2013/14 LATEST FEATURE RACE WINNERS
Australian Litre Sprintcar/Lightning Sprint Title Preview
Here it is - The 2014 Australian Litre Sprintcar/Lightning Sprint National Championship has arrived. Toowoomba Speedbowl will be set alight over two intense nights this Friday and Saturday. 30 drivers have nominated spanning across three states for the shot to be crowned Australia 1. On the Friday Night, drivers will contest hot laps and 3 rounds of heats and on Saturday each driver will have one heat race and the top 8 will make the Dash and the remainder will be at the back of the A-Main (unless there is a miracle and cars survive and a B-Main is required).
Headlining the nomination list are two icons of the sport and the two local favourites, Dave Fanning and Sean Barnett along with Scott Genrich and Peter Campbell.
Fanning was unstoppable as he claimed back to back Australian Lighting Sprint Championships in South Australia and Queensland a few years ago. In NSW, Sean Barnett claimed the Australian Litre Sprintcar Championship last season after a late race pass over Queenslander Steve Seefeld. But there was one slice of the pie missing for both drivers, the respective drivers didn't race against each other and the best of the best weren't there for their wins - but they will be this time around. After a few dark years in the sport, this event could make our break the division. As each states rule book has now closely aligned and drivers are expected to run stock 1000cc or 1200cc engines for the bike engines, motors will closely examined post event so the winner is deemed the best and fairest on the night.
The rivalry between Fanning and Barnett will be intense, however there are more than two drivers that can win this event. The local hot shots in Genrich and Campbell have been impressive to say the least this season. Genrich hasn't lost at Toowoomba Speedbowl this season and hasn't even looked like losing either. Genrich hosed the opposition at Lismore recently and will take some stopping in his R1, Q18 entry. Since purchasing the ex Dave Whell Q2 car, Peter Campbell has found a new lease of form and after a run of wins will take it up to the 30 car field and won't hold back aiming to win his first title.
Darren Salmon, Kurt Wilson and AJ McTaggart are realistically massive threats to win their maiden Australian Title. Salmon has recently purchased the best car out of California - the 21k of Bobby Michnowicz and has been untouchable speed wise since then. Salmon won't be afraid of the big boys and will leave nothing to chance on both nights. Kurt Wilson is in great form around Lismore and Grafton at the moment and will aim to become the youngest ever Australian Champion in the division - he won't hold back either. Lastly, Mr AJ McTaggart will make his first venture interstate and if there is any justice in the world, after his form over the past two seasons, he will be well and truly in the mix to be crowned A1.
You can never rule out Keith Blatch, Bruce Pitt, the returning Wayne Iacano or recent feature race winners Mark Sinton and Shane Cooper. It will be an epic event!
Nomination List - Odds
Q 18 Scott Genrich
Q 48 Dave Fanning
A1 Sean Barnett
Q 22 Peter Campbell
N 48 Darren Salmon
N 16x Kurt Wilson
Q 20 Mark Sinton
N 3 AJ McTaggart
Q 98 Tony Norton
Q 15 Jason Busk
Q 77 Keith Blatch
Q 21 Wayne Iacano
T 15 Bruce Pitt
N 21 Shane Cooper
N 7x DJ Raw
T 25 Nathan Hale
Q 6 Jim Kennedy
Q 14 Ian Miller
Q 17 Ian Galvin
Q 96 Sean Dennis
Q 50 Chris Holdt
N 6 Mark Binskin
N 11x Ethan Eyears
N 8x Brad Seagrove
N 24x Trent Schofield
N 57 Bob Jowett
N 78 David Atwood
N 97x Mitchell Randall
N 11 Richard Meyers
Q 32 Shane Matthews
AFTER YEARS IN THE MAKING - FREEMAN GRABS WIN NO.1
In what was the most popular win in many years, Paul Freeman showed up his rivals to claim his maiden feature race win in the Litre Sprintcar division in Round 4 at Valvoline Raceway. On the Front Row Challenge Night on Saturday December 7, Freeman flew under the radar when drivers went about choosing who should start where in the Feature and made the field pay by claiming the Round win ahead of a fast finishing DJ Raw and Sean Barnett in third place.
The Front Row Challenge format was simple, the highest point scorer would have the opportunity to start at the tail of the field to try and claim the $500 Pay Day! McTaggart was again the high point man for the 3rd round in a row and took the challenge on to come from the back. Beside him was Barnett. As the field greeted the green, it wasn't long until Freeman raced to the lead and with a Joel Calvert set up, the NSW 31 stealth looked comfortable all race as Freeman steered his way to a deserving race victory.
