Horsham Motorsports Club is proud to announce the running of
the Modified Sedan Victorian Title at Blue Ribbon Raceway proudly
sponsored by Horsham Auto Wreckers on April 6.
After the hugely successful Australian
Title held at the raceway last season the club was pleased to be
offered the chance to hold the title at the last minute after issues
with another Victorian facility and in a very short time had secured
sponsorship to hold the event.
With nominations in excess of 30 competitors coming from across Australia to compete for this prestigious title including current Victoria 1 Aiden Raymont coming down from Queensland to try to hold onto his crown. After a long and busy season the ‘mods’ have put in a ton of laps at tracks across the country and it has taken a toll on some of the cars but all the teams are working overtime to be ready. With Raymont wanting to hold onto his title and any number of challengers aiming to bring the title back to its home, with issues at the last round of the VMPA series the cars of Daniel Simpson, Matt Gerlach and the super fast little LJ Torana of Graham West have had a lot of shed time to iron out the wrinkles from various bumps and bangs but have all got their eyes on the target. Not to be outdone the cars of Micheal Hayden, Aaron Bunton and Kye Walters, are not to be ignored.
With the absence of the winner of the
final round and the Di Watson Memorial at Premier Speedway, David
Smith, due to family commitments the field will again be wide open.
The controversy of the final being shortened by nine laps still
leaving questions among the drivers that will be settled at the drop
of the checkered flag at Blue Ribbon Raceway.
Following on from the success of the
Australian Title last season Horsham Motorsports Club has put a lot
of effort into finding sponsors for the event and the business
community has come to the party with the event being predominantly
fully sponsored and with the support of the speedway community it
will be a huge night of racing.
Also on the program will be the
Victorian Mini Sprints and Production Sedans. The mini sprints are
virtually smaller versions of the popular Sprintcars but powered by
motorbike engines and with their size and low weights they can get
around the race track as quick as any of the other classes.
The Production Sedan competitors have
had a long season showcasing the best drivers in the class with
seasoned drivers and rookies running bumper to bumper with basically
stock and equal cars depending on skill and nerve and will, as usual,
put on a spirited display for the local fans on what will be a big
night of racing for all classes.
temperatures ahead of Saturday nights action did not phase the
enthusiasm of Blue Ribbons regular fans and competitors alike with
the running of the Robin Thomas Memorial for V8 trucks, the Les
McMaster memorial for Limited Sportsman and the return after more
than two decades of the SDAV Hotrods.
The extreme weather pushed the track crew to the limit and the clubs
decision to push the start time back for the safety of the
competitors and fans alike and gave the crew more time to prepare the
surface. The positive attitude of the drivers was bought out in a
comment, “its dirt not blacktop lets give them a show”, and
that’s what they did.
With the prestigious Les McMaster Memorial on the line Sportie
drivers were focused on the goal from the drop of the flag and with
the challenging conditions of the night it was going to be survival
of the fittest. Two fields of sporties were split into three heats
each and with previous winners Mark McDonald and Jock Baker aiming at
taking the trophy home it was not going to be easy with Adam
Mckenzie, Craig Ansell and Travis Matthews showing good speed.
In the heats Baker showed a clean pair of heels to the field
taking the win in all three of his heats without giving up the lead
at any time and showing how to set up his car on a track that was
hard for the low slung cars to get around. McDonald was not to be
denied taking a second and a first before secoming to a flat tyre in
the third heat and a DNF. McKenzie and Aston took the remaining heat
wins to put the question mark on the final.
After a track resurfacing the drop of the flag saw the SA 1 of
Baker get the holeshot on the field with the cars of McKenzie and
Aston in pursuit. With Baker moving further ahead the racing in the
midfield became intense with positions changing continually until lap
7 when the 74 of Stevens dropped from the race followed by the 13 of
Carpenter on lap 10 and the 27 of Matthews in the final laps. Jock
Baker took a convincing win over a fast finishing Adam McKenzie and
Mark McDonald finishing a close third from a start in the mid field.
