American Late Model superstar Steve Francis has won the 2013 Australian Dirt Late Model Championship at Quit Bunbury Speedway last night (January 12th).
Francis lead the forty lap championship A Main from start to finish and was never defeated for the entire running of the Australian Championship.
Craig Vosbergen drove a great race to finish second from Warren Oldfield who finished third.
Thirty cars fronted for the second night of the Australian championship with American Devin Moran and Ross Nicastri both sidelined with engine dramas after the first night. South Australian Luke Raymond would also not start the second night with mechanical issues.
Four heat races were held on the second night with drivers contesting one heat each. Steve Francis would win heat nine comfortably over Ryan Halliday and Jamie Oldfield.
Warren Oldfield held off Matt Goodlad in heat ten with New South Wales Darryl Grimson following them home in third.
Craig Vosbergen would continue to show he was a serious chance in the title with another heat win in heat eleven with Vosbergen getting the job done ahead of Matt Noakes and Mick Hamon who had a great battle for second for the entire race.
The final heat race of the weekend would see a depleted field contest the ten laps with Lee Watt scoring maximum points ahead of Koran Atkinson and Matt Nylander.
The top sixteen pointscorers at the end of all the heat races went on to contest the A & B dashes over eight laps.
Steve Francis dominated the A dash, earning himself pole position for the A main. Vosbergen, Warren Oldfield and Jamie Oldfield followed Francis home in the A dash.
Jason Oldfield would lead the early laps of the B Dash before spinning in turn one right in front of Darryl Grimson. Oldfield would retire to the infield with issues in the rear of the MDR transport machine. Grimson would restart in the lead and win the B Dash from Mick Hamon and Koran Atkinson.
A big opening lap accident would occur involving Brad Ludlow, Matt & David Nylander and Dale Clark at the start of the B Main. David Nylander would be the only driver to restart.
Jac Dolmans and Clint Noakes had a great battle for the lead in the B Main with Noakes coming out on top. Matt Noakes got the better of Dolmans in the closing laps finished second from Dolmans, Simon McNab, Ray Leonard and Peter Seaton who all qualified into the A main. Mick Clune and Craig Greentree rounded out the finishers with Mick Clune earning himself a starting position in the A main after Jason Oldfield withdrew with mechanical issues.
Twenty two cars would start the forty lap championship A Main to decide the 2013 Australian Late Model Champion. Francis would lead away at the start with Matt Goodlad and Koran Atkinson both retiring to the infield on the opening lap.
After ten laps the first restart would occur when Mick Clune hit the wall heavily in turn three. Clune would walk away from the nasty accident with his car sustaining major damage.
Darryl Grimson would hit the wall on the back straight with twenty four laps remaining ending the New South Welshman’s chances while running in seventh place.
Francis would continue to lead with the laps winding down with Vosbergen comfortably in second place. Jac Dolmans and Mick Hamon would both retire from the race with ten laps remaining with Francis lapping the field up to fifth place.
Matt Noakes would make heavy contact with the wall with six laps remaining bringing Francis back to the field for the sprint to the finish.
Francis would charge away at the restart and go on to comfortably to win his second straight Australian championship over Vosbergen and Warren Oldfield. Jamie Oldfield who was driving the Brad Blake owned Rocket held onto fourth from Michael Holmes who finished in fifth after doing an engine changed before the main event, Holmes started the race from fifteen.
Ryan Halliday would battle an ill handling racecar into a sixth place finish from Lee Watt, Phil Zuidema, Paul Joss, Matt Crimmins, Clint Noakes and Simon McNab who rounded out the finishers.
Francis was delighted in victory lane, “Great to win this race again, its means a lot to me to come out here and win the title for Michael Holmes and his Ozmine team. Hopefully I can continue the momentum when I go to the east coast now for a couple more races”.
The 2014 Australian Dirt Late Model Championship will be held at the picturesque Borderline Speedway in Mount Gambier in South Australia. The Championship will be held on the 6th, 7th& 8th of March 2014.
2013 Australian Late Model Championship A Main Official Placings
1. USA91 Steve Francis (40 Laps)
2. W8 Craig Vosbergen (40 Laps)
3. W15 Warren Oldfield (40 Laps)
4. W0 Jamie Oldfield (40 Laps)
5. W91 Michael Holmes (39 Laps)
6. W99 Ryan Halliday (39 Laps)
7. W10 Lee Watt (39 Laps)
8. W39 Phil Zuidema (38 Laps)
9. W22 Paul Joss (38 Laps)
10. SA10 Matt Crimmins (38 Laps)
11. W23 Clint Noakes (37 Laps)
12. W49 Simon McNab (37 Laps)
DNF W20 Matt Noakes (31 Laps)
DNF W57 Michael Hamon (28 Laps)
DNF W46 Jac Dolmans (27 Laps)
DNF NSW6 Darryl Grimson (14 Laps)
DNF W5 Ray Leonard (10 Laps)
DNF W3 Mick Clune (8 Laps)
DNF W9 Ben Ludlow (4 Laps)
DNF W65 Peter Seaton (2 Laps)
DNF W18 Matt Goodlad (0 Laps)
DNF W63 Koran Atkinson (0 Laps)
Press Release for Late Model Racing Australia by Allan Smallwood