Pearson the Late Model star and Uprichard gets bragging rights before title
Rushworth Speedway played host to the Late Model Sedans and the Division 2 Hot Rods on Saturday the 9th of December and both divisions did not disappoint with new track records from the Late Model Sedans firing up the crowd and fast racing from the Division 2 Hot Rods impressing the locals.
The crowd had come to hear and see the big Late Model Sedans roar around Rushworth Speedway and leading up to race day the Late Model Association had been talking up a new track record and organising a little cash bonus for drivers to try and smash the previous best time.
It didn’t take long for that to happen with the current leading driver in the Victorian scene Cameron Pearson slapping down a 16.012 lap time in hot laps! Hot laps is traditionally just a shake down for the car, where drivers make sure everything feels right, they test their entries and exits on the track and keep an eye on where the bumps are, however Pearson was in the zone right out of the blocks as he and two other drivers beat the old track record.
An official time trial session also seen drivers beat the old record prior to the start of the meeting with five drivers also below the 17 second bracket in the trials, Pearson, Wade Carter from New South Wales, Chevvy Edwards, Brett Watson a Queenslander and David Cassidy all on song before the heat racing began.
Pearson then won the front of field start in heat one before New Zealand woman Kristin Vermeulen took a win in heat two with Pearson managing to move to around halfway through the pack from the rear of the field.
Come feature time, Pearson proved to be to strong beating pole qualifying driver Edwards off the line and never looking back over the twenty five lap journey. Pearson took the win from South Australian Steve Vaughan, Carter, Edwards and Vermeulen.
The visiting Division 2 Hot Rods were small in numbers due where the majority of drivers come from, which happens to be from Morwell upwards to Bairnsdale in Gippsland. However the racing was first class with Toby Callanan and Scott Laidlaw in the heat races throwing everything except the kitchen sink at each other. Callanan won heat one and two with a 19.458 lap time in the first race quicker than the Open Sedans.
Laidlaw then won heat three to follow up two second places in the first two before everything unravelled in the final with Shane Uprichard securing bragging rights with a big win over Jordan Haley, Laidlaw, Rob Tatterson and Jason Seymour whilst qualifying top gun Callanan didn’t start the final. Uprichard now has a win on the track the Victorian Division 2 Hot Rod title will be held on after Christmas.
Moving into the local Goulburn Valley classes the Open Sedans had a new driver step up to do battle at the front of the field. Former club junior sedan racer Thomas Conboy laid down the challenge on Paul Lamb when he won the first of three qualifying heat races, whilst Lamb was the fastest on lap times. Lamb then went on to win the next two races before taking the win in the final from Conboy, Garry Gapes, Brad Simmonds and Mark Bergman.
Conboy was the standout although he didn’t win the race, finishing with a win and two seconds in the heats and a second in the final in his best performance so far in the Opens, Lambs best one lap time for the class was 19.651 in heat one.
In the Ladies racing Chloe Lamb was unbeatable despite the return of Belinda Chalcraft. Lamb won all three of the heat races setting a best one lap time along the way of 20.039 before she won the final from Chalcraft, Kelly Lamb, Felicity Roycroft and Chelsea Hodge.
Troy Britton began the night well for the Production Sedans with a win in the first heat against stiff competition and then it was all Shane Hutchins from there. Hutchins ran a fast lap of 19.936 in the second heat on his way to a win before he won the final qualifying heat and then the feature race from Britton, Ian Wilson, Leigh Jeffrey and Troy Gahan.
Tristan McGraw picked up a win in the Junior Sedans first heat race over the bench mark driver Lachie Fitzpatrick. The club champion driver Fitzpatrick then won the next two races and the feature race where Josh Cecil, McGraw, Daniel Smith and Luke Cecil finished behind him. In heat racing Fitzpatrick’s best one lap time was 20.113
Rushworth Speedway returns to action on January the 13th with the Grand Prix Midgets and 3 Litre Sedans competing in feature events whilst the Paul Benton Memorial highlights the night for the Goulburn Valley Auto Club Open and Production Sedan classes. Ladies and Juniors of course will provide added entertainment for everybody.
The Goulburn Valley Auto Club would like to thank the following supporters:
Super Balance Automotive –Shepparton
WG Panels – Rochester
Provac Poultry Services – Bendigo
Bourke Fencing – Bendigo
Kyabram Motor Wreckers – Kyabram
The Rushworth Hotel – Rushworth
Kyabram Bearings – Kyabram
Marty Turpin Mechanical – Tatura
Ipta Fibreglass – Geelong
Ross Adams Cartage Contractor – Rochester
Rushworth Bakery – Rushworth
Maxam Printing – Shepparton
Pearce Concrete – Golden Square
Michel Signs – Shepparton
Sonaray Lighting – Melbourne
The McIvor – Bendigo
Superior Concrete & Construction – Bendigo
A1 Water Supplies – Tatura