Victorian Johnny Vogels has secured the best possible start to his 2012/13 Eureka Garages and Sheds SRA Sprintcar Series by winning the Round 1 Feature Race at Moama’s Heartland Raceway.

Vogels started from 2nd pole for the 25 lap final alongside top pointscorer Darren Mollenoyux with Domain Ramsay and Mathew Reed filling the 2nd row. The final placings after 25 gruelling laps were Vogels, Ramsay and Reed.

Winner's of Eureka Series Round 1 Johnny Vogels is flanked by Domain Ramsay 2nd place (left) and Matthew Reed

Mollenoyux was anxious to get going at the fall of the green and forced a restart as he smashed the loud pedal and jumped the start.

Flagman Reg Ahearn holds the green flag aloft to signal the start of the A-Main as brother and Heartland Raceway Steward Peter Ahearn watches on for a clean start

Polesitter Darren Mollenoyux pulled a big wheelie as the Green dropped. Van Bremen behind Molly is also hiking the front.

On the restart Mollenoyux shot to an early lead and looked the goods. Vogels settled into second and Mike Van Bremen snuck through for third. Tim Rankin brought the yellows on after just 3 laps with a spin to the infield on turn 4. Rookie Liam Williams driving the Bruce Stephens Racing (BSR) V91 ART clipped the slowing Rankin and suffered a deflating left front tyre.

Williams was to restart and ran effectively the remaining 22 laps with no air in the tyre, coming an impressive 11th in the 360 powered unit.

Liam Williams in the BSR V91 ART awaits a push in earlier heat action - he came 11th in the feature amongst a field of 410's !

A couple of laps later Nick Lacey exited the race after he brought down the yellows after tagging the Turn 3 wall as a result of steering (drag link) failure.

On the restart Mollenoyux had all the answers and opened up a good 10 car lead on Vogels, with Van Bremen holding 3rd and Domain Ramsay and Matthew Reed having a great battle for 4th place.

By lap 10 Mollenoyux had snuck up on lapped traffic while Vogels had starting to whittle away at the straightaway lead that Mollenoyux had created. Mollenoyux was finding it a challenge to get past Liam Williams as Williams continued to drive a brilliant race – in a 360 and with what was now a completely flat left front.

Devastated: Darren Mollonoyux inspects the right rear that let him down during the feature

Mollenoyux made the move on Williams and Vogels went right with him. With seventeen laps down Vogels was starting to fly and launched the V70 Total Dairy Service/Mainline Dynalog entry into the lead. Unfortunately Mollenoyux had sustained a flat right rear in the racing process and slowed noticeably. It was devastating for the in-form Mollenoyux as all he could do was coast around with back markers now lapping him.

Meanwhile Vogels continued to cut through traffic until Steve Caunt in the spectacularly prepared NSW #9 spun on turn 3-4. Foster and Brad Warren also exited the race.

The Immaculate N9 of Steve Caunt powering through pits bend in hot laps

On the restart with 5 laps remaining it was Jonny Vogels from Domain Ramsay, Matthew Reed, Mike Van Bremen, Tim Van Ginneken, Glen Saville, Glen Sutherland, Darren Hickman, Dennis Jones, Brett Milburn, Liam Williams, Peter Milnes and Steve Caunt.

Vogels was a clear winner as he crossed the line from the much improved Domain Ramsay and Matthew Reed. Reed was lucky to hang in there in the dying moments as his top wing had taken a whopping whack and the sideboard was peeling back like a sardine tin.

Torque Tube Media caught Johnny Vogels up shortly after he took victory. Click the following audio link for the interview:

AUDIO LINK – CLICK HERE: Johnny Vogels – Interview


Johnny Vogels was confident all night

Sardine Tin Wing - 3rd Placed Matthew Reed made it home with a wing that was self destructing

A massive field of forty cars had descended upon Dave Robert’s Heartland Raceway facility to do battle, with quite a few new Rookies in the field. For the majority of Teams it was their first race for the season. The cars were gleaming and the new livery and looked awesome.

Jamie Heyan was won of many Rookies to race at Heartland on the weekend

Earlier in the evening Heats where taken out by Domain Ramsay, Dennis Jones, Johnny Vogels, Mollenoyux (x2) , Hickman, Van Bremen, Saville.

Chris Solomon (V83) took a wild ride into turn 4 during Heat 4, cartwheeling 5 times and crashing into the fence - the car was a right-off

Liam Williams in the 360 BSR did a great job all things considered. In his first race of his Rookie season, he pulled a very difficult heat line up with big name drivers like Vogels, Nick Lacey, Saville and Sutherland all ahead of him. (Williams was off the rear each heat because of the Rookie status).

Williams drove a stunning B-Main to qualify for the Feature. He started out of position 12 where he worked hard to surge forward to finish an incredible 4th place in the 6 car transfer. At one point he had got past Steve Caunt for 3rd but lost that spot with a couple to go.

Liam Williams ran the BSR ART Chassis with a John Sidney Racing 360 motor against the bigger 410's

The hard Working V91 BSR Team - L to R: Trevor, Graham, Liam (Driver), Matt, Hayden and Team Owner Bruce Stephens

Due to time constraints the C-Main and Top 6 shootout were dropped.

The next round of SRA Eureka Garages and Sheds Series is this Saturday night (10th) at Geelong’s Avalon Raceway.

The Heartland Action was indeed HOT !

Heartland Raceway's main straight before the battle began on Saturday

Moama's Heartland Raceway is only 2.5 hrs out of Melbourne's North West Suburbs

Heartland has great even lighting and is a big 510m on the pole line

ACT's David MacKay

Brett Milburn (V68) found the nights racing difficult and came in uncharacteristically well down the list in the A-Main

Heartland was reasonably kind on tyres last weekend

Tim Rankin made the A-Main but retired after a spin on lap 3

40 cars turned out at Heartland - there were wings everywhere !

Deniliquin's Eddie Lumbar raced hard in his earlier heats but was struck down by an engine fire and had to call it early

Rhiannon Burleigh in full flight at Heartland

Liam Williams (V91) waits for a push as crew member Matt Stock checks the latest odds for the Melbourne Cup on his iPhone

Kris Lacey had the same idea on the Melbourne Cup odds and i-Phone and quite fancied Green Moon while his crew member (we'll call him Joffa - LH) kinda thought Green Moon was too far out in the rankings

Cool Look - Those right rears always look great !

David "Buzz" Aldersley blasts up the mainstraight at Heartland

Hot laps and Michael Cunningham overcooks it into Turns 3/4

Brad Warren (V54) gets some attitude happening

Mark Skidmore (V71) in his 360

Winner of SRA Round 1 Johhny Vogels was one of the quickest in hot laps

Warm weather ensured a good sized crowd at Moama's Heartland Raceway

The pits - a sea of Transporters

Ballsy: Mike Van Bremen (V6) won Heat 6 in impressive style - all without brakes ! MVB pulled into the pits at the conclusion of his victory with the RH caliper swinging in fresh air

Darren Mollenoyux was struck down with a flat right rear after leading much of the A-Main

Kristy Ellis is backed by a family Team with great equipment - here Kristy prepares the one way radio gear before her last heat





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