Alexandra and District Speedway Club got underway with their season on Saturday night with visiting competitors from right across Victoria and from interstate in town. The Late Model Sedans brought their speed and noise with Tasmanian Callum Harper taking a big $4000 payday when he finished first, whilst Neale Peachey won the first Australian Motor Contest Association Barry Reidy Memorial series first round at Alexandra in the transponder era and local star Linken Paterson took a big victory in the Standard Saloon feature event serving as an opportunity for the state’s best to test set ups prior to the Victorian title at the same venue in the new year.
Late Model Sedans qualifying was across two heats per driver taking four heat races to complete. Bruce Mackenzie from New South Wales finished just half a second in front of Victorian star Peter Nicola to win the first heat race, with Tasmanian Brad Smith setting an eight-lap track record in the second heat on his way to victory in front of eventual winner Harper, again the margin was less than a second. New South Welshman Lachlan Onley then defeated one of the two major sponsors supporting Alexandra club to hold the event in Shane Belk in the third qualifier. Nicola then secured victory in the fourth and final qualifier.
A gruelling thirty lap race awaited the Late Models for their feature event. Ellis Dickenson and Darren Clarke were involved in lap one contact with Dickenson sent to the rear of the field for a restart. Harper assumed control of the race at the front. Further into the race Brad Smith made huge contact with the wall with others forced to spin to avoid his stricken car. In the end the top five positions at the finish were Harper just ahead of Todd Bayley from New South Wales with the lead two drivers a fifth of a lap ahead of third place Ryan Fenech also from New South Wales, Nicola, and Mackenzie.
Competing with either a 253ci Holden or a 350 Chevrolet crate engine, the AMCA’s also held three qualifiers. Justin Richardson put a great four car margin between himself and the chasers in heat one to win setting a six-lap record along the way and Neale Peachey won the second heat with Stuart Grant-Campbell winning the final qualifier, a race with plenty of action with spins and contact before finishing.
The feature event had plenty of stoppages and drama. On the initial attempt the last lap Peachey and Grant Campbell made contact in turn three and four and as a result of the contact Grant – Campbell was penalised to the rear of the field and a crash between Steve Hopkins and Richardson as the field crossed the finish line knocked them out of placings. In the end Peachey found himself at the front of the field and ahead of Frank Thierry, Bendigo’s Nathan Dunn and Travis Wilkins with Paul Howard finishing in fifth spot.
Six heat races were held for the Standard Saloon feature event with each driver competing in three. Chris Miles was the first winner of the night ahead of his brother Mark with Bradley Hill winning heat two. Former Victorian champion Jacob Vuillermin won an extremely close encounter with Brodie Ardley in heat three crossing the line just .127 of a second in front, Aaron Marshall had a hard hit into the concrete wall and drifted off track and infield during this race. All three races to this point decided by margins less than a second before Mark Miles won the fourth heat race. Current Victorian champion Rhys Lansdown won heat five in a race many considered race of the night with four cars remarkably close together, then Linken Paterson securing a win in the final qualifier rounded out the results for qualifying.
Another thirty-lap feature event determined the winner of the Standard Saloons. An early multi car crash in turn two resulted in Mitch Blencowe sustaining damage with a smashed-up bonnet. Contact between Brad Hill and Chris Miles ended with Hill being sent to the rear of the field by Stewards. Through the race once it got started was mostly three wide down the backstraight. Vuillermin and Paterson had a terrific battle to bring the field to the finish with Paterson making the most of the traffic ahead as Vuillermin moved up to go around the outside of traffic and Paterson went low and assumed the lead. Paterson the big winner from Vuillermin Lansdown, Ardley and Mark Miles.
In support racing Axel Robinson won the Speedway Sedans Australia New Stars class for developing racers ahead of Allie Erickson. Both drivers swapped their places numerous times before Robinson settled. Jaylen Knight who early in heat racing was towed infield with damage before her father and crew set the car up to complete the night finished in third, next was Steane Cosson and Luke Morrison who in heat three of the night lost his boot down the back straight, the feature race was over a ten-lap distance. In the Top Star category local Alexandra resident Will Fallon defeated James Peacock who visited from the Geelong area and finished strong after hitting the concrete wall in heat racing, then came Tyler Smith from Tasmania. Maddy Capon and Tyson Heaphy closed out the top five. River Paterson a favourite prior to the event crashed into the wall in heat two ending his night.
Speedway Sedans Victoria 1200cc Juniors first outing at Alexandra Speedway for their new division after a drama filled off season. We saw a fast Brad Marshall from Lysterfield finishing ahead of Chase Doherty, Blake Beach, Maddy Beach and Jai Alexander a brand-new competitor this season. The 1200 Juniors did themselves and their parents proud, they raced with class all night, a sure sign of good things to come from this division of the juniors.
Rounding out all the action was the Victorian Speedway Council Sports Sedans with state champion Josh Service secured a win ahead of Jack Van Bremen who was just as quick as the winner after some time out of the seat competing in Sprintcars. Opening laps in the final had Thomsen and Service side by side rubbing panels before Service got the lead and Thomsen’s car slowed and headed infield. Robert Garlick from Healesville finished in third with Matthew Ismail and Justin Thomsen rounding out the top five.
Alexandra is next in action again on December the 16th with Super Sedans and Compact Speedcars visiting the club for series and aggregate events supported by our regular classes.
Alexandra and District Speedway club thank and acknowledge the following valuable supporters
Alexandra & Yea Pre-Mix
Alexandra Panels & Towing
Belkblast Protective Coatings
Eastern Suburbs Locksmiths
Elite Racking Installs
Exhaust Fix Lilydale
Fallon’s Bus Services
Ismail’s Building & Construction
Matthew & Sons Drilling Services
Outer Eastern Steel
Precision Race Parts
Town & Country Tennis Courts
Victory Lane Racegear
Wandin Heavy Haulage
Waverley Exhaust & Brake Centre
Yenckens Hardware Alexandra
DMT Sports Media
For Alexandra and District Speedway Club