From WSS, image courtesy of James Baker
With a field of seven professional American drivers assembled for round 9 of the Performance Wholesale World Series Sprintcars Championship a victory for the Aussies was always going to be difficult. However not only did a local win tonight’s preliminary feature but it was Queensland’s own Cameron Gessner.
Gessner lead the twenty-lap contest from James McFadden who blasted around current World of Outlaws (WoO) and defending Australian Sprintcar Open Champion Donny Schatz. Late in the race Schatz setup started to come on, he passed McFadden following a good dice with the young gun and started to close on Gessner.
The shorter race distance worked in Gessner’s favour and he held on to win from Schatz, McFadden and Brooke Tatnell who remained in fourth from start to finish.
Danny Smith set quick time with a lap of 11.801 but was passed for fifth by Kerry Madsen two laps from home. Bryan Mann did not finish the feature event following contact with David Murcott who rolled over. Murcott restarted at the rear and finished twelfth while Mann was left with a damaged driveline.
Heat wins went to Peter Thorley, Richard Morgan (2), Ricky Maiolo, American Jesse Hockett, Darrell Hodges, Kerry Madsen, Grant Anderson and Jason Sides.
Hockett almost recorded two heat wins however he got crossed in front of the entire field entering turn two at the start of the third heat race. Jason Kendrick had nowhere to go and rolled over with Robbie Farr and Ryan Farrel also taken out. Hockett kept his machine mobile and held on to the lead with a flat left rear tyre following the restart. Unfortunately his tyre gave way with only two laps remaining.
Andrew Wright hit a lapped car while leading heat one and Peter Lack moved up from last to fifth in heat eight only to make contact with Garry Brazier and spin.
The late race setup of Schatz could be an ominous sign to the rest of the field for the fifty-lap final tomorrow night.
1. Q68 Cameron Gessner
2. USA2 Donny Schatz
3. W25 James McFadden
4. W2 Brooke Tatnell
5. W92 Kerry Madsen
6. USA4 Danny Smith
7. V5 Max Dumesny
8. USA69 Brent Kaeding
9. NQ47 Jason Johnson
10. Q2 Todd Wanless
11. USA29 Bud Kaeding
12. Q29 David Murcott
13. A1 Garry Brazier
14. Q25 Andrew Scheuerle
15. Q83 Grant Anderson
16. Q16 Bryan Mann out lap 1
Points after night 1
Brent Keading 132