Warrnambool’s Jamie Veal has been crowned the new ENZED World Series Sprintcars (WSS) Champion after finishing second in the Grand Final at the Perth Motorplex.
All Images by Peter “Straight Shooter” Roebuck
Words by Benny Bish
Jamie Veal rose to the top last night (27 Feb) at The Perth Motorplex to claim his first World Series Sprintcars Championship in what has been a stellar season for the Victorian-based #35 SWI Engineering Racing Team.
The A-Main was a toughly fought final on a fast racy Kwinana surface.
Veal crossed the line in second place behind Steven Lines which was sufficient to position the #35 SWI entry at the top of the final WSS points tally.
Veal is pictured below after finishing the A-Main and celebrates the fact that he is now the new WSS Champion.
Steven Lines claimed his third win of the season, the most of any driver, which still wasn’t enough to take over the series runner up spot filled by Brooke Tatnell who finished eighth in the A-Main.
Tatnell entered the second night 8 points ahead of Veal but struggled in the first round of heats, to lock the points dead-even between himself and Veal.
However with some bonus qualifying points on offer for the second night of the Grand Final, Veal made it into the top 8 shootout while Tatnell stood back in a nervous tenth spot outside the bubble.
With Veal set to start the feature race on the inside of the fourth row, Tatnell would assume the outside of the fifth row, until pole sitter Luke Dillon headed infield with motor issues before the grid was formed.
After a second attempt to get the car going, Dillon retired from the race before it started, moving Veal one row forward, and putting two cars between himself and Tatnell three rows back.
With the field locked and loaded, Daniel Harding inherited pole position with Lines on his outside and quickly strangled the lead over Lines, Murcott and Jason Kendrick.
Murcott struggled early and got swallowed back to seventh while Veal advanced to fourth and laid low until lap ten when he wrestled fourth spot off Jason Kendrick who encountered engine issues and then another eight laps before taking the second spot off Harding.
Meanwhile all eyes were on Tatnell who knew that he must finish in front of Veal to win his tenth title, however the nine-time champ seemed stuck in solitary confinement for a painful 18 laps, firstly battling to get past Brad Maiolo and then Dave Murcott before Kerry Madsen pipped him by 3/100ths of a second on the last lap, rubbing salt into the very deep wounds as he already knew he’d lost his grip of the Championship.
In the process of winning the race, Lines also claimed the inaugural Wormall Western Swing Trophy, but all the attention went to the new champion, Jamie Veal who had matched Tatnell throughout the series for consistency.
Both drivers entered the last round finishing in the top ten of every round, nine of which in the top five, both boasting a feature race starting position average of 4th, and a feature race finishing position average of 3rd, setting the scene for why the points were so close throughout the series.
Veal’s Enzed World Series Win in the same season as his Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic victory now places him the company of the sport’s biggest names, sharing the achievement with Tatnell, Max Dumesny and Skip Jackson as the only racers to achieve “The Double.”
The teams now move on to the Presentation Banquet at Perth’s picturesque Burswood on Swan where the prestigious “Driver’s Driver,” “Crew Chief of the Year” and “Hoosier Hard Charger of the Season” awards will be revealed
Some more awesome action shots from Peter Roebuck ————