Ryan Farrell last Saturday night (10th Jan) claimed one of the races that had thus far eluded him in his illustrious career as he raced away to win the WA 360 Sprintcar Championship at QUIT Collie Speedway.
Farrell started from pole position in the feature and survived a number of restarts, plus an early race battle with Rob Watson Jnr, to go on and claim the title, the twenty third annual running.
The A-Main begun with the first reserve Tyron Herbert joining the field after Gavin Davis, who dominated the B-Main, was unable to fire. Take one at a start saw the red lights after a number of cars came together on the front straight, leaving defending champion Chris Ackland upside down and ending his quest for a second straight title. The second start almost got a lap complete before Corey Hunter spun in turn three, bringing out the yellow lights.
Next time around we got a start and completed a lap before the luckless Hunter found himself going upside down in turn one, destroying the front of his chassis in an incident that also saw Steven Ford and Sheldon Haudenschild stuck together and eliminating all three cars.
The race resumed and we recorded a number of laps with Rob Watson Jnr, the other front row starter, leading early while Farrell chased hard in second. Danny Porter was in third while Ben Van Ryt was having a fantastic time in fourth until it all came undone. Porter’s car lost a front tyre, sending him spinning across the track and leaving Van Ryt no choice but to spin his machine also to bring out the yellows lights. Porters race was done, while Van Ryt was forced to restart at the rear.
Watson led away the restart again but this time Farrell didn’t let him get away, sticking his nose alongside Watson and then pulling clear. The situation was identical to a few years earlier at Collie, with Watson and Farrell fighting hard over the lead, but this time Watson over cooked it in turn two and spun the #66 machine, bringing out the yellow lights once again.
This would be the final restart and Farrell went on to record the win from a hard finishing David Hall and the impressive youngster Jake Beard-Miller. Rod Snellin and Todd Davis rounded out the top five while Limited Sprintcar convert Brayden Miller raced from an incredible position nineteen to finish in sixth place !
Earlier in the night, the opening heat began with the front row of Farrell and fast qualifier Beard-Miller touching, seeing young Jake have a half lose in front of the field, somehow being avoided by the rest of the drivers and rejoining the field, albeit a few positions behind. From here the race continued, Farrell besting Corey Hunter and Rod Snellin.
Heat two took a number of starts to get underway, ending with pole sitter Ken Sartori being sent to the rear. The third start saw Sartori spin infield in turn two, continue and pull back out on the track only to stop abruptly in turn three. This bought out the yellows yet again, and the race was to restart once more. Sartori passed before the cone this time around and was penalised at the next start when the yellows came out again for Danny Attwood who stopped in turn two. The final start saw Sartori pass before the cone again, being relegated at the end of the race, but up front it was Northen Territory visitor Danny Porter who recorded a good win from Ben Van Ryt and Todd Davis.
The final heat of the round saw yet another false start, when a number of cars came together, leaving Jamie Buszan infield with a broken machine, while Limited Sprintcar State Champion Brayden Miller, in his first 360 Sprintcar meeting, had his top wing ripped clean off his car. The race got underway again, this time with Sean Zemunik and David Hall having a side by side battle for the lead. Just as Hall got around Zemunik for the lead, the yellows came on for a stranded Chris Ackland, handing Zemunik the lead for the restart. The race resumed once more and Hall piled the pressure on Zemunik before spinning and continuing on back in fifth place, while Zemunik went on to defeat Sheldon Haudenschild (who started in eighth) and another Northern Territorian, Troy David.
Round two of the heats began with Ken Sartori on a charge on the outside line before he rode a wheel and cannoned into the turn two wall. He was ok, but the damage was enough to end his night early. The race resumed and Tyron Herbert, from the front row, ran away with the win, surviving a late race restart to take the win from Dan Salter and Aldo De Paoli.
Heat five was the simplest race of the night, with Jamie Buszan leading the entire distance and crossing the line first ahead of Jason Priolo and Todd Davis. The final heat of the evening however was a different story and saw the first red light after Sean Zemunik found himself spinning in turn one before rolling over. He emerged unhurt and left with the task of repairing his #27 machine. As the field lined up for the restart front row starters Darren Mewett and American import Sheldon Haudenschild had a disagreement over starting positions. The duo made contact under the yellow lights a number of times and it ended with Haudenschild controversially being sent to the rear. The race restarted and Haudenschild and Rob Watson Jnr raced their way through the field, Watson in particular using the highline to great effect to race into second place, behind winner Darren Mewett and in front of third placed Steven Ford.
