FIRST EVER SPRINTCAR WIN TO SIELY, WHILST MITCHELL, INGRAM, STEWART WIN ALSO
Boxing night entertainment at Bairnsdale Speedway thrilled fans with some big crashes, fast racing, first time winners and records all part of a great time at the dirt track. Bairnsdale member Dillon Siely won his first ever Sprintcar final taking advantage of two drivers ahead of him running wide as they battled each other through the final corners, Leigh Mitchell set a fifteen-lap record in Division 2 Hot Rods on his way to victory, Victorian champion Damon Ingram set new records in Junior Standard Saloons as he won and Daniel Stewart claimed a great victory in a tough field of Standard Saloons at the home of this years Victorian title for the class.
In the Sprintcars Siely won the first qualifier of the night leading all ten laps on his way to the chequered flag. David McKay then won the fastest of the nights heat races next up and set the fastest one lap speed of the night. Shane Steenholdt and then Peter Laity both won qualifiers in round two.
A twenty-lap final rounded out the evening with Steenholdt from the pole position leading McKay, Bastian, Laity, Noonan and Siely at the start line. Siely was the first mover from the front of the field moving forward two spots quickly after the green flag dropped. Just past half way Laity dropped out of the lead bunch and mechanical issues took what looked like a sure race victory from Steenholdt who had led for seventeen laps and handed that to McKay. Bastian briefly got a nose in front of McKay who quickly wrested the lead back before McKay and Bastian ran wide on lap twenty in turn three and four and Siely who was right behind them ducked down low and sped to the line from turn four to take the win.
Siely was over the moon with his first ever Sprintcar win. “I am over the moon. We worked hard to be in contention, and we were closing towards the end there and we were in the right place at the right time which is part of the racing game anyways.” Shared Siely.
Standard Saloon racing seen thirty-five race drivers arrive to compete in three qualifiers per round for three rounds. Veteran racer Leigh Gooding won the first by less than half a second over one of the new guard, Kacey Ingram. In the second, the new guard in Jack Yeomans defeated his father Col to win. Matt Davis, Bradley Hill, Jeff Blencowe, Gooding a second time, Jacob Vuillermin, Josh Thomas and eventually Kacey Ingram who set a new ten lap record for the class, were all winners to qualifier for the twenty-lap final.
Ingram, Gooding, Vuillermin, Blencowe, Daniel Stewart and Hill were the top six qualifiers and when the green flag sent the field racing Traralgon lad Vuillermin took the lead on the first lap in front of Ingram and Stewart. By lap seven Vuillermin was still leading Dan Stewart, Hill, Shane Stewart, and Ingram.
Daniel Stewart assumed the lead from lap thirteen and from there despite Vuillermin’s attempts as he set a one lap record during the race, Stewart held a strong position at the front and won at the line by .442 of a second with Hill in third then Shane Stewart and Ingram.
Future heroes of the sport competed in the Junior Standard Saloons over three heat races with Damon Ingram from Warragul winning all three qualifiers with a new track one lap record. Ingram started the feature race with Blake Smith, Hunter Carey, Beau Stuchbery and Harry Cecil in the top five spots. Carey was quick to move into second at the start of the race whilst Smith was the first of the fancied racers to drop out of the race with car issues. The fifteen-lap final finished with Ingram almost ten seconds ahead of Carey, Cecil, Stuchbery and Deon Fyfe rounding out the top five.
Division 2 Hot Rod competition was competitive also with Troy Hutchison winning the first heat race by just .241 of a second. Things got even closer in the second with Trent Wilson winning by .177 of a second. Leigh Mitchell finishing in second in both of those races. Just when you think things could not finish any closer the third heat race saw Mitchell the winner by just .093 of a second. Incredible stuff by the Division 2 Hot Rods.
Mitchell qualified as the pole sitter and in the final, he led Hutchison, Wilson, Bobby Devine, and Rob Tatterson all the way to a new fifteen lap track record for the class on his way to winning the final.
Records set on race night
Division 2 Hot Rods 15 Laps – Leigh Mitchell 5:16.061
Standard Saloons 1 Lap – Jacob Vuillermin 18.945
Standard Saloons 10 Laps – Kacey Ingram 3:20.191
Junior Standard Saloons 1 Lap – Damon Ingram 19.443
Bairnsdale Speedway will next run on January 8th with the Limited Sportsman Victorian title, Dirt Modifieds, Junior Standard Saloon feature, Ladies Standard Saloons and Standard Saloons.
Bairnsdale Speedway Association thank all their valued supporters;
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Media release written by Speedcafe contributor DMT Sports Media – Dean Thompson