Mark Binskin absolutely hosed the opening heat race of the night and looks to be settling into the 6N machine with Jeff Bryon on the spanners. He led home Drew Keith who made his return after missing the last round of the Track Championship with former New Zealand Mini Sprints Champion Chris Street in third. Due to the generosity of fellow kiwi Robert Taylor, Street found himself a ride for the night and we look forward to Street returning in the 24 machine later in the season.
Thomas Jeffrey, proudly sponsored by Vortex Racing Products made an impressive debut in the both of his heat races and the feature dicing it up with drivers that have raced for many years. It is great to see the Jeffrey name join our growing division and we wish him the very best.
Ethan Eyears the young 19 year old Sensation from Lismore, made the drive down south for the event and unfortunately had injector problems after showing great car speed earlier in the night picking up a 2nd in Heat 2 ahead of a fast finishing Shane Cooper. Scott Cannon and Adam Burkey both had their first shows of the season and showed promising signs of speed during the night and will make an impact as the season progresses.
MCTAGGART COMPLETELY DOMINATES ROUND 3
AJ McTaggart put together the near perfect night to claim round 3 honours ahead of current Australian Champion Sean Barnett and former Victorian Champion Shane Cooper in third place. McTaggart was the most consistent driver in round 1 and 2 action but had yet to grab the elusive win which was never too far away.
In the opening heat of the night, Chris Davis set a blistering pace up front as DJ Raw and Jay Hall were no match for the speed of the ACT No.4. McTaggart from deep in the pack, charged through being high points man in Round 2 to finish 4th. Barnett again experienced mechanical issues but everyone knew to never doubt the guy driving the A1 machine later in the night.
McTaggart drove away from the field in Heat 2 action as Andrew Davis, Robert Taylor and Chris Davis all pulled in late in the heat. It was clear after the heats that Round 3 would be AJ's night.
After being high point man, McTaggart drew marble 6. As the feature race commenced, Raw got the jump and spun with a poorly set up car which brought McTaggart and Cooper to battle for the lead. After another race stoppage for a wild ride for the Kiwi Robert Taylor, McTaggart was never troubled claiming yet another win in his XXX machine sponsored by Mac-1 Metal Shop, Weston Machine Shop, Racing Spares and Field Furnace Refractories. After two yellow light stoppages and a red for the Taylor wreck, the race was declared early. Barnett showed signs he had bounced back to claim the runner up spot from position 9.
It was fantastic to see James Munn (Crew Chief for the David Atwood 78N) behind the wheel having a blast. Munn drove impressively on his opening night and certainly looked the part in Atwood's iconic race suit. Darren Salmon finished 4th place and in only a few short weeks will have the Ex Bobby Michnowicz 21K in his hands and will do some damage to the Litre Sprint field that continues to grow each week. Mark Binskin was again the quiet achiever with another top 5 and Andrew Davis claimed his best finish in 7th during Round 3 at Valvoline Raceway.
Round 3 Highlights (Russ Fenson or Videoruss)
*UPDATED 31st DECEMBER - SEASON 2013/14 RACE SCHEDULE
Wednesday, 1 January - Grafton Speedway Track Championship Round 3, NSW
Friday, 3 January - Sydney Speedway Track Championship Round 5, NSW
Saturday, 11 January - Lismore Speedway Track Championship Round 3, NSW
Saturday, 18 January - Lismore Speedway Track Championship Round 4 With WSS, NSW
Saturday, 25 January - Valvoline Speedway Track Championship Round 6, NSW
Saturday, 1 February - Valvoline Speedway Track Championship Round 7, NSW
Saturday, 1 February - Lismore Speedway Track Championship Round 5, NSW
Friday, 7 February - AUSTRALIAN TITLE, TOOWOOMBA SPEEEDBOWL, QLD
Saturday, 8 February - AUSTRALIAN TITLE, TOOWOOMBA SPEEEDBOWL, QLD
Saturday, 15 February - GILGANDRA Speedway, Country Series Round 1, NSW
Saturday, 1 March - Valvoline Speedway Track Championship Round 8, NSW
Saturday, 8 March - Grafton Speedway Track Championship Round 5, NSW
Saturday, 15 March - Lismore Speedway Track Championship Round 7, NSW
Saturday, 5 April - NOWRA Speedway Country Series Round 2 NSW
Saturday, 5 April - Lismore Speedway Track Championship Round 8, NSW
Saturday, 12 April - Valvoline Speedway Track Championship Round 9, NSW
Friday, 18 April - Grafton Speedway, Country Series Round 3 & Track Championship Round 6, NSW
Saturday, 19 April - Lismore Speedway Track, Country Series Round 4 Championship Round 8, NSW
Country Series Championship Schedule
Saturday, 15 February - GILGANDRA Speedway, Country Series Round 1, NSW
Saturday, 5 April - NOWRA Speedway Country Series Round 2, NSW
Friday, 18 April - GRAFTON Speedway, Country Series Round 3, NSW
Saturday, 19 April - LISMORE Speedway Track, Country Series Round 4, NSW
**Please note that Lismore Speedway will NOT host a Country Series Round in January due to amount of travel teams will experience in February**
$500 TO WIN
SATURDAY 7TH DECEMBER
AJ McTaggart, Sean Barnett or DJ Raw - would they take the challenge?
