Australian champion closes out season with Ironbark Classic victory

The Victorian Grand Prix Midget Club and its driver members finalised the season on Saturday the 27th of May with the ‘Oil Hydraulics Ironbark Classic’ battle at Rushworth Speedway, finishing the season at the top of the podium was Australia # 1 Trevor Perry who took the win ahead of Chris Fowler and Lisa Chalcraft.

Three qualifying heat races sorted out the order for the feature event with teams keen to consolidate their places in the Ballistics Performance Parts Masters Series point score. Every race counted for some to move up the points table.

With heat one Paul Perry (# 6 Phantom Stickers- Suzuki) and Trevor Perry started first and second ahead of the field with Chalcraft, Marty Job in for now what would be his last Grand Prix Midget drive, Mark Cecil, Dennis Myers, Fowler, David Bacon and Ash Brown (# 47 DMac Property Services – Yamaha).

The Australian Champ moved to the lead on lap one with his brother Paul in tow and Cecil the Victorian Champion in third place. Apart from Myers moving a head of Chalcraft (# 15 Oil Hydraulics – Suzuki) and into fourth there wasn’t a lot of movement through the field for the first half of the race.

Bacon was first of the runners to drop out breaking a chain and as the leaders began to lap cars Cecil dropped from third and out of the running after oil built up in his extractors. When the flag dropped bringing an end to heat one, Trevor Perry had secured top points with Paul Perry, Myers, Chalcraft and Job as the field lost both Fowler who also broke a chain and Brown who spun a bearing on the tenth lap ending his debut in the Louis Rodriguez owned race car.

For the second qualifier Cecil (# 7 Hydraulink Racing – Suzuki) was due to start on pole position with Myers. Cecil didn’t make the start breaking the wiring off the ignition system and not being able to fix it before the start of the second qualifier.

Myers and Fowler began at the front. Myers a local Shepparton legend and class legend to boot, led lap one with Trevor Perry, Fowler, Paul Perry and Bacon the order. Bacon (# 37 DB Kanga Hire & Cleaning – Yamaha) dropped out on lap two once again the chain causing problems and Trev Perry assumed the lead position on lap three.

Right through to lap ten Perry remained in control and picked up victory over Myers, Fowler, Paul Perry, Chalcraft and Job (# 147 Snooker Supplies – Suzuki).

Bacon and Job started at the front in the final qualifier with Fowler and Chalcraft then Myers, Trevor Perry and Paul Perry. Paul Perry didn’t get anywhere in the race and Trev Perry made short work of the competition when he moved to the front of the field on lap one with Chalcraft, Bacon, Myers, Job and Fowler chasing. Fowler finished infield as soon as he hit lap three, Myers (# 11 Super Balance Automotive Shepparton – Suzuki) picked off Bacon on lap three and moved ahead of Chalcraft on lap seven.

Trevor Perry took the win from Myers, Chalcraft and Job. Bacon for the third race in a row snapped the chain and didn’t finish, Paul Perry lost the magnet in the ignition system after it fell out and Fowler (# 13 RMG Signs – Suzuki) lost his steering as it came loose on the spline.

Finishing off the night the Oil Hydraulics Ironbark Classic feature race began with top qualifiers to the rear of the field from the available starters, this meant Bacon, Fowler started at the front of the field and Trev Perry at the back. Myers didn’t join the field as he lost his brakes in the third heat and had not been able to sort out the problem.

Again the # 1 car with Trev Perry (# 1 Perry Bros Chassis – Suzuki) at the wheel shot to the lead on lap one with Fowler spinning as he came off turn two after a light sprinkle of rain just prior to the feature race starting, Fowler continued on re-joining in fourth place as Chalcraft, Bacon and Fowler passed the flagman in second and third.

From lap six to lap eight, Fowler who had caught Chalcraft and Bacon engaged in battle with all three drivers putting on a great display for the crowd with nothing between them all.

It took until lap eight for any change in positions when Fowler moved from fourth to second as he moved under Bacon and then Chalcraft. On lap nine Bacon who had just been lapped by the leader after his front sprocket came off as he rolled across the start finish. Perry picked up the win over ten laps from Fowler and Chalcraft.

In his final race for the foreseeable future in a Grand Prix Midget, Job sheered bolts on the rear axle on the start and went straight to the infield. Paul Perry again lost the magnet in the ignition system when it fell out, mustn’t have been a very good magnet and a refund might be called for.

The season is now done with only the presentation night to come. Drivers are already working on a number of cars to join the field next season with possibly three or four new racers to join the group.

Perry rounded out the season by securing the Ballistics Performance Parts Masters series from Chalcraft and Jason Crawford.