Weather cuts short a great night of racing at Valvoline Raceway

The L.A. Racing Lubricants New South Wales Compact Speedcars returned to Valvoline Raceway last night, Saturday the 23rd November, for their second appearance for the season at the Sydney venue and it was current State and Australian champion, Mark Heaton who took a convincing win in the uninterrupted 20 lap feature race.
Seventeen cars formed up in readiness for a start. Bad luck continues to follow young rookie, Jack Stokes who was now out of his probationary period and was gridded up to start out of possie 3 only to have a fuel pump fail before the greens were waved. Stephen Allen and Alan Day now had their cars back on their trailers, Allen with a suspected broken gearbox and Day a similar drive train failure.
Starting from outside the third row Heaton had to work hard for the first few laps before he was able to assume the lead with a move around early leader Stewart Henderson. Meanwhile highest point scorer, Brad Rawlings, who drew the rear of field marble, had a real challenge on his hands to not let Heaton get too far in front. This task was made all the more difficult with the likes of Shaun Robinson, Nathan O’Brien, Mark Shepherd and Steve Zarb, who had all performed exceptionally well in their earlier heat races, between him and the leader.
Once Heaton had cleared Andrew Coppock, Ethan Brown, Andrew Burnham and Stewart Henderson it was now a case of by how far. With the track nicely juiced up and the clay flying the back markers were praying for a yellow hoping to bring the leader back to them. This wasn’t going to happen though as the laps continue to wind down.
The battle for the minor placings was really hotting up. Steve Zarb made the most of his opportunities and was the first of these to clear the pack. Brad Rawlings was under all sorts of pressure from Shaun Robinson as the two tried to negotiate their way forward.
Robinson caught and passed Zarb to take up the chase after the leader. Lapped traffic was now beginning to be the challenge, but kudos go to all drivers with the lapped drivers holding their lines and the quicker guys showing respect as they negotiated their way through. Robinson was now narrowing the gap and Rawlings was now applying the blow torch to Zarb.
The checkers wave and it was Heaton scoring another Valvoline Raceway feature. Robinson was valiant in his runner-up spot with Zarb holding out Rawlings by the narrowest of margins, just 0.100 separated 3rd and 4th. Coming from position 12, Kyle Sharpe was super impressive in his charge to finish 5th. Ethan Brown kept his nose in front of Andrew Coppock to place 6th. Finishing 8th was Nathan O’Brien ahead of Mark Shepherd and Stewart Henderson making up the top ten.
Jamie Candy, Matthew Wark, Andrew Burnham, Brooke Wray, Joanne Heaton and Grant Crook completed the field.
In the heat races the yellows only came on twice. Alan Day had to pull up on the outside of the front straight mid-way into the first of the ten lap races. Stephen Allen made it one lap better before stopping at the end of the main straight with only four laps left in heat 2.
Brad Rawlings got proceedings of to the best possible start with a strong win in heat one. Mark Shepherd in only his second meeting aboard the ex-Rod Francis Spike/Suzuki GSXR continues to impress taking second placing. Steve Zarb knows his way around this track and came on strong towards the end picking up third. Andrew Burnham and Ethan Brown completed the top five. Stewart Henderson, Brooke Wray and Joanne Heaton completed the field. Alan Day and Jamie Candy were back in the pits.
Nathan O’Brien continued his good Valvoline Raceway form winning the second heat ahead of Shaun Robinson, Kyle Sharpe, Jack Stokes, Andrew Coppock, Mark Heaton, who was battling a beast of a machine and Grant Crook who was making his Compact Speedcar and Speedway debut.
Heat three saw Brad Rawlings making it two from two from Steve Zarb and Mark Shepherd. Ethan Brown disposed of Stewart Henderson late to take fourth. Andrew Burnham, Jamie Candy, Brooke Wray and Joanne Heaton were the other finishers.
The final heat was another non stop event with Shaun Robison bringing home the goods. He held Mark Heaton at bay with Nathan O’Brien making up the top three. Andrew Coppock was getting faster as the night wore on, he held out Kyle Sharp, Jack Stokes, Matthew Wark and Grant Crook.
The weather played its part with a brief shower a couple of hours before the start of the meeting and a light drizzle falling just as the Compact boys and girls made their way out for the feature.
Now a short break before we head off down to Nowra Speedway for round five in a fortnights time.
Be great to see you all there for more of that great open wheel Speedway action.

R Eyeington