Words: Darren O’Dea
Images: Peter Roebuck
Action Everywhere !!!…..That’s about the only way to describe the final sprintcar race meeting of the season at the Perth Motorplex on Saturday night – the Merger Contracting Gold Cup.
Initially slated for 30 laps, a series of dramas, crashes and even a disqualification saw the second of the feature races (Gold Cup) trimmed to 20 laps.
Jason Kendrick, who started from P4, won from Shaun Bradford and Ben Ellement.
Andrew Priolo, who started on pole, spun around as the field took the green, causing Kye Scroop, Jason Pryde and Luke Dillon to be innocent victims.
Dillon and Scroop got a restart and Pryde was initially out, but managed to get a restart after a subsequent restart gave him extra time.
This was after Brad Maiolo spun around in turn two.
Drama then unfolded when Jamie Maiolo, who started on the outside of the front row, was deemed by officials to have jumped the start twice and sent to the rear of the field.
On the next restart Maiolo was ruled by officials to be the cause of an incident in turn 1-2 that saw Kye Scroop and David Priolo damaged and out of the contest.
Priolo was not happy and remonstrated with Maiolo who was then disqualified from the rest of the event.
Luke Dillon and Darren Mewett were rubbing wheels for a while before Dillon rode his rival’s wheels and went over on the main straight.
Daniel Harding banged the wall and limped to the infield.
Once the race settled down it was a tame affair with Kendrick taking the win by just under five seconds.
Feature race 1 – Silver Cup
On his last show before retiring David Priolo has claimed the first of the two feature races.
He started from P8 in the 20 lap Silver Cup but powered to the lead on lap 15 to set up the win from Daniel Harding and Jason Kendrick.
At the end of the race Priolo performed a serious of celebration donuts on the bike track in front of a very appreciative crowd.
Luke Dillon, who started on the front row with Shaun Bradford, got the jump at the start and led for most of the race.
Bradford pulled infield with a flat right rear on lap 10.
Harding and Carl Dowling looked strong in the latter stages and were both hounding Dillon after Priolo grabbed the lead.
Harding grabbed second and as Dowling was looking strong for a podium his brake rotor exploded, pulling up on the back straight and forcing a restart.
The big mover in the dash to the line was Kendrick who started at the back of the pack after struggling in qualifying and then withdrawing at the start of his heat race.
The team changed an engine and while he struggled early in the feature he passed a handful of cars to take third.
Brad Maiolo took fourth after starting from P11, while Dillon held on for fifth from Jamie Maiolo (P3), Ben Ellement (P9), Andrew Priolo (P6), Jason Pryde (P10), Danny Porter (P7), Scott Chatwin (P14) and Darren Mewett (P13).
Thanks to Peter Roebuck for supporting us all year with fantastic action packed images.
Qualifying: David Priolo 13.869, Shaun Bradford 13.916, Jamie Maiolo 13.941 Luke Dillon 13.951, Daniel Harding 14.046, Jason Kendrick 14.049, Carl Dowling 14.120, Ben Ellement 14.126, Jason Pryde 14152, Andrew Priolo 14.250, Bradley Maiolo 14.261, Kye Scroop 14.565, Danny Porter 14.675, Darren Mewett 14.913, Scott Chatwin 15.066.
Heat 1: 1st Danny Porter, 2nd Luke Dillon, 3rd Daniel Harding, 4th Ben Ellement, 5th Kye Scroop, 6th Jason Pryde, 7th David Priolo.
Heat 2: 1st Shaun Bradford, 2nd Andrew Priolo, 3rd Carl Dowling, 4th Jamie Maiolo, 5th Brad Maiolo, 6th Darren Mewett, 7th Scott Chatwin. DNS: Jason Kendrick.
Feature 1 – SILVER CUP: 1st David Priolo, 2nd Daniel Harding, 3rd Jason Kendrick, 4th Bradley Maiolo, 5th Luke Dillon, 6th Jamie Maiolo, 7th Ben Ellement, 8th Andrew Priolo, 9th Jason Pryde, 10th Danny Porter, 11th Scott Chatwin, 12th Darren Mewett. DNF: Carl Dowling, Kye Scroop, Shaun Bradford.
Feature 2 – GOLD CUP: 1st Jason Kendrick, 2nd Shaun Bradford, 3rd Ben Ellement, 4th Bradley Maiolo, 5th Carl Dowling, 6th Darren Mewett, 7th Jason Pryde, 8th Danny Porter, 9th Scott Chatwin. DNF: Daniel Harding, David Priolo, Luke Dillon, Andrew Priolo, Kye Scroo. DQ: Jamie Maiolo.
Footnote by Paul Griffin: And so ends a fine season of Sprintcar Racing at Perth Motorplex – so many highs and memorable racing at the best venue in the nation. There are already strong whispers out there about a few brand new teams for next season, including new names as well as current names in the F500 class and 360’s moving into the 410 class. Bring it on !!