Wangaratta City Raceway opens it season with a big Sprintcar win to Ash Cook
Saturday night at Wangaratta City Raceway the crowd was super pumped for a big night of Sprintcar action and local Sedan heroes, and they got both of those along with Mini and Lightning Sprint racing, Junior Sedan competition and a small but entertaining Demolition Derby.
Sprintcar competitors came from Tasmania, New South Wales and right around Victoria and at the end of the night, it would be a first time Sprintcar win to Ashley Cook from the Victorian Southwest after he defeated Terry Rankin and Albury’s Grant Anderson.
Four heat races in the Sprintcars seen wins to Rankin, Cook, Andrew Hughes from the Latrobe Valley in a race time over ten laps of 2:30.932 and Tim Hutchins from Tasmania.
A feature race accident on lap one took out one of the favourites in Jordyn Charge along with Brayden Parr who was expected to feature in the top half of the results also. Over thirty laps, Cook was never headed. The top four never lost their places at all. The final twelve finisher all finished on the lead lap with Cook beating Rankin Anderson, Matthew Reed, and Chris Solomon to the chequered flag. Cook racing around after midnight setting a lap time of 14.424 in the feature event.
Also on show were the Sports Sedans for round two of their ‘Power’ series which runs across Victoria. Nine heat races were held with wins going to the following competitors. Corey Lincoln, Nathan Shortis, Josh Service, Dale Smith, Felicity Roycroft, Shortis a second time, Rhys Lansdown, Service for his second win and Roycroft for her second win also. Shortis set the fastest one lap time in the heats of 18.420 whilst Roycroft with a race time of 2:32.383 completed the fastest eight lap race time.
The feature event ran over twenty-three laps before being declared finished and by the end of ten laps fancied competitors such as Shortis and Roycroft and also Anthony Knight were out of the race and Service to this point had led all ten laps.
Service led then next thirteen laps and the Eastern Suburbs lad defeated Dale Smith also from the Eastern Suburbs, Andrew Jordan another from the Eastern Suburbs making it a trifecta followed by Jamie Thomsen, all top four finishers from the Alexandra and District Speedway Club whilst Lucas Conder from Ballarat was in fifth spot at the chequered flags.
In Junior Open Sedan competition six heat races were held with Connor Claridge the winner of the first, Jacob Tinworth the second, then Hunter Carey and Tinworth for a second time. Before Harry Cecil won his final heat race and Zoe Hunt the last race in qualifying. Cecil locked down the fastest eight lap qualifying race time of 2:49.552 whilst Claridge set the fastest one lap race time of 18.803.
Cecil then went on to win the feature event over ten laps on the first occasion that he had competed in the Rhys Lansdown owned Sports Sedan he was driving. Claridge from the suburbs of Bendigo finished in second place with Cobie McGraw from Numurkah, Mia Lamb, and Zoe Hunt.
The Mini and Lightning Sprints competed at Wangaratta for the first time in some time with competitors from the top and middle of New South Wales joining the Victorians. Australian Champion AJ McTaggart won heat one in a very quick race time over eight laps of 1:59.995 with a fast one lap time of 14.726. Jack Selmes won the second and McTaggart the final qualifying race before the competitors entered into a fifteen-lap final. Showing a tonne of class, the Mini & Lightning Sprints finished the final without a stoppage as they had also done for the three qualifying races, making it four from four races run start to finish. The only major event of their evening was Jason Alie rolling and tearing up his car in the first attempt to start heat two. McTaggart from Sydney went on to win from Harley Graham from Lismore up towards the NSW and Queensland border, Jack Selmes another from Sydney, Danny Stone also from Sydney and Ally Moore the top Victorian.
The feature was completed in 3:53.967.
Wangaratta Speedway Club the operators of Wangaratta City Raceway will hold their next race meeting on January the 14th which will feature the Goulburn Ovens Sedans Victorian title and the Bob Bailey Memorial for Production Sedans.
However, the committee of the Wangaratta Speedway has offered up its venue to the nearby Corowa-Rutherglen Speedway Club whose racetrack at Wahgunyah has been ravaged by flood waters after Victoria’s recent heavy period of rain.
On December the 27th, Corowa – Rutherglen will take the keys for Wangaratta and their volunteers will join with those available Wangaratta volunteers to hold a race meeting with the club from Corowa – Rutherglen taking a financial return.
The Corowa – Rutherglen club has lost the majority of its machinery and has sustained damage to the generator that powers up their whole facility. Also, to its light system, grader and water truck, the club office, and the canteen.
With rain outs and Covid over recent seasons cancelling more meetings than the club has held, they need a hand. Enter Wangaratta Speedway. Not only will the neighbouring club make profit from the meeting itself, Felicity Roycroft a Wangaratta club member and Goulburn Valley resident from Kialla, and Bree Claridge a resident from the Bendigo suburbs and Swan Hill Speedway Club member are organising a raffle to raise funds.
The planned raffle is not any ordinary raffle, the organisers are pitching for other speedway clubs, businesses associated with speedway or whom are not but do not want to see a community sports venue go under, and racing teams from around Australia to pitch in with donations for the raffle.
For anybody interested in this cause, they can contact Wangaratta City Raceway via their social media accounts with your offers of support.
Wangaratta Speedway Club wishes to acknowledge and thank their supporters including
A1 Tyre Service
Burson’s Auto Parts
Fallon’s Bus Services
Robinson Truck Repairs
Snap on Albury
Tailor Made Kitchens
Thomo’s Cash 4 Scrap
Toil and Soil
Ussher Plumbing and Contracting
Wangaratta Spring Works
Waw Credit Union
Wangaratta Brake and Clutch
Written by Speedcafe contributor DMT Sports Media – Dean Thompson