After a washout 3 weeks ago at the Sprintcar Invitational, Avalon ran their second Sprintcar meeting of the season last Saturday 12th Nov – only this time we got the entire meeting in and track records tumbled on what was the best, hookiest track that Avalon has ever created.
It was a lightening quick track in the end, helped by substantial mid-week rains and some crafty curator work on the Saturday. There was heaps of moisture trapped in the clay and come Top 6 Time Trials to decide the A Main starting line up, the surface had dialled in perfectly.
It was brilliant. No dust, no mud, no ruts and most importantly the cars were getting it down to the ground. The feature race also served as the 4th round of the Eureka Sprintcar Series.
It was a whopping turnout of Sprintcars too. 50 cars had nominated (410’s, some 360’s and the odd 372). That car count pushed the program to a C Main format.
The C Main took some time to get going with a massive multi car pile up as they headed down the straight and commenced entry into turn one. It was that typical concertina affect. Casualties were high with 7 retirees recorded before one full lap had been completed. The entire outside row was reduced to just 2 cars on the restart.
The B Main saw Grant Anderson (V37), Ricky Barrand (V61), Jeremy Cross (N39), Darren Mollenoyux (V77), Jamie Veal (V35), and Brett Milburn (V68) transfer to the A Main.
Earlier in the evening the 10 lap track record was smashed in one of the heats. For the life of me I can’t recall who the successful pilot was, and I couldn’t hear the time over the PA. Fat lot of use I am !!
The top 6 time trials for A Main placings were scintillating. The 1 Lap record stood at a very respectable 11.29 seconds (Ian Louden – NSW back in 2008).
Ryan Davis (V95) broke it first with an 11.13, then SA young gun Daniel Pestka (S27) with a 11.08, and then finally after some quick changes in the pits with shocks, Stephen Lines came out and recorded an incredible 10.93 seconds – the first sub 10 second lap in Avalon’s history. That was an almightily feat and I would say won’t be surpassed for a very, very long time – if at all !!!!!!
So with that done, the front row for the 30 Lap A Main was Stephen Lines and Daniel Pestka, followed by Ryan Jones and Jonny Vogels (V70). James McFadden (2010 Australian Sprintcar Champion) started out of 10 in the 18 car field.
Daniel Pestka got the jump on Lines at the start and cleared out to a decent 6 car lead. Pestka’s car looked quicker at that early stage. With 4 laps down Pestka driving like a man possessed tagged the wall down the main straight, and lost his right rear. At the restart, Lines took the ascendancy and drove a brilliant race through traffic. The race was punctuated with a Mike Van Bremen spin on turn 1 with 13 laps down, and an exploding right rear on Brett Millburn’s rig on turn 3 with just 7 laps to go.
Each time Lines got the jump on the restart and he drove a cool headed race to hold off 5 time Eureka Series Champion Jonny Vogels, Tim Rankin, James McFadden and Stephen Bell who pulled into the pits after the race with a completely knackered Jacobs ladder and right rear shock after contact during the race.
Hard charger would have to go to Darren Mollenoyux who qualified from the B Main, started 16 th and came in 7 th.
What a night ! What a track !
She was FAST !
It was simply awesome to see.