Roll Away Drag Racing
By Mark Humphrey
Warrnambool, Vic/Aus. 29th January 2015. It’s fair to say that drag racing is in the blood of the committed but Warrnambool And District Drag Racing Association (WADDRA) takes that saying to the extreme. Lacking a permanent facility the club takes on the task of rolling out a drag race meeting 3 or so times a year at the local airport. Now in their 22nd year the club transforms one end of the Warrnambool Airport runway into a temporary dragstrip to accommodate the local drag racing fraternity who roll out in numbers to watch the motorheads put their machines through their paces.Completely mobile control tower is simply towed away at the end of the event.
Originally sanctioned to the opposite end of the runway the club recalls having to dig in their own temporary Armco railing for each meeting and then remove the railing at the completion of each event. On several occasions the drag racing has had to be halted for several hours while the air ambulance used the runway. This procedure for the air ambulance is still currently in place with officials and spectators having to sit it out when the air wing arrives at the airport. Now in a more accessible area the club gets to work around lunch time the day before setting up temporary fencing, pit offices, commentary and control towers, staging and timing beams along with canteen facilities all of which have to be removed by 5pm the following day.The locals enjoying a day out at the drags.
It is amazing to watch the co-ordinated precision of the club as they dismantle the entire drag racing set up after the completion of racing. A local burnout competition kicks into gear directly after the last drag racing final with a dozen or more cars participating in the 2 round format. This signals the club into overdrive as teams spread out to collect witches hats and timing gear while other members dismantle the staging lights, communication equipment and temporary fencing. The pit box and communication tower are towed away leaving nothing but cleaning staff to complete the transformation. By the end of the burnout competition the place is starting to resemble an open paddock once again. Every skerrick of debris including spent burnout debris has to be collected and carted away leaving the area 100% spotless. Even the white lines painted on the start of the tarmac have to be repainted the following morning. Action from the days racing has to be erazed from the white lines.
And all of this has to be completed by 5.00pm on the day. Now that’s commitment!
State of the art track preparations. They tell me that 60' times are comparable with tracks across the country.
All is not doom and gloom for the club though as they are knee deep in trying to secure a permanent site to house a brand new 1/8 drag racing facility. Although a long way off club president Tony Frost addressed the gallery with regards to pending actions. At $35,000 for a feasibility study Frost said that they had to make sure all things were in place the first time around as the club didn’t have the money to conduct another study. The club was expecting some favourable news late in December but a technicality has held over the news. Frost is hoping that once they receive the planning permits local companies and the public will jump on board to support their fundraising drive. The club hopes to emulate their neighbour’s facility at Portland giving the Western District of Victoria the tag of Australia’s greatest country drag racing region.
The final round of the WADDRA 2014/15 season will run in March or April with a final date not set at this stage. Keep an eye out for the meeting along with the development of a permanent facility. The club is hoping the drag racing fraternity across Australia will pitch in and help out when the time comes. Watch a small sample of WADDRA round 2 action in the following video.
IMAGES FROM THE DAY
Video Leftovers From Burnout Comp.
By Mark Humphrey
Warrnambool, Vic/Aus. 27th January 2015. The 2nd round of the WADDRA 14/15 season included a burnout competition for locals to show their driving skills. With some of the regulars over in the mount for their slam fest competitor numbers were down a touch but that didn't detract from the spectacle that is "Burnouts".
Below is the 2nd video released covering the competition. For more highlights from the day go to
WADDRA Club Comp Rd 2
Video action from round 2 of the WADDRA club competition. This video is a highlights package of the burnout Comp.
WSS Heads Into Sungold StadiumNT racer Jamie McInnis heads WA's Taylor Milling at Avalon Raceway
Warrnambool, Vic/Aus. 1st January 2015. The World Series Sprintcars roll into Warrnambool's Sungold Stadium for round 5 of the 12 round series. Tonight's round also rounds out the traditional speedweek series which consisted of 5 race meetings in 7 days.
Plenty to watch tonight as stars from all states of Australia get ready to roll into the time trials. Last rounds winner David Murcott is on some what of a roll having also picked up a win in round 1 of the series in Adelaide. The usual local stars will be out in force with last round's runner up Jamie Veal expected to challenge for the win tonight.
One to watch tonight is West Australian Scott Reilly who no doubt will put on a show for spectators. Having the courage to run high, Reilly shaved the Avalon fence throughout the C-Main to provide one of the nights highlights. With the super fast Warrnambool track prone to a high line watch out for this exciting racer.
