Panella, Millar, Rodriguez, Stansfield, Baker, Lincoln, and Queale all winners at Horsham

Published: Wednesday January 11 2023

Blue Ribbon Raceway’s mega weekend of racing across the 7th and 8th of January seen over one hundred and fifty different race cars compete in seven different classes finishing with an American winner, two next generation Horsham raised stars winning races and important series victories to many of the winners.

On Friday night American Alex Panella secured victory in the Formula 500 ‘Dash for Cash’ series event. Panella was too strong across twenty laps for his brother Nikko winning by more than two seconds whilst Nikko got the better of Victorian Max Owen in the stoush for second spot. Queensland champion Kayden Iverson crossed the line in fourth with Jordan Rae also a Victorian in fifth place. Seventeen of twenty starters finished the race on the lead lap.

Aston Rodriquez won his first Junior Formula 500 feature event in the racing for up to sixteen-year old’s. Rodriguez like Panella led every lap to defeat Koby O’Shannassy, Rusty Ponting, Maddox Gibbs, and Dakota Luckett all from Victoria.

Round one of the Wingless Sprint Summer Slam series also competed on Friday night with Melbourne’s Travis Millar securing the victory ahead of south-west Victorian born and raised Brad Warren by just a .456 of a second margin at the finish line. South Australian Kirby Hillyer finished in third with New South Wales visiting competitor Troy Carey in fourth ahead of Michael McDonald another competitor from the south-west. Warren had led twenty seven of the thirty laps before Millar got passed him two secure the lead and the eventual victory.

Night two of action seen the Sprintcar Racing Association cars in town for a round of their state series. Time Trials were the first event for the Sprintcars with veteran driver Matthew Reed at the top of the standings there before the drivers competed in one heat race each with a top six inversion with regards to the starting position that put the faster qualifiers back on the third row. Paul Solomon with a .263 victory margin won the first heat race with Brayden Parr winning the second qualifier.

The feature event was a cracker of a race with three different race leaders through a thirty-lap nonstop race. The first ten laps were led by Reed with Terry Rankin and Grant Stansfield behind him before Rankin took the race lead on lap eleven. Rankin held the front spot firstly in front of Reed and then not long after in front of Stansfield until lap twenty-three when control of the race went to Stansfield. Stansfield sprinted away from Rankin from there opening up a significant margin and as the race finished, Stansfield had a winning margin of 4.580 seconds from Rankin, Reed, Jordan Rae and Ashley Cook all from Victoria.

Also, on the second night of racing the Limited Sportsman competed in round one of the three track Tri-series that will also visit Portland and Hamilton. Horsham member and current Victorian and South Australian Champion Nathan Baker competed against his son Tommy for the second time as the latter sixteen-year-old continued in his rookie season. The Bakers dominated the heat race action with Nathan winning heat one and Tommy the second before they both stormed ahead of the field in the final with Tommy leading all fifteen laps in front of his father to claim victory in round one with Andrew Wilson from the Hamilton club in third spot.

Continuing the father and son theme, another Horsham member Ryan Queale won both Production Sedan heat races ahead of his father Shaun a Wimmera school teacher whilst Ryan is a Criminology student in Geelong. Quale junior then went on to prove to strong for the field in the final defeating another local Horsham representative Dean Hughes with Hamilton racer Heath Riley third in front of Shaun Queale and Belinda Taylor rounding out the top five.

Concluding the results was the Victorian series for the Victorian Speedway Council Sports Sedans class. Making the trip into Horsham from Beveridge on the Hume Highway, Caleb Lincoln took his second feature victory within a month of racing after an earlier victory in Gippsland. Lincoln was in the end to good for Russell Smith although, Smith briefly held the race lead on a night that many considered Smith’s best ever driving. Paul Blake from Ballarat finished third ahead of Zac Swanson another from Ballarat, whilst overall points leader Felicity Roycroft consolidated her lead at the top with a fifth placed finish.

Blue Ribbon Raceway will next see action on the 4th of February when the 360ci All Star Sprintcars return for competition on a night we hold the Robin Thomas Memorial for our V8 Trucks. Production Sedans and Vintage classes will also support the main event action.

Horsham Speedway Club would like to acknowledge the following club supporters;
Ace Radio Network
Burson Auto Parts Horsham
Bondy’s Electrical Contractors
Bigham Truck Repairs
Carman’s Towing and Windscreens
Crop Opti Agronomy
Dooen Hotel
Horsham Auto Wreckers
Horsham Injector Service
Johnsons Merchandise
Mick Harrison Signs
Millers Earthmoving
Petrogas Horsham
Simpson Fire Motorsport Safety
Westonvic Waste
Wilken Group
Wimmera Bakery Dimboola
Wimmera Bearings
Wimmera Mail Times
Wimmera Security Service

Written by
Dean Thompson
DMT Sports Media
For Horsham Motor Sports Club