He was born in Toowoomba, moved to Brisbane, now lives in Western Australia and tonight Cameron Gessner claimed the preliminary main event WSS feature ‘in his backyard’ with a strong victory at the Perth Motorplex tonight.
Gessner stormed the NRW #68 J&J across the line to claim the win narrowly from Steven Lines in second and Brooke Tatnell in third.
“This is really home for me now,” grinned the lanky hard charger, “it’s good to get a win at this place, it’s an amazing track to race at. It was fast tonight but it was also rough in places so you had to be right on your game. I’m really pleased for Nathan MacDonald and Peter Green for giving me a great car tonight. I can’t thank them enough.”
Early leader David Priolo was dead unlucky in the #8 Budget Forklifts entry when he blew the left rear and spun across the front of the field to wind up (fortunately) harmlessly on the infield.
“I feel bad for David,” admitted Gessner, “he was doing a great job. I’m sorry for David but we’ll take it. You take these wins any way you can because they don’t come around very often.”
Steven Lines thrashed his Monster Energy #7 J&J to second place from the fourth row initially in a confidence building drive.
“Cameron did a great job. I tried a few things on him but he was fast and we couldn’t get through. All in all it was a good result for this team and we can go into tonight with some good points. It’s good to have the team boss (Luch Monte) here tonight after his knee replacement, hopefully we can get a win for him tomorrow night.”
Current Aussie champ Brooke Tatnell sped the #1 Krikke Motorsport / Toyota Genuine Parts COOL from the fifth row of the grid to grab the final spot on the podium after passing Shaun Bradford in the dying stages.
“The track was rough but it was fast,” Tatnell conceded, “we were able to move around on the track though so we had passing opportunities that allowed us to go forward. This is a good result to work with for tomorrow night.”
Shaun Bradford brought the #57 Carahaul QT chassis home in fourth place ahead of Robbie Farr’s #7 Orrcon Steel ECPR Maxim in fifth, David Murcott’s #83 Horrell Motorsport Eagle in sixth, James McFadden’s Totally Workwear #5 COOL in seventh, Luke Dillon’s Hogs Breath Café #81 in eighth, Jamie Maiolo’s LJM Produce J&J in ninth and Ryan Farrell’s #5 Hall’s Haulage KPC rounding out the top ten.
The remaining four cars to finish were Kaley Gharst, Jason Johnson, Max Dumesny and Brad Maiolo.
DNF’s included David Priolo (flat left rear) Grant Anderson (front end damage) Tyler Walker (flat right rear tyre) Jason Kendrick (engine failure) and Trevor Reynolds (left rear suspension collapse).
Hard luck stories on the night included Ian Madsen who, whilst subbing for older brother Kerry in the 92.9 KPC took a wild ride when Ken Sartori miscalculated his cornering speed in the #41 entry in the B-Main and sent the young Sydneysider on a wild ride that destroyed the Kendrick car.
Shane Stewart, who was riding along behind the battle for second, got innocently caught up when he flipped the #17 Monte Motorsport J&J and crashed out. An irate Stewart ran to the other side of the track to access Sartori as he prepared to push off at the restart.
Jason Johnson missed the inversion in qualifying and spent the evening playing catch up to the points pace-setters. He transferred from the B-Main but it was a less than devastating performance for the livewire American.
“I don’t know what went wrong,” frowned Johnson after qualifying, “we just missed it. It didn’t seem to matter what we did with the car we were still behind the eight ball.”
In contrast, Johnson’s arch-rival James McFadden effectively wrapped up the Hi-Tech Oils World Series Sprintcars Championship and comes into the final night at The Perth Motorplex with nothing to prove and only an A-Main win to chase.