All the action that is the WSS commences around 6pm.
For more info on the series go to http://www.worldseriessprintcars.com.au/
For more info on Sungold Stadium go to http://http://www.premierspeedway.com.au/
IMAGES FROM Rd 4 @ AVALON
Lines Chalks Up Win #6
By Mark Humphrey
Mount Gambier local Steven Lines last night chalked up his 6th win of the season when he won the SRA Eureka Garages & Sheds 3rd round at Premier Speedway.
Round 3 winner Steven Lines looks unbeatable
For Lines the night was without blemish as he put away quick time and accrued the highest points throughout the night to start the A-Main from the pole.
This superb outfit spannered by Craig Bennett just seems to get better and better as the season goes on. With Lines so dominate in the car you have to wonder how anybody is going to beat him this season.
Round 3 of the SRA Eureka Garages & Sheds series started off with qualifying on a manicured Premier surface which would get better as the night rolled on. Lines took quick time on a mid-pack draw followed by ever improving young gun James Hennessy. Milling, Hunter & Milburn rounded out the top 5. It was very refreshing to see privateers Hennessy and Charles Hunter up amongst the big guns duking it out. Hennessy believed that time in the seat has helped him along the way with Hunter noting that his car is feeling good at the moment.
Heat 1 was taken out by Lines driving the Halls Motorsport, Wilson Trailers W3 car. Hennessy driving the Hennessy Transport V21 car took out heat 2 with veteran Johnny Vogels in the Mainline Dynolog V70 sprintcar taking heat 3. Other heat winners were series points leader Jeremy Cross in the N39 Tyreright entry, Brett Milburn pedalling the I-Digit, Better Bin Hire V68, Bendigo charger Darren Hickman in the Mobil 1, Tasco Petroleum V40 car, New South Welshman Jackson Delamont in the Mad Harry’s Steel Supply N48 entry, Domain Ramsay driving the Essendon Ford V20 sprintcar with Jack Lee in the Lillee’s Lane Quarry V25 and Stephen Bell driving the Drysdale Chaff Mills V88 taking out the last 2 heats.
Top 4 from the C-Main would advance to the B-Main.
C-Main starting grid. W25, V19, V48, V29, V91, S4, V3, V17, S7, N36, S20, V84, V76, V12, V24, V14.
Starting from the outside front Daniel Newnham got the jump and lead from go to whoa. Green driving the familiar Natrad entry starting from the 3rd row put in a strong drive to take 2nd with Carroll safe in 3rd. The final transfer spot was hotly contested with V48 Adam King advancing to the B-Main.
B-Main starting grid with top 6 to advance to the A-Main.
V16, N28, V25, V26, V10, V36, S51, V20, ACT4, V40, N48, V74, V19, S4, V29, V48.
Nick Lacey driving the V26 Karcher entry hooked up high on the green to go around the front row to lead them out. Superb bit of driving from Lacey hugging the concrete fence through turns 1 & 2. Dobson moved into 3rd while Californian Kyle Hirst driving the PRP Engineering V10 car had a good battle with Kris Lacey in the V16 Look 3D entry.
Victorian Jack Lee clipped the turn 2 wall to bring on the cautions with 8 laps to go. Nick Lacey led them away on the re-start followed by Campbell in the N28 car with Dobson, Jenkin, Kris Lacey, Hirst, King and Green in hot pursuit.
Another caution with 2 laps to go was eventually called by the stewards handing Nick Lacey the B-Main win. Joining him at the rear of the A-Main was Dobson, Hirst, Campbell and Green who had made his way into the A-Main from the 3rd row of the C-Main.
A-Main starting grid. W3, V21, V68, V9, V70, N39, A1, V77, V88, V47, V6, V73, V26, V36, V10, N28 & S4.
Lines had pole for the final but the feel good stories come from the qualification efforts of Hennessy who started outside front and Hunter who had made the A-Main proper starting out of 12th.
