Fowler wins the Ironbark Classic at Rushworth Speedway
The Victorian Grand Prix Midget Racing Associations latest ‘Stinger Chassis’ Masters Series event was held at Rushworth Speedway where competition was sensational in the hunt for the win in the ‘Ironbark Classic’. The drivers were sensational with damaged cars making it infield without caution periods being required of any race.
Members of the club are chuffed at the standard of racing, with some suggesting it is the best standard of racing they have seen for quite some time with a number of developing drivers getting faster and making it harder for the top guns, whilst the top drivers themselves put on fast clean side by side racing. Chris Fowler would be the eventual winner from Ash Booker and Terry Brown.
Three heat races determined the qualification points before the fifteen-lap feature event field was determined.
On a very greasy track to start with in order to help the track through the night maintain its condition, Jack Ward (#4 – Anskaitis Chassis – R1 Yamaha) was supposed to begin in pole position, however he pulled in during some hot laps with an issue and Terry Brown took the pole spot. Starting from the outside front row, Paul Perry would lead the first lap of the race back past the Steward with Brown, Shawn Ward (#44 – Shawn Ward – de Dion Chassis – R1 Yamaha), Chris Fowler, and Ash Booker chasing. Ward moved into second on lap three whilst on lap four Fowler moved into third as Alex Gouveia back behind him lost his brakes and pulled infield.
By lap five Perry still led from Perry and Shawn Ward as Brown’s brakes locked on a couple laps later as the field headed towards the last laps. Perry took a strong win in front of Shawn Ward, Fowler who started from sixth spot, Booker who started from eight spot, Anthony Lea, Janelle Saville, Mark Blackeby (#10 – Stinger Chassis – R1 Yamaha), Daniel Meredith, and Alex Hudson-Myers.
Fowler began on pole in heat two with Meredith outside of him and Booker and Lea from New South Wales on the second row. Lea got a tremendous start taking the lead as he and Booker passed Fowler and Meredith. Hudson-Myers moved to fourth behind Fowler and Brown in fifth on lap one. Lea would lose his lead coming to a crashing halt as he connected with the back straight wall after bouncing through a rut through turn two and broke his drive chain around lap six. Booker took control of the race from Fowler. At the end of ten laps Booker had won from Fowler, Hudson-Myers, Brown, Shawn Ward, Perry, Meredith, Saville, Blackeby and Gouveia whilst Jack Ward broke his rear drive at the end of the race.
The final qualifying heat race began with Hudson-Myers and Saville at the front of the field and New South Wales visitor Saville would take advantage of that to lead from Shawn Ward who had a terrific start from fourth spot. Brown moved into third on a night his car stayed strong with Perry and Hudson-Myers the top five at the end of lap one. Brown moved into second by lap two and the lead by lap three and on lap five led Booker, Saville, Perry, and Shawn Ward whilst Lea headed infield with engine damage.
On lap nine Booker moved to the race lead and led the field the next lap passed the chequered flag with Brown, Saville, Perry (#33 – Paul Perry Chassis – Kawasaki ZX12), Fowler, Shawn Ward, Hudson-Myers, Blackeby, Meredith (#8 – Stinger Chassis – Suzuki GSXR 1000) and Gouveia all finishing in that order.
Lining up for the Ironbark Classic the order was Lea, Meredith, Blackeby, Brown, Hudson-Myers, Saville, Shawn Ward, Fowler, Booker and Gouveia (#32 – Stinger Chassis – Suzuki GSX 1100).
After a spin by Shawn Ward on the start, Lea got the best start and lead Meredith, Brown, Saville, and Hudson-Myers (#11 – PBR Chassis – GSXR 1000). On lap two from the rear of the field Booker was into fifth spot already with Fowler in seventh. Five laps into the race and Lea led Brown (#88 – Stinger Chassis – R1 Yamaha), Saville, Booker, and Fowler before Fowler passed Booker on the very next lap.
Fowler on a charge with Booker (#50 – HMJ Chassis – R1 Yamaha) chasing him was where the interest was at, and Fowler moved into fourth by lap six and third by lap eight and second by lap nine with Booker following him as he moved forward. The laps between seven and twelve you were so close with cars swapping highline to low line trying to find their way past each other. On lap ten Fowler took control of the lead with five laps to go leading Brown, Booker, Lea, and Saville (#2 – PBR Chassis – Kawasaki ZX12) before Booker moved into second on lap eleven.
At the end of fifteen sensational laps, Fowler (#13 -HMJ Chassis – Yamaha R1) took the win from Booker, Brown, Saville, Blackeby, Gouveia and Shawn Ward with Lea (#N7 – PBR Chassis – Kawasaki ZX10R) pulling infield on the final lap with a rectifier issue ending his race as a non-finisher.
VGPMA sponsors this season include;
Super Balance Automotive
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Written by Speedcafe contributor DMT Sports Media – Dean Thompson