The forty first national title for Compact Speedcars has been run and won at Wangaratta City Raceway with Victorian Justin Paull leading the local charge to take his second national title victory this time in the ‘Associated Power Coating’ supported event.
The very supportive Wangaratta Speedway Club had prepared a terrific race track for the night with some very fast laps set down. In Hot laps Matt O’Neill from Queensland put everybody on notice with a 15.977 circuit of a track he had never got around prior to race night.
In the first round of heats the results went as follows. O’Neill starting from sixth took the lead on the last lap of the first qualifier to win from Harris Stewart and Andrew Wiles the pole sitter. The top three separated by less than a second at the finish line. Mark Hutchinson, Chris Curren, Mark Cecil, Nathan Caddy, Daniel Brown, and Cheyne Williams finished also.
Defending champion Mark Heaton won the second heat leading every lap and finish just .218 in front of Paull and Kyle Sharpe. Matt Papa, Louis Rodriguez, Andrew Parkes, Glen Wiles and Matt Wark finished also.
Tania Hallett led every lap in the third qualifier to win from Richard Treanor, Shaun Robinson, Craig Hickey, Alan Day, Michael Conway, Gavin Cooper, and Aaron Stubbs.
Paull took until lap nine to secure the lead in heat four before he was able to win from Rodriguez, and Papa. Andrew Wiles, Wark, Cooper, Williams and Brown were the others to finish. Along the way Paull set a fast one lap time of the night at 15.826
Conway then led all the way in the fifth qualifier to win from Curren and Stewart by almost five seconds. Parkes, Robinson, Hallett, and Hutchinson all finished.
O’Neill won his second qualifier taking the race lead much earlier than in the first race. O’Neill defeated Cecil and Heaton. Glen Wiles, Stubbs, Joe Lostitch, and Hickey all finished.
Into the final round and Louis Rodriguez took a win in front of Parkes and Stewart. O’Neill finished outside the top four and almost four second behind the winner. Papa, Lostitch, Stubbs and Hutchinson also finished.
Paull took a second win in the eighth heat of the night as attrition started to take its toll on the field. Paull stormed to the lead to win from Curren, Andrew Wiles, Cooper, and Brown.
Finally rounding out all the qualifying, Hallett won a second heat race also to match O’Neill and her brother Justin Paull. Hallett beat Alan Day by just .442 of a second with Heaton in third spot. Robinson, Cecil, Glen Wiles, Williams and Wark all finished.
Lining up for the thirty lap ‘Associated Powder Coating’ Compact Speedcar National championship in order were Paull, O’Neill. Hallett, Rodriguez, Heaton, Stewart, Curren, Andrew Wiles, Cecil, Parkes, Papa, Robinson, Conway, Glen Wiles, Day, Stubbs, Cooper, Hutchinson, Brown, Wark, Treanor, Williams and Lostitch.
When the flagman dropped the green Paull raced out to secure the lap one lead with his sister getting a great start crossing the line behind him in second with O’Neill back in third. O’Neill got his spot back on lap two with thirteenth spot starter Conway already up into eighth spot on lap two and Robinson also progressing forward with him.
Seven laps into the race Paull was leading O’Neill, Heaton, Hallett, and Stewart as the top five whilst Robinson was now seventh. At lap twelve Conway was back in seventeenth and out of contention unless some miracles came his way and Paull still led O’Neill and Heaton.
Brown on lap fourteen was the first car to exit the race due to damage, incident or breakdown and it sparked a succession of others also. Andrew Wiles, Parkes, Cooper and Wark being some of them. At lap twenty, Paull was still at the front of the field with O’Neill, Heaton, Stewart, and Robinson now in fifth spot.
On lap twenty-one things went all pear shaped for Heaton as a race incident and damages claimed him and Stewart and Curren at this point of the race. With third and fourth gone, this shot Robinson up into third spot. As the lap continued on to thirty, Paull continued to hold a margin on O’Neill not letting off the gas knowing he was close. The flag was a welcome sight as Paull greeted the chequered first from O’Neill, Robinson, Rodriguez, and Cecil. Also finishing outside the top five was Lostitch, Hallett, Papa, Glen Wiles, Conway, and Day all on the lead lap, then Hutchinson and Williams.
After the race Justin Paull spoke to media about his win. “It such an honour to be able to win the Australian title again and also carry the #1 for the next twelve months. We had a pretty much floorless night, and it was cool to win it in front of some of my close mates and family. Congratulations to the other placegetters. One from Victoria, Queensland, and New South Wales in the top three is great for the class. Well done to all those in the Victorian club who put in time and effort to make this event a success.” Shared Paull.
The Victorian Compact Speedcar Club also acknowledge other supporters that have come onboard to contribute to the event including;
Kangaroo Lake Caravan Park
Kay Mainline Augers and Core Barrels
Trevor Perry Chassis
Australian Compact Speedcar Association
The Victorian Compact Speedcar Club would also like to thank Ivan Glavas for his awesome photography skills.
Fans can watch back the title on Ash Media. Thank you to Tyler Barton and Ash Media for their production of the nights racing.
DMT Sports Media
Written for Victorian Compact Speedcar Club
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