Compact Speedcars made a welcome return to Sydney’s Valvoline Raceway last night in a non wing extravaganza were the program highlighted the Compacts, Wingless Sprints, Speedcars and AMCA’s.
Its been several seasons since the Compact Speedcars have raced at Sydney’s only speedway and they were supported by MOTOGENN who generously came on board to sponsor this meeting.
The visiting Queensland trio of Dave Collins, Emma Harris and Nathan Mathers made the trek south to take a look at the wide open spaces of Valvoline Raceway and challenge the New South Welshmen to some hardcore open wheel racing.
Making his intentions very clear was ACT racer, Jason Essai driving around the heat one pack from his back row starting position to charge to an early lead that continued to grow for the duration of the eight lap journey. Mark Heaton took a little longer to get thru and was unable to run down the leader having to settle for second. Emma Harris slotted in for third ahead of Nathan Mathers and Gaby Yammouni.
The second of the first round of heats was ran on a fairly rough track, as was the first, this time though it was Rod Saville who left all in his wake to convincingly win this heat ahead of Dan Biner, who was doubling up in a Midget. Third home was Dave Collins just ahead of Alan Day and Rob Eyeington.
Heat three was an all in affair with a couple of cars parked back in the pits with mechanical faults. This was the race of the night with the eight laps going flag to flag with the top ten runners separated by less than half a straight for most of the closing laps. Gaby Yammouni held the early lead before Nathan Mathers took over the front running with two to go. Mark Heaton came through from the very back to be right on the front duos tails at the fall of the checkers.
All in a bunch just behind were Rob Eyeington, Craig Hickey, Jason Essai, Alan Day, Emma Harris, Steven Hawksworth and Rod Saville making up the remainder of the top ten.
A bit of track prep prior to the feature gave the Compact boys and girl another different track to race on. There was now a very distinct cushion formed just a bit higher than mid track.
In true speedway fashion its all about putting on a show and the fast guys had to come from the back. The two stand outs from the earlier heats were Mark Heaton and Jason Essai.
Up front and it was Steven Hawksworth and Dan Biner. The feature got off to the worst possible start for earlier heat winner Rod Saville when he half lost it getting up on two wheels, very lucky not to go over, but when the car landed back on the track it came down with a real thud.
A complete restart ensued and Dan Biner got the jump. Rob Eyeington was quick to use the outside to get onto the bumper of the leader. The back markers were also making quick headway charging their way through the pack.
Eyeington used a bit of moisture on the bottom to slip thru to the lead. The race was interrupted by a couple of yellows. This kept closing the field up. Jason Essai almost got the job done on Eyeington making a couple of earnest challenges for the lead before his muffler fell off and brought on one of those yellows.
Mark Heaton was now right on the rear crash bar of Eyeington pushing the leader thru 1 and 2 at the restart. Over the closing laps the drivers began to find their groove and the order remained unchanged to the fall of the checkers.
Rob Eyeington scored the win in the twenty lap feature ahead of Mark Heaton, Emma Harris and Dave Collins, who disposed of Craig Hickey with one to go, were the top five.
Rod Saville was transported to Westmead Hospital for further tests. At this time the results of the test show Rod has suffered fractures to a couple of vertebrae and will need to be placed in a brace for up to 16 weeks. He is in good spirits and is thankful for all the well wishes.
Thanks to Crashys for the piks.