2013 Kings Royal victor Brad Sweet was an elated winner of the ENZED World Series Sprintcars Round Three main event at Borderline Speedway Mt. Gambier tonight.
The 28 year old Californian steered the Highrace Towing GF1 chassis to a classy win in what was a race shrouded with drama and controversy as he led home Shaun Dobson in second and Darren Mollenoyux in third.
Driving for Josh and Isaac Ruhs out of Broken Hill in NSW the pint sized KKR racer who will join the World of Outlaws full time in 2014 never looked greatly troubled as he deftly moved through traffic in the car in which he won the Kings Royal in Eldora earlier this year.
“It certainly helps when you can drive a car that you’re used to,” he smiled from the podium, “and I can’t say enough about Josh and Isaac for giving me this opportunity. I came down here to Australia hoping to get a bit of an edge on some of my rivals back home for next year and I’m super happy I can start it off with a win here.”
Sweet’s victory in the $10,000 to win 35 lap A-Main was his first on Australian soil.
Second and third placed Dobson and Mollenoyux respectively registered personal bests in terms of WSS competition.
“I’m really pleased for Harry (Drosti) and my boys that we could get a podium tonight,” explained Dobson, “I gave it everything I had on the restart and we made up a few spots but it was pretty tough to get close to Brad in traffic. He was really fast tonight.”
Mollenoyux too was naturally pleased.
“We came here just hoping to make the A-Main, so to wind up on the podium ahead of guys like Robbie Farr and Garry Brazier is more than we could have hoped for. I really need to thank Parr Motorsports for giving me this opportunity.”
The battle for fourth place behind Mollenoyux and Dobson raged between Robbie Farr and Garry Brazier for several laps with the now West Australia domiciled Farr narrowly getting the nod over Brazier as the chequers flew.
Following Brazier home in fifth was sixth placed Grant Anderson over Jamie Veal recording his best WSS result to date in 2013 with seventh in the Heytesbury Stockfeeds J&J.
Eighth home was Ian Madsen followed by David Murcott in ninth, Daniel Pestka in tenth, Brad Keller in eleventh, Shane Stewart twelfth, Dylan Jenkin thirteenth and fourteenth placed Sydney WSS rookie Jackson Delamont credited as the last car running for position.
The DNF’s were a who’s who of WSS competition.
The first casualty was Brooke Tatnell in the KMS #2 Cool when Steven Lines made contact with the 8 times WSS champ as the pair exited turn two and made their way down the back straight two laps in to the race.
Tatnell’s car suffered left front wheel and tyre damage in the impact and as the car headed towards the infield half a lap later the hapless Matt Egel had nowhere to go and slammed his #29 Rapiti Earthworks entry into the side of Tatnell’s car.
Though Egel rejoined the track shortly after the yellow lights came on for Tatnell and a seething and somewhat bewildered Egel was positioned at the rear of the field for the restart.
“Because Matt had crossed the line with Brooke under greens, not under yellows (or caution lights), he was actually registered as crossing the line in last position when he rejoined the track,” explained WSS Competition Director Paul Trengove.
At the restart it was again Sweet who led away but the battle pack behind him of Dillon, Lines and McFadden was about to come unstuck.
Dillon, who was playing the “Joker” card which guarantees him double points in the main event, had earlier had to thrash with the help of several teams to replace the motor in his #26 Diamond Bay Motorsports entry after the Top 8 Shootout.
His night was about to get worse.
Attempting a slide job on James McFadden in turn three Dillon overcommitted and slammed first the cushion then the wall where he rolled over leaving Steven Lines with nowhere to go but into the melee.
Not 20m further into the corner McFadden had also overcommitted and crashed hard into the wall in his #1 Totally Workwear Cool.
Lines managed to escape with only front wing damage but stewards deemed that he or somebody around the car had removed the damaged front wing with a tool under fundamentally a ‘closed red’ situation preventing him from being eligible to restart.
Once the field restarted Brad Sweet was able to drive away with the victory despite the best efforts of Shaun Dobson who made up several positions with a bold swoop around the outside in turns one and two.
Garry Brazier recorded the fastest lap of the 35 lap A-Main with an 11.472 on lap 19.
At the end of three rounds Luke Dillon narrowly leads the points (as a result of using his Joker card that guaranteed him double points in tonight’s main event) as the field re-groups for Monday night’s fourth round at Avalon Raceway Lara.
Top 20 so far in points:
1. Luke Dillon 822
2. Steven Lines 810
3. Brooke Tatnell 788
4. James McFadden 708
5. Brad Keller 699
6. David Murcott 668
7. Robbie Farr 657
8. Shane Stewart 637
9. Kyle Hirst 615
10. Matt Egel 605
11. Dylan Jenkin 594
12. Daniel Pestka 576
13. Jamie Veal 571
14. Ian Madsen 567
15. Ryan Jones 552
16. Garry Brazier 511
17. Jackson Delamont 502
18. Ricky Maiolo 495
19. Trevor Green 486
20. Randy Hannagan 473