That’s a Wrap!

After an epic six plus months of competition, last night at the Swan Yacