.

I don’t think he found it as easy as Pop makes it look.

Racer Stan Manners

Craig said his children rev around the back paddock in cars at the wreckers yard.

He knows the feeling of following his namesake because Stan held the fastest time at the track from 1987 to 2008 before Craig beat it.

“It is a good cheap sport to get into. People can do it at a young age,’ Craig said.

Stan said it was not dangerous and the junior class did not actually compete “as such”.

“They all get a trophy for participating. They move up the ranks if the club deems they can,” he said.

It will be Lucas and Alexa’s world to explore.

Now look out, Stan and Craig, there’s someone in your mirrors.

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