Alexandra Speedway Club played host to one of the biggest annual Victorian state titles each season when fifty drivers battled for the big prize in Standard Saloons on Labour Day weekend with Chiltern’s Warrick Howie claiming the big victory on Monday after weather intervened on the Sunday night.
With the track surface added to in the lead up to the title in the hope of maintaining moisture longer, drivers made the most of the track preparation teams hard work with some new track records set on the Saturday night by Shane Stewart in Standard Saloons and Will Lamb in 3 Litre Sedans.
Fifteen heat races on night one provided some thrilling racing with every race in round one of heats decided by less than a two second margin at the finish line.
Russell Hill, Paul Domburg, Mark Miles, defending champion Micheal Ardley, Jacob Vuillermin, Miles again, Cameron Dike, Daryl Joosten, Aaron Meakins, Craig Templeton, Shane Stewart, Vuillermin and Meakins again, Sarah Meakins and Nick Chrystie won the first night heat races with the closest winning margin being the .242 of a second that separated Chrystie and Howie in heat fifteen whilst the second heat of the night won by Domburg was the fastest race completed green to chequer with a time of 3 minutes 8.156 seconds and Stewart set a new track record fastest lap of 22.761 in his third heat of the evening.
Sunday night racing for Standards was just about to begin when the rain set in for a while. Track crew in the absence of a broken Grader were relying heavily on no to very little rain and a decision to have cars try and buzz the slop off the top didn’t work and the race meeting was canned for night two.
Returning at 10am Monday morning to finish two rounds of heats, the last chance qualifier and the title race very few drivers were missing. With the fourth round heats fairly close to the fastest heat time the night before, racing was quite exciting to start the day. Ardley Shane Stewart and his brother Daniel, Domburg, Russell Hill, Miles, Aaron Meakins, Allan Poole, Aaron Marshall and Howie all won the final day’s heat races.
A last chance qualifier elevated Leigh Gooding, Brendan Eames, Scott Roberts and Leigh Warburton into the title race.
After the medallion presentation to the title race qualifiers and the presentation of the Best Presented Car and Crew to Leigh Warburton a twenty five-lap title race was ready to begin.
Competitors were Miles, Howie, Aaron Meakins, Shane Stewart, Dike, Domburg, Ardley, Daniel Stewart, Joosten, Vuillermin, Scott Angus, Chrystie, Marshall, Templeton, Russell Hill, Poole, McCaughey and Bradley Hill.
After all the hard work to have a track to compete on for Monday, the Midday sun had cooked the track and a major amount of dust and spin to the race leader with the field all lucky to avoid him, caused the stewards to halt proceedings due to dangerous track conditions and the track preparation crew asking for an hour or so to try and get a track prepared for the title.
It was well after 3pm before the race would start and in the meantime qualifiers such as Russell Hill, Bradley Hill and Scott Angus had all decided not to compete after already qualifying for the race. Aaron Price joined the reduced field for its return.
When competitors returned to the track the stewards wasted no time getting the race started. A moist surface with a little bit of dry dirt up high proved tricky for some as Howie went high and made the most of the dry and others slipped and slided through the lower parts of the track trying to get some traction.
On lap two defending champion Ardley became a victim of the concrete wall and his defence was over and out, much to his disgust. Templeton and Daniel Stewart went no further than starting the second lap either.
Domburg, Marshall, Dike, Miles and night one top qualifier Joosten all parked their machines infield without getting past ten laps whilst Meakins and Cathal McCaughey who were both running top five when they pulled out were the last two drivers to exit the race.
With a massive lead stretching more than half the track length, Howie from the Corowa – Rutherglen club took victory over Shane Stewart by fifteen plus seconds with Vuillermin in third place ahead of local club member Nick Chrystie and Eames another from Corowa. Roberts, Poole and Price were the only other finishers in a gruelling weekends racing.
After the event Howie was of course delighted with his result. “What a weekend, I cannot believe it, I was still trying to piece my car together this week before getting here as I had a focus on clients such as Joosten, Eames, the Trevor Kuhne owned car driver by Meakins and others. Thanks to everybody for their support especially this weekend Micheal Fleming – Robertson and Brodie Montague. Well done to everybody on their results today and thank you to Alexandra for persisting and providing us with a track to finish the event on today.”
Other racing was restricted to the Saturday night with three other feature races held with the Mick Woodhams Memorial for 3 Litre Sedans won by Will Lamb the Victorian Champion from Lennie Clark and Michael Boyle. Earlier Lamb set a one lap record of 21.636 seconds for the category. Jackson Lunt won the National Juniors final by over six seconds from Caleb Lincoln, Tim Gorksi, Luke Dingley and Nick Cherry whilst in Victorian State Juniors Bailey Perkins won by just .611 of a second from Adrian Lawrence, Jack Yeomans, Rhys Lansdown and Lachie Bull.
Racing returns to Alexandra on March the 25th for a Street Stock feature race and all club classes.
Alexandra Speedway Club is very thankful for the support provided by all these businesses:
360 Diffs & Gearboxes – Air Anywhere – Alexandra & Yea Pre Mix – Australian Racing Products – Blackburn Trailers – Burco’s Metal Fabrications – Campton’s Graphics – Eastern Suburbs Locksmiths – Fallon’s Bus Services – FSM Recycling – GB Racecars – Good Guys Performance Centre – GYB Civil – Healesville Directional Drilling – Highline Racewear – Inaction Photos – JS Quarry – Kilmore Towing & Transport – Lake Eildon Houseboat Sales – Lincoln’s Earthmoving – Metro Tow – Murrindindi Kitchens – Pakenham Caravan Storage & Repairs – Quality Fire Protection – Revegetation Victorian – Rumbles Indoor Playcentre – Smooth Suspension – Shamrock Hotel Alexandra – Trax Racewear – Tyrepower Alexandra – Waverley Exhaust & Brake Centre – Weeks Radio – Yarra Valley Towing
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