Farr and Bell Tie at Avalon

Robbie Farr. - File Photo

From Avalon Raceawy

Let the history books show that round thirteen of the 2011/2012 Eureka Garages & Sheds Sprintcar Series at Avalon Raceway had it first dead heat A Main feature win last night with race long leader Robbie Farr and Stephen Bell crossing the finish line in a dead heat, and what’s more is the events also double as the Victorian Open Sprintcar Title so the perpetual Victorian Title Cup will now read 2012 Victorian Title Champions, 1st place- Robbie Farr & Stephen Bell.

What a big night it was at Avalon Raceway for the running of the Eureka Garages & Sheds Sprintcar Series penultimate round that double as the rescheduled Victorian Open Sprintcar Title and night two of the Great Southern Showdown. Eight different heat winners, Darren Hickman as the top qualifier for his first time, Farr and Bell Victorian Champions and more importantly Darren Mollenoyux went away from the nights racing taking the lead of the Eureka Series Championship back from Jamie Veal with a 108 points advantage heading into the Series Grand final at there home track Premier Speedway on the 24th of March. Not forgetting the Great Southern Showdown weekend prize pole money for the top four over the two nights being shared by James McFadden in 1st place, 2nd John Vogels, 3rd Robbie Farr and 4th Darren Mollenoyux.

Once again the heat racing was frantic with the thirty eight drivers all looking to lock themselves into a starting berth of the A Main, the first few heats went through without much drama but heat four saw Matthew Reed take a wild ride that eventually put him out for the night. Heat six was the next event that was to have a real effect on the Eureka Series points leader, Jamie Veal made contact with race leader Ronny Dalton when entering turn three and four on the last lap that would see the V35 car sent into the turn four wall and score a DNF and no points. The reflection of this was the Veal was now looking at a C main start to try and work his way into the B Main then to the A Main.

Eight heats done and dusted the top six drivers were on track for a shot at a front row start in the top six time trial. Vogels was first setting the time to beat with a fast 11.822 second lap that showed that the track had plenty of speed. Tim Rankin was next but before he could fire up the push car rode his left rear wheel, Rankin was given time to fix any damage and permitted to have the last run. Robbie Farr would go on to take the P1 qualifying spot from Stephen Bell buy .059 of a second, in third was John Vogels from Darren Hickman, Brett Milburn and Tim Rankin.

The C Main was the next event on the card that had two of the Eureka Series top ten drivers in it, Jamie Veal needed to finish in the top four to transfer to the B Main as too did Rod Matthew. The C Main went Flag to Flag With V74 Michael Cunningham taking the win from a relieved Jamie Veal, Quentin Tanner and Rod Matthews who would all go to the back of the B main.

What was interesting was while current Series point leader Veal was not having a great night by missing a direct transfer into the Main event is that his nearest rival in the championship points Darren Mollenoyux had found himself in the B Main as well and would start the race from position eleven. It was vital that these two drivers were to make the A Main and get as many points as possible. With only one stoppage early in the B main the fight was on to take one of the six transfer spots, event winner Dennis Jones headed Adam King and Ryan Davis to the flag but further back Mollenoyux was working hard to take sixth place from Glen Sutherland, lap seven and Mollenoyux made the pass for a transfer spot but the news was bad for Veal who only advanced to position eleven that would finish his night.

Dennis Jones, Adam King, Ryan Davis, Ian Loudoun, Darren Mollenoyux and Domain Ramsay were locked in for the Main event. The Main grid order was now, Farr, Bell, Vogels, Hickman, Milburn, Rankin then Jeremy Cross, James McFadden, Michael Phillips, Charles Hunter, Ron Dalton, Mike Van Bremen followed by the drivers transferring from the B Main.

With the Eureka Garages and Sheds principal Domenic Sabatino on the infield to signal the formation of the four wide salute all was ready for what was going to be a fast and furious race.

Farr took the start from Bell and Vogels while the rest of the field jostled for position, on lap two Rankin rolled to a stop bring on the cautions lights for the first time, before the race got back under way proper there were a few more stoppages. Back under way once again and Farr opened a small gap on Bell from Vogels and McFadden who had disposed of Milburn and Hickman, further back Hunter, Phillips and Van Bremen were in a tight battle for seventh place. Mollenoyux was not making much ground sitting in tenth place but he was also aware of the importance that he must finish in the best possible position without taking risk for the championship points.

Farr had now caught Ramsay to put him down a lap and this also allowed him to open a bigger gap over Bell, Vogels was little further back but now had McFadden all over him like a rash and eventually taking position three from Vogels to set his sights on Bell. As Farr moved into move lap traffic Bell had cleared Ramsay and was back making progress on Farr once again before the caution lights were back on. Twelve laps to run and Robbie Farr was off into clean air, but Stephen Bell had the V88 working hard and kept him in his sights for the run to the flag, with Farr seemingly better of the turns Bell had good straight line speed that keep him in touch, Mc Fadden was also catching the leaders leaving Vogels, Milburn, Van Bremen, Cross and Mollenoyux who had moved into eight place to fight it out for the minor placing’s.