I know Craig Chaffey, Robert Taylor, Paul Freeman and Shane Cooper would!
The Front Row Challenge was heavily impacted by horrible weather last year as the event was cancelled not once, but twice at Lucas Oils Lismore Speedway which New Zealand star Shaun Cooke doesn't need reminding about. This year the event will explode into action as the first of four blue ribbon events kick starts the NSW Litre Sprintcar Summer of Speed.
The Front Row Challenge is simple, the highest point scorer of the Night has the option. To start stone cold last and try to beat the best of the rest to claim the $500 pay day or give up the chance to claim the financial spoils.
This years format will be slightly different, the man who takes the 'Challenge' whether that be the 'High Point Man' or the next in line, that driver will get to choose who he starts beside. For example, if/when AJ McTaggart is the high point man - he can choose who he starts beside. Than that driver chooses who he would like to start beside and so on. So do you take the gamble and take the challenge? Or do you roll the dice and try and fly under the radar and hope your fellow competitors don't choose you to run towards the back?
The format will create a little bit of friendly rivalry and put on one hell of a show for the crowd at Valvoline Raceway on Saturday 7th December.
Would you Take the Challenge???
Raw goes Back2Back
After steering the Glen Eyears owned 7x machine into victory lane in Round 1, DJ Raw made it back2back wins in Round 2 of the NSW Litre Sprintcar Championship on Saturday October 26.
In Heat 1, race fans witnessed the best of the best on the front row - AJ McTaggart and Sean Barnett. McTaggart got the jump as Barnett, Paul Freeman and Raw followed in close pursuit. A few laps in, it was obvious Barnett's car was not running as he eventually headed back into the pits. It was all McTaggart who was untouched to claim the win in heat 1, second home in a close scrap was Freeman and Raw was home in third.
Heat 2 action was on before the green as Raw got an early jump and was eventually relegated 2 spots after the chequered flag dropped. So that meant AJ McTaggart who finished second, claimed another heat race win after a race long battle with Mark Binskin who claimed second spot. After an unhappy Round 1 experiencing countless issues, it was exciting to see Binskin showing promising signs of his best and what his professional team can produce.
In Heat 3, it was all McTaggart again as 'Mr Consistent' stormed to victory ahead a fast finishing Paul Freeman with Mark Binskin starting to reach fantastic lap times and hit form in third. There was action aplenty back for the minors as Raw made a text book pass on Hall to claim fourth.
Feature Race time promised to deliver a match race between the two standouts on the night - McTaggart and Raw. McTaggart pulled the invert and started from position 5. At the drop of the green, it was all over for McTaggart after making contacting with the left rear of Raw and getting a flat front tyre. Luckily for the points chase, McTaggart managed to finish the race. As the field headed towards turn 1, after starting from position 2, Hall got the jump over the 4N Chris Davis. Hall's lead was short lived as Raw drove up the inside as the pair had a great scrap for the opening 2 laps running side by side. Raw managed claim his second win of the season, Hall was a worthy runner up and the Australia 1 of Sean Barnett snuck through the field in a workman style effort to claim the last spot on the podium.
Round 2 Highlights (Russ Fenson or Videoruss)
Raw & Eyears Team Up to grab Round 1 honours
The Glen Eyears owned 7x machine was piloted into victory lane last Saturday Night at Valvoline Raceway by DJ Raw who claimed Round 1 of the NSW Litre Sprintcar Track Championship. The ever consistent and duel track champion AJ McTaggart was a close second and Drew Keith in the 63N rounded out the top 3 with a terrific drive.
