With government-imposed restrictions on how many spectators Bairnsdale Speedway Club could fit into their venue under Covid safe protocols, the club were able to fill the house and lock the gates as all in attendance witnessed some terrific motorsport on Saturday night. Bairnsdale man Shane Steenholdt won the Sprintcars, Warrick Taylor the Unlimited Sedans, Tracey Ingram the Ladies Standard Saloons, her son Damon Ingram the Junior Standard Saloons and Andrew Cormack a Bairnsdale club member won the Standard Saloons.
Sprintcar action competitors ran four qualifying races before the feature event got underway with Justin Barton, Steenholdt twice and Mark Noonan all winning qualifying races. Steenholdt then nailed the feature race start as he, and Barton zipped in and out and around and under their competitor’s race vehicles as they passed them on track with a late race attempt to take the lead by Barton being thwarted in traffic as Steenholdt secured the feature event win. Noonan finished third with David McKay and Andrew Nielson rounding out the top five finishers.
Ladies Standard Saloon racing supported by Curtis Engineering held a 20 Lap Switch feature race for the first time at Bairnsdale with Tracey Ingram from Warragul the star amongst the entrants list.
Ingram secured two wins in the three qualifiers with Felicity Roycroft who had flown in from Rockhampton securing a win in the third. The two Ladies then continued their night long competition with Ingram two strong in the final event winning from Roycroft, Sarah Price, Mel Tatterson and Natasha Curtis a local Bairnsdale woman.
Junior Standard Saloons competed in one of two Boost 2 Drive driving school supported event feature nights they will have this season at Bairnsdale with a number of the racers coming from South East Melbourne, South and West Gippsland and even one from Colac. Following the example of his mum, Damon Ingram also won two qualifiers on his way into the feature event with Owen Cecil, Blake Smith, Bairnsdale’s Beau Stuchbery and Jack Yeomans.
Ingram and Yeomans had been competing hard and fair through the qualifiers and this continued into the feature race. Whilst Owen Cecil tried to chase them down, Ingram managed to stay ahead of Yeomans and lead the three to the finish line in the final. Smith finished fourth with Hunter Carey the fifth spot finisher.
The Unlimited Sedans were competing in a series points round as a lead in to the Victorian title that will be held at the same venue. Victorian champion Taylor claimed victory in all three of the qualifier events he raced whilst Sale based racer Johnny Young won the other, not before a lap one crash in turn one resulted in four cars exiting the race requiring repairs. Taylor then stormed to a strong win in the feature event in his machine, from Trent Susol, Lennie Bonnici, Daniel Unternahrer and Daniel Angus.
Standard Saloons were the last of the five categories of racing on night one of the season and across six heat races Leigh Gooding who won the first and did not compete again due to mechanical issues for the rest of the night, Chris Miles, Kacey Ingram, Col Yeomans twice and Josh Thomas were declared winners. Thomas in the most unusual manner was a winner without turning a lap in his victory as numerous attempts to have the field correctly line-up to start led to the race being canned.
The feature event itself had crashes including a hard one for Thomas who broke his car and was winded himself personally, as his wrap around seat squeezed him tight, it had penalties such as Kacey Ingram being deemed the cause of spinning Yeomans. It had Yeomans and Chris Miles sent to the rear of the race for a double spin for both drivers whilst at the front of the field. Finally, it had Yeomans coping the wrath of the steward as he and Miles came through the field towards the front once more, Yeomans was deemed to have made deliberate contact with Miles and black flagged from the race. Eventually Andrew Cormack one of eight Cormack’s racing on the night, winning over Anthony Sgroi, Miles, Leigh Mitchell and Clinton Geer.
The race meeting was a huge success for Bairnsdale after having their last event pre Covid 2020. Bairnsdale will return to action on January the 30th now, with Limited Sportsman, Wingless Sprints and Hot Rods all part of the action.
Bairnsdale Speedway Club wish to thank all their valued supporters;
A1 Septic Tanks
A1 Yard Maintenance
Assist A Lift Bairnsdale
Bairnsdale Automotive & Transmissions
Bairnsdale Scrap Metal
Boost 2 Drive
Bridgestone Bairnsdale Riviera Tyre Service
Craig Riseley Plumbing
Dennison Quality Roofing
East Gippsland Hire
East Gippsland Locks & Keys
Farm Fodder Direct
Granite Rock Quarries
Great Southern Kitchens
M & S Laity Hay Contractors
Mitchell Valley Excavations
Phase Link Electrics
SS Auto Wholesalers
Tim Bull MP – Member for Gippsland East
TRFM & Gold 1242
Wayne Trinder Plumbing & Gasfitting
W.G.I Earthmoving & Heavy Haulage