Robin Thomas’s legacy with Blue Ribbon Raceway is long and
varied and the V8 trucks was one of them, truck drivers in the club
look to this as the high point of their season and with new trucks
coming into the class the competition was intense.
With the drop of the flag in the first heat it wasn’t long
before Luke ‘Redda’ James took his usual position up high on the
wall at the head of the field and Wes Bell and Nathan Bird in pursuit
until the truck of Bird suffered engine issues and was out for the
night. The second heat saw James again running high and taking the
win in a green white chequer finish over a fast finishing Fletcher
Mills and Brendan Jackson making for an interesting third heat and
final. Heat three was one of the best fought races in recent meetings
with Fletcher Mills in the 44 and James in the 57 trading paint and
positions all race long with James taking the win with a low pass
over Mills followed by Bell in the 22. The final of the Thomas
Memorial looked to be a barn burner and James took the lead over
Mills, Bell. Entering turn two the truck of James took a right turn
and hit hard into the wall and suffered a broken steering box and was
out for the night, a very rare occasion for Redda. On the restart
Mills and Bell battled as did Jackson and Carman changing positions
throughout the race. Mills took the win over veteran Bell with Carman
in third ahead of Jackson.
With over two decades passing since the last visit of the SDAV to
Blue Ribbon Raceway competitors and club members were excited at
seeing these cars on the wide open spaces of the speedway. After
their Victorian title in Bairnsdale the week prior the members had a
lot of work before getting to Horsham and new Victorian 1 Stan Marco
Snr wanted to stay out in front of the pack. Heat races saw the 84 of
Shannon Meakins take a flag to flag win in a car that was not rebuilt
until 9am Saturday morning before making the trip after a big roll
over in the title followed by Stan Marco Snr and Jnr taking the
minors. Heat two saw Stan Snr take the lead on lap 3 from Phil
Jenkins and held the lead to win over Stan Jnr and Shannon Meakins.
Stan Marco Jnr, showing the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree
with a flag to flag win over the hard charging Meakins and Stan Snr
chasing the duo home for a strong third. The final for the hot rods
again looked to be very tight with Meakins and Stan Marco Snr
battling wheel to wheel for the entire race with some extremely close
passes right to the flag with Marco Snr taking the narrowest win over
Meakins followed by Stan Marco Jnr, Kali Hovey, Phil Jenkins and Russ
Hovey in a great return to Blue Ribbon.
Production sedans had a run at the track in the paddock sponsored by
Alice Mobile Car Detailing, with local driver Ryan Queale wanting to
prove his mettle in front of the home fans. With Australia 2 Dehne
Sparrow in the field it was going to be a hard ask for the
competitors and it came to pass with Sparrow taking two heat wins and
a second and winning the final. Adam Wilson took the win in the third
heat but did not finish the final with Shane Hammond in second Zak
Calderwood in third and Queale a creditable fourth place in a great
Horsham Motorsports next meeting will be held on April 6th
proudly featuring the Victorian State Title for Modified Production
Sedans and support classes.
Blue Ribbon Raceway will come alive on Saturday night with Open
Wheel action and celebration as Horsham Motorsports Club hosts the
Les McMaster Memorial for Limited Sportsman and the Robin Thomas
Memorial for V8 trucks supported by the SDAV Hot Rods Production
Sedans and Street Stocks.
Limited Sportsman drivers from across
the state will converge on the Kalkee track in search of a win in the
prestigious Les McMaster Memorial that has previously been won by
Jock Baker and Mark McDonald among others and both have shown great
support for the event and have battled hard over the years to take
the victory. Both drivers are nominated and will be sure to battle
again for the trophy that personifies the class that Les had a hand
in progressing until his passing and the legacy that the trophy
brings to the class. Not to be out done by the guys newcomer Katelyn
Worthy and Jenny Godfrey will be trying to show that they can give as
well as the guys and will be out to prove that point.