Lines as expected got the perfect start to lead them out on the 30 lap journey. Hennessy and Rod Matthews followed. McFadden was marching on through the pack as was current series leader Jeremy Cross. Brilliant driving by Cross had him holding down second after just a handful of laps and closing in on leader Lines. McFadden also on the march dropped inside Hennessy in t3 to take 3rd. Meanwhile Green starting from the rear was cutting through the pack with Hirst also moving forward. Lines was into traffic after 10 laps which allowed Cross to close in on Lines. Both drivers were showing class driving skills as the meticulously picked off the back markers. Cross was definitely catching Lines and by now was within striking distance. Cross couldn’t find a way past the hard paced Vogels and tailed Vogels for several laps allowing McFadden to close down the gap to Cross. McFadden with one of his trademark moves pushed pass Cross to hold down second momentarily. No to give up lightly Cross challenged McFadden almost immediately and got the second spot back. Green who had started from the rear was now in 8th with more to come. Hirst like Green was also cutting a path through the field. Green up high got past Mollenoyux who was having a relatively un-eventful night and chased down McFadden. With only a couple of laps to go Green was definitely in the mix for a podium. Lines continued his faultless start to the season with the win. Jeremy Cross finished comfortably in 2nd to extend his series points lead with Trevor Green unbelievably grabbing the final podium spot as McFadden and Mollenoyux duked it out over the line.
Just behind the pair was Kyle Hirst who after starting from 15th finished a credible 6th signalling his intentions for the season. A more favourable qualifying draw will no doubt have Hirst seriously challenging Lines and co.
For Steven Lines, bring em on. This racer and his team are at the top of their tree at the moment and to beat them will require a super special set of circumstances which no doubt is great for the spectators.
Lines on accepting the winner’s trophy said “I was running the top to keep momentum. I looked for fast parts of the track and worked the low line for a while but had to go back up top”.
Cross commented that it was the best result he has had at Warrnambool. Asked what his thoughts were on the race Cross said “I had to have patience at the start. Just to be comfortable on the track was the secret”. He went on to say “the car and the track seemed to come in at the same time and it also seemed like everyone found the sweet spot at the same time”. “I couldn’t get past Johnny who was racing hard so I’m really happy with 2nd place”.
When asked about his unbelievable chase Green said “we mucked around with different shock settings over the past couple of meetings. Tonight we went back to the old reliable settings and basically used the set-up that worked for us last Easter”. Green went on to say “I love coming to this place. We drive straight past my home track just to race over here” With a reputed 900+ hp under the lid Green is one of the crowd favourites at Warrnambool.
It seems like with every Sprintcar meeting these days there is always a good news story. For me no doubt the rise of youngster James Hennessy was a highlight on the night. Although he may not have the backing of a Halls Motorsport or the like his effort on the night highlights the depth of talent currently contesting the SRA Eureka series. James Hennesey had a big night starting the A-Main on the front row
Charles Hunter is another example of a low budget team that on their night is capable of some good results.Charles Hunter hooks into the Warrnambool track. Hunter qualified outright for the A-Main
Now all we need is for some of these low budget teams to figure in the cash at the end of the night. But to do that you have to take down the like of Lines, Cross and Green who are Sprintcar Superstars. Good luck with that.
The SRA Eureka series moves to Geelong’s Avalon Raceway next weekend for round 4.
For more information go to www.avalonraceway.com.au
LINES GETS QUICK TIME
By Mark Humphrey
Mount Gambier local Steven Lines driving the Halls Haulage W3 sprintcar took out quick time for round 3 of the SRA Eureka Garages & Sheds being held at Warrnambool’s Sun Gold Stadium.
Drawing mid pack Lines put in 2 faultless laps to record quick time which stood for the remainder of the qualifying session.
Young up & coming driver James Hennessy piloting the #21 Victorian sprintcar put in a fantastic lap to secure 2nd quick. Asked to comment on the time Hennessy said “I’m starting to get good time in the seat which helps heaps. 2nd quick sets us up for the night provided I can get some good results in the heats. I’ll take this run we are having as it could all turn to you know what very quickly.
3rd quick time for the session went to Taylor Milling in the W25 sprintcar followed by Victorians Charles Hunter and Brett Milburn.
For Hunter driving the V73 sprintcar this was a fantastic result for the low budget racer and definitely helps him in his quest to make the A-Main.
Some interesting points to come out of the qualifying were Australian #1 James McFadden qualifying in 14th spot, South Aussie hot shot Trevor Green S4 further back in 27th spot and Californian Kyle Hirst driving the PRP Engineering #10 back 3 places in 30th position.
Round 1 winner Jeremy Cross driving the N39 sprintcar qualified in 19th spot with Cunningham 1 spot back in 20th but 10 spots ahead of his US team mate.
Kristy Ellis put in a great lap to qualify in 17th.
