The 31st running of the prestigious Scardifields Smash Repairs King of Wings saw WA’s Ryan Farrell in scintillating form last Saturday night, streaking ahead of the opposition to take victory after the 40 lap extravaganza.
Driving for the Bunbury Auto Group/Diamond Bay Motorsport outfit has seen Farrell and the Team take a clean sweep, winning three out of the three races they have entered so far this season.
Following Farrell home by the length of the straightaway was former King of Wings winner Jamie Maiolo and just behind him Ben Ellement.
A healthy field of 30 cars nominated. The format for the night was quite different to regular Sprintcar events at the Kwinana venue with time trials setting the initial points, then one round of qualifying heats for each driver (10 lap heat) , followed by an A and B Dash to sort out the starting positions for the front half of the A-Main. The back half of the A-Main was determined by finishing positions in the 10 lap Midpack Madness last chance qualifier.
Fast man of the night was young local Myalup Driver Bradley Maiolo with a 14.479. That was a fantastic effort amongst some far more experienced rivals and was the highlight of Maiolo’s night. Mechanical gremlins were to surface shortly after for the “Quick-Timer” and much to Maiolo’s annoyance they hung around for the remainder of the program.
Second quick time went to Ryan Farrell (14.533) and third to Jason Kendrick (14.702).
Heat 1 Qualifier was won by Mark Wells (W21) from Shaun Bradford (W57) and Jamie Maiolo (W99) in an awesome display where these guys went tit-for-tat in a hard fought race – any one of these racers could have taken the spoils which unmistakably telegraphed to the crowd they were in for action packed night.
The second Qualifying heat was a ripper as well with Rob Watson Junior (W66) rocketing to the front and crossing the line ahead of a fast finishing David Priolo (W8) and a very determined Callum Williamson (W73).
Next up it was the A-Dash where Jason Kendrick (W11) in the 92.9/PIHA entry was too good for Mick Goode and Ben Ellement. Young gun and “Quick-Timer” for the night Bradley Maiolo was dealt a cruel blow on the first turn when his fuel pump housing failed and coasted to a stop in Turn 2 and bringing on the yellows.
A full restart saw Bradley Maiolo unable to re-join the field with the event then running the full 10 laps without further incident.
Shaun Bradford (W57) steamed to victory by 5 car lengths over Cameron Gessner (W41) and Ryan Farrell (W26) a further 5 car lengths back in the B-Dash. Bradford showed the whole field a clean pair of “Hoosiers” with the event running flag to flag.
Shaun Bradford in the #57 TMG entry was too strong in the B-Dash, taking the win from Cameron Gessner
Cameron Gessner in the #41 Cowara Motorsport entry was 2nd in the B-Dash
That done, the positions for the front half of the A-Main were locked and loaded. All that was left now was to determine who would fill the back half of the A-Main for their chance at becoming the 2012 Scardifields Smash Repairs “King of Wings” Champion.
Enter the Midpack Madness 10 lap last chance qualifier. Luch Monte (W17) returned to racing at the Motorplex after a lengthy layoff due to knee surgery and prevailed, taking out first place from a very determined Carl Dowling (V87) and young rising star Ben Butcher (W96). The first attempt to get the race underway saw Nathan Brady drift a touch high through Watson’s Transport pits bend. Brady’s #13 washed off a bag of speed giving Dayne Kingshott (W24) nowhere to go. This sent Kingshott unavoidably up and over and into the Turn 4 fence and out of action with a fairly second rate car being the result. That killed Kingshott’s night.
Monte and Dowling were sensational to watch in the last 5 laps, with Dowling really give it an almighty inspirational go – he was close, but just not quite close enough, with Monte hanging on to cross the line by a whisker for a well deserved victory.
Dayne Kingshott (W22) took a tumble in the Midpack Madness Last Chance race and sustained a lot of damage that put his night to an early end
So the A-Main grid for the 2012 King of Wings was set. John Day led the Finalists around on the 4-Wide parade lap to a standing ovation from the large crowd. Spectators were elated that the premier race for the evening was about to get underway – particularly because earlier in the evening, the skies looked full of doom and rain was a major threat.
