Release by Rod Thurgood www.ozmotorsportpromotions.com
West Australian racer Craig Vosbergen came to The Edge Hotel Motel Timmis Speedway Mildura as a contender for victory in the Cross Roads Holiday Park Mildura Easter $10,000, but he walked away as the conqueror, after one of the most memorable Late Model race meetings in recent times.
The two night show, held Good Friday April 6 and Sunday April 8, had a bit of everything, from a giant dust storm that enveloped the complex on the Friday, delaying the start of the meeting, to an action packed 50 lap A Main that didn’t see the chequered flag fall until 1.49am on the Monday morning.
There were a few late withdrawals from the event, most notably former Australian Champion Brad Blake, who had to forsake a crack at the $10,000 winner’s cheque due to work commitments, but that didn’t detract from the racing at all, as those present served up a feast of action that will have Late Model fans talking for some time to come.
Ross Nicastri got proceedings underway on Friday night with an impressive showing in Heat 1 that saw the experienced Sydney racer take a big victory, with West Aussie Jason Moyle also looking the goods, charging through from the rear of the eight car field to finish 3rd behind Luke Raymond.
Craig Vosbergen lead Heat 2 early, before another West Aussie in Jamie Oldfield blasted past mid race to take the win, with Queenslander Kev Stow third.
Heat 3 saw ‘the quiet achiever’ Darryl Grimson take victory, while a battle raged between David Hartman and Nathan Disney for the minor placings, with the pair eventually finishing in that order.
Ross Nicastri started Round 2 in the same fashion as Round 1, with a dominating race win in Heat 4. The Frank’s Auto Parts supported racer charged through from the rear of the seven car field to be in the lead by half distance, and never look back. David Robertson brought the X4 home second, with Moyle impressing again in third.
Jamie Oldfield consolidated his intentions in Heat 5, powering to the lead in turn one, and going on to dominate. Vosbergen and Stow fought over the minors, finishing in that order, after being unable to get on terms with the flying W51 of Oldfield.
Nathan Smee lead Heat 6 early but spun, allowing Disney to take the win, with Grimson second, and ex AMCA Nationals racer Michael Ffrench third.
The Final Round of Friday Heats saw Robertson victorious in Heat 7 from Hartman and Victorian Darren Forrest, Vosbergen beat Moyle and Disney to the chequered flag in Heat 8, and Oldfield handed out another driving lesson in Heat 9, to account for Grimson and veteran Barry Kelleher.
At the conclusion of night one Oldfield topped the points, and had the opposition scratching their heads as to how they were going to counter the West Aussies dominant form, with Vosbergen and Grimson equal second.
Forty eight hours later the combatants were back for Night 2, and Forrest opened proceedings by leading Smee and Robertson to the flag in Heat 10, conducted on a slushy track.
Heat 11 served up more action, on another damp surface, as Stow lead early, before Stuart Hill in the Crimmins Racing lease car started to really motor. Hill worked his way forward and swept past Stow mid race to set up the race win. Stow finished second, with Victorian Rod Edwards third. ‘Heavy hitters’ Vosbergen, Disney, and Moyle were all in this Heat, but trailed the action.
The final Heat (12) saw another classic Oldfield charge, as he rounded up the leaders, after starting rear of field, to take the race win from SALMA President Mat Crimmins, and Nicastri. Crimmins and Nicastri both lead at different stages, but battled handing issues, washing up the track numerous times.
After the final Round of Heats Oldfield was a clear points leader from the ever consistent Grimson, with Nicastri third.
With insufficient cars to stage a B Main it was straight into the 10 car Pole Shuffle to determine the start order for the all important $10,000 to win 50 lap A Main.
Stow came out with all guns firing in the Pole Shuffle, accounting for his first three challengers, before Disney stopped the Queensland racers progress. The hard charger from the NSW Hunter Valley than accounted for Robertson, but went down to Vosbergen after a tyre punctured on the N11 Rocket. Vosbergen then came up against Nicastri, but had to give best to the NSW racer, who then went on to account for Grimson as well. Pole was thus set to be decided between Nicastri and Oldfield, but the pilot of the W51 went up high, and blasted away over the two lap journey to take the win and further consolidate his favouritism for the big 50 lapper coming up later in the evening.
With a huge field of Modified Production Sedans on the program, contesting their National title, it was the wee small hours of Monday morning when the field eventually formed up for the Cross Roads Holiday Park Mildura Easter $10,000 Late Model A Main.
It was disappointment for Hill and Robertson though, as both had to park their cars before the race start.
When the green was eventually unfurled the yellows quickly flashed though, following a spin by Queenslands Matt Ingrey. The restart signalled more drama, as a huge multi-car crash towards the front of the field saw the demise of both Moyle and Hartman, with the W6 perched on the bonnet of the S15. Edwards took the opportunity to change a flat right rear.
