PIGS Arsenal returns this year with a vengeance, and a burning hunger for silverware.
The team hails from Mildura, home of the fastest ski race event in the world — the Mildura 100.
Ski racers from around Australia tear along a curving 100km Murray River course, watched by thousands — not unlike the Southern 80.
Pigs Arsenal has made the 380km trip east to Echuca for the long weekend’s racing and will be representing its hometown on the course.
Driver Chris Stevens and skier Sean Stevens tasted Southern 80 success back in 2014 in the under-16s boys class and will be pushing their force hull and 540 Chevrolet motor for glory in this year’s edition.
With owner and driver Chris at the helm, and world title representatives Mark Boyer (observer) and Jack Stevens (skier) alongside Sean, the team will feel it is a good shot at silverware this year.
Its best effort in the Southern 80 was three years ago, with a time of 32 minutes and five seconds, which is the 35th best time ever recorded.
The world-class outfit is keen to continue its good form this season after finishing first in the Barrie Beehag with a time of 22 minutes and 48 seconds and fourth in the Ted Hurley superclass with one skier.
Pigs Arsenal owner Chris Stevens has been involved with the sport for 30 years and has towed some big names in his time.
‘‘I guess we’re all trying to put out our best times, but we hope to have a clean run without any incidents, so that we should be able to put something competitive down,’’ he said.
‘‘We love it, it’s a fantastic race and a great course to run. We’ve competed over a number of years and only really had a break when the kids were growing up.’’
Stevens said he predicted the superclass would be a tightly-run race with so much class on offer.
‘‘It’ll be close together for sure, one of the tighter years in superclass I’d say,’’ he said.
‘‘We love the locals out here in Mildura and out there in Echuca too. I guess the bit I’m most looking forward to is heading down to the race itself and then finally getting to get there and we just hope for a trouble-free run.’’