SPEEDWAY CITY – AUSTRALIAN SPRINTCAR CHAMPIONSHIP NIGHT 2 – RAINED OUT

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 !

A mini Twister cranked along the outside grounds of the back straight telegraphing that this was the start on something bigger ! You can't see it here but it vacuumed up paper, cardboard and other stray items

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.

Special Breed - Eager Fans hung in there. The rain brought on the REDS ! (The lights were yellow 20 minutes earlier)

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

We rocked up around 2:30pm and the boys were grading and watering the track - it was't to matter in the end as Mother Nature did a really good job of watering the track on her own. Notice the "wool pack" clouds are greying up a lot more !

At 3pm the track looked Cool ! - so did the clouds.

The front straight merchandising area - those clouds still kept brewing

A group of Gladiators "tailed" by Glen Sutherland (yellow car) enter the arena for a heat

Mmmmmhhhh ! - Way in the distance - is that rain a comin' ?

Shaun Dobson kept motoring regardless of any weather threat and came second in Heat 4. He's 3rd on points behind Lines and Farrell

Ben Atkinson driving N6 took out the "nearly" ill fated Heat 5 (The final heat we got in before the rain shut it down)

Queensland's Andrew Scheuerle won Heat 2 in fine style from Grant Anderson (V37)

Max Dumesny couldn't get the Valvoline V5 to fire up for Heat 1 - Spark issues ? He was stranded and accumulated no points. This weekend has not been the best for Max

Heat 1 had a messy start as local SA Driver Mark Reuter and WA's Ben Ellement come togther. Nano seconds later Victoria's Tim Rankin (V47) joined them in the "Smackdown"

Ryan Farrell was in a class of his own taking out Heat 1 - Farrell and Lines are the two to beat

Those clouds won't give up - they're gettin' bigger

Let's check the radar - YEP ! Confirms what our eyes are telling us - we are going to get very wet !

Grant Anderson came 2nd to Andrew Scheuerle in the 2nd Heat and had a ripper battle with Robbie Farr in the process

Yes Sir - we're in trouble here ! .... and look closely to the right just above the Grandstand: the mini twister starts forming and sucks up brown dirt from the back carpark

Chad Ely (S22) and Shaun Dobson (T77) came one-two in Heat 4

Early Heat 5 action - the rain is coming !

The rain pumbled down on us all - including this group of WA enthusiasts in Turn 1 - Good on you "Gillie"

If you had an umbrella, odds on you found a few new friends ! (who needs night clubs)

And still it kept coming !

Let's check the Radar again under the Torque Tube Media Corporate Poly Tarp - "confirmed, .... we definitely have a problem Houston"

Inside the Torque Tube Media Corporate Poly Tarp with access to cutting edge technology to tell us it's raining outside

Time to "Pull the Stumps" and go home was announced at 9pm local time - The track was cactus !

 

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