Garry Brazier won round four of the NSW Ultimate Sprintcar Championship on October 31, making this his second USC season win in as many weeks at Valvoline Raceway.
It was also his first back-to-back victory in Sydney since 1997. Second was Dave Murcott and third was Adrian Maher.
The race was memorable for many reasons but one talking point in particular was the way that the two first cars ended up after the chequered flag fell. More on that later !
The Saturday night Halloween spectacular saw 63 Ultimate Sprintcars team up with the Stadium Super Trucks in front of an enormous crowd despite the constant threat of thunderstorms and the occasional shower.
Once again Warrnambool’s Jamie Veal set Quick Time in Group One Qualifying and was the fastest man on track with 12.735-second lap whilst Newcastle’s Matt Smith was the fastest in Group Two with 13.007 seconds.
Unfortunately Veal hurt his motor in the process and with his spare engine in Melbourne the team was forced to load up early and head back to Victoria before their heat race began.
Jeff Lawler won the non-qualifier’s race with Brendan Scorgie coming in second.
Danny Reidy performed double duties on the night jumping from an Ultimate Sprintcar into a Stadium Super Truck. The Queensland based Territory born Reidy won the first Sprintcar heat of the night with Sam Walsh and Marty Perovich finishing second and third.
Livewire Tasmanian Shaun Dobson made his first appearance in the Ultimate Sprintcar Championship finishing fourth in heat one and finishing at the back of the A main in position
Max Johnston turned his luck around from the last meeting early in the night, winning heat two off the front row with Jimmy Matchett finishing second.
Matt Dumesny won heat three off the front row with Robbie Farr and Matt Smith closely behind.
Heat four saw teenage rookie Sean Richards crash in turn four when he ‘biked it up’ on the cushion and rolled the Omron #51 before Adrian Maher won the heat with Warren Ferguson finished second and Australian champion Dave Murcott in third.
Dave Murcott also made his debut in the Ultimate Sprintcar Championship setting time of 13.010 seconds in time trials, finishing third in heat four and finally second in the feature race after leading for the majority of the 30 lap affair.
18 year old Seb Johnston, younger brother of Max was another to make his first race in the Ultimate Sprintcar Championship making it into the C main and finishing in position thirteen with Mick Saller winning the race.
The top 8 pole shuffle determined Gary Brazier would start off the front row of the A main with James Thompson after the cagey veteran used some wily antics to ‘de-throne’ some of his rivals.
Johnston V. Adrian Maher – Maher wins by default because Max was deemed to have jumped the start
Maher V. Matt Dumesny – Maher wins
Maher V. Reidy – Maher wins
Maher V. Murcott – Murcott Wins
Murcott V. Brazier – Brazier wins by default because Murcott was deemed to have jumped the start
Brazier V. Smith – Brazier wins
Brazier V. Thompson – Brazier wins
Toby Bellbowen won the B main from Max Dumesny and Troy Little. Dumesny took the lead initially on the start but Bellbowen passed him with seven laps to go. A yellow light stoppage for Alex Orr (when Matt Craft rode Orr’s right rear wheel and cut down his tyre) allowed Toby to take the lead and finish on top.
Straight into the feature race went the top four transfer cars as they were given a short amount of time to change tyres and put more fuel in the car.
Brazier grabbed the lead into turn one of the 30 lap A-Main but a red light for Grant Anderson going into turn two after contact with Toby Bellbowen allowed Murcott to take the lead on the restart, leading the next 23 laps through lap traffic until a yellow caution was unfortunately put out for Max Johnston when he slowed to a halt in turn three.
Single file restart was Murcott, Brazier, Maher, Reidy and Matt Dumesny.
With two laps to go Brazier took the lead with a big move on the inside in turn one where contact was made between the two Australian champions and they raced hard until the chequers.
After the chequered flag fell Murcott pulled up alongside Brazier to remonstrate and the two ended up locked together in a stationery position in turn three to the jeers and cheers of the crowd.
“I thought I’d give him a rub up to wind up the old bugger,” Murcott grinned after the pair settled down, “I didn’t mean for it to wind up that we both crashed.”
Brazier was quick to respond.
“He’s got my number,” Brazier grinned, “that’s the only reason I didn’t tolerate him running into me. It’s good to get the win but I enjoy watching my son race as much as I enjoy this whole driving thing really. It’s great to have my Dad back working on the racecars and I want to thank him, and Capalaba Wreckers and Castrol for their ongoing sponsorship of me.”
Adrian Maher was a sensational third place after a consistent drive all night.
“It’s hard work out there,” Maher conceded, “it’s good to get a third place result but I didn’t have anything left. I had the thing absolutely flat out the whole way around. Obviously those guys crashing each other out after the chequered flag don’t fix their own cars.”
Matt Dumesny recorded a career best USC result with a fine fourth place finish over the versatile Danny Reidy in fifth, James Thompson sixth, Maz Dumesny seventh, Jeremy Cross eighth, Matt Smith ninth and Robbie Farr rounding out the top ten.
Craig Brady finished eleventh, Troy Little twelfth, Sam Walsh thirteenth, Chad Ely fourteenth, Warren Ferguson fifteenth, Shane Dobson sixteenth, Lachlan Abbott seventeenth, Darryl Campbell eighteenth, Jimmy Matchett nineteenth and Jackson Delamont twentieth as the last registered finisher.
DNF’s were Max Johnston, Grant Anderson, Toby Bellbowen and Marty Perovich.
The Stadium Super Trucks were a huge hit with the massive crowd providing some spectacular wheels off the ground action and some real bump and run competition.
American teenager Sheldon Creed took the final race win despite a spirited battle with SST creator and motor racing legend Robby Gordon that enthralled the fans. The USA vs Australia competition was epic and certainly provided some wonderful theatre on the man-made hell track that was created over the last ten days.
Round five of the NSW Ultimate Sprintcar Championship will be in a fortnight on November 14 at Valvoline Raceway for the Sid Hopping Shootout.