From Premier Speedway
Warrnambool, AU – (March 24, 2012) — 2011 Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic winner Steven Lines’ debut for West Australian car owner Brian Hall couldn’t have been scripted any better as the Mount Gambier based racer set fast time, won a heat race and led every lap of the 30 lap Eureka Garages and Sheds Sprintcar Series Grand Final last night at Warrnambool’s Sungold Stadium. If it sounded easy then you had better think again as Lines had to contend with another hard charging performance from current World Series Sprintcars champion James McFadden who would eventually finish second ahead of impressive South Australian youngster Daniel Pestka.
With much of the focus on the race at the front, fans were also entertained with the battle for the 2012 Eureka Sprintcar Series championship with local protagonist’s Darren Mollenoyux and Jamie Veal locked in battle for the championship honours. As history will show, Mollenoyux’s fifth place finish racked up enough points to secure the rich and popular championship win.
On a weather effected track that soaked up much of the late week rain, track curators still managed to produce a multiple lane racing surface that also produced a wickedly quick 10.33 second burst from fast time winner Steven Lines in qualifying!
Jumping to the lead from the outset of the Fresh Fruitjuice supported 30 lap A-main, Lines was simply back to his brilliant best as he weaved through traffic as he knew he needed to stay ahead of the always dangerous McFadden.
Despite McFadden getting close on a number of occasions, Lines was simply too good as he consistently moved through the back markers and held anywhere from a car length to a straight away advantage over McFadden with the eventual winning margin just over a car length.
“This is for Brian Hall and the entire team that have backed me with this deal,” beamed an almost relieved Steven Lines.
“I knew he (McFadden) would be there but I just had to keep my head down and get on with the job.”
Lines also had to contend with an errant rear push bar from Domain Ramsay’s car that almost sent Lines into orbit when he drove over the crash bar in turn 3, burying it sufficiently that a tractor was required to lift it from the Sungold Stadium surface.
“I didn’t know what I hit, I couldn’t see it and I didn’t know if it had damaged anything on the car but luckily it didn’t and we could get the win,” said Lines.
The win also extended Lines’ lead in the Parr Motorsports and GF1 Chassis Sprintcar track championship where he is also the defending winner.
Lines soaked up much of the attention for his race win and deservedly so however James McFadden didn’t disappoint his legion of fans as it was another stirring run into the runner up spot.
McFadden’s pursuit of the leader left tongues wagging as the brilliant youngster was so confident in the car’s handling that was using the wall in turn three to propel the car through the corner lap after lap!
“There was no cushion up there and I was just brushing the wall to try and keep the momentum,” explained the laconic World Series Sprintcars champion.
Danny Pestka’s excellent night was rewarded with a top three result after starting eighth on the grid. It was a gritty drive from the emerging youngster who motored past the likes of Jeremy Cross, Tim Rankin, Darren Mollenoyux and Jamie Veal!
Fourth home was Jamie Veal and despite pulling up agonizingly short in the Eureka Sprintcar Series Championship, Veal was back in form at his home track.
Mollenoyux’s fifth place finish secured the Eureka Sprintcar Series and the Warrnambool standout’s consistency was the key to his success. When many of his rivals were crashing out of contention, ‘Molly’ continually figured in the results of the 14 round championship.
Sixth home was Darren Hickman with Jeremy Cross, Brett Milburn, Brent Aprile and Glen Sutherland rounding out the top 10. Other finishers included Nick Lacey, Mitch Foster and Nick Lacey.
Non finishers included Tim Rankin and John Vogels who were both caught out when Quentin Tanner looped his ride in turn 4. Charles Hunter and Domain Ramsay were other DNF’s.
Right from the outset it was vintage Steven Lines as he cruised to victory in the first heat of the night winning from Mollenoyux and Pestka.
Heat two was won in a canter by James McFadden as he familiarized himself with the Warrnambool highline once again. Charles Hunter continued his good form when he finished runner up ahead of Nick Lacey.
Tim Rankin charged to the win in heat 3 ahead of fifth starting Jamie Veal while Queenslander Brent Aprile raced into third in an exciting duel for the minors with Quentin Tanner and Darren Hickman.
Fifth starting Jack Lee was eventually promoted to pole courtesy of a couple of restarts and duly went on to win heat 4 ahead of Rick Barrand and Brett Milburn.
John Vogels romped to victory in heat 5 after starting pole as he defeated Domain Ramsay and eighth starting Jamie Veal.
Heat six produced some James McFadden magic as the WSS champ scorched from position 12 to win ahead of Glen Sutherland and tenth starting Jeremy Cross in arguably the heat race of the night!
Simon Van Ginneken, Peter Milnes, Eddie Lumbar and Ryan Davis advanced out of the C-main without a lap being turned when the race was declared following several incidents!
Brett Milburn led home Glen Sutherland to win the B-main as Domain Ramsay, Quentin Tanner, Mitch Foster and Nick Lacey all advanced from the last chance event and into the A-main.
The Wingless Sprints were contesting the final round of the Parr Motorsports Series and from pole James Wren managed to outrun a stellar field. Wren simply didn’t leave any margin for error in a fine performance that saw him defeat Jye Saunders and Damien Meade.
Paul Robilliard clipped an ailing Glenn Watts in the A-main and suffered a nasty series of barrel rolls late in the race. Fortunately the multiple state champ managed to walk away from the scene despite being shaken up.
Robilliard’s spectacular exit was the only stoppage of a superb A-main for the category that now looks forward to conducting their Australian Championship at Warrnambool in February 2012.
Wingless Sprint heat race winners included Justin Barton, Andy Hibbert, Luke Weel and Brendan Balcombe in the first round of qualifiers. Brad Warren began the second round with victory as Jye Saunders, Mathew Balcombe and Brendan Balcombe also scored wins.
Domain Ramsay advanced from the Wingless Sprint C-main as did Robbie Paton before Mark Balcombe defeated Phil Johnson, Troy Small and Jake Smith in the B-main.
Warrnambool’s next event is the Easter Sprintcar Trail on Easter Sunday night when the final round of the Parr Motorsports and GF1 Chassis Sprintcar track championship will be contested. With Lines, McFadden, Max Dumesny, touring US import Shane Stewart and of course defending Easter Sprintcar Trail winner Shaun Dobson entered it promises to be a great event.
For more details phone General Manager David Mills 0408 529 625
Website – www.premierspeedway.com.au