Allansford’s Stephen Bell continued his excellent form last night at Geelong’s Avalon Raceway when he won the 30th Essendon Ford Sprintcar President’s Cup ahead of a world class field. Bell led home American professional Shane Stewart while early leader Robbie Farr muscled home his ailing mount in third. A great crowd witnessed the action with a large field of touring American’s also making an appearance against some of Australia’s best Sprintcar drivers.
Bell’s win also catapaults him to the lead in the Essendon Ford Sprintcar track champiosnhip after he made a decisive move for the lead early in the 25 lap feature on front row starter Robbie Farr. With his front wing collapsed, Farr’s ability to turn the #7 was hampered and as a result he managed secure a hard fought third place finish by race end.
Farr and pole sitter Shane Stewart led the field away as the American dropped several spots immediately as he came to terms with the exceptionally quick surface. Bell and fellow second row starter Cody Darrah managed to slip past Stewart and set off after Farr. Darrah in particular was in great form as the 21 year old Pennsylvanian was exciting to watch in the heats. Darrah’s exciting run ended when he bumped the wall cutting down a right rear tire after his top wing adjuster broke allowing the wing to roll too far back on the USA #91.
As Bell crossed the line to win Stewart had advanced past the ailing Farr while David Murcott had sped from position 11 on the grid to finish fourth ahead of Darren Mollenoyux. World of Outlaws champion Jason Meyers finished sixth ahead of Jason Sides, B Main winner Brooke Tatnell, Joey Saldana and Grant Anderson in tenth. Nick Lacey, Brett Milburn, Dennis Jones, Ryan Davis and Domain Ramsay followed. Darrah, Tim Rankin and Danny Reidy all registered DNF’s.
Some excellent heat races were highlighted with wins going the way of Outlaw champ Jason Meyers, Darren Mollenoyux and Tim Rankin in the first round. Second round heats were won by Brooke Tatnell, Shane Stewart and Danny Reidy while Tatnell also secured the win in the B-main. Advancing to the back of the A-main along with Tatnell was Joey Saldana, Dennis Jones and Domain Ramsay.