Great opening night at Rushworth to get speedway season underway
Rushworth Speedway got underway with a great opening meeting where amongst local action there was some new winners and popular moments through the night complimented by the visiting classes action which included in one feature race a dead heat for third!
Popular class the GV Open Saloons would pit Lamb vs. Box, which was a big battle last season, however this time it would be Paul Lamb against Adam Box instead of the usual Phil Lamb and that didn’t change much though, as Paul stepped out in heat one and took a huge 18 second win over Mark Bergman setting the fastest one lap time of the night for the class at 18.371.
Box came back in heat two and three to take wins ahead of Stephen Hopkins. It seems that Box and then Lamb were having their own problems during heat racing with both drivers missing or not finishing races.
Both Box and Lamb were keen and ready to go in the final and it would be Box, who started the strongest leading until lap three. Problems for Box meant he exited the race and handed the lead over to Lamb from lap four. Lamb would never be headed from there and went on to defeat Hopkins, Braiden Simmonds, Bergman and Thomas Conboy.
AMCA Nationals have their Australia title in Victoria this season and with that to look forward to the competitors are trying to get as much racing and development in early in the season before that happens.
Six heat races took place with Keenan Casey the stand out in the heats picking up two wins. Allan and then Grant Cullinger won the opening two heats races, Grant by the closest margin of .538 over Darren Hossack.
Casey won his first race in the third heat before Paul Sullivan won the fourth heat. It took until the fifth heat before Dean Heseltine finally had the lap scorers jotting his name in position one and he was quick on his way to the win with a one lap time of 18.885, Casey closed out the qualifying with a win in the last heat.
The victory in the final round of heats was all Heseltine needed to move into the final with confidence as he motored on to a win from Grant Cullinger. An extraordinary dead heat was declared for third place between Neale Peachey and Paul Sullivan. Keenan Casey and Darren Hossack were next.
Felicity Roycroft and Kelly Lamb would be new combatants at front of the Ladies Saloons with Felicity Roycroft taking a win in the first heat over Lamb before Lamb took wins in the next two heats.
Lamb got faster and faster each race and in the final set a 21.060 lap time on her way to the closest of finishes over Roycroft. The margin was .737 with Chelsea Hodge in third and Pauline Martin fourth.
Club Production Sedan Champion Wayne O’Keefe continued on with his recent dominance in the class right from heat one, however the most popular win of the night came in heat three when Warren Alexander picked up a win much to the delight of the regular members of the crowd.
O’Keefe won heat one and two, the second victory was by just .716 of a second, however not to be out done, Alexander won the third by a even smaller margin of .299, the unfortunate second placed finisher in all three heats was Ian Wilson.
In the feature race, O’Keefe led every lap of the race O’Keefe and only just managed to hold off a hard and fast Leigh Jeffery by .404 of a second. Troy Britton, Dale Smith and Chris Woeltjes completed the top five. Jeffery took out some consolation in finishing second, recording a one lap time of 19.964 along the way for the fastest time of the night for a Production Sedan.
Marsh Modified Sedans also visited the venue with a number of new competitors in the class and the usual Knight family clan that has four family members competing against each other.
Greg Knight began the night in fine fashion taking a win in the first heat race with Cameron Impey setting the fastest one lap time as he chased and finished just .943 behind the winner.
Impey would go one better in heat two when he took the win over the current Victorian Champion David Parker. Impey also set a fast one lap time for the class of 20.671 during the race. Jonathon Knight then won heat three by just .561; however that would not be the closest finish of the night, that came in the next race.
Impey and Parker started the final from the front of the field with Jonathon Knight behind them. Knight made short work of getting to the front with Parker not getting past one lap. Knight led every lap to win from Tim Knight, Impey, Rob Colquhuon and Stewart Knight by .039.
Lachie Fitzpatrick the Junior Sedan Champion of the Goulburn Valley Auto Club, won all races in the opening night of the season with a best one lap time being recorded in the feature race of 20.016. After three heat race wins, Fitzpatrick won the final by six seconds from Tristan McGraw, Daniel Smith, Luke Cecil and Jordan Simmonds.
Rushworth returns to action on November the 11th.