Horshams own V8 trucks will again be out in force to compete hard
for the Robin Thomas Memorial trophy on the wide open spaces of the
Track in the Paddock, and they need it. Celebrating Robin Thomas, a
stalwart of the club over many years as a Jack of all trades and a,
I’ll get it figured out, type of guy and a man that held many
positions within the club, from a volunteer to President and grader
driver to V8 truck driver these guys have shoes to fill, big ones.
With Luke ‘Redda’ James, Fletcher Mills and Wes Bell all keen to
secure the win the field will be spread track wide all race with
Redda on the high line as usual wearing the paint off the wall and a
flock of screaming V8’s in close pursuit. For those that have not
seen these trucks in action it is a sight to see these drivers
wrestling the big race trucks around the circuit.
After an absence of over two decade the SDAV hot rods are
returning to Kalkee to become reacquainted with the wide long track
and will definitely put on a great show. With names such as Marco,
Hovey, Jenkins, Meakins and West, names that show a long lineage in
hot rods, in the line up for their Thunder Down Under series the long
history of this club can not be denied. Only one driver in the
current crop can claim any racing knowledge of the track and that is
Phil Jenkins who has been racing ‘hot rods’ since the earliest
days and throughout the transition to today’s high tech machines
from the backyard racers of yesteryear. Beginning in the early 50’s
the ‘A Grade’ hot rod has grown from a cut up 30’s model Ford
or similar car using side valve V8’s through the years to 6
cylinder and finally small block V8’s today. The Hot Rod was the
catalyst for many other forms of racing including Sprintcars and
Super Rods of today and are a light weight version of the Heavy Hot
Rod more commonly seen in the West of Victoria and South Australia.
After his victory in the State Title last weekend, Stan Marco Snr,
who’s Father also Stan Snr dominated hot rods through the 70’s
and 80’s, will be looking to continue his winning ways on Saturday
night. There will be 4 Marco cars in the line-up on Saturday night. A
unique feature of the appearance of the SDAV cars will be the use of
an original restored SDAV car from 1973 as a pace car for the night.
This car ran against many of the drivers in Saturdays meeting driven
by Maurie Moss throughout Southern Australia and is a great contrast
to today’s cars. It is still demonstrating on track and owned and
driven by Leanne Shanks and Mark Cowin of Beulah who restored the
Proddies will be making an appearance with a nice field in what
has been a very busy schedule racing across the state for these
teams. After a hectic Title held at Hamilton recently and the absence
of the interstate and intrastate teams this could be the time for the
locals to shine. Sophomore driver Ryan Queale has shown promise this
season with some nice finishes and tempered with some dissapointment
getting tangled up in other cars issues, Ryan is more than determined
to put on a good showing for his legion of local supporters. Team
Queale has put together a very professional squad with their team
uniforms and dad Shaun is doing his best keeping the car pointed in
the right direction as well as, of course, keeping other teams cars
on track as is the family atmosphere of the class. Ryan will have to
contend with the teams of Sparrow, Calderwood and Wilson among others
that will keep him honest. Street Stocks will also be putting on a
good showing in their own way with tight and very entertaining racing
that will have the fans on their feet all night.
Horsham Motorsports Club’s first foray into the world of
competitive tractor pulling drew one of the largest crowds seen at
the Kalkee facility in recent seasons.
With a week of clear weather allowing
the volunteer crew to build and prepare the specially built racing
surface to the specifications of the Down Under Tractor Pulling
Association the scene was set for a fantastic day of pulling.
Saturday morning dawned cool and a brief but significant rain shower
fell on the speedway grounds sending the track crew out again to
remove any standing water from the track surface and to build a
third track to ensure great conditions for pulling.
