Rushworth Speedway re-starts with an Australian title event
At Rushworth Speedway on Saturday night a Goulburn Valley local, Mark Cecil was crowned Australian Grand Prix Midget Champion when he claimed the top honour in the class for the first time in his career racing for Trevor Perry, from the Perry family no strangers to success at Rushworth.
On the same programme Jay Nicolaisen won the final in Sports Sedans, Daniel Wilson in Goulburn Valley Open Sedans, Warren Alexander in Goulburn Valley Productions, Connor Claridge in Goulburn Valley Juniors and Belinda Chalcraft in the Goulburn Valley Ladies Sedans.
Six qualifying races sorted out the starting positions for the title race for Grand Prix Midgets with Gary Bowyer from Sydney, Mark Cecil twice, Ashley Booker twice and Rod Saville the defending Australian champion sharing the race wins.
A twenty-lap title event to determine the national champion then lined-up with Booker< Cecil, Rod Saville, Bowyer and Mark Blackeby the top six. The local hero Cecil lead the race from the drop of the green flag with Booker passed soon after the opening lap by Saville. Steve Bennett from New South Wales was the first driver to exit the race, whilst Tim Goss in former national champion Paul Perry’s race car and top six qualifier Blackeby were others to succumb to issues with their cars.
Cecil a popular local, finished just over a second in front of Saville in an almost successful defence of his own championship, with Booker in third, Janelle Saville (Rod’s daughter) in fourth and Alex Myers a Shepparton based racer completing the top five podium.
In Sports Sedan racing if your first name did not begin with the letter ‘J’ it seemed you were no chance. Jamie Lock won all three of his qualifying race events whilst Jaiden McCann, Jaidyn Dredge and Jay Nicolaisen won the other three. The track came to the cars as the night progressed with the fastest of the class’s times in heat five of the night to Jamie Lock in an XF Falcon.
Lock then locked in on a feature race victory and set off from the green light with McCann and Nicolaisen chasing. Victorian Champion Jamie Paull was a non-finisher and visiting Ballarat driver Lucas Conder got in amongst the local contingent of Bendigo and Goulburn Valley racers. Nicolaisen took the lead from lap nine and he went on to win a lap later from Lock, McCann, Conder and Dredge.
Daniel Wilson won all three race starts in the Goulburn Valley Opens whom competed with Ladies Sedan racers amongst the field running for Opens and Ladies points. In the feature event Wilson went on to defeat Belinda Chalcraft, Troy Britton, Matt Smith, and Bevan Hutchins all on the lead lap. A clean sweep of the night for Wilson. In the Ladies Sedans overall for the night Chalcraft was too strong for Jessica Kettels and Nicole Gapes.
After winning all three qualifiers in the Goulburn Valley Productions, things did not go according to plan for Jason Ahearn in the final. Warren Alexander a popular long-time racer and member went on to take the feature race win from Jye Sanders, Ahearn and Lachlan Hamilton with no other finishers.
Rounding out all the results Connor Claridge finished top point scorer in the Junior Sedans with Keiden Britton runner up, Jack Houlahan and Tyler Claridge rounding out the results.
The next race date at Rushworth Speedway is scheduled for the 10th of April.
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