The new Speedway season in Bairnsdale has begun and drivers from within the township featured in two of the feature victories with Shane Steenholdt and Josh Thomas both Bairnsdale locals winning the Sprintcars and the Standard Saloon feature events. Club member Darren Adam’s travelled up from Corinella to win the Limited Sportsman whilst Blake Smith won the Junior Standard Saloon ‘Boost 2 Drive Drouin’ final.
Eighteen Sprintcars were on hand for action with Victorian Sprintcar Association points up for grabs. The drivers were drawn into two heats each with four heats in total being held to determine a top six for a shootout and the rest of the field qualifying for positions seven to eighteen for the final.
Michael Evans won the first qualifying race in front of Adam Greenwood with a margin of .477 at the finish line, Steenholdt then won heat two of the night. Alistair Bastian took victory in heat three of the night with new member of the association David McKay picking up victory in the final qualifier.
A twenty five lap final finished off the night for the Sprintcars and Steenholdt the associations champion driver from the most recent season, took a great win as he negotiated the traffic when the field reached those at the tail of the field a little easier than the chasers trying to catch him. Dillon Siely finished second with McKay third and then Greenwood and Dave Dennison after a veteran passing move late in race elevated him into the top five.
A great field of Standard Saloons competed in the Bairnsdale 400 feature event with six qualifying heats held to determine the feature event starting line-up. Leigh Gooding was the first winner of the night after starting in fifth in race one. Club Standard Saloon champion Josh Thomas then went one better moving from sixth to victory in the very next race.
Patrick Farry equalled the performance of Thomas doing the same in the next heat race whilst Gooding had the race shot to pieces before spinning himself out of contention and to the back of the field allowing Farry to take the win. Thomas won his second race from pole position becoming the first driver to do so for the Standard Saloons in the racing to this point, then Tahlia Campbell did exactly the same in the very next race followed by Gordon Russell in the final heat race also winning from the front.
In the twenty-lap feature event, Farry got the better start from the front row with Thomas having to settle in behind him. Kane Gibson, Russell, Scotty Roberts and Leigh Gooding were the chasing pack behind the leaders who skipped out a little bit. It took until lap eleven for Thomas to hit the front of the race and he went on from there to take the win from Russell, Farry, Roberts and Gooding to complete the top five.
In Limited Sportsman action, Darren Adams the current Victoria two and the state champion Lindsay Trotter were the two main protagonists and come feature time after Trotter barely scrapped in to the line-up having spent the better part of and ninety minutes trying to fix his car after heat three damage. Adams would get the better of the champion on this occasion, winning from Trotter, Jason Hurley and Bret Maxwell.
In Junior Standard Saloon action Jack Yeomans and Blake Smith traded blows during the qualifying with two wins to Yeomans and one to Smith before they began their final. Yeomans had the lead in the ten-lap final with Smith trying everything he could to find a spot to pass. On lap seven Smith made his move, took the lead after a small amount of contact for which the Steward deemed did not impede the Yeomans and went on to take a win. Nathalya Westwood finished in third with Beau Stuchbery in fourth place. All the drivers received prize packs organised by Boost 2 Drive Drouin a new club supporter at Bairnsdale.
Bairnsdale Speedway return on Boxing night December 26th with Sprintcars, Super Sedan’s and Wingless Sprintcars amongst the feature events bringing race fans some Christmas cheer.
Bairnsdale Speedway Club thanks this seasons club Sponsors
Assist ‘A’ Lift
Dennison Quality Roofing
Great Southern Kitchens
M & S Laity Hay Contractors
Mitchell Valley Excavations
Office Choice – Bairnsdale
Phase Link Electrics
TRFM & Gold 1242
W.G.I Earthmoving & Heavy Haulage
Zack’s Firewood Services
Tim Bull MP – Member for Gippsland East