With heavy hearts with the passing of class patriarch Kevin ‘Kev’ Baker last week, Horshams Limited Sportsman drivers will again be vying to take home the coveted Kevin Baker Challenge trophy.
Always a great supporter of the Limited Sportsman class, and a
proponent of giving everyone a ‘go’and putting on a show for the
crowd Kev loved to watch battles throughout the whole field during an
event and the format of the event reflects his love.
at Blue Ribbon Raceway on Saturday night showed the fickle nature of
motor racing resulting in a very popular win by local Horsham
Motorsports racer Daniel Simpson to become Victoria #1 in Modified
In the lead up to the championship Simpson’s chances of a title
looked very challenging when an encounter with the wall at Premier
Speedway in Warrnambool left a very damaged race car parked high in
turns one and two. Two weeks of hard work saw the HO 33 of Simpson on
track for first heat. The cars of Matt Gerlach and the sentimental
crowd favourite Graham West in his very fast LJ Torana also suffered
significant damage at Warrnambool but were also ready to do their
utmost to keep the title in Victoria after a trip to Queensland with
Aiden Raymont also intent on keeping it.
Heat one saw Simpson show the depth of his desire with a flag to flag
win by 10 second over Jetson followed closely by Chrystie and
Gerlach. Heat two saw the cars of Raymont and coming from the back
end of the grid to challenge Atkins mid race with Drewett taking the
win over Atkins and Raymont with only .03 secs seperating them ad
West in fourth. Heat three saw another hard charge from the rear of
the field with Martin Hawson took the lead on lap four and held on
with Kye Walters in second and Chris Hayden holding off Blackwell by
.3 seconds, Hawsons fast lap of 20.334 seconds set the tone for the
night. Heat four saw another hard charge from the rear of the field
with Simpson off the back row getting to fourth by lap three and with
starting and finishing one/two Simpson got the better of Blackwell on
the last lap for third after a six lap battle by half a second. Heat
five was a run away win for Darren Cockerill from pole with an eight
second gap on a charging Russell Bent .03 seconds ahead of Jetson in
third the cooling temperatures saw Cockerill lower the lap time below
20 secs to 19.699.
Heat six line up had the cars of favoured runners Raymont, Walters
and Hawson pitted against each other in what was a hard fought battle
for the minor placings with Hawson running away with another low time
of 19.294 and Walters and Raymont battling for six laps Walters
taking second with one to go. Heat seven again saw Jake Drewett in
the MDA 18 charge from the rear of the field to take a narrow win
over Hawson who fought through the field from last half way through
the heat to miss first by half a second with Rachel Pratt five
seconds back in third. Heat eight saw Daniel Simpson start near the
rear of the field but by lap three was chasing down Matt Nelson and
eventually taking the lead on lap eight only to lose it one lap later
to finish second to Nelson with Walters in third and only .6 seconds
seperating the top three. In one of the closest heats of the night
eleven seconds sperated the field of nine over the ten lap race.
Places changed constantly during the heat with the car of Leahy
taking the lead on lap two and the minor placings being decided by
lap six with the final placings Leahy, Cockerill and Burr setting the
scene for a barn burner of a final.
Twenty one cars lined up for the final and after the formalities of
driver presentations set off for 35 laps to determine the Victoria
#1. MDA 18 Jake Drewett got a holeshot on the field at the flag and
looked strong but was challenged on lap 8 by the MDA 72 of Martin
Hawson who took the lead. By lap twelve the cars of Matt Gerlach and
Russell Felsavory were infield followed one lap later Rachel Pratt,
Russel Bent and the reining Vic #1 Aiden Raymont followed shortly
after by Graham West all from contact. This left a wide open track
for the field to battle for the title. Leader Martin Hawson was also
involved while leading but continued on.
Lap 30 saw the car of Hawson leading Simpson, Chrystie, Cockerill and
Blackwell and all lapping within view of the chequered flag.
Dramatically coming out of turn four while being chased by Simpson,
Hawson pulled onto the infield to the shock of the crowd and Simpson
took the lead on lap 32 and would not be challenged from that point
to take first place and the title of Victorian Champion by four
seconds from Chrystie and Cockerill followed by Blackwell and Walters
for the podium. Seven seconds separated the top six finishers and
Simpson’s best lap was a 18.556 at 100.884 km/h.
Simpson now has the right to carry the Vic #1 on his car for the next
year and after not knowing two weeks before if he would even make the
field his win was a huge effort and brings the title back to
Victoria #1: Horsham’s
Daniel Simpson celebrates his win in the Victorian State Title at
Blue Ribbon Raceway. Photo Courtesy of Jamie Collins.
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.