The Victorian Grand Prix Midget Association headed to Speedway Wangaratta this past weekend for their only run of the season prior to the Australian title that will be at the venue in a few months time and with a couple of New South Wales competitors down to chase set up clues, state pride was on the line.
Back onboard for another season is major sponsor Ballistic Performance Parts and the Masters series continues to be a point score that drivers wish to chase throughout the season. TM Lineboring and Engineering came onboard for this weekend to support the first round of the series, a business owned by Travis Florimell one of the Victorian competitors.
Three heats and a final would be the format for the first night of the season and it all started with Jason Crawford and Chris Fowler off the front row. Fowler was debuting his new Stainer built Chassis for John Fowler Racing. Back at the rear of the field was Trevor Perry the Australian Champion and Rod Saville who were late entries for the event.
At the drop of the green flag in heat one, Crawford lead Fowler into turn one when the Fowler team had issues with regards to the chain that turns their engine and they parked the # 13 WOW Facta Yamaha powered machine infield, they would not be seen for the rest of the night. Sean Denning whose #52 car is now powered by a R1 Yamaha engine followed Crawford through in second place on lap one, Perry moved from the rear of the field and into third position on the second lap, a lap later he was into third.
Perry (# 1 Perry Bros Chassis – Suzuki) went by Crawford and assumed the lead on lap six whilst in the field Denning, Dennis Myers, Lisa Chalcraft, Troy Buis, Shawn Ward and David Bacon battled on. When ten laps were finished, Perry had won heat one from Crawford, Myers who got passed Denning, then Chalcraft, Buis, Shawn Ward and Bacon (# 36 DB Cleaning – Yamaha).
New South Wales visitor Janelle Saville’s engine had issues and she also played no further part in the evening whilst Andrew Ward did not finish the first heat either with a clutch issue.
Chalcraft (# 15 Gulf Western Oils – Suzuki) and Shawn Ward started at the front of the field in the second heat race however it would be Crawford from behind whom would lead lap one with Perry, Chalcraft, Sean Ward and Myers the top five at the end of the first circuit.
Denning moved up a spot on lap two with his new engine giving his machine a bit of new lift and nearing the half way point of the race Perry took the lead with Myers (#11 – Super Balance Automotive Shepparton – Suzuki) moving forward into third behind Crawford.
At lap ten as the race flew by, Perry took a second victory over Crawford, Myers, Chalcraft, Denning, Buis and Bacon. A good start by Shawn Ward (#44 Whisper Trailers – Yamaha) fourth on lap one all came to nothing when his car pulled infield on lap three with mechanical issues.
Myers and Buis (#5 DMT Sport Media – Yamaha) started on the front row of the third and final heat race with Shawn Ward and Denning on the second row and Crawford back on the third. It would be a great start to Myers whilst Buis stumbled off the line as Denning went around his outside only to make contact with Buis’ front right wheel.
Myers led Crawford passed the steward on lap one, with Perry quickly into third. Lap two and Perry was on a mission moving into second passing Crawford then onto pass Myers the next lap and control the lead of the race.
Crawford’s (#50 Pitstop Mowers – Yamaha) race ended on lap five with when he thought his car needed a little more air conditioning blowing a hole through the side of his motor and Chalcraft and Rod Saville moved into third and fourth on lap five of the race and from there Perry led Myers, Chalcraft, Saville, Buis and Denning to the chequered flag.
Finishing the night with the feature event and the highest points to the rear format Shawn Ward and Troy Buis started on the front row, then Denning and Chalcraft, Myers and Saville (#59 Perry Bros Chassis – Suzuki) and Perry at the very back of the field.
Leading the field in the early goings of the race was Chalcraft threaded the needle going into turn one to take the lead whilst further back Denning, Ward and Buis went 3 wide until Saville threaded the needle also down the back straight to make it 4 wide going into turn 3. It was Chalcraft who led lap one from Myers, Perry, Saville, Denning (#52 AR Fencing – Yamaha), Buis and Ward. Myers a legend of many years of success in the Grand Prix Midgets didn’t last into lap two.
Perry claimed the lead the second time around Speedway Wangaratta and Saville moved into second by lap three. Perry through the twelve lap final lapped everybody up to second place and went on to victory from Saville, Chalcraft, Denning and Buis.
After the race President John Fowler spoke about the first meeting. “We are a few cars down on what we were hopeful of with people working or waiting for parts, or just having other things on the go in life. We have near fifteen cars in the state and things will pick up. Well done to Trevor on his outstanding night and thank you to the NSW cars that came and supported us, also to John and the team at Speedway Wangaratta who continue to support our class, as we do their venue.”
The Victorian Grand Prix Midgets association thank Club Supporters:
Ballistic Performance Parts
TM Lineboring & Engineering
Super Balance Automotive Shepparton
AJ’s Motorcycle Parts and Apparel Shepparton
Vern & Jackie Parker Photography