With 10 heat races to be run on the famous Premier speedway bowl you can expect plenty of thrills and spills as drivers try to qualify directly into the A-Main.
US Champ back for another tilt.
By Mark Humphrey
Californian sprintcar ace Kyle Hirst is back in Australia for the summer season and this time he has his long time spanner man and fellow Californian Michael Helwig over here to help out in what will be a hectic summer.
The #10 Hirst sprintcar sits beside the team bosses #74 Cunningham sprintcar
Hirst coming off the back of the US KWS series where he took out the championship is here to race in the Michael Cunningham backed PRP Engineering #10 sprintcar.
Asked what his goals were for the Australian summer Hirst said “I’m here to race and hopefully win some races. Every time I jump in the car I want to win, it’s as simple as that”.
Hirst arrived in Oz a couple of weeks ago and had his first hit out at the 360 sanctioned Swan Hill meeting last week. Second quick in the time trial accounted for nothing in the end as the team hurt an engine bringing the night to a premature end.
In Warrnambool tonight contesting round 3 of the SRA Eureka Garages & Sheds series I asked Hirst if the classic was a priority on his list. “No I treat it the same as any race in that I want to win it. Racing here tonight helps me get used of the track so I’m better prepared for the classic”. It’s good for me to have Mike over here this year as we go way back. We have a green light from Michael Cunningham to pretty much run our own schedule this summer. Michael likes to run the 360 series but we both will be at some of the bigger meetings.
Talking to spanner man Michael Helwig I asked him about his feelings on the trip this summer, “oh it’s great to have the chance to get over to Australia and help out Kyle. We caught up with Mike (Cunningham) when he was over in the states and worked out a deal to get me here. This is unreal and I’m looking forward to having 2 summers back to back”.
Californian Mike Helwig in Oz for the summer to spanner the #10 car
Expect to see the #10 PRP Engineering sprintcar in the winner’s circle sometime this summer.
34th Easter Sprintcar Trail
A-MAIN LINE UP
A Main is a green light with Lines getting away from Lacey who is running the high line followed by Dumnsey and McFadden. McFadden looked quick carrying a lot of car speed from the outset.
McFadden takes second from Lacey on the pole line into T3 with Dumnsey also getting past Lacey to move into 3rd. The high line didn’t seem to work for Lacey as he found himself dropping back.
Lines and co started lapping cars after 7 which helped the cause of Green. Dumnsey slowed by a lapped car found Green going around the outside to take third.
Anderson loops it in T3 to bring on the yellows. Positions reverted back to the previous lap which put Green behind Dumnsey.
With 17 to go Lines once again jumped clear on the re-start followed by McFadden, Dumnsey, Green, Vogels and Lacey.
McFadden and Dumnsey swapped positions for several laps until Dumnsey was able to make a move stick and take a clear 2nd and then followed behind Lines putting a pass on the champ in T3 to take the lead. McFadden followed in Dumnsey and had a shot at Lines for 2nd. The two swapped positions for several laps until McFadden go wide on T4 allowing Green to move into 3rd and then into 2nd passing Lines.
Max now a clear leader cruised on to win the A-Main with Green coming home second. A high running McFadden passed Lines on the final turn to take 3rd in what was a fantastic race.
South Australian #27 Daniel Pestka won the overall series from another South Aussie Trevor Green with Australia #1 James McFadden third overall.
Next Meeting for the sprintcars at Warrnambool is a day meeting on the 14th April starting 3.00pm
34th Easter Sprintcar Trail
C-MAIN LINE UP
1St V60, 2nd N48, 3rd V16, S20
B-MAIN LINE UP
1St N39, 2nd V37, 3rd V21, V22
34th Easter Sprintcar Trail
Heat 5 1st V36 S Dobson, 2nd V74 M Cunningham, 3rd V4 M Foster
Heat 6 1st A1 J McFadden, 2nd N39 J Cross, 3rd V22 Q Tanner
Egel and Dave Challons involved in a major incident in turn 1. Both cars completely wrecked and doubtful for the rest of the night. For Challons that is the second wreck of the weekend after wrecking his car at Avalon on Friday night. Challons roll cage is actually snapped which is testament as to how severe the accident was. Premier speedway officials were required to repair the catch fence in turn 1 before the resumption of heat 6.
Heat 7 1st W3 S Lines, 2nd V21 J Hennessey, 3rd V51 P Milnes
Heat 8 1st V26 N Lacey, 2nd Q28 A woods, 3rd V37 G Anderson