O’Keeffe Wins Victorian Formula 500 Title

Spectators were treated to two nights of high speed action, rollovers and heavy hits at Blue Ribbon Raceway on the weekend as 35 Formula 500 drivers hit the track to fight it out for the Victorian Title.

Saturday nights racing saw two Queenslanders as the stand outs in the Formula 500’s. Queensland 1 Charlie Brown and Q13 Brock Hallet loved the fast track at Horsham and featured heavily on the podium all night. Australia 1 Liam Williams was also strong in all his heats.

The B main was marred by a heavy crash which took out 5 cars and was won by SA29 Grant Stanfield from V53 Jess Moulden and V91 Steven Horton. These three plus a few others qualified to run in the A main event. Local driver Ash Hicks had no luck spinning out and eventually pulling out of the race.

Horsham’s Jeremy Beddison qualified 9th for the A main and finished in the same position. Q1 Brown and Q13 Hallet started from the pole in the A Main with A1 Williams starting out of position 8. Brown led virtually all the way and was only headed for a short time near the end of the race by V55 Jye O’Keeffe but regained the lead to win from O’Keeffe and Williams 3rd.

Sunday nights racing saw Saturday nights A Main winner and defending champion Charlie Brown out with a blown engine and it was Jye O’Keeffe who took the honours, making easy work of lapped traffic on the slick and super-fast track. Chad Sullivan finished 2nd, Brock Hallet 3rd and Australian Champion Liam Williams managed a 4th in the final. Local driver Jeremy Beddison started off 9th in the final and finished 12th.
Limited Sportsman contested the Les McMaster Memorial. The Aston family listed three names for this event including Victoria 1 Joe Aston and they all did extremely well with opposition from a very consistent Mark Rizzoli and the eventual winner of the final Hamilton’s Craig “Bones” Ansell. Joe Aston started from poll in the 20 lap final with Rizzoli beside him and Ansell just behind him. The three had a ding dong battle for the whole 20 laps but it was Ansell who came home the winner from Rizzoli and Joe Aston 3rd.

The Junior 1200cc cars were very entertaining with some very close finishes. Visiting Avalon brothers Brooke and Josh Buckingham were hotly contested by South Australian Jayden Edwards and V32 Dion Bellman. Sundays racing saw Buckingham boys continue their good form coming home first and second in the final. Brooke having his first ever feature win from Josh with Dion Bellman finishing 3rd.

The ASCF sedans also saw some very close racing with Ross Burrows, Graham Gerlach, Dan Watson and Steve Hately taking out the placing’s. Watson won the second race but had problems in the other two races. Ross Burrows won the first heat of Sundays racing In the ASCF Sedans but badly damaged suspension meant his weekend was over.

The Micro Sprints were small in numbers with Aus1 Graham Porter having big problems pulling out in the first race and unable to complete another race for the night. V14 Andrew Baker after pulling out of the first race won the other two, V26 Wes Makin won the first heat and gained 2nd placing in the other two heats and V7 Kristie McLean was a sent to the back of the field before pulling out of the first race but settled down in the second two heats to get two thirds. Sunday saw the Micro Sprints heat wins shared between Kristy McLean, Andrew Baker, West Makin and A1 Graham Porter. West Makin stormed away in the final to take the win from Baker and Porter third.

Race fans will not have long to wait until Blue Ribbon Raceway fires up with another dose of sideways action. On Saturday 24th of March it will host the Formula 500 Stampede Series and V8 dirt Modifieds with support from V8 Trucks, Street Stocks, Ladies, 3 Litres & 1200 Juniors.