This Saturday night Geelong’s Avalon Raceway lights up once again for another spectacular night of Sprintcar racing with Victorian titles on the line for both the 360Ci and also the open 410’s. Almost 70 Sprintcars will be in attendance with Essendon Ford Sprintcar track championship leader David Murcott and Eureka Garages and Sheds Series point leader Matthew Reed among the leading 410Ci contenders.
One half of the defending champions will be on hand with Stephen Bell looking to turn around his seasons fortunes and claim back to back state titles. Last season in a memorable finish, Bell and Robbie Farr crossed the line together and couldn’t be separated by the timing system and both were declared state title holders. Avalon’s Brian Alexander concedes the chances of this happening again are slim to none.
“Last year’s result left everyone shocked and for the first time in memory a feature race win was a dead heat and it just so happened that it was during one of the biggest races of the year.”
“I don’t think it could happen again but just this year we saw James McFadden and Jason Johnson tie in qualifying for World Series but that was in time trials, not at the end of the feature race.”
Bell was within a handful of laps of pocketing 10K during the most recent event at Avalon when he led a world class field during the President’s Cup before spinning out of contention handing the lead and the eventual win to Jamie Veal. Both Bell and Veal will have to contend with David Murcott whose dominance on Boxing Night sent a clear warning that he is in contention for the track championship along with this Saturday night’s Victorian title.
Murcott recently raced to a runner up finish in the Australian title in Queensland after he led the first 33 laps. A real track specialist, Murcott’s intimate track knowledge will hold him in good stead for a second state title win, the first of which came in 2006.
Fresh from victory last Saturday night, Brett Milburn is confident leading into this weekend as is Darren Mollenoyux who along with Matthew Reed and Milburn have been in the thick of the championship battle for the Eureka Sprintcar Series all season long. Tasmanian livewire Shaun Dobson will take the reins of the Harry Droste owned #36 while Harley Bishop returns to drive the Smith brothers #60. Mike Van Bremen and John Vogels have also enjoyed consistent seasons thus far and are among the leading contenders for Saturday night’s open title.
Of the drivers entered, Bell, Reed, John Vogels and Murcott are the only drivers who have won state titles previously with Reed and Bell having won two each. This will be the 45th running of the Victorian Sprintcar title with Sprintcar icon Max Dumesny holding a record nine victories of this event.
“The neat thing about this Saturday night is that the usual open cars will be in attendance while up to six of those guys will do double duty and contest the 360 state title that will be run as a separate event on the same night,” said Alexander.
Currently 38 open cars will contest time trials, heats, dashes and the A-main while 26 cars have also entered to do the same for the 360 Victorian title.
360 regulars Phil Lock, Brad Foster and Shane Heathcote will be challenged by open Sprintcar stars Reed, Veal, Domain Ramsay, Jack Lee, Michael Cunningham and Tim Van Ginneken who will run both classes on Saturday night in separate cars.
Defending 360 titleholder Chris Solomon will face stiff opposition from the form driver coming into the event, Tony Moule. Moule finished runner up to Solomon during last year’s 360 title and South Australian Keke Falland finished third, both are in the field again this year and along with Darren Hickman and Paul Solomon could be amongst the
Alexander was quick to confirm the winner of the 360 title will be a deserving winner knowing they will have beaten not only the very best from their own division, but also several open stars who will also join them searching for an elusive state title win.
Racing will begin from the earlier time of 6pm with cars completing engine starts and hot laps just prior. Public gates will open at 3:30pm.
Adults $30
Concession $25
Child 12-16 $10
Child 5-11 $5
Child Under 5 Free
For more info contact Jeff Drew 0418 160 985 / Gavin White email