A few laps to run and Farr had now caught up to traffic once again which allowed Bell to be right on the tail of the Q7 car and also this was allowing McFadden to throw his hat into the ring for a shot at victory, heading into the last lap Farr was looking like he could hold P1 to the flag but as he entered turn three for the last time on the tail of the Michael Phillips the last car on the lead lap he had to make a quick discission where to go as Bell had arrived also, Farr went for the outside not knowing for sure where Bell was but Bell had found a small opening that allowed him to pass Phillips on the inside and a shot at taking the lead from Farr with only metres to go, well history will now show that Bell did indeed catch Farr but did not beat him was when the two drivers crossed the finish line it was a dead heat finish with a gap of 000 recorded on the timing system.

The final placing’s were in 1st place Robbie Farr and Stephen Bell, filling third place was James McFadden from fourth placed John Vogels rounding out the field was Brett Milburn, Mike Van Bremen, Jeremy Cross, Darren Mollenoyux, Darren Hickman, Dennis Jones, Michael Phillips and Domain Ramsay.
The two race winners were heard to say “well it is better than being second”

Heading into the Eureka Garages and Sheds Series final in two weeks time Darren Mollenoyux will be happy going into the event as the points leader but is only too well aware that Jamie Veal has a good history at Premier Speedway and both drivers will need to be at there peak in there efforts to win the 2011-2012 Eureka Garages and Sheds Sprintcar Series Championship. The nomination list for the Series Final is also going have some of the finest drivers in the country on hand and also the possible inclusion of a leading American driver as well. All roads lead to Premier Speedway Warrnambool on Saturday March 24 for the Grand Final of the Eureka Series Championship.

Heat wins on the night went to – Heat 1 – V48 Adam King, 2 – Q7 Robbie Farr, 3 – V88 Stephen Bell, 4 – V6 Mike Van Bremen, 5 – V70 John Vogels, 6 – V44 Ron Dalton, 7 – N18 Ian Loudoun, 8 – V40 Darren Hickman.

The next round of the Eureka Garages & Sheds Sprintcar Series is the Grand Final that will be at Premier Speedway Warrnambool for round 14 on Saturday the 24th of March 2012.

More information for these events can be found at www.premierspeedway.com.au

Eureka Garages and Sheds Series nightly contingency awards:
ELF RACING FUELS top point scorer – V40 Darren Hickman
HOOSIER TIRE AUSTRALIA random draw between position 6th and 18th –
7th place – N39 Jeremy Cross
D&F RACING PRODUCTS hard luck of the night – V92 Matthew Reed
AMERICAN TIRE & RACING SERVICE a $100 product voucher for the most cars passed in the A Main at each round of the Series – V77 Darren Mollenoyux
(9 cars) (This award will go to the driver that finished the higher if any ties)
CASCADE NATIONAL P/L 1st competitor not to transfer from B to A-Main –
S20 Glen Sutherland

End of Series awards:
METRIC MEN End of Series most heat wins – Overall V77 Darren Mollenoyux (7)
JOHN SIDNEY RACING most cars passed in A-Main (end of series) cars passed. Overall – V77 Darren Mollenoyux (37)
Eureka Garages & Sheds major sponsor of the Series overall prize money poole.
Camden Neon Signs & Hoosier Tire Australia – sponsors of the Series Prize poole.
Parr Motorsports –Drivers Driver award as voted on by the drivers in the Series
KTM Top Ten Motorbike award – Random draw at the Presentation Dinner.
Essendon Ford Trip to America award – for drivers finishing between 11th and 20th place in the Series. Random draw at the Presentation Dinner.

Eureka Garages and Sheds Sprintcar Series Top Twenty:

KTM Top 10 – (350 EXC-F)
(End of Series random draw between 1st & 10th place)
1st – V77 Darren Mollenoyux – 4068
2nd – V35 Jamie Veal – 3960
3rd – V70 John Vogels – 3742
4th – V68 Brett Milburn – 3427
5th – V47 Tim Rankin – 3351
6th – V6 Mike Van Bremen – 3287
7th – V9 Rod Matthews – 2984
8th – V20 Domain Ramsay – 2834
9th – V14 Carl Ludeman – 2516
10th – V57 Michael Phillips – 2500

Essendon Ford – Trip to America
(End of Series random draw between 11th & 20th place)
11th – S20 Glen Sutherland – 2471
12th – N36 Eddie Lumbar – 2396
13th – V74 Michael Cunningham – 2396
14th – V48 Adam King – 2368
15th – V17 Dennis Jones – 2365
16th – V26 Nick Lacey – 2286
17th – V40 Darren Hickman – 2185
18th – V95 Ryan Davis – 2093
19th – V88 Stephen Bell – 1963
20th – NQ25 James McFadden – 1936