Abreu Wins Opening Night of WA vs USA Speedweek at Perth

Rico Abreu. (Dan McFarland photo)

By T.J. Buffenbarger

KWINANA BEACH, WA (December 26, 2023) — Rico Abreu made his first appearance at the Perth Motorplex one to remember by winning the opening round of WA vs USA Speedweek on Boxing Day. Abreu, from St. Helena, California, was able to take advantage of the dash to help dial in his car to run down Luke Oldfield for the lead and hold off a closing Callum Williamson at the finish.

“It was really important for us just to get all those laps and that trophy Dash was definitely key,” said Abreu in victory lane of his lack of laps around Perth. “You see so much passion in the race fans here and that’s why I really made it a point to come this year to Perth and one of the most beautiful facilities in the world. I get the luxury to travel to a lot of racetracks in America and this facility, the fan atmosphere, and everything Gavin and Perth Motorplex have going on is something special and it’s something that I really going to enjoy bringing home to my family and telling them all about it.

Oldfield and Williamson exchanged the lead on the opening lap before Oldfield took the top position on the opening lap. Abreu was able to pass fellow American Brock Zearfoss on lap three four, only to have Zearfoss take the position back during a restart. Shortly after Zearfoss moved into third, the red flag appeared for Jason Pryde flipping down the front stretch.

Williamson tried to slide Oldfield for the lead during the lap five restart but could not make the pass. Behind the leaders Abreu was able to get past Zearfoss for third on lap seven, but another caution flag for A.J. Nash slowing with a flat right rear negated the pass.

On lap 11 Abreu and Zearfoss exchanged third back and forth before Abreu took over the spot. By lap 14 Abreu was pressuring Williamson for second, taking that position on lap 15.

Another caution on lap 16 when Jason Kendrick slowed on the track allowed Abreu to close on the back bumper of Oldfield for the restart. Abreu pounced and took the lead from Oldfield while Williamson tried to wrestle second place away from Oldfield.

Oldfield was able to hold off Williamson for second position and caught a break when Shawn Bradford brought out a caution flag after ending up backwards in turn two. Oldfield was able to pressure Abreu, but could not make the pass.

The most dramatic moment in the race took place on lap 23 when Ken Satori ended up sideways up by the fence in turn two and Abreu had to bounce off the fence, narrowly avoiding contact with Satori. Somehow Abreu’s car suffered minimal damage and he remained under power to maintain the lead.

After a pair of restarts Abreu pulled away while Oldfield’s slowed with mechanical issues, handing second to Williamson. Williamson was able to close into half a straightaway of Abreu in the closing stages of the feature, but Abreu was able to maintain his advantage for the victory. Williamson, Kaiden Manders, Zearfoss, and Cory Eliason, who had to come through the B-Main after a flip in his heat race, rounded out the top five.

Manders also won the Speedcar feature shortly before the sprint car main event at Perth over Tom Payett and American Alex Bright.

WA vs USA Speedweek
Perth Motorplex
Kwinana Beach, Western Australia
Monday, December 26, 2023

Winged 410 Sprint Cars

1. U24-Rico Abreu
2. 3-Callum Williamson
3. 60-Kaiden Manders
4. USA95-Brock Zearfoss
5. U17-Cory Eliason
6. 2-Dayne Kingshott
7. 99-Jamie Maiolo
8. 8-Andrew Priolo
9. 26-James Inglis
10. 77-Bradley Maiolo
11. 11-Jason Kendrick
12. 25-Taylor Milling
13. 57w-Tim Boujos
14. 44-Ryan Lancaster
15. 27wx-Brock Kenny
16. 57-Shaun Bradford
17. Q65-Luke Oldfield
18. 4-Cameron Mckenzie
19. 41-Ken Sartori
20. 67-Jaydee Dack
21. 79-Kris Coyle
22. 9-AJ Nash
23. 14-Jason Pryde
24. 18-Kye Scroop

Midget Cars

1. 71w-Kaiden Manders
2. 7-Tom Payet
3. USA4-Alex Bright
4. 26-Keenan Fleming
5. 3-Nicholas Rowe
6. 52-Cody Nash
7. 23-Glen Mears
8. 75-Joel Watson
9. 89-Cory Smith
10. 16-Alfonso Guadagnino
11. 76-Patrick Watson
12. 15-Rob Golding
13. 32-Stuart Yates
14. 30-Aron Sharp
15. 9-Lee Austen
16. 44-Tyson Bryden
17. 8-Jake Robinson
18. 11-Bart Curnow
19. 21-Brodie Minchin
20. 97-Gary Mann