Images (as noted) compliments of :
Gary Reid : firstname.lastname@example.org
Corey Gibson Photography : email@example.com
Words : Paul Griffin
Kerry Madsen secured his third Australian Sprintcar Title in his racing career and his second in as many years at Sydney’s Valvoline Raceway last Saturday night (28th Jan).
Madsen now claims bragging rights to the 2003, 2016 and 2017 Australian Championships.
Kerry Madsen drove a calculated and determined race in this year’s Championship to take victory by several car lengths over younger brother Ian Madsen and Robbie Farr in 3rd.
It was the first time that any brothers have finished 1-2 in the Australian Sprintcar Championship.
After three nights of intense racing, the final field of 24 cars had been determined and combatants were faced with 40 gruelling laps of Valvoline Raceway.
One of those cars was unfortunately unable make it to lap 1.
Jamie Veal who was considered a reasonable chance retired on the push off lap with a mechanical problem, allowing reserve Darryl Campbell to get a start.
Campbell was ecstatic and the green flag fell.
After the race got underway and settled down, the standout drivers were Kerry and Ian Madsen and James McFadden.
These guys traded blows lap after lap with the lead swapping between them routinely.
The racing was close, the racing was hard and the racing was precise.
Things eventually got a little too close for comfort for James McFadden and in a racing incident the WA17 made slight contact with Kerry Madsen’s Aus#1.
The result was a flat left front tyre on McFadden’s car and he had no option but to exit his 2017 Championship quest.
By this stage the track had taken rubber and there was little advantage in going up high.
Most of the field settled into the security of the pole line and continued to circulate without much positional change until with 6 laps to go Marcus Dumesny brought on the yellows.
This gave Ian Madsen and Robbie Farr a last roll of the dice to get past leader Kerry Madsen.
In the end despite a series of valiant lunges, Ian Madsen simply couldn’t get past he brother Kerry and he settled for second place just ahead of Robbie Farr in the Q7 ECP entry.
Like previous Australian Championships, the winner is decided after hundreds of laps of qualifying time trials, heats and mains.
It’s not an easy feat to dial in your car with the ultimate set-up every time you hit the track – to push yourself and the car to the limit, get through unscathed and be at the “pointy end”.
It is absolutely crucial to get good results early and to totally avoid a DNF in heats.
This is what cooked Jamie Veal’s goose in the Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic just one week before. Veal had positioned himself rather well, however going into the final night in his final heat, a touch with another car forced him to DNF. That extracted his almost certain A-Main start and put him mid-pack in the final B-Main.
That simply made it too difficult to successfully defend his Classic Title.
The all important first and second nights of the 2017 Australian Sprintcar Title provided equally good racing, some close shaves, some big looses and some real surprises.
Our good friend and pro Valvoline Raceway lensman Gary Reid caught these fabulous images of the crucial lead up to final night.
Torque Tube Media would like to thank pro photographers Gary Reid and Corey Gibson for the great images of the 2017 Australian Sprintcar Title at Sydney’s Valvoline Raceway