Perth Motorplex had an explosive season opener to the AGH Sprintcar season last Saturday Night when the newly West Australia-domiciled Cameron Gessner sprinted to a popular victory in the #41 Cowara Motosport Entry ahead of Ben Ellement and last year’s series winner Jamie Maiolo.
The feature race was capped off by a massive fireworks display that kept the good sized crowd spellbound for 15 minutes. – A fitting conclusion to a great night of close racing.
The lanky Gessner was gallant in victory paying respect to his new ride in the Steve and Kareena Duggan-owned Cowara Motorsport Team.
Click the following link to hear what Cameron said of his opening round victory:
Cameron Gessner and the Cowara Motorsport Team are in for what appears to be a very successful season and they are powered by the following loyal supporters:
All West Transport, FMC, S & J Excavations, RJ Vincent, Perkins Builders, City & Regional Fuels, Ledge Finance, Maxwill Motors, Total Telephones, Passmore Automotives, Prestige Panels, Trade Hire, Coastal West Fire, South West Cranes, MR Signs, Fuchs Oils, MJB Industries, Australind Premix and Contract Fencing.
Gessner fought a torrid battle with Ben Ellement in the final 10 laps of the 25 lap final with lapped traffic coming into play. Ellement was all over Gessner’s tail tank and snapping at his heals and with 6 to go swept past the leader only to relegated back to second as a result of a yellow.
David Priolo in the Roush Yates Ford powered entry was also coming on strong and was looking like a real chance but cut down a right rear and was forced to pull infield. The frustration for Priolo was evident as he pulled the #8 Budget Forklifts entry to the infield on turn 4 and threw the steering wheel out of the cockpit – it wasn’t the first time in the past 12 months that Priolo has had a possible victory snatched from him under similar circumstances.
Gessner was strong and enduring on the restart and able to take the win from Ellement and Jamie Maiolo.
Earlier in the evening Ellement won the Top 8 Gold shootout.
Full shootout results were :
Bronze : Callum Williamson 13.671, Mark Wells 13.894, David Priolo 13.947, Mick Goode 14.137. Silver : Callum Williamson 13.515, Kye Scroop 13.571, Mark Wells 13.596, Daniel Harding 13.789. Gold : Ben Ellement 13.097, Kye Scroop 13.237, Cameron Gessner 13.373, Callum Williamson 13.426.
Heat races were won by Bradley Maiolo, Callum Williamson, Kye Scroop and Cameron Gessner
For the feature Ellement elected to start on the outside. Beside him was young Gun Kye Scroop who had been really quick all night. Unfortunately for Scroop he rolled in Pits Bend on the first lap and forced a full restart. Scroop was unable to continue allowing eventual winner Gessner to move up to pole on the restart.
The effort from Jamie Maiolo to come home 3rd was a ripper. Down on horsepower the LJM Team changed a motor after their last heat and started out of P17 in the A-Main. Bagging the final podium was sensational.
The Motorplex officials did a great job, running a jammed packed program and avoiding the noise curfew. Late Models, Speedcars, Juniors and Formula 500’s supported the “Lightening & Thunder” Sprintcar Brigade. Throw in the massive Fireworks display and “The Plex” was bursting at the seams for entertainment.
New Livery in the Paddock was abundant with many Teams rolling out “New Looks” for 2012/12.
The Super Speedway Grand Opener saw a change to the Sprintcar format where two rounds of 10 lap heats are conducted, followed by a 3 (Bronze, Silver & Gold) x 3lap Top 8 shootout where the 8 highest point scorers run 3 laps against the clock to determine the first 4 rows of the 25 Lap Feature.
This year the AHG competition, WA’s Premier Sprintcar Series, will also see some changes to the point scoring system to make it easier to follow and to create higher levels of interest. In contrast to the previous 12 years, heat results will not count towards the scoring tally for the “Big Prize”, and Drivers will not be able to drop their two poorest performing rounds. So A-Main results are critical.
The Organising Body for the series – Sprintcar Entrants Group (SEG) has intensified the season program by not treating the WA-based WSS rounds and Krikke Boy Shootout as official AHG rounds – this means the Series is now run over 13 rounds – 11 rounds will be at the Motorplex and one meeting each at Collie and Bunbury.
But they are not the only changes. Here’s where it gets really interesting: The top drivers will contest a NASCAR style “Chase” scenario over the final four rounds to decide the series champion. After round #9 at Perth Motorplex on January 27, the current top ten point scorers go straight into the “Chase”.
These Drivers will be joined by an 11th competitor – the “Lucky Dog” – This Driver must be a SEG Member and will be chosen by a fan vote via the SEG web site (www.seg.net.au) and Facebook page.
The 11 drivers in the “Chase” will be even on points going into the final four rounds and will run flat out to the wire to determine a Series Winner – that HAS to create some interest !
The next Super Speedway featuring Sprintcars at the Perth Motorplex is slated down for November 3rd and will see the return of Ryan Farrell in the Bunbury Auto Group #26 Maxim.
SOME MORE SHOTS FROM THE OPENING NIGHT ……………..