First out on the track were the
vintage tractors some of which were unhooked from farm equipment that
morning and given a scrub up and trucked directly to the track while
some of the restored tractors were given a polish and set loose. Some
of these old machines were completely stock while other had been
tinkered with and turbochargers and fuel systems which
were tuned for better
performance. There were two classes, under 100hp and over 100hp and
all the tractors ran three heats and it was great to see these
competitors actually getting their front wheels off the ground as the
sled pulled them to a stop. One
of the highlights was the appearance of Graham Pickering in his
Pietsch 4WD 871 powered beast which, with the concrete wall being the
thing stopping him, would have probably kept going until he hit the
Murray River. As this is a non competition event no measurements were
taken but full pull of 100mtrs and more were made by many of the
Modified events got underway and
were run on two of the three tracks which kept the officials and
track workers very busy as the track needed to be smudged or smoothed
out after each run. Pro
Stock Open tractors had two competitors in the event, the Cornfoot
brothers Norm and Brendan both finding the going hard with mid to
three quarter track runs and Brendan not making a third run giving
Norm the win on the day and closing in on the season lead.
Pro Stock tractors saw the local
crew of Hicks and Wilkens with Red Devil driven by Chris Hicks
against Old Smoke driven by Ainsley Magee both make three pulls with
Red Devil taking a commanding win which included a massive pull of
112.581 on its third pull
and keeping it well ahead in the season standings.
The big bangers of the Open class saw
the three engined Plum Crazy pitted against the mighty four engined
Coyote. Unfortunately Coyote suffered a gear box issue and was not
able to compete in the first two pulls which saw Plum Crazy and Doug
Williams pull a 113mtrs in the second of their three pulls. After
battling all night to get back on track Coyote hooked and the sound
of 8000+ HP rang around the track, unfortunately it all came to an
end at half track when a fuel fire engulfed the left rear engine and
driver Peter Mann shut down and the fire was extinguished and Peter,
unharmed, but dissapointed to not be able to put on the show for the
fans, Coyote still has a commanding lead on the season and promised
to be back next time.
Super Modifieds put on some of
the closest racing on the night with David Cornfoot on $crap Value
and Matt Reeves on Disorderly Conduct swapping wins. With $crap Value
taking the first pull by less than a metre and both full pulls
Disorderly conduct took the second and $crap Value the third and
taking the win by 7 mtrs and keeping the season lead by a small
Limited Modified saw almost half their
pulls over the 100mtr full pull mark with Shillberite taking the win
with two full pulls over Full Throttle with one full pull and Flat
Stick with a full pull and a 99.263 close in third Full Throttle
retaining top spot on the season followed by Shillberite and Flat
In Two Wheel Drive trucks Sudden
Impact and Chilli
Town Thunder battling all night with the full pull of the Land
Cruiser, Sudden Impact, helping take the win and retain top spot in
Over on the Mini Track Mini
Modified, Super Mini Mods, Outlaw and Open minis showed thats it not
all about size. These
tractors may be small in stature but with fuel injected, super
charged and normally aspirated V8 engines they are a sight to be seen
and the action was intense.
With three runs in the mid 90’s
Little Willey took the win over 2
Tuff, Set The Sled and
within 8 mtrs of each other and the unfortunate Mid Life Crisis who
had the misfortune to lose the front right wheel mid run on the third
pull. Little Willey retains
the season lead handily over Set The Sled.
Super Mimi Modified were represented
by Success 11 driven by John Cameron with three strong pulls and
retaining the season lead.
Outlaw Minis saw four
competitors who had a tough go at it with only Stampede and Blown
Income making three pulls the best being Blown Income with a 99.727
in his third run. After missing his first pull, Tommy’s Toy
finished big with a 103.414 on his third pull and Russell Palmer in
Stone Cold had a blower backfire that locked his engine causing it to
make, in his words, some not nice sounds. Stampede
holds a slim lead over Blown Income in the standings.
Rough Justice had three pulls in the
Open Mini Class including a mighty 113.767 to keep the top spot this
season in this class.
The large crowd showed their
appreciation by staying throughout the evening and many made their
way to the pits and onto the infield of the speedway which was a
feature of the venue to allow fans to get up close to the tractors
and talk to the drivers. There was a positive response from the
participants and the fans and even the early morning rain and the
wind, that cleared out for a beautiful evening, did not dampen the
enthusiasm of all involved. The
Down Under Tractor Pull Association has stated they will be back next