Young Warrnambool Sprintcar Driver Jamie Veal took out a brilliantly hard fought Gold Cup at Avalon last night. Once again the heavens looked threatening as Teams and Spectators headed to the track – they were all wondering if they were going to get the meeting in.
Fortunately around 5pm the cloud that looked so dark and threatening broke up and blue patches of sky started to appear. The threat of rain was gone, but she was a cool one, with a stiff South Easterly breeze making everyone wonder where Summer was.
Doesn’t matter ! – the race meeting went ahead and provided a great spectacle. In some ways it was a rehearsal for all the local guys prior to the World Series Sprintcars hitting town just a few days later on Friday 30th Dec.
The Gold Cup doubled as Round 9 of the SRA Eureka Series. Preliminaries consisted of 8 heats. After those heats, Jamie Veal had point scored 5th. Not bad, but not as good as Jamie had hoped for. Farrell had topped the table.
To decide the Top 6 starting positions for the A main, time trials were then held. Jamie Veal pulled a rabbit out of the hat with an 11.759, followed by Ryan Farrell with an 11.927.
So the 30 lap A Main had Veal off pole and Ryan Farrell from position 2. With the drop of the green, Veal outran Farrell – not an easy task ! The two had a great battle early in the race trading the lead for 2nd over several Laps.
Veal was mindful that the track conditions had changed and the surface was going to be hard on tyres. Conscious of that, Veal drove with superb throttle control in his J&J, at times not looking overly quick, but enough to stay in front and protect the rear tyres for later in the race.
The race was dealt 4 yellows in the first 9 laps as excited drivers and a changing track came into play.
Around half race distance, Parr Motorsport house car driver (V77) Darren Mollenoyux was running third – his GF1 was “coming on”. He looked threatening, and signalled quite clearly that he wanted to be part of the action. Mollenoyux wrestled 2nd off Farrell after a restart on lap 20. Mollenoyux’s reaction time to single file restarts is always brilliant, and he had made his way forward with the blessing of this skill on a couple of occasions.
Hard charging Stephen Bell who had come from position 10 in the B main had worked up to an incredible 6th position in the A Main. Bell looked really quick and was challenging for 5th position when mechanical failure (Rear End) struck the V88 coming through turns 3/4.
Meanwhile Darren Mollenoyux was shaping up for a shot at leader Jamie Veal. He tried desperately to tackle Veal for the lead in the dying laps but Veal was just too good.
In the end Veal crossed the line ahead of Mollenoyux, followed closely by Ryan Farrell, Tim Rankin and Brett Milburn.
It was a great race – a hard fought race, and a race that was run in challenging conditions.
With Veal’s victory, he stretches his lead in the SRA Eureka Series Championship. Veal leads from Mollenyux and Tim Rankin.
With the big blue ribbon races coming up in VIC and SA, the next time these guys meet for the SRA Eureka Series will be February 4th at Heartland Raceway Moama for round 10.
But don’t worry, there is plenty of racing to keep them busy between now and then ! Just as a starter, the travelling WSS Circus will hit VIC and SA for Speedweek, covering four races between 27th Dec and 1st Jan.