South Australian Steven Lines dominated the fourth round of the ENZED World Series Sprintcars Speedweek Series with a commanding win in front of a huge crowd at Geelong’s Avalon Raceway tonight.
Indeed the Mt. Gambier born and bred throttle stomper seemed to get better the further into the 35 lap A-Main race he went, leading home Robbie Farr in second, James McFadden in third, Brad Keller fourth, Brooke Tatnell fifth, Shaun Dobson sixth, Brad Sweet seventh, Luke Dillon eighth, Shane Stewart ninth and Stephen Bell rounding out the top ten.
Coming home in eleventh was Jamie Veal followed by the wounded (car) David Murcott in twelfth and John Vogels thirteenth.
Lines paid tribute to his crew chief Craig Bennett in victory lane, citing the car as ‘perfect’ in its set up for the night.
“The car kept getting better and better,” he smiled, “we really didn’t have to change a thing, even during the red light stoppage. I knew we had a great car because that’s what the boys gave me. There wasn’t much I couldn’t do with it. This really makes up for our disappointment in Mt. Gambier two nights ago. I can’t thank Brian Hall and everyone associated with this team enough.”
Though he’s not contracted to contest the series 2011 WSS champion Robbie Farr now leads the points as a result of his second place finish tonight and the fact that he played his ‘joker card’ and doubled his points in tonight’s main event.
He set quick time in Revolution Racegear qualifying too.
“We had nothing to lose given that we’re not running the next round so we played the Joker for some fun, and in the end we wound up the points leader until January 1. It was fun tonight, the boys are getting a handle on our new car and even though we didn’t have anything for Linesy we ran strongly all night,” Farr grinned.
James McFadden rued his third place finish in the Totally Workwear #1 Cool.
“Don’t get me wrong, we’re fast,” he said, “but we just can’t catch a break and get a win right now. I know it can’t be too far around the corner but it’s frustrating when we’re fast and we can’t get the job done. Steve (Lines) did a great job but we need to turn this around and get some points.”
South Australian rising talent Brad Keller showed why he is one of the country’s most underrated drivers by starting on the front row alongside Lines (who won the Amadio Wines Top 8 Shootout) and holding on to second place for much of the race before eventually placing fourth.
“He’s doing a great job,” complimented Steven Lines, “he’s had a killer week so far and he’s showing a lot of good car speed. I’m really proud of he’s going.”
Brooke Tatnell looked to be a podium proposition around mid-race but couldn’t quite crack the defences of Keller to break through early and then had to fight James McFadden for position for several laps.
The race was marred by the only red light stoppage when the vastly improved Mitch Foster (who did a sensational job to qualify on the third row of the grid for the main event in his William Adams CAT #4) spun the car in front of the rapid Kyle Hirst in an incident that saw Hirst roll over and involve Garry Brazier, Grant Anderson and David Murcott.
Hirst couldn’t restart, neither could Brazier, and Anderson and Murcott made it back out there with limited impact on the remaining laps.
DNF’s for the night in the A-Main included Darren Mollenoyux (crash) Trevor Green (crash) Garry Brazier (crash) Grant Anderson (crash) Dylan Jenkin (mechanical) Brett Milburn (mechanical) and Mitch Foster (crash).
Luke Dillon charged from 15th (he won the B-Main) starting spot in the A-Main to an eventual 8th in the Diamond Bay Motorsports Maxim whilst Brad Sweet’s eventual 7th in front of Dillon was not really representative of his speed considering he’d been to the rear of the field earlier after getting caught up in a crash.
Points for the series for the Top 15 are:
Robbie Farr 1181
Steven Lines* 1140
Brooke Tatnell* 1052
Luke Dillon* 1036
James McFadden* 984
Brad Keller 962
David Murcott 871
Shane Stewart* 845
Kyle Hirst 801
Jamie Veal* 769
Matt Egel 756
Dylan Jenkin* 749
Ian Madsen 708
Daniel Pestka* 706
Garry Brazier* 685
* indicated WSS contracted driver
Awards on the night included:
American Racer Tyres Hard Charger: Shane Stewart
Hog’s Breath Cafe “Go the whole hog” award: Jordyn Brazier
Sprintcarzone “Lucky 7′s” award: Brad Sweet
Revolution Racegear Quick Time: Robbie Farr
Amadio Wines Top 8 Shootout: Steven Lines
C-Main winner: Kurt Luttrell
B-Main winner: Luke Dillon
The next round of ENZED World Series Sprintcars (presented by Carline Mufflers and Hog’s Breath Cafe) is scheduled for Wednesday night, January 1, 2014 at Premier Speedway Warrnambool.