Dave Murcott drove a superb race to secure his 2nd Australian Sprintcar Title at Bunbury’s Quit Speedway last Sat 14th Feb. It was a dominating performance that has seen the Victorian racer win two National Titles in succession.
Murcott was pretty much in a league of his own and in the lead up to the Big Race also took out the preliminary night honours.
The 53rd Running of the SJ Crushing Australian Title saw Murcott start from pole alongside local Myalup Driver Brad Maiolo in very very cool conditions. It was an incredible effort from young Maiolo in the face of a stack of heavy hitters and interstate invaders.
The top 8 starting grid was:
- Dave Murcott
- Brad Maiolo
- Ryan Farrell
- Ian Madsen
- Robbie Farr
- Steven Lines
- Danny Reidy
- Jamie Veal
Darren Jensen and Daniel Pestka were the two reserves for the 40 lap A-Main and were delighted to get a start as Ian Loudoun and Callum Williamson tangled in turn 1 on the first lap and eliminated themselves from further competition.
A second attempt to get the Championship underway was successful while Robbie Farr retired to the in field with mechanical dramas after just 6 laps.
Murcott was quick to shoot to the lead and Steven Lines in the W3 signalled he was serious moving into P3 from P6 after just 7 laps. Stalwart Trevor Green was another in field casualty and exited the #11 Natrad entry after 9 laps.
Farrell was looking threatening having displaced Brad Maiolo and set his sights on Murcott. The current Australian Champion just seemed to have Farrell’s measure when it counted, in fact as the lapped slowly ticked away Lines was determined to work to the front and mounted several challenges on Farrell’s P2.
With 13 laps down a pronounced cushion had developed into turns 3 and 4. Drivers were have difficulty with this and those that made better headway were steering away from the intimidating step.
Farrell continued to apply pressure on Murcott and was eating into the leader’s margin. pegging Murcott back slowly. Not to be outdone, Lines was going with Farrell and stayed in touch. At half race distance local driver Carl Dowling spun on turns 3/4 and brought on the yellows.
Underway again and not to be outdone Jamie Maiolo had come from deep in the pack to be P6 and former Australian Champion James McFadden had moved up 10 spots into P9.
Ian Madsen arrived on the scene within a lap of the Dowling restart and went wide on Farrell to take 2nd spot. The next time around Madsen snuck the nose of the #10 entry in front of Murcott, but Murcott was up to the challenge and took back what he had momentarily lost.
This signalled the start of a titanic battle between Murcott and Madsen, each Driver refusing to give in. Madsen was able to shoot to the lead but this was again short lived as with 14 to go Murcott snatched the lead back – all this while Steven Lines rounded up Ryan Farrell for 3rd. After Farrell was the fast finishing Jamie Veal, Cameron Gessner and James McFadden in 7th.
Then with 13 laps to go disaster struck as Shaun Bradford was attempting to limp off the track, Ian Madsen had nowhere to go and clipped the back of his car despite an almighty attempt at evasive action. Madsen spun around on turn 4 and stuck the boot into his rig to keep it going.
He was facing oncoming traffic as the #10 lifted into a massive static wheelie. The attempt to keep fire in the engine was a ripper but the big 410 succumbed and stalled out – what a bummer – Madsen was sent to the rear as a result !
On the restart Tatnell was slowly moving forward but still way off the lead group. Veal and Farrell engaged in a personal battle for 3rd with the two swapping places and Veal finally clearing out.
With 8 laps to go the placings were Murcott, Lines, Veal, Farrell, McFadden, Gessner, Tatnell and Daniel Pestka who had snuck under the radar from a rear start. Jamie Maiolo brought on the yellows with a spin at the exit of turn 2.
Gessner’s LH rear blew on the back straight with a couple of laps to go and he pulled in field.
Murcott kept his head down and despite extreme pressure from Steven Lines he crossed the line to the roar and cheers from the capacity crowd to take his 2nd Australian Title in a row.
- Dave Murcott
- Steven Lines
- Jamie Veal
- James McFadden
All Images compliments of Peter “Straight Shooter” Roebuck
Words by Paul Griffin