The field headed to the green once again and a clean start saw Oldfield blast into the lead while fellow front row starter Nicastri was soon out with a flat right rear tyre. Vosbergen slipped into second, with Disney third.
As Oldfield attempted to gap the field Disney found his way past Vosbergen and set out after the race leader.
A spin by Smee regrouped the field and put Disney right on Oldfield’s rear bumper. As the pair encountered lapped traffic Disney made his move, passing Oldfield with 32 laps remaining.
It was to be a short lived moment of glory for Disney however, as Forrest clouted the wall bringing on the yellows just prior to half distance.
At the restart the N11 slowed, and dropped rapidly back through the field before retiring, leaving Oldfield back in front of a rejuvenated Vosbergen, with Stow third.
Vosbergen then found his way past Oldfield, who spun while attempting to regain the race lead. Relegated to the rear, Oldfield must have been left wondering just where the script for this race had gone horribly wrong!
The only saving point for Oldfield was that the leaders had been setting such a torrid pace that the majority of the field had been lapped. As Vosbergen knuckled down to reeling off the final laps, Oldfield charged through the traffic to reclaim second.
As the clock clicked over to 1.49am Craig Vosbergen flashed past the flag to collect the biggest payout of his Late Model career, in a drive, and a weekend in Mildura, that he will long remember. Oldfield was second, while Grimson stayed out of trouble, and remained in contention, to finish third, the only other car on the lead lap.
Photo by Paris Charles of www.parischarles.webs.com
The full A Main results of the Cross Roads Holiday Park Mildura Easter $10,000 read :
1. W8 Craig Vosbergen
2. W51 Jamie Oldfield
3. N12 Darryl Grimson
4. S24 Michael Ffrench – 49 Laps
5. S5 Luke Raymond – 49 Laps
6. V21 Rod Edwards – 49 Laps
7. S10 Mat Crimmins – 48 Laps
8. N4 Lyle Dicker – 45 Laps
9. N15 Nathan Smee – 42 Laps
DNF – N11 Nathan Disney – 25 Laps
DNF – V055 Darren Forrest – 24 Laps
DNF – Q17 Kev Stow – 24 Laps
DNF – Q54 Matt Ingrey – 23 Laps
DNF – N65 Barry Kelleher – 5 Laps
DNF – N3 Ross Nicastri – 2 Laps
DNF – W6 Jason Moyle – No Laps Completed
DNF- S15 David Hartman – No Laps Completed
DNS – X4 David Robertson
DNS – S64 Stuart Hill
SALMA Officials were extremely happy with the event, and how it was conducted by the Mildura Speedway Drivers Club and Timmis Speedway staff. SALMA would also like to thank the following individuals and sponsors for their contribution to the success of the meeting : Stuart Pope, Nicky Pope, Lee-Anne Baylis, Mick Lewis, and Lisa Crimmins.
Major Sponsor : Cross Roads Holiday Park Mildura (Chris and Sue Craig)
Heat Sponsors : Cross Roads Holiday Park Mildura, Surfside Custom Systems, Guage Works, Signs On Para, J & J Ruston Engineering, UltraTune Morley (Oldfields), NDRA Inc, and Lake Eildon Houseboat & Sales.
Lap Sponsors : 1. Metro Tow 2. Christies Beach Auto Centre 3. Surfside Custom Systems 4. NDRA Inc. 5. Raymond Family Motorsport 6. Surfside Custom Systems 7. Guage Works 8. Guage Works 9. 900 10. Crimmins Racing 11. Universal Metal Cleaners 12. J & J Ruston Engineering 13. J & J Ruston Engineering 14. KLM Engineering 15. Signs On Para 16. Cross Roads Holiday Park Mildura 17. Cross Roads Holiday Park Mildura 18. Lonsdale Competition Tyres 19. Lake Eildon Houseboat & Sales 20. Lake Eildon Houseboat & Sales 21. Ronnoc Transport 22. CBS Bins 23. Scotcher Race Fuels & Oils 24. John Williams 25. Signs On Para 26. Scotcher Race Fuels & Oils 27. Universal Metal Cleaners 28. AAA Mortgage Solutions 29. Hoolagators 30. NDRA Inc 31. Signs On Para 32. Signs On Para 33. UltraTune Morley 34. Steve Smith 35. UltraTune Morley 36. S McLay Mechanical 37. ozlatemodel.com 38. NDRA Inc 39. Ronnoc Transport 40. CBS Bins 41. Mildura Speedway 42. Mildura Speedway 43. Cross Roads Holiday Park Mildura 44. Hytek Concrete Australia 45. Hytek Concrete Australia 46. Hytek Concrete Australia 47. Hytek Concrete Australia 48. Hytek Concrete Australia 49. Gardner Bearings 50. Hills Rural Contracting
For the complete results from the Cross Roads Holiday Park Mildura Easter $10,000, and the latest news on the South Australian Late Model Association, visit www.salma.com.au
Release by Rod Thurgood www.ozmotorsportpromotions.com