28th Jan, 11:15pm – Adelaide time
Words and Pics – Paul Griffin
Well ……….. we still don’t have an Australian Sprintcar Champion for 2012.
As it turns out, the concerns about the weather in the previous post sadly ended up being completely founded. Night 2 of the 2012 Fuchs 50th Australian Sprintcar Championship was influenced by the “Thunder Gods” in a dramatic way. Hope you like this light hearted report – we try to turn negatives into postitives by looking at the upside here at Torque Tube Media (TTM).
After 5 heats were completed the rain that could be seen on the distant hills and weather Radar Loop pounded down at 7:30pm. We even had a mini twister move through the car park outside the back straight 15 minutes prior – it was the signal that things were about to get worse !
Heat 5 was yellow lighted with 2 laps to go with a car spinning on the exit of turn 4. On the restart it was “green-white-chequer” for Ben Atkinson, closely followed by David Murcott and local ace Matt Egel. The rain came just as the green dropped for the restart. It was an absolutely treacherous final 2 laps for those guys.
Murcott very nearly lost his position in an ice-skating rink-like track surface to Matt Egel -in fact Murcott came very close to putting it in the wall and losing it altogether.
Anyway, Heat 5 was racked, stacked, jammed and crammed into the nights manifest – JUST !!!!!!!!!!!! That is where it all ended.
The temperature dropped a staggering 12 degrees (from 37 to 25) in just 10 minutes !
There were a lot of “true blue” Die-hard Sprintcar Enthusiasts there at Speedway City tonight. Everyone was hoping and praying for the show to go on. Time ticked on and the track Commentators did a good job to collar key individuals and conduct track side and pit side interviews to help pass the time while officials assessed the options. To their credit, tihe crowd kept hangin’ in there.
The rain was persistant and still it continued. Spectators had reached for coats, umbrellas. polytarps and anything they could lay their hands on to shield them from the down pour.
The graders were dispatched to the track to rip the surface and prevent ponding. The rain kept coming but the ripped track still looked good – taking in all that extra moisture like a sponge.
Was it going to work ?…..it might have if the rain had stopped there and then, but it kept coming down, sometimes easing, sometimes intensifying. By 9:00pm (South Australian time) the announcement we were all regretting, but knew was going to come anyway was delivered.
The essence of that announcement was : GAME OVER for Night 2 of the Australian Sprintcar Championship – back tomorrow (Sunday 29th) at 5pm for racing. Keep your wristbands and tickets.
So tomorrow we do it all again – at least from Heat 5 onwards (I assume).
You know that makes 3 rain outs for Torque Tube Media this season : One at Avalon (Victoria), the Scott Darley $50K Challenge (Sydney Speedway) and now this one ! – See earlier posts in months October and December 2011. Use the archive shortcuts on the RHS – there are so many articles that you may need to click on “older posts” down the bottom of the LHS – CONFUSING? ….yes !
Some people I spoke to in the crowd (mainly Interstaters) have committments to get back to and can’t make the re-run date tomorrow – flights and accommodation can also be a problem and gridlock you.
Luckily Torque Tube Media bolted back to our Hotel and was granted an accommodation extension – I got the impression we just snuck in !
The problem we face is that Adelaide’s forecast tomorrow is a verbatim of today’s !!!!!!!! Oh Well, as Shaun Bradford say’s “Let’s Plan For Success” – Good on you Shaunie !
So before the rain came to wreck the party, we did get some racing in – 5 heats to be precise, and here are the results.
HEAT 1: Farrell, House, Bradford
HEAT 2: Scheuerle, Anderson, Green
HEAT 3: Lines, Kendrick, Sloan
HEAT 4: Ely, Dobson, Ahlfors
HEAT 5: Atkinson, Murcott, Egel