|Off street racers of the Northern Territory compete each year for the John Sorensen Memorial Trophy which is a perpetual trophy awarded for winning the ‘Dial-in’ elimination final for cars and bikes. The John Sorensen Memorial Night is held at the end of the season and commemorates John’s involvement and commitment to Beat the Heat (BTH) NT and off street racing.
The John Sorensen story…
John Sorensen was an instrumental member of the BTH Team whose love of both bikes and cars plus passion for off street racing and the aim of BTH to encourage young drivers to keep it on the track inspired John to join BTH.
A born and bred Queenslander from Rockhampton John enjoyed dirt track solo riding for the local Eagles team and drag racing his Torana.
As a qualified tradesman John relocated to Darwin and after a while was running Kerry Holden’s pre-delivery department, a position that saw him involved with HSV and the Monaro Performance Centre, together they developing a lot of Darwin’s performance Holdens. General Motor Holden just donated a 2003 VY SS Commodore to BTH and with this background John was just the man the newly formed BTH team needed.
After much arm twisting John was eventually dragged along to a BTH committee meeting. The meetings where held at the Nightcliff Police Station, John commented going into the meeting was ‘last time I was in a police station I was under arrest’, mind you a long haired, jeans and boots wearing bloke got a bit of attention in the cop shop too but we all knew we where there for a good cause.
It wasn’t long before through a few of John’s contacts the BTH Commodore was freighted from South Australia to Victoria where the staff from Monaro Performance Centre, who just happened to have a few left over bits from Peter Brock’s Targa Monaro transferred new motor, gearbox, clutch and differential assembles into the BTH’s standard SS Commodore, and then with a bit more sweet talking finished the car off with a line locker, suspension and EBC brake upgrade. ‘The Heat’ was on the way.
Our first run at Hidden Valley was just under 15 seconds, boy did we have a lot to learn, this is were someone coined the phrase ‘The Easy Beat’, John was heard to mumble “Rome wasn’t built in a day”.
With a limited budget and John at the helm the BTH crew set about changing and improving ‘The Heat’ to its current standard, a standard that has ‘The Heat’ race competitively and reliably at street meetings since 2004, John’s crew training and standards still hold the BTH crew in good stead today.
Sadly John passed away on the 14th of July 2007 losing a courageous seven month battle with cancer.