On the ocean side of the Speedway we witnessed a brilliant sunset, while towards the East tempestuous black clouds and lightning bolts signalled their anger. While all this was brewing, parts of Perth were getting hammered by golf ball sized hailstones.
Earlier in the evening the skies were jet black and threatening
We even had a rainbow appear during the start of Heat 2
In fact rain did eventuate at Kwinana, albeit light and just after sunset. The Motorplex Officials were ahead of the game. A close and exacting focus was placed on the BOM weather radar. They knew that the skies could bring this major program to an early close and concentrated on the most efficient Event Management that I have seen in a long time…… It was simply brilliant.
While light rain fell half an hour or so prior to the A-Main, the support class program was run non-stop. It was virtually seamless, with form up, race action and then a no-fuss rapid exit from the stadium allowing the next event onto the racetrack. This continuity of rolling machines and racing machines “worked” the clay – indeed, the additional moisture actually improved the track. It was an investment for a top track surface for the Feature.
Well done guys !
Anyway, back to the racing……Midpack Madness non-qualifiers race winner Luch Monte was strangely a non-starter in the feature. The green dropped for the 40 Lap King of Wings A-Main and the field set sail for Turn 1. That is as far as we got with Daniel Harding (W12) drifting high in the mayhem, encountering the marbles and then ultimately the concrete wall. Harding rolled several times, coming to rest on all four wheels – a badly damaged car and unable to continue but fortunately OK in himself.
The 2012 King of Wings Finalists go four wide as a salute to the crowd
A full restart ensued. Polesitter Jason Kendrick shot to the lead ahead of Shaun Bradford, Ben Ellement and Ryan Farrell. Farrell was showing early pace and gracefully slipped past Ellement and set his sights on the leaders.
After just 4 laps leader Jason Kendrick came up on the back of the field and was confronted with lapped traffic. Carl Dowling running mid pack in the W87 entry pulled infield with mechanical woes and just one lap later the “Forrestfield Express” – Ryan Farrell signalled his A- Main intentions by taking Shaun Bradford in a calculating move through turns 3/4.
The Farrell move was not to count however as Bradley Maiolo continued his bad luck after setting quick time, coasting down the straight and finally rolling to the safety of the infield with what was presumed fuel dramas yet again.
This pulled the yellows and a full restart ensued. The top 10 restart order after just 5 laps was Kendrick, Bradford, Farrell, Ellement, Gessner, Priolo, Goode, Williamson, Jamie Maiolo and Wells.
Underway again as the field rounded turn 4 to take the green. Kendrick was placed intentionally out in front (controlling the start), with the rest of the field behind him in double file assembly – a good concept as it rewards the racer that has worked hard to lead the pack and does not create a stupidly long freight train behind.
Farrell wasted no time in asserting himself getting paste Bradford and into second position while Gessner put his skates on and slipped past Bradford as well to take 3rd.
Jason Kendrick continued to lead and came up on the back of lapped traffic on lap 31. Kendrick commenced carving through the tail but other “wishfulls” in Farrell, Gessner and Priolo also wanted a piece of the action and went with him.
Farrell pulled a gutsy “Thread the Needle” move on lap 13 (27 to go) when he catapulted the #26 Diamond Bay Motorsport/Bunbury Auto Group Maxim into the lead by going between Kendrick on the poleline and Ben Butcher running midtrack – a scintillating classic Farrell move !
Kendrick fought back with Sprintcar gusto and regained the lead in Turns 3/ 4 the following lap. The two leaders went a “tit-for-tat”, trading blows for several laps in a brilliant display. Meanwhile Priolo was capitalising on the war in the front and had slipped into 3rd. Behind Priolo, Gessner and Jamie Maiolo were also having a titanic battle. Maiolo was flying the flag for LJM Racing and to a certain extent had slipped under the radar – starting out of position 13 and now looking strong for a possible podium.
Under the Radar - Jamie Maiolo (W99) stormed form P13 to the second podium place in a stunning drive through traffic
Lap 20 saw the compulsory pit stop called. Ten minutes was allocated to the teams to refuel and perform any set up changes. The infield action was frantic as Teams went about finding any competitive advantage they could muster.
