Victorian Sprintcar star Jamie Veal raced to a popular win at Avalon Raceway last night when he won the 32nd Essendon Ford President’s Cup before a large crowd on hand to witness over 50 Sprintcars including a record 15 American’s who were in the field. Veal led home defending event winner Robbie Farr with Grant Anderson continuing his good Avalon form home in third.
Starting the $10,000 to win final on the front row alongside Stephen Bell, Veal had to settle into second when Bell launched into the lead on the opening lap and seemingly had good enough car speed to keep the chasing pack at bay.
In a feature field that was highlighted with seven American’s, it was a strong performance from Bell until he got to the back markers and went to drive underneath the first in turn 3 and spun the Victory Lane Racegear #88 to a standstill.
With Bell sent to the tail for the stoppage, it elevated Veal to the lead and left the 24 year old had a tense run to the flag as Farr was closing quickly following an exciting duel with Anderson before Veal made a decisive move under a back marker on the final lap enabling him to keep Farr at bay and take the win.
“We had a great car,” beamed winner Jamie Veal.
“It’s hard to say if we would have had anything for Bell but we never really got traffic to see.”
Veal’s $10,000 payday for Sydney car owner Dave Doherty was the second this month following his stunning win on New Year’s Day at Sydney Speedway against another world class field.
“It’s good to be able to come down here and do well in this car, not just in Sydney,” Veal said.
Farr’s runner up result was a strong result considering he started from seventh on the grid and was embroiled in a great battle with Anderson through the middle of the race.
“We were good at the end, I was trying to time my run and I could see the laps running out and I knew I would catch him with two laps to go,” said Farr.
“I was picking him up about a car length every lap but he did a good job in traffic on the last lap and I never really got a chance.”
Sixth starting Grant Anderson was third ahead of Californian Tim Kaeding who also started in fourth. Fifth home was Australian champion James McFadden ahead of Kyle Hirst, Danny Reidy, Rico Abreu, Terry McCarl and Darren Hickman in tenth. Other finishers were Tim Shaffer, Bell and Jason Dawkins.
Local Domain Ramsay and American Shane Stewart were the first casualties from a second lap incident in turn 1. Shaun Bradford damaged the front end while Trevor Green and Wayne Johnson were other non-finishers.
Reidy won the last chance B-main to advance into the A-main finishing ahead of Darren Hickman, Terry McCarl and Shane Stewart who raced from eleventh and into a transfer. Rookie Brad Warren was ready to transfer before a spectacular crash on the final lap when something broke in the steering eliminated him from the evening’s event.
David Murcott set quick time earlier in the evening with a scintillating 11.972 second lap. Finishing outside of the top 30 ensured those cars would have to go to the last chance qualifier. Several big names including American’s Daryn Pittman, Shane Stewart, Danny Dietrich and the highly fancied Kevin Swindell were all outside the inversion. Jason Sides was a notable racer who got upside down in qualifying ending his night along with Kalgoorlie’s Taylor Milling. Brett Milburn also failed to fire a shot in time trials with mechanical issues.
Nick Lacey, Aidan Gee and Michael Cunningham advanced from the first non-qualifiers as Pittman, Stewart and Steven Rowell did likewise from the second. Swindell was in a transfer before upending his mount following a lost torsion bar hampered his efforts.
Domain Ramsay, Brooke Tatnell, Brad Warren, Tim Kaeding, David Murcott and James McFadden were all heat race winners on the night.
Next Event; Saturday February 16 – Victorian Sprintcar Championship 410 & 360
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