Saville wins Grand Prix Midget Ironbark Classic at Rushworth Speedway
The Victorian Grand Prix Midget Association headed into one of their long time supporting venues, the Goulburn Valley based Rushworth Speedway for the annual ‘Ironbark Classic’ with ten drivers keen to drive away with the nights victory, including the visiting Janelle Saville from the Goulburn area of New South Wales and popular home track racer Alex Myers amongst the entrants.
With the Victorian title three weeks away getting some much needed laps and development into the race drivers and race cars was another focus for the entrants above winning one of the clubs ‘Blue Ribbon’ events.
With three heats of racing ahead of competitors to qualify for the feature, Alex Myers would begin the first from pole position with David Bacon alongside. Then came Jack Ward, and Terry Brown, Shawn Ward, Matt Kamolins, Chris Fowler (#13 – HMJ – Yamaha – R & P Stainer Grinding Services), Janelle Saville, Daniel Meredith and Mark Blackeby.
After an initial jump start on the first attempt to get away the field got underway on the second attempt only for Jack Ward to spin with a flat right rear tyre putting him out of the race. On the third re-start Brown (#88 – Stinger Chassis – Yamaha – 1 Stop Property Stop) pulled infield with engine issues and also sat out the race.
Myers led the first lap ahead of Fowler, Bacon, Saville and Shawn Ward (#44 – Pearce Chassis – Yamaha – Bordy’s Graphix), in a race moving along at a quick pace. On lap eight of eight Fowler made a sensational last lap pass taking victory by just .776 at the line in the closest finish of the night from Myers, Saville, Bacon, Shawn Ward, Meredith, and Kamolins.
Shawn Ward started from pole position for the second heat race with Kamolins alongside then Fowler, Saville, Myers, Bacon, Jack Ward, Blackeby and Meredith (#8 – Stinger – GSXR – Revenant Tattoo). Fowler from his third spot assumed control at the front of the field as they passed the starters stand ending lap one. Things went wrong for Fowler on lap three as the ignition switch started to faulter and Shawn Ward moved to the lead.
Fowler exited the race on lap four and then on lap five Saville became the race leader from Shawn Ward, Kamolins, Meredith and Blackeby. Saville brought the field home across the last three laps leading Shawn Ward, Kamolins, Meredith, Blackeby, Myers, Jack Ward (#4 – Anskaitis Chassis – Yamaha – Dominant Detailing) and Bacon to the finish.
Saville the events New South Wales visitor then began from pole position in the final heat race with Fowler alongside her followed by Jack Ward, Kamolins, Bacon (#36 – PBC – Yamaha – DB Cleaning and Kanga Hire), Shawn Ward, Myers, Meredith and Blackeby. Leading from the start Saville kept Fowler at bay with Myers, Kamolins and Shawn Ward the top five after five laps.
Saville kept the field behind her until the finish defeating Fowler, Myers, Kamolins, Shawn Ward, Bacon, Jack Ward, Meredith and Blackeby. The race went green to chequered with a time thirty seconds quicker than the first heat of the night.
A reverse grid feature event put the top qualifiers from the eighth spot forward with David Bacon also a Goulburn Valley based racer getting the prime pole position starting spot. Alongside him was Blackeby, then Meredith, Kamolins (#5 – Stinger – Yamaha 1000 – Pitstop Mowers), Shawn Ward, Myers, Fowler, and then top qualifier Saville and out of position nine Jack Ward. With fifteen laps ahead of the field in the final Shawn Ward was hampered suffering carburettor issues and his car was slow to get away leaving him half a lap behind.
Myers from the third row and sixth spot led the first lap of the race over Blackeby and Saville before the latter moved into second on lap two. Myers was going strong out front and led at the five-lap mark from Fowler, Blackeby (#10 – TPC – Yamaha R1 – Spitfire Restaurant & Grill) and Bacon. Kamolins started to wind up and moved to fifth on lap six and then to fifth on lap eight.
Saville moved ahead of Fowler and Myers (#11 – TPC – Suzuki – Automotive Super Balance) and led lap nine with the top five with five laps to go being Saville, Myers, Fowler, Kamolins and Bacon.
On lap five Myers leads Saville (#2 TPC – Kawasaki – Easters Auto Electrical), Fowler, Blackeby and Bacon. The leaders lapped father and son duo Shawn and Jack Ward and at the chequered flag Saville claimed victory in the ‘Ironbark Classic’ from Myers, Fowler, Kamolins, Bacon, Meredith, Jack Ward and Shawn Ward. With Blackeby unable to finish. The race also went green to chequered flag in a terrific display of Grand Prix Midget racing with a race time of 4:47.296 for the distance.
Some competitors will now head to Canberra for the ACT Championship this Saturday night the March the 12th whilst the next event for the VGPMA is the Victorian title at Swan Hill’s Sonic Speedway on March 25th.
Victorian Grand Prix Midget Association would like to thank this season’s supporters;
TM Lineboring & Engineering
Automotive Super Balance
Jackie & Vern Parker Photography
DMT Sports Media
Media written by DMT Sports Media – Dean Thompson