The B Main was a flag to flag affair with Gavin Davis recording a dominant win over Sean Zemunik and Brayden Miller. Darren Mewett rounded out the transferees. Ryan Farrell was the fastest car in the Shootouts as he won the Gold Dash ahead of Rob Watson Jnr (who came from the Bronze Shootout!), time trial winner Jake Beard-Miller and Corey Hunter.
Despite last nights hectic action, the 360 Sprintcars have no rest now , as they head back to QUIT Bunbury Speedway next weekend, Saturday the 17th of January, for round two of the Bunbury Auto One Track Championship!
Well done to all tonight’s drivers and a huge congratulations to Ryan Farrell on his win.
Time Trials – 1. Jake Beard-Miller 14.598, 2. Ken Sartori 14.669, 3. David Hall 14.687, 4. Ryan Farrell 14.734, 5. Danny Porter 14.781, 6. Sean Zemunik 14.804, 7. Rod Snellin 14.805, 8. Ben Van Ryt 14.808, 9. Brayden Miller 14.867, 10. Corey Hunter 14.915, 11. Todd Davis 14.956, 12. Chris Ackland 15.011, 13. Rob Watson Jnr 15.031, 14. Aldo De Paoli 15.081, 15. Troy David 15.082, 16. Gavin Davis 15.093, 17. Jason Priolo 15.142, 18. Steven Ford 15.179, 19. Terry Cutts 15.201, 20. Daniel Salter 15.506, 21. Jamie Buszan 15.547, 22. Tyron Herbert 15.592, 23. Danny Attwood 15.616, 24. Sheldon Haudenschild 15.620, 25. Darren Mewett 15.682.
Heat One – 1. Ryan Farrell, 2. Corey Hunter, 3. Rod Snellin, 4. Rob Watson Jnr, 5. Gavin Davis, 6. Jake Beard-Miller, 7. Terry Cutts, 8.Darren Mewett, 9. Tyron Herbert.
Heat Two – 1. Danny Porter, 2. Ben Van Ryt, 3. Todd Davis, 4. Jason Priolo, 5. Aldo De Paoli, 6. Dan Salter, 7. Danny Attwood, 8. Ken Sartori.
Heat Three – 1. Sean Zemunik, 2. Sheldon Haudenschild, 3. Troy David, 4. Steven Ford, 5. David Hall, 6. Chris Ackland. DNF: Brayden Miller, Jamie Buszan.
Heat Four – 1. Tyron Herbert, 2. Daniel Salter, 3. Aldo De Paoli, 4. Ben Van Ryt, 5. Ryan Farrell, 6. Corey Hunter, 7. Gavin Davis. DNF: Ken Sartori.
Heat Five – 1. Jamie Buszan, 2. Jason Priolo, 3. Todd Davis, 4. Troy David, 5. Danny Porter, 6. Brayden Miller, 7. David Hall. DNS: Danny Attwood.
Heat Six – 1. Darren Mewett, 2. Rob Watson Jnr, 3. Steven Ford, 4. Sheldon Haudenschild, 5. Terry Cutts, 6. Chris Ackland, 7. Rod Snellin, 8. Jake Beard-Miller. DNF: Sean Zemunik.
Bronze Dash – 1. Rob Watson Jnr 15.326, 2. David Hall 15.375, 3. Jake Beard-Miller 15.514, 4. Corey Hunter 16.290.
Silver Shootout – 1. Rob Watson Jnr 15.392, 2. Ben Van Ryt 15.678, 3. David Hall 15.742, 4. Todd Davis 16.258.
Gold Shootout – 1. Ryan Farrell 15.057, 2. Rob Watson Jnr 15.178, 3. Danny Porter 15.309, 4. Ben Van Ryt 15.623.
B-Main – 1. Gavin Davis, 2. Sean Zemunik, 3. Brayden Miller, 4. Darren Mewett, 5. Tyron Herbert, 6. Jamie Buszan, 7. Terry Cutts. DNS: Danny Attwood, Ken Sartori.
A-Main – 1. Ryan Farrell, 2. David Hall, 3. Jake Beard-Miller, 4. Rod Snellin, 5. Todd Davis, 6. Brayden Miller, 7. Rob Watson Jnr, 8. Jason Priolo, 9. Ben Van Ryt, 10. Tyron Herbert, 11. Daniel Salter, 12. Troy David. DNF: Danny Porter, Sean Zemunik, Aldo De Paoli, Sheldon Haudenschild, Steven Ford, Corey Hunter, Chris Ackland, Darren Mewett. DNS: Gavin Davis