David Murcott made a stunning play for the Essendon Ford Sprintcar track championship last night at Geelong’s Avalon Raceway when he led all 30 laps of the Eureka Garages and Sheds Great Southern Showdown in a power house display. Murcott entered the event 90 points ahead of Reed and extended that with his win with one round left of the track championship on Good Friday.
In a sensational development Murcott announced he would miss the Good Friday event at Avalon with his team commitments ensuring he will be in Queensland allowing Matthew Reed a small glimmer of hope that he could drive away in a brand new Ford Fiesta at season’s end.
Last night’s performance from Murcott was simply brilliant as he drove a second A.R.T car for the PRP
Engineering team and duly made every move count as he raced onto the front row following a stunning lap in the top 6 pole shootout. From there Murcott made every move count with a superb drive on an excellent racing surface that the Drew family produced.
Runner up Darren Mollenoyux rolled the last 12 laps of the final without breaks as the Eureka Garages and Sheds Sprintcar Series contender and defending champ duly did enough to fend off his rivals despite his obvious challenges. ‘Molly’ was earlier the highest pointscorer at the conclusion of the heat races however would start the 30 lap final from the second row courtesy of the lower than expected top 6 pole shootout time.
The lively Warrnambool star’s runner up finish was good enough to take the lion’s share of the $3,000 that was on offer for the aggregate winner across the two night Great Southern Showdown that also saw Mollenoyux finish runner up behind Matthew Reed on Saturday night at Simpson Speedway.
Mollenoyux, Reed and Brett Milburn now look forward to this Saturday night at Warrnambool’s Sungold Stadium when the Eureka Garages and Sheds Sprintcar Series will be decided with Reed holding a commanding lead although not unbeatable.
Third home in last night’s final was impressive Californian ‘gasser’ Geoff Ensign behind the wheel of the Smith brothers #60 who started from eighth on the grid. Ensign thrilled the Avalon faithful with some amazing outside passes on his way to a podium finish as he rounded up some quality opposition. A popular addition to the end of the current season, Ensign will be in action at Warrnambool this weekend while he will also contest the Easter Trail round at Avalon on Good Friday.
Chasing the American home was Eddie Lumbar, who for a majority of the race was in second place following a stunning qualifying effort that saw the likable transport operator start on the front row alongside Murcott. Always an excitement machine, Lumbar’s strong finish was a popular one among fans.
The ever consistent Matthew Reed finished fifth after he earlier got upside down in a heat race that he managed to restart and finish, banking valuable points. Reed was playing for more than most as he won at Simpson and was in the mix for the overall Great Southern Showdown payout while the Essendon Ford Sprintcar track championship and the Eureka Sprintcar Series are all events that he will have a major say in over the coming weeks.
The speedy Dennis Jones impressed on his way to sixth as he managed to fend of the increasingly racy 18 year old Will Carroll who finished seventh.
Jamie Veal subbed in the Victory Lane Racegear #88 and finished eighth while Brett Milburn and Darren Hickman rounded out the top 10.
Rounding out the finishers was Kris Lacey, Mike Van Bremen, Brett Smith, Peter Milnes, Mitch Foster, Domain Ramsay, Quentin Tanner and Carl Ludeman.
Mitch Foster won the B-main ahead of Mike Van Bremen, Domain Ramsay, Darren Hickman, Carl Ludeman and Jamie Veal who all advanced to the A-main.
C-main winner John Vogels failed to advance any further than the B-main despite his best efforts, others to transfer included Michael Tancredi, Rhiannon Burleigh and Jamie Heyen.
Murcott won the opening heat race of the night while Milburn and Ensign were the other first round winners as Mollenoyux, Mike Van Bremen and Dennis Jones saluted in the second round.
Despite Dave May winning the V8 Dirt Modified final he couldn’t win the overall Garden State Sheild as that award went to Mick Kiraly who was the best performed driver across the two night event at Simpson and Avalon. The V8 Dirt Modifieds again produced some close and entertaining racing as support to the Sprintcar action at Avalon.
Next Event; Good Friday, March 29 – Easter Sprintcar Trail.
Website; www.avalonraceway.com
For more info contact Jeff Drew 0418 160 985 / Gavin White email gwxp@speedway.net.au