Words and Pics (Unless otherwise stated) by Paul Griffin
With the rainout the prior night, 5 heats of the final night program had been completed. That left another 7 heats to get through to round out the heat preliminaries before staging the C, B and A-Mains.
When racing started at 5pm the mercury was showing 33 degrees. The humidity was right up there because of the previous night’s rain, so it actually felt like it was 38+. It was bloody hot again !
We had lost about 15 cars in the total field through attrition and through Teams that had other (business) commitments – these Teams were simply unable to handle the extension of time required for the rescheduled second night.
The track looked good considering all the rain that fell on it the night before. The curators had worked the track for hours to bring it back. There was no threat of a rain repeat so all looked in order.
The track despite looking good, still needed a good session or two of hot laps to dry it out a touch more. It was very slow at first as driver’s “tippy-toed” around the slippery surface. Slowly the track came back and we were ready for racing.
Ryan Farrell was unfortunate in his hot lap session and drifted up high in turn 1, clobbering the fence and damaging a Jacob’s ladder and right rear. His car was quickly returned to the pits where his Crew frantically set about repairing the car before his run in the 2nd heat. They made it just in time – the crowd applauding when they saw Ryan reappear in 10 minutes to take his spot in the second heat.
Let’s now take a look at the heat placings.
Because 5 heats were completed before the rain the night prior, we start at Heat 6 in this report.
HEAT 6 – Tatnell, Bricknell, Sutherland
HEAT 7 – Rankin, Farrell, Bradford
HEAT 8 – I. Madsen, K. Madsen, Green
HEAT 9 – Jeffery, Veal, Pestka
HEAT 10 – Brazier, Dowling, Keller
HEAT 11 – Murphy, McFadden, Egel
HEAT 12 – Jenkin, Cobby, Ekins
That completed all the scheduled heats. Tatnell had done well to accumulate some more points to push the KMS A1 up the ladder (he came 4 th in heat 12) and was starting out of a handy 6th place on the 3rd row in the A-Main.
Young Tassie Driver Jamie Bricknell showed some real guts and style in heat 6 racing with Tatnell. Unfortunately for Bricknell, he cut a left rear tyre down in the final heat and didn’t accumulate any more points. Despite this, Bricknell had scored exceptionally well and had bagged enough points to start a very creditable 7th position.
Farrell coming second in Heat 7 had placed himself 2nd in the points tally just behind Stephen Lines. Shaun Dobson from Tasmania was an incedible 3rd on points – what a great effort for the young charger ! Geez it’s great to see fresh faces at the front – it’s the sports future.
Kerry Madsen had endured a tough campaign and despite finishing 2nd to his brother Ian in Heat 8, and was going to have to start in the B-Main.
The C-Main was run over 15 laps. Local SA Driver Steven Caruso secured the win, followed by Ricky Maiolo and Ian Madsen.
1st and 2nd advanced to the B-Main.
“The Top End Terminator” Warrenne Ekins (NT11) retired as a Driver from the sport in this race. It was a difficult weekend for the Ekins Team. Ekins started off the rear of the C-Main and moved forward one spot. The greeting of the chequer at the conclusion of the race would be Ekins last.
Ekins been a great competitor in Speedcars and Sprintcars over the years and it’s sad to see him go. Ekins will still be about the sport in coming years, but in a helping role as opposed to Driving.
The top 8 starting positions in the 20 lap B-Main were:
Cobby, Bradford, Anderson, Pestka, Keller, Morgan, Jeffery and Hendry.
Cobby drove well early to secure the lead while Anderson, Bradford and Pestka waged a battle for the minor placings. With 4 laps down Lynton Jeffery spun in turn 3-4 bringing on the yellows. Kerry Madsen was trying hard to surge forward. He needed to finish in the top 4 to secure a transfer and at this point in the race was running 8 th.
On the restart after the Lynton Jeffery spin, Pestka was working Bradford hard and got by with 15 remaining.
Ben Atkinson then looped the N6 on the main straight and triggered a train wreck accident of mammoth proportions. Ahlfors, Caruso and Ellement had absolutely no where to go and ploughed into Atkinson at full race pace. Needless to say the event triggered and open red.
On the restart the top 8 were Cobby, Anderson, Pestka, Bradford, Keller, Morgan, K. Madsen, and Murphy. Cobby showed the rest of the field a clean pair of heels and increased his lead to Anderson by the distance of the straightaway. Meanwhile Sean Bradford was trying everything to stay in the race but was slowing slipping back.
Kerry Madsen desperate to secure a transfer spot was trying everything to get past Brad Keller but just couldn’t get there. They crossed the line Cobby, Anderson, Pestka, Keller and K. Madsen.
A-Main – The 50th Australian Sprintcar Championship
See previous post for race description.
1st: Brooke Tatnell, 2nd Shaun Dobson, 3rd David Murcott
Tatnell drove a calculated race to claim victory from a very impressive Shaun Dobson. Dobson drove the race of his life and really deserved to have won the event. It was simply the experience and determination of Tatnell that allowed him to take a dramatic low line pass on Dobson through turns 3 and 4 with only a handfull of laps remaining.
Dobson was certainly far from disgraced. It showed what a true driving talent he is, and that his own car and team suit him far better that the recent Q36 Titan Racing seat he had.
It will be very interesting when the title is held in Tassie in a couple of years to see Dobson at his home track. And don’t forget another local Tasmanian in Jamie Bricknell will be part
of the mix too !
Jamie Bricknell was consistent all weekend and started out of 7th in the Championship race. He would have been a lot closer to the front if he had not cut that left rear tyre down in his last heat !
Jamie Veal was the hard charger of the night. He started out of position 13 and surged forward to take an astonishing 4th place in the #83 that David Murcott traditionally drives !
A few more laps may have seen Veal on the podium – it was a great drive from the young Warrnambool pilot.
Other points of note on the Event:
- Farrell pulled in with 11 to go with engine problems. The car was stumbling and down on power. Ryan elected to protect the investment rather than run the risk of destroying it. Disappointing as Farrell was a really big chance in this one.
- Stephen Lines’ brush with the fence with 18 laps down actually damaged the right birdcage which in turn then propagated an axle failure. He pulled up on the main straight without a right rear at all and some of the axle missing!
- Former Australian Champion Bill Wigzell was the Grand Marshall for the weekend. Bill shouted out those famous words before the running of the Championship: “Gentleman – Start your Engines” and joined the winners in Victory Lane for the presentations. Bill drove the revered “Suddenly” Super Modified back in the early 70’s.
The 51st Championship next year will be run at Brisbane’s Archerfield Raceway. At the start of the Victory Lane celebrations, Promoter of Speedway City Wendy Turner handed over the commemorative plaque to the Kelly’s of Archerfield to signify the passing of responsibilities to that track.