Underway again it was Farrell, Kendrick, Priolo, Gessner, Maiolo, Ellement, Wells, Bradford, Goode and Waddell rounding out the top 10. Farrell shot to the lead only to see the yellows brought down with the spinning Waddell in Turn 4.
On the restart Farrell jumped ahead again while Priolo and Kendrick fought hard for position. Kendrick’s left front wheel tagged Priolo in the battle down the back straight, unsettling the racecar and causing Kendrick to lose valuable ground. Farrell continued to carve through traffic like a hot knife through butter.
With 11 to go, Priolo was setting his sights on Farrell and the lead. He dived in very low on Turn 1, seemed to lose steering control and drifted uncontrollably high, jumping the cushion and slamming into the turn 4 wall. In the process the #8 Budget Forklifts Roush/Yates Ford entry spun in a series of pirouettes and clipped the passing Gessner. Both cars were unable to continue – taking out the current 2nd and 3rd placed cars. Priolo later cited power steering failure as the cause.
Jason Kendrick lost valuable ground in the Feature when minor contact with another car momentarily unsettled the 92.9/PIHA entry
Farrell lead away on the restart and quickly gained a straightaway lead from J Maiolo and Ellement who were now waging a “ding dong” battle for 2nd place.
With only 9 laps left to run, young local Kye Scroop (8th place) speared heavily into the pits bend fence after contact with Nathan Brady. This brought on the yellows with Nathan Brady being sent to the rear after being deemed the primary cause of the accident. Scroop was regrettably unable to continue.
So with less than a heat race left in the 2012 Kings of Wings, the field re-assembled with Farrell looking invincible out the front, followed by J Maiolo, Ellement, Wells, Kendrick, Rob Watson Jnr, Nash, and Goode rounding out the top 8.
Farrell shot away yet again as he had done on all prior restarts and quickly set about opening up a commanding lead. As the final laps came into play, Ellement and Maiolo were waging a heavy duty battle for 2nd. It was clear with Farrell dominating with a straightaway lead, barring mechanical failure he was going to take his first “King of Wings” victory.
With one lap to remaining all focus shifted to the battle for 2nd. Jamie Maiolo had worked hard to get to 2nd place from 13th and was not about to surrender that hard fought position. Ben Ellement had other ideas and with a last lap lunge threw everything he had at the “Myalup Missile”. Ellement drew up beside Maiolo and almost stole the deal, but Maiolo cool in a crisis, kept low on the Kwinana Clay and defended his position.
As they crossed the line after 40 gruelling laps, it was Ryan Farrell by the length of the straight followed by Jamie Maiolo and Ben Ellement just 0.15 seconds in arrears.
CLICK HERE to listen to Ryan Farrell’s post-race interview with Torque Tube Media
Ben Ellement (W44) had a great battle with Jamie Maiolo and came 3rd in the 2012 King of Wings
Farrell was both jubilant and fatigued as he surfaced from his car for the victory celebrations. Despite being only 20 laps since the compulsory pitstop, the race pace and traffic were frantic.
Farrell had driven the pants off the #26 Cool and was spent – he had proudly conquered one of his long standing bogies – “The King of Wings”, and earned further respect from the crowd as one of Australia’s best Sprintcar Drivers.
Classic Pose - Ryan Farrell in a state of focus and meditation
It wasn't all smooth sailing for the Diamond Bay Motorsport Team - they had a major driveline vibration and changed the uni joint and driveshaft before the A-Main
Ben Butcher is gainging confidence with each race and becoming a pretty handy young gun
Perth Motorplex Pit Marshall "ET" keeps the show on the road and proudly holds the "Lucky" Torque Tube - Torque Tube supplied by Mark & Annaliese Miller - Texanne Racing
The John Day Utes are always an integral part of the Kwinana Shows
The 2012 King of Wings saw thirty "Wings" compete for the presitgous trophy
The 2012 King of Wings Trophy - What all the Fuss is about ! - Ryan Farrell is now the fitting owner