From Jarryd Stokes
Albury’s Grant Anderson secured his third A-Main win at Moama’s Heartland Raceway in the last five years by leading a hectic 30-lap A-Main that saw 20 cars take the green flag in an exciting event last night (March 20) for the second last round of the Eureka Garages and Sheds Sprintcar Series.
With the final round of the Eureka Series this Saturday night (March 27) at Ballarat’s Redline Speedway, Lilydale’s Mike Van Bremen ensured it will be a thrilling ending by finishing runner up last night and in doing so reduced John Vogels series lead to 71-points.
For the second week in a row, Anderson was the Elf Racing Fuels top point scorer after qualifying heats and had the honour of selecting position number two on the front row after setting quick time in the top six shootout. Last start A-Main winner at Heartland Raceway Jamie Veal was the second fastest, ahead of Van Bremen, Charles Hunter, Brett Smith and Darren Hickman.
Anderson got the ideal jump at the start of the 30-lap A-Main, while not as fortunate was Van Bremen who lost multiple positions early in the race. Four laps in and Nick Lacey, starting from position 14, rolled over in turn four to end his night.
On lap seven, Veal was looking promising chasing down race leader Anderson until New South Wales lady racer Taylor Johnson spun in turn four leaving Veal with no where to go amidst lap traffic. Both cars restarted at the rear and a fired up Veal was one of the main stars in the remaining laps as he passed cars at will to eventually finish third in a stunning recovery.
KTM top 10 driver Brett Milburn was set for a strong top five finish, until he was checked and lost plenty of ground. In the end, Milburn was unable to finish along with Lacey.
It was all class from Anderson in heavy traffic throughout the race, but he held on comfortably for his fourth A-Main win in his career, his third at Moama.
“It was definitely hairy out there, some of those guys we must have come around three or four times to lap. We are really comfortable in this car and a lot of people have a go at us because we don’t win many races, but we do chase the biggest ones around the country and I think it shows when we come back to club level, not that it’s easy here. It’s good to get the win and some confidence before Easter where we hold the title,” said Anderson.
Second placed Van Bremen was pleased with his efforts, when he had to work overtime after losing early ground.
“Jamie (Veal) and I did what we had to do to close the championship up, so bring on Redline. We had a pretty ordinary start and I was back to seventh or eighth and I thought my race was done and dusted. The race sort of went non-stop towards the end which allowed us to pick off a few cars,” ‘The Flying Dutchman’ said.
Veal’s effort gives him a mathematical chance of winning the Eureka Series and acknowledged that he has been unlucky in the last two rounds.
“It was the second week in a row we’ve been unlucky, but it was a great effort to come from right back in the field and finish on the podium. Hopefully we have done enough to finish in the top three of the series,” said Veal.
Finishing in fourth place was Bacchus Marsh’s Charles Hunter, a key player in the A-Main. Hunter was locked in for a podium result for the majority of the race and showed come excellent car speed all night. Series leader Vogels dug deep, starting from tenth position to finish fifth.
Hickman, from Bendigo, again showed his ability behind a Sprintcar and should have finished in the top five but had to settle for sixth ahead of Ashley Bourke who started from position 17 and finished in seventh place. Rounding out the top ten were Brett Smith, Rod Matthews and Ryan Davis.
Domain Ramsay, Eddie Lumbar, Peter Milnes, Ron Donaldson, Johnson, Ron Dalton, Clint Dalton and Brett Harvey were the remaining finishers of the A-Main.
Earlier in the night, late nomination Matthew Reed looked promising by winning the first heat, but pulled infield in his second heat and failed to start the main event. Hunter, Veal and Anderson were the other heat race winners.
This Saturday night (March 27) the final round of the Eureka Garages and Sheds Series will be a must see when the series returns to Ballarat’s Redline Speedway.
Eureka Garages and Sheds Series contingency awards after round 11:
ELF RACING FUELS top point scorer – V37 Grant Anderson
AMERICAN RACER TIRE random draw between position 6th and 16th – V29 Ron Donaldson (14th)
D&F RACING PRODUCTS hard luck of the night – V92 Matthew Reed
JOHN SIDNEY RACING most cars passed in A-Main (end of series) cars passed on night V23 Ashley Bourke (10) – OVERALL – 1st- V35 Jamie Veal 24 cars, 2nd V70 John Vogels 23 cars, 3rd V9 Rod Matthews 22 cars
Eureka Garages and Sheds Series – KTM Top 10 after round 11:
1st. John Vogels – 3198
2nd. Mike Van Bremen – 3127
3rd. Jamie Veal – 3027
4th. Domain Ramsay – 2802
5th. Rod Matthews – 2613
6th. Brett Milburn – 2584
7th. Charles Hunter – 2540
8th. Eddie Lumbar – 2210
9th. Nick Lacey – 2138
10th. Ryan Davis – 2046