After experiencing numerous challenges during last Sunday night’s Queensland Wingless Sprint Title at Maryborough Speedway, Cody O’Connell and the entire O’Connell Racing team couldn’t have been happier to come away with a well-deserved runner-up finish.
With double the cars comes double the potential for issues, which is a fact that the O’Connell Racing team became more than familiar with during the Queensland Title event, with Cody’s younger brother Casey having now stepped into the class after graduating from Junior Sedans.
However, while this forced the team to work double time as they attempted to keep on top of the busy schedule, these challenges seemed to be confined to Casey’s Qld # 48 Tranzmile – Wacol supported Wingless Sprint, with Cody hitting the ground running aboard his brand-new Qld # 49 Tranzmile – Wacol backed Cool car.
Backing up last season’s Queensland Title runner-up finish, which he achieved the hard way after coming from the rear of the field, a win, a second and a third-place finish in his heat races saw Cody line up on the inside of the second row for the 30-lap feature race. Initially slotting into third place, the 19-year-old eventually managed to pip Dan Moes for second place to maintain his mantle as Queensland # 2.
Unfortunately for Casey, the dramas began from the outset during what was only his fourth outing with the class, with the team and eventually identifying a crack between his cylinders, causing water to flow freely out of the spark plug hole. With no time for thorough repairs, the team, with the assistance of Casey’s fellow racers Michael Butcher and Josh Dreaver, was forced to manage the issue as best they could throughout the night.
Not letting these issues dishearten him, Casey did extremely well to steer his ailing car, impressively picking up a pair of thirds and a win during his heat races to qualify in fourth alongside his brother for the feature race. Knowing that his car would likely not be able to make it to the end of the race, Casey retired to the infield on the opening lap following some slight contact with his big brother off the starting line.
While it wasn’t quite the way the 16-year-old driver hoped to close his Queensland Title campaign, being able to not only qualify for the feature race but do so alongside Cody on the second row was a huge boost for his confidence and a testament to the team, who were able to celebrate both of the brothers’ achievements.
“I would have loved to gone one better this time around, but overall I’m really pleased with second place and the consistency we had throughout the whole night,” commented Cody, a resident of Tivoli, Queensland.
“I’ve only ever raced against Casey for a small stint back in Junior Sedans so to be able to do that again, especially in a race as important as the Queensland Title, was pretty special and he did an amazing job to qualify that close to the front of the field this early in his Wingless Sprint career.
“It’s been a massive team effort to get both cars ready for the title and we had a lot of help from others as well. It’s definitely exciting to both be able to race at one track and at the same meetings, so we’re looking forward to more of that next season.”
For their next appearance, the O’Connell brothers will head to Brisbane’s Archerfield Speedway this Saturday night for the final round of the Ian Boettcher Race Parts Super Series, which will be run in conjunction with the 50 Lapper. Cody is currently leading the three-way battle for the overall Ian Boettcher Race Parts Super Series point standings and he’ll be hoping to consolidate his position to wrap up the series.
Cody and Casey would like to thank the following 2018-19 season sponsors for their valued support: Tranzmile – Wacol, Darra Mechanical, O’Connell Smash Repairs, ATL Graphix, B&B Garage, Pirtek – Wacol, Bundamba Auto Wreckers, Col’s Fibreglass, Plus Fitness North Ipswich, and Goodenough Cakes.
Special thanks go to their mum and dad Annette and Adrian, nana and pop Spence, nana and pop O’Connell, and Cody’s girlfriend Bek.
To find out more about O’Connell and his team, LIKE them on Facebook by searching Team CC/O’Connell Racing or on Instagram by searching O’Connell Racing.