The Victorian Grand Prix Midget Racing Association headed back to one of their favourite venues this past Saturday night when they climbed the mountain at Buninyong and scorched around Redline Raceway for the first time in a few seasons.
The Redline venue is very popular amongst classes without a track home of their own and those that require series events spread around Victoria, so getting back onto the calendar was pleasing with the racing quite enjoyable for the fans despite some having mechanical issues troubling them most of the night.
Three heat races were contested as drawn, before the top qualifier from the rear with choice of closest opponent format was used for the feature event.
In heat one Peter Robotham (# V50 Pitstop Mowers – HMJ), Shawn Ward, Matt Kamolins, Alex Myers, Terry Brown, Daniel Meredith, Chris Fowler, Jack Ward, Paul Perry, and Johnny Rouse all lined up for competition with series sponsors Travis Florrimell unable to progress beyond hot laps as was Mark Blackeby (# V10 –Spitfire Restaurant & Grill – TPC) with engine issues. Robotham led convincingly from Myers and Brown up to lap seven of ten in the race before Myers exited into the infield due to a chain coming off and a punctured rear tyre due to a nail going through the rubber.
Robotham won from Brown by over seven seconds setting a track record for the class for one lap along the way with a 14.973 one lap time. He also set a new ten lap record both records due to the use of transponders at the venue for the first time for the class. The new ten lap record set at 2:32.761 In third spot was Fowler, Meredith, Shawn Ward, and rookie driver Rouse at the rear, whilst Paul Perry (# V36 – DB Cleaning and Kanga Hire – PBC) was a non-finisher due to engine issues, Jack Ward had another hole in the radiator, interestingly in the exact same spot he gained a hole at the Rushworth season opening round. Kamolins broke the driver coupling putting him out of the finish results.
Lining up for heat two was Myers (# V11 – Automotive Super Balance – PBR), Fowler, Florrimell, Meredith who is a Greater Ballarat and surrounds driver and a regular turn two spectator when not in competition, Robotham, Shawn Ward, Brown, and Rouse. Myers got a terrific start out front and lead the race. Fowler didn’t finish lap one having sustained a broken front axle after he clouted the wall on the back straight after contact with Robotham. Stewards deemed Robotham the cause of the crash and punished him to the rear of the field.
Myers held his lead until lap three where once again he exited the race again with chain issues, Robotham took the lead from here. On lap eight Florrimell had a fire in the engine bay that seen it fire up even more as he stopped. He managed to avoid any harm personally whilst during the race, Meredith also suffered engine malfunction. Robotham won from Brown, Shawn Ward, Rouse, and Stewards classified Fowler as a finisher deeming him not the cause of his own demise. Interesting, however that is what the records show. The margin from Robotham to Brown was just .921 of a second as Brown continued his driver and car package development. Myers was fastest in the race, a twitch slower than Robotham in heat one with a 15.122 lap time.
With one heat race left on race night to earn as many points towards the end of season series points Brown, Jack Ward, Shawn Ward (# V44 – Dominant Detailing – Pearce), Fowler, Myers, Robotham and Rouse lined up to go racing. Brown who had shown some great progress in recent racing led from start to finish in the second heat race to go from start to finish without a stoppage and beat Fowler by 1.281 of a second. Robotham was next in the queue with Myers, Jack Ward, and Shawn Ward all finishing and Rouse unable to great the chequered flag due to engine issues. Fowler was fastest with a lap at 15.145, however Brown’s consistency got him to the line first.
Lining up for the final Robotham chose Brown to be the competitor to start ahead of him showing that somebody noticed Brown’s consistent laps. Fowler was chosen to start right beside Brown by Brown with Fowler choosing Myers. Switch the order around and go from the front row Kamolins, Jack Ward (# V4 – Bordy’s Graphix – Anskaitis), Shawn Ward, Myers, Fowler, Brown and Robotham lined up for feature time.
Getting a great start off the front line was Kamolins as he led a lap at Redline in front of Myers with Fowler in third. Kamolins (# V5 Pitstop Mowers – Stinger) led until lap three where Myers took over whilst Robotham was having a difficult time towards the back of the field as was Brown, with Jack Ward proving difficult to get around. On Lap nine Fowler moved to second dropping Kamolins back a spot, before fowler moved to the front of the field on lap ten as Myers got stuck behind Shawn Ward and Fowler made a scorching outside pass to the lead getting past Ward and Myers..
In one of the closest feature race finishes remembered and sure to be the closest on transponder, Fowler (# V13 – R & P Stainer Grinding – HMJ) was able to beat Myers by just .015 of a second as both drivers took different paths to pass Brown out of turn four and across the finish line touching wheels as they got there. Kamolins finished in third spot, Jack Ward in fourth then Robotham, Brown (# V88 Aust Clean – Stinger), and Shawn Ward with all starters greeting the chequered flag. Fowler set fastest lap time of the race with a 15.145
Club President Matt Kamolins wanted to pass on thanks to Belmont Speedway Drivers Club on behalf of the VGPMRA. “This was a very well ran event. It was race after race, drivers were called up and everybody towed the line for every class. We enjoyed coming back here and we would love the opportunity to come back as we continue to grow our class with competitors coming back, new cars being built and new drivers knocking on our door.
Points after two rounds in the Stinger Chassis Masters Series are.
Chris Fowler 114pts
Peter Robotham 110pts
Alex Myers 95 pts
Terry Brown 87pts
Shawn Ward 62pts
Matt Kamolins 44pts
Jack Ward 42pts
Mark Blackeby 31pts
Johnny Rouse 18pts
Daniel Meredith 10pts
Travis Florrimell 0pts
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