Mills, Blencowe, Miles, Stuchbery, and Hutchinson win at Drouin Speedway
Ricky Mills from Traralgon has won his first-ever Wingless Sprint feature event on Saturday afternoon when he took down the Gippsland Wingless Sprint Series Round 1 at Drouin Speedway.
Mills was not the only big winner as the ‘Bunyip Bandit’ Jeff Blencowe once again won the ‘Sally Memorial’ for Standard Saloon’s in honour of Sally Walkinshaw.
Other winners on race day included Dette Miles in the Ladies Standard Saloon final and Beau Stuchbery from Bairnsdale in the Junior Standard Saloons and Arthur Hutchinson in the Junior 1200cc Sedans.
Seventeen Wingless Sprints competed in the first round of the six-round Gippsland series which will also visit Bairnsdale, Rosedale, and Nyora Speedway’s with Competitors mostly from Gippsland, Southeast Melbourne, and Eastern Suburbs areas.
Four qualifying heat races were held with Ricky Mills previously a state Division 2 Hot Rod champion winning the first and Dillon Seily from East Gippsland the second.
Into the second round of qualifying, Wayne Logue from Morwell and Kim Gosling were victorious.
Seily and Mills scored enough points to earn front-row starting positions for a twenty-five-lap feature event with Peter Logue, Gosling, Wayne Logue, Aron Lawrence, Thomas McDonald, Ben Hodge, Travis Evans from Bunyip, and Scott Irons from Drouin rounding out the top ten starters.
Early in the feature event Seily found himself in trouble and shuffled back into the field before later pulling out of the race altogether, Mills established a lead and started putting distance between himself however some early caution periods in the race brought him back to the pack each time.
The biggest drama was when a backmarker in the race played havoc with the leaders causing an incident that resulted in second, fourth, fifth, and sixth all spinning and stopping which meant by rules in place being sent to the rear of the field for the race restart.
Travis Evans spun in the next set of laps and then eclipsed Mills who was setting fast lap after fast lap with one of his own, the fastest lap of the day at 16.609s.
Mills however took the main prize winning his first-ever Wingless final in front of many people who had watched him for most of his career.
Mills defeated Thomas McDonald, Lawrence, Hodge, and newcomer driver Blaine Densley.
In the Standard Saloon feature event, the ‘Sally Memorial’ defending champion Shane Stewart returned to battle for the win against original event winner Jeff Blencowe, Mark Miles, Kacey Ingram, Andrew Miles, and others in a stout field.
Six qualifying races were run with Stewart starting his campaign to defend his previous season’s victory with a win in the first.
Blencowe then won the second.
Mark Miles then won the next and was the first competitor in the class to turn a lap at less than twenty seconds for the day, Simon Strang won the fourth heat.
Rounding out the qualifying Andrew Miles recorded a faster time than his brother Mark in winning the fifth heat before Blencowe won the last qualifying in an even faster time again at 19.760s.
With the qualifying for the race completed, Blencowe locked in top spot with Mark Miles alongside.
Chris Miles was next with Stewart, Jack Yeomans from Moe, Kacey Ingram from Warragul, Simon Strang, Leigh Gooding from Trafalgar East, Andrew Miles, and Justin Hutchins rounding out the first ten in a field of twenty-one starters.
A lap two crash spelt the end to chances for Chris Miles and Stephen Douglas and not long after Leigh Gooding and Ash Dean also exited the race with Blencowe out front and Mark Miles in pursuit.
Blencowe was pressured early in both stages of the two-segment race with which run’s ten laps each way with a change of direction occurring at the halfway point of the twenty-lap race.
In the second segment, Blencowe lowered his fast time of the day once again down to 19.725s before finishing off the race with a second victory in the ‘Sally Memorial’ in front of Mark Miles, Stewart, Ingram, and Andrew Miles.
The Junior 1200cc Sedans class included a rollover with Kiarna Barton as she exited turn four chasing the race leader Arthur Hutchinson. Further competition to Hutchinson in Bryce Leek had a tough race and Hutchinson who had won two of the three qualifiers went on to win the final from Braiden Webster of Wonthaggi, Holly Hutchinson, Dayne Murdoch, and Leek.
Hutchinson also recorded a lap time of 20.212s, the fastest for the class for the day.
Junior Standard Saloon racing finished with Beau Stuchbery getting victory over Nathan Miles from Catani. Stuchbery from East Gippsland took advantage of a Miles mistake and went on to win the final with Miles, Jack Braz, Bree Walker, and Cooper Joynson.
For consolation Miles set the fastest lap time of the day for the class of 19.806on his way to second spot.
Finally, to close wrap up the results, the Ladies Standard Saloon’s final got off to an interesting start when the top two qualifiers Maddi and Dette Miles were both relegated to rear of the field starts after swapping from the cars they qualified in due to damage.
Dette Miles made quick time of getting to the front however after an attempted passing move on Tasharni Murray caused Murray to spin, Miles was positioned behind Erin Mitchell at the next caution in second instead of the lead.
Dette Miles made a clean pass on Mitchell to re-take the front spot and went on to win the final from Mitchell, Murray, Stacey Sheedy, and Maddi Miles.
Drouin Speedway is set to return with more competition on December 11th.
Drouin Speedway Club acknowledge and thank these wonderful supporters.
Baw Baw Shire
Bunyip Tyre Service
Elite Cranes & Transport
Latrobe Waste & Recycling
Leigh & Anne Gooding
Melbourne IT Support
Norstar Steel Recyclers
Nar Goon Automotive
Old School Super Store
Railway Hotel Bunyip
Visual Signage Solutions
Written by Speedcafe contributor DMT Sports Media – Dean Thompson