The first heat race of the new season for the Litre Sprintcars started with an exciting script as the NSW # 1 of Jay Hall and the current Australian Champion of Sean Barnett started side by side. Hall grabbed the jump with Barnett settling in second. Both Raw and McTaggart pounced on Barnett before he eventually pulled into the pits with problems at the mid race distance. Hall took out heat 1 with Raw and McTaggart close behind, Paul Freeman in the 31N finished 4th and Drew Keith rounded out the top 5 in heat 1.
In a short turn around, Heat 2 sore Chris Davis and Andrew 'Scarey' Johnson on the front row with Shane Cooper and Shane Sheedy sitting on the second row. Davis led early as Cooper tried to run down the 4N of Davis but Davis raced away to a commanding heat race 2 win. From well back in the pack, McTaggart claimed second after Cooper failed to finish, Keith beat Hall to the flag stand for 3rd as Raw rounded out the top 5.
The 5 Lap Stars Dash for the top 6 drivers on points was run and won quickly by Raw who jumped from third to the lead by turn 1 as he beat home McTaggart and in third was high point man after the heats Jay Hall.
The stage was set for the first Feature race of the season with a shortened race of 10 laps on the board. After drawing marble 6, Hall would be the man with the elbows up to chase down Sheedy and Keith who started on the front row. Much like the Stars Dash, Raw got the jump on the field and was never troubled as he raced away to his second win driving the Lismore owned Glen Eyears 7x machine. AJ McTaggart came home in a strong second place and finishing on the final spot of the podium was Drew Keith. Hall and Freeman ran out of laps to trouble the top 3 however,put on some great wheel to wheel action back in the pack.
A huge thank you to Shane Sheedy who did double duty in his sprintcar and litre sprint. A special mention to Rookie drivers Chris Ferguson and Andrew Davis who got some valuable laps under their belts and will be better for the experience as the season progresses.
Round 2 will be on this Saturday 26th October at Valvoline Raceway.
Nominations for Round 2 of the NSW Litre Sprintcar Track Championship
1 Sean Barnett
Article contributions from Brett Wheeler
Round 1 Highlights (Russ Fenson or Videoruss)
On Board with Craig Chaffey
Season 2013/14 Set to Fire Up Saturday Night
The scene is set for the NSW Litre Sprintcars return to the Parramatta clay way this Saturday Night at Valvoline Raceway. Current Australian Champion Sean Barnett heads the list of nominations for Round 1 of the NSW Litre Sprintcar Track Championship.
Barnett will be joined by four of the best in the form of duel Track Champion AJ McTaggart, two time Gold Cup winner DJ Raw, NSW Champion Jay Hall and former sprintcar rookie of year Paul Freeman. Freeman returns for his first full season of Litre Sprintcar competition since 2006. After his impressive showing late last year in the NSW Title, Freeman will be one to keep an eye out for in the 31N Connect Paper Plus/Blackshaw Motor Body Repairs machine.
The rookie of the year competition will also take some winning as a few new drivers have joined the growing division in season 2013/14. The NSW 8 of Chris Ferguson and the NSW 77 of Andrew Davis will be ones to watch. In the coming rounds, an expected two further rookies will join the mix increasing the car count and keeping the 'Big Boys' on their toes. Including in the mix the always consistent Drew Keith, Andrew 'Scarey' Johnson, Chris Davis, Craig Chaffey and the quiet achiever Mr. Shane Cooper - Saturday is set to be a belter of an opening round.
A special thank you must go to Shane Sheedy who will remarkably do double duty in his 410 Sprintcar and NSW 17 Litre Sprintcar on Saturday. Great club man like these are hard to find, thank you Shane.
*ALL cars that have not had their annual scrutineering completed, need to arrive a little earlier to allow for checks to be conducted.
*ALL drivers will be required to meet at Shane Coopers Truck at 6pm for a 15 minute meeting.
*New drivers that need transponders can hire them from the sprintcar box. As of round 2, they can be hired from by our Club
*Engine starts will commence between 5:15-6pm.
2012/13 NSW Litre Sprintcar Presentation Night Winners
Nut & Bolt Award
Mark Binskin & Jay Hall
Rookie of the Year
Most Feature Wins - 3
B Grade Club
1. Mark Binskin
2. David Atwood
3. Shane Sheedy
A Grade Club
1. AJ McTaggart
2. Darren Salmon
3. Jay Hall
Country Series Shootout Championship
1. AJ McTaggart
2. Mark Binskin
3. Darren Salmon
Sydney Speedway Track Championship
1. AJ McTaggart
2. Jay Hall
3. Darren Salmon
1. AJ McTaggart
2. Darren Salmon
3. Mark Binskin