Sam Walsh Wins His Second GT Challenge at Valvoline Raceway

All Images compliments Gary Reid: greid@pacific.net.au
Words: Sprintcar Association of NSW (SANSW)

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Sam Walsh has become the first driver to double up on main event wins this season with an exciting win at Valvoline Raceway and in so doined claimed his second George Tatnell Challenge victory.

Walsh started the race from pole position and knew he would be in a dog fight with James Thompson starting right next to him.

After leading the first six laps, Walsh was pushed back to second as Thompson made his presence felt, taking the lead.

Thompson was beginning to edge away when disaster struck on lap thirteen when Matt Dumesny upended in a big way and third placed Robbie Farr had to take evasive action.

Sadly for Farr, he had to go to the work area and the rear of the field.

Dumesny luckily unhurt in the wild ride but out of the race.

At the restart Walsh took the lead back from Thompson and led the remaining seventeen laps without a stoppage.

Enter Marcus Dumesny……Marcus was making his way forward gradually throughout the race before pinching second place from Thompson with only a handful of laps remaining.

But no one had anything for Sam Walsh.

Sprintcar podium: (l-r) James Thompson (3rd), Sam Walsh (1st), Marcus Dumesny (2nd)

Sprintcar podium: (l-r) James Thompson (3rd), Sam Walsh (1st), Marcus Dumesny (2nd) and the late George Tatnell’s widow and daughters

Whilst all of this action was going on at the front of the field, one of the drives of the night had to go to Alex Orr. Starting from the back of the B-Main, he transferred to the A-Main by virtue of a win and slogged it out lap after lap to claim a well-deserved sixth place finish.

So at the chequered flag it was Walsh ahead of Marcus Dumesny, Thompson, Ben Atkinson finished a great fourth and equally as good was Andrew Wright in fifth. Alex Orr was sixth ahead of Daniel Sayre, Danny Reidy, Troy Little and Grant Tunks rounded out the top ten.

Eleventh home was Warren Ferguson ahead of Braydan Willmington, Matt Geering, Callum Williamson, Dean Thomas, Robbie Farr, Blake Skipper, Cameron Ware, Kim Becker, Courtney O’Hehir, Jason Gebert and Chris McInerney was the final on-track finisher. Non finishers were Matt Dumesny and Jordyn Brazier.

Earlier in the night, Robbie Farr set quick time in flight one with a blistering 11.562 second lap and Matt Dumesny was quickest in flight two with an 11.857 second lap.

Heat race wins went to Farr, Walsh, Matt Dumesny and Thompson.

There were some massive crashes in heat race action. Graham Lagerlow, Mitchell Dumesny, Chris Street and Michael Saller all took big rides. Happy to report that all were A-OK.

High Air

Graham Lagerlow gets some serious air in a heat race crash as Kim Becker (55) and Luke Stirton (10) avoid the incident

4-wide salute: (l-r) Matt Dumesny (57), James Thompson (22), Robbie Farr (7)

4-wide salute: (l-r) Matt Dumesny (57), James Thompson (22), Robbie Farr (7), Sam Walsh (92)

Luke Stirton (10)

Luke Stirton (10) saved this bicycle in the B Main as Peter Gordon (14) stays low

Marcus Dumesny

Marcus Dumesny showed his best form to run second in the Sprintcar A Main

James Thompson

James Thompson continued his consistent form

Robbie Farr (7) leads a heat race field

Robbie Farr (7) leads a heat race field to the start line

Andrew Wright

Andrew Wright searches for grip in time trials

Sam Walsh

Sam Walsh time trials in front of his crew behind the fence at the left of the image

Jason Gebert

Jason Gebert ventured down from the Northern Territory to contest the George Tatnell Challenge

Matt Geering

Time Standing Still – What a classic and superbly clear image of Matt Geering at full tilt in Qualifying – Great Shot Gary Reid !!!!

The next SANSW event at Valvoline Raceway is next Saturday night, December 16 for the  Development Series ahead of the 38th running of the Australian Sprintcar Grand Prix at on Boxing Day.

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