Blue Ribbon Raceway once again provided the best night of entertainment available in the Wimmera on Saturday night with its latest Speedway show featuring the very quick and frantic Formula 500’s, the popular and thundering Super Rods and for the first time in a while the Compact Speedcars.
Local competitors from the Limited Sportsman and the V8 Trucks also impressed on the weekend with Horsham racers Jock Baker winning the Sportsman and Luke James the Trucks.
In Formula 500 competition, visiting South Australian Josh Munn was the big winner in the open age Formula 500s whilst Tyler Maggs won the Junior category.
Max Owen took victory in the first Formula 500 qualifier after moving forward from the second row to secure the front spot on lap one to finish in front of Dale Sinclair and Indy Rae. He passed Jordy Rae and Brad Malone on his way. Munn who started from pole position in the second heat led all the way winning the closest of heat race result by .781 of a second from Declan Robinson and Brooke Buckingham. In this race, Riley Amato lost control of his top wing that came loose and flew up being held on only by the rear locks.
Mathew Turner won the third qualifier, which was a welcome relief after some recent bad luck including a rollover at the recent Victorian title. Chad Bell and Stephen Malone finished behind him. Finally, Terry Rankin won the final qualifier from Brock Rae and Brooke Buckingham. Rankin also came from the second row to secure his win.
The feature race across twenty laps race distance began with outside front row starter Jordy Rae dropping from second back to ninth after missing the start and getting caught up in loose stuff in turn two as the field flew past him. Munn led Robinson, Owen, Rankin and Sinclair. Owen was the first of the front-runners to finish infield with mechanical issues. Clawing his way forward Jordy Rae was in the top five nearing the end of the race. Munn still led at lap fifteen from Robinson, Sinclair, Jordy Rae and Rankin with Robinson frequently challenging Munn lap after lap.
A crash and damage to Jett Speed, Liam Russell and Bradley Malone on what was the last lap stopped the field Munn in his tracks for a green, white and chequered flag finish. Munn the winner from Robinson, Jordan Rae, Sinclair and Rankin with Robinson the fastest time of the night in the final of 15.219 in finishing second to Munn by .444
In Junior Formula 500 competition Rusty Ponting Cooper Norman from New South Wales, Chevette Muir, and Tyler Maggs all won qualifiers from the front row in qualifying for the Junior Formula 500 final. Maggs and Norman began the final from the front row with Riley Simpson and Ponting on the next ahead of Muir and Jett Hart. Maggs jumped out well at the drop of the green flag and led Simpson, Norman, Ponting and Zoe Pearce by lap five and five laps later the field was still in the same order. The fifteen-lap final concluded with Maggs the winner by almost four seconds from Simpson, Norman, Ponting and Pearce. Maggs second in win in two weeks after winning at Nyora.
The Super Rods were in town for a series round with Geelong’s Jacob Pitcher winning the first qualifier of the night out of three with each driver competing in two heats. Pitcher defeated Shaun Walsh by .173 of a second. Jason Kavanagh passed Pitcher, Jason Poustie and then Walsh on the last lap to win the second qualifier by .453 of a second. Finally, Stan Marco Jnr passed Jason May with a few laps to go to win the third and final qualifier in front of Kavanagh and May.
Pitcher began the final from the front row with Kavanagh with Walsh, Dane Court, Marco Jnr and May the top six starters. Pitcher began the race skipping to the front with Walsh getting passed Kavanagh on lap one. Walsh kept the pressure on especially in turn three on a number of occasions getting passed Pitchers right rear wheel to have a look for a inside move. At lap ten Pitched led Walsh, Court, Marco Jnr and Kavanagh. Kavanagh made some moves and slotted into the top three and as the chequered flag dropped Pitcher took the win from Walsh, Kavanagh, Court and Marco Jnr.
Jock Baker was just too good all night in the Limited Sportsman. Baker won the first qualifier by over ten seconds from Rod Hetherington and Craig Ansell and the second by eight seconds from the now retired Clint Baker and Dillon Siely. In the feature event, Baker put on a clinic lapping at his fastest 1.5 seconds of a lap quicker than anybody else to win by more than fifteen seconds from Dillon Siely, Dylan Anton, Hetherington and Mal Siely.
Compact Speedcars had not been at the track for a while and the drivers were keen for the bragging rights over the others. Justin Paull the current Victorian and Queensland state champion won the first qualifier in front of Michael Conway and Mark Cecil. Louis Rodriguez won the second qualifier by the barest of margins in the end as the quick finishing Paull finished just .025 behind him. Cecil again in third spot. The third qualifier was again won by Rodriguez. Paull copped the wrath of the stewards in this race being sent to the rear of the field after a stoppage where they deemed him the primary cause. Conway finished second Cecil third with Paull making it back to fifth spot.
Conway and Paull started at the front with Conway getting away quickly to lead from Paull and Chris Curren. With Paull dropping out early in the race and Conway leading Curren, Matt Papa, Cecil and Mark Hutchinson by lap five before Tania Hallett secured fifth by lap seven. Conway scooted away out front roughly half a second a lap quicker than his fellow competition to win from Curren, Cecil, Papa and Hallett.
Like Baker in the Limited Sportsman, Luke James was the winner of the first qualifier by nine seconds from Tim Driller and Nathan Bird. James then won the second from twelve seconds from Jaryd Carman and Fletcher Mills. James then started from the rear of the field in the final and found himself at the front of the field on the first lap. James went on to win from Driller, Bird, Carman and Mills with an eleven-second margin.
Horsham Speedway Club would like to thank the follower club supporters of this season;
Horsham Auto Wreckers
Mick Harrison Signs
Wimmera Security Service
The Weekly Advertiser
Horsham Lions Club
Tranquillity Massage by Kerry
Wimmera Trophies and Gifts
McAlpine Crash Repair
Horsham Off Road
GK Auto & Hire
JBS Fuel Service
Carman’s Windscreens & Carman’s Towing
Millers Civil Contractors
Bondy’s Electrical Contactors
Horsham Injector Service
Tyre Power Horsham
Simpson Fire and Motorsport Safety
Wimmera Water Solutions
Gary Brain Cartage Contractors
Scott Smith Landscaping
DMT Sports Media
For Horsham Speedway Club