West Aussie “Flyan” Ryan Farrell stormed to an emphatic win on a demandingly fast Manjimup Speedway track tonight to win Round Nine of the ENZED World Series Sprintcars Championship, presented by Hogs Breath Cafe.
The often controversial but always fast Sandgroper sped his Diamond Bay Motorsports #26 entry to four consecutive main event wins (8 wins from 10 starts overall) adding another stellar result to what has been one of his best seasons on record in WA.
“I’m so proud of this team,” beamed the happy winner, “they’ve given me a fast racecar every time we’ve hit the track and it makes a huge difference to how I can do my end of the deal. I’ve won about five of these deals (WSS main event wins) in my 20 year career and it just goes to show you how hard they are to win.”
Farrell set Quick Time in Revolution Racegear Qualifying and won the Vortex Wings Gold Shootout (earning pole) – the only blot on his copybook was spinning after the chequered flag in his first heat leaving Brad Maiolo nowhere to go but into the #26 car where he rolled over.
(Maiolo had to make hasty repairs to his APB #77 entry in order to make the second heat without interruption).
Chasing home Farrell in second place in the 30 lap main event was Californian Tim Kaeding, with South Aussie Luke Dillon third, Steven Lines fourth and James McFadden rounding out the five.
Both second placed Kaeding and third placed Dillon were WSS Manjimup debutants.
“I kinda like this place,” admitted Kaeding post-race, “it reminds a bit of Hanford but with a wall and you can really carry speed here. I’m just so pleased to get a podium result for my guys. Krikke Motorsport have worked their tails off to get me a fast racecar and tonight we almost delivered them a win.”
Luke Dillon had to be satisfied with a great top three result on debut.
“It’s good to get some points back tonight,” he admitted, “I quite enjoyed the racetrack and I’m pleased we could get a podium finish although we got as high as second and I’d like to have stayed there.”
Dillon’s #81 Action Linemarking Eagle may well have started on the front row instead of the second row for the A-Main but he tragically ran out of fuel as he began the Vortex Wings Gold Shootout after he came from the Bronze Shootout.
“We did a lot of roll around laps in between the greens,” Luke explained, “and that cost us more than we expected.”
Farrell’s front row starting partner was Steven Lines in the #3 Bridgestone Tyre Centre Albany KPC and the duo raced side by side for pretty much the first three laps before Farrell eventually pulled away to a substantial lead.
The battles for second through to eighth were fierce with Dillon, Kaeding, Lines, Stewart, Bradford and even McFadden emerging from his ninth position starting spot to make a late race charge.
Heartbreak story for the race was undoubtedly Shane Stewart in the Monster Energy #7 Milwaukee Power Tools entry.
The American was simply electric in his heat races (lapping Daniel Pestka in his first foray to win by a massive margin) and was cutting a swathe towards Farrell in the dying laps but tragically the car began to overheat and Stewart stopped on the main straight with five laps to go and Farrell in his sights.
The restart gave Tim Kaeding one last chance to have a crack at Farrell but TK almost spun the car coming out of turn four to take the green.
“Man the chassis rail or something grabbed a rut in the track and I all but turned around. As it was I saved it but I also lost any chance of the win because Ryan was gone out in front.”
James McFadden had a busy night in the #1 Totally Workwear COOL with an engine change after the first heat and a rare situation ensued where he missed the Top 8 Shootout qualification.
In true McFadden style he sizzled back through the field from ninth to pass Lines and initially ensure that the Mt. Gambier rival couldn’t sneak any points on the Championship lead but Lines stormed back to finish in front of the series leader at the fall of the chequers.
Hard charging Ben Ellement brought the J&S Drilling #44 home in a creditable sixth position after being the highest qualified non-WSS driver outside Ryan Farrell in the Top 8 Shootout.
Shaun Bradford was desperately unlucky not to claim a podium or at least top five finish with an overheating motor slowing his progress around the time that Stewart brought on the cautions for a similar situation.
The third generation West Aussie star timed in second fastest during qualifying to Farrell and began the A-Main from the third row of the grid – along the way finally showing some of his form that WA fans have come to expect.
He eventually finished 7th with growing concern about whether the temperature of the motor might have caused some long term consequences.
Nick Lacey recorded his best result of the series so far with eighth place in the Video Ezy / Karcher Equipment #26 despite the fact that he’d never laid eyes before on the unique Manjimup circuit.
Ninth home was Daniel Pestka (he too had never raced at Manjimup before) in the Pete Caporn wrenched Gawler Farm Machinery #27 J&J ahead of Jamie Maiolo’s APB #99 rounding out the top ten.
Maiolo was hamstrung from rear end issues in his qualifying session that certainly prevented him from locking in a second lap and registering a more competitive time.
Shane Stewart struggled back to 11th from the rear in the last five laps to finish ahead of Mark Wells, Brad Maiolo, Daniel Harding, Carl Dowling, Mark House, Taylor Milling and Steve Caunt completing the field.
West Aussie WSS contracted rookie Trent Pigdon was the only car to DNF with a broken shock absorber on the PMS #19 COOL.