AN experienced south-west sprintcar driver is worried about the financial toll his under-fire home track is taking on teams. Mailors Flat's Peter Doukas believes the Premier Speedway surface, which has raised the ire of competitors across the first two races of the 2023-24 season, is hitting teams in the hip pocket. Doukas, 29, said he would support his home club and continue to enter races there but wanted to see change. "I have a lot of local sponsors from Warrnambool and that's the reason why I am still going," he told The Standard. "If that wasn't the case then I would probably be giving it a miss for a period of time. "I don't want to bag the club out or anything like that, it's just the cost lately with the way the surface is is getting pretty tough to deal with. "I care about it because it's local my local track and (has) great facilities and is a great place to be with some big events but if it keeps going this way who knows where it will end up." Doukas said his team spent "nearly $3000 in tyres" at the club's November 18 meeting. "You are happy to blow up a set in say the feature race, that's fair enough, but in the heat races they were just gone and even early on in qualifying and hot laps you could tell it was starting to get into the tyres," he said. "And it chewed up a right front tyre pretty bad and it was new at the start of the night. "It is nothing against the track guys, I just believe the surface they have in at the moment, the type of clay, is not suitable for what we're doing." The South Warrnambool footballer, who has competed in sprintcars for eight years, said it was also a challenge for drivers to prepare. Teams have to factor in costs for tyres and parts - many sourced from the USA which isn't favourable to the Australia dollar. "We are a local team and there's a few other local teams who are family-oriented - we don't have huge budgets," Doukas said. "Going through heat races and wearing tyres out and not even having anything left you can use the next week or even sell off to lesser classes and get something back (hurts). "Since they made the change to the darker clay it's gone backwards in my opinion. It's either very fast and tearing up cars and bending chassis or you have an expensive tyre bill." Premier Speedway's next meeting is Max's Race on Saturday, December 16. The club has enlisted track guru Allan Barlee to help improve the surface. He will be on site in the lead-up to the meeting. He's also been a sounding board for the club since February. Premier Speedway general manager Michael Parry said Barlee had vast experience. "He's worked with the Perth complex and in Darwin and works in the earth-moving industry," he said. "He understands the characteristics of clay and has been helping us for a number of months to be honest as a bit of a consultant in the background. "He's been down once already this year and we thought with the position we're in - and we're as passionate as anyone about getting it right - we'd enlist his help for December 16." Parry said the club "undertook formal testing of the clay to better understand the surface". "With Allan's experience, there's certain characteristics you're aiming towards that give you the best chance of getting the ultimate surface," he said. "We got the results back in March and that lead to in April (when) we did put in an additive which is probably no secret, it was compost that we added to the surface. "We subsequently had that clay retested after we blended it all and that put us in a lot better position. "That test result was reviewed and concluded it had definitely made an improvement to where you'd like an ideal speedway clay surface." Parry said the club had "changed the composition of the clay twice over the past couple of seasons". "From a track curator's point of view it is changing the way the clay reacts," he said. "What they've been doing previously doesn't always work now. Hence why people from the outside, rightly so, are a bit critical of it. "But I guess from the internal perspective you have a lot more knowledge and a broader perspective of it. "We went one direction the first meeting, we scaled back and went a different direction (the second meeting). "We're hoping December 16 we can get it in the middle in the sweet spot."