Words by DTN Media / SAWA PR
All Images: Peter “Straight Shooter” Roebuck
After three attempts, the 2016 WA 360 Sprintcar Title finally got underway and completed last night at the Perth Motorplex, with Michael Keen continuing his great year to grab his maiden 360 Sprintcar State Title.
Keen was all class as he started from position four in the final to race his way into the lead on lap twenty two, then raced away to take a strong win ahead of Ben Ellement and Steven Ford.
The final got off to a rough start as a number of cars came together on the front straight, with Jamie Landrigan and Mitchell Wormall initially involved, Landrigan rolling and landing on top of a hapless Rod Snellin as he went through, sending both Landrigan and Snellin into a series of flips.
All three drivers were unhurt, but only Wormall was able to restart after his crew made hasty repairs during the ensuing open red light stoppage, replacing the front end.
The race went under a complete restart and this time we got away without a drama, pole sitter Ben Ellement grabbing the early lead from fellow front row starter Jake Beard-Miller and Keen.
Keen put pressure on Beard-Miller and grabbed second on lap four, then set about chasing down Ellement, a task he achieved when he was on the back bumper by lap eight.
The two continued to battle, but Keen couldn’t find a way past Ellement who was still leading at half race distance, while behind them Steven Ford had moved into third place.
As the leading duo worked their way through lapped traffic, Keen was able to take advantage of the situation and grab the lead with eight laps remaining in the thirty lap race. From here he began to pull away from Ellement, with Ford still in third while Ben Van Ryt made his way into fourth as Beard-Miller retired infield.
Ellement had a moment as he touched a lapped car and had a half spin, but this just allowed Keen to get further away, and let Ford get right on Ellements tail.
Despite the pressure Ellement was able to hold on, but up front it made no difference as Keen went on to claim the State Title from Ellement, Ford, Van Ryt and Luch Monte.
Courtesy of his feature win, Michael Keen should also have done enough to win the 360 Sprintcar Power Series, with official dividends to be released later in the week.
This brings the 360 Sprintcar Power Series and season to a close, so a huge thankyou to all drivers, their crews and families and of course the officials for all their efforts this season.
WA 360 Sprintcar Title Feature Race – 30 laps: 1. Michael Keen, 2. Ben Ellement, 3. Steven Ford, 4. Ben Van Ryt, 5. Luch Monte, 6. Rob Watson Jnr, 7. Terry Cutts, 8. Jason Priolo, 9. Aldo De Paoli, 10. Luke Hughes, 11. Mitchell Wormall, 12. Rob Mould, 13. Michael Gronow. DNF: Jake Beard-Miller (21), Ed Trutwin (10), Jamie Landrigan (0), Rod Snellin (0). DNS: David Hall, Fergie Donaldson, Phil Waters, Owen Ahchee. Total Time: No Time. Winning Margin: 5.957. Fastest Lap: 13.754 Michael Keen.