Rod Francis has won the Victorian Compact Speedcar Title! In what was a very calculated drive, Rod managed to hold off hard charging Craig Hickey to take the win in a Title race which ran flag to flag.
The afternoon started out in sweltering conditions with racing set to be just as hot on a smooth slick track. Once lunch was over (thanks to Lynne Hutchinson and Carol Monckton for helping with BBQ) scrutineering was completed and racing was set to begin.
With six drivers from NSW making the trip down to take on the Victorian drivers, racing was certainly going to be exciting.
Heat 1 saw a great race with all drivers feeling their way on the new track surface. Rod Francis started his night off with a win over defending champion Justin Paull and David Hutchinson taking the final spot on the podium.
Heat 2 produced some tight racing, particularly into turn 1, with Louis Rodriquez showing his bid for a great result in the title race, coming from 7th position into 2nd. However, he wasn’t able to get past Rod Francis, who took his second win of the night. 3rd place went to Chris Curren.
Heat 3 did not end well for Rodriquez. He headed infield mid race with engine trouble which would see him sit out the rest of the night. However, the track was holding up well and producing some close racing, with drivers having to be smart about where and when they attempted to pass. David Hutchinson continued his strong run taking our the win from Ayden Elliot and Justin Paull
Craig Hickey was the winner of Heat 4, but things didn’t end well for Mark Hutchinson. He ended the race on his side and with damage to the chassis that put him out for the night. Also receiving damage was Justin Paull. He was unable to avoid the stricken Hutchinson and would make it out for the Title race with seconds to spare before the pit gate closed!
After all the Heats were run and won, the highest points scorer was Rod Francis. He won a drum of fuel sponsored by Kay Mainline Manufacturing.
The title race was off to a flying start with Hutchinson challenging for the lead right from the start, however, Francis held on and gained a few car lengths. In the meantime, defending champion Paull was not having any fun at all. He pulled infield with the car having very little throttle. Back on the track Hickey made his way into second place and was challenged by Curren, until he slowed and pulled infield with a misfire in his engine. Hutchinson was hanging onto 3rd place until Elliot managed to get through. Mark Heaton had his eyes set on Hutchinson and made the move with a few laps to go. The top 5 were Francis, Hickey, Elliot, Heaton and Hutchinson.
The VCSC would like to acknowledge the incredible support of event sponsors:
Kay Mainline P/L
Meguiar’s Car Care Products
Max Dumesny Motorsports
Pro1 Race Parts
Due to our generous sponsors the highest placed rookie in the final received $250 thanks to Guntner Australia – congratulations to Robert Heaton.
Meguiar’s sponsored three car care buckets. They were awarded as follows:
- Furthest Traveller – Mark Heaton
- Good Sportsmanship -Rod Francis
- Hard Charger – Mark Heaton
Raceline Racewear voucher for most driver profile likes on Facebook – Chris Curren
Max Dumesny Motorsports voucher – Craig Hickey
The VCSC would like to thank:
- Craig and Louise from Random Panda Photography. To view more photos from the Victorian Title click here
- Andrew Lardner, Phil Lardner, Dwayne Tournier and Stephan Harrison for their assistance throughout the night.
- Joanne Heaton for her live-feed.
- The team at Bairnsdale Speedway.
- The Executive Committee – Butch Hutchinson, Justin Paull, Gin Turley and Mark Hutchinson.
- The teams from NSW – it was wonderful working with you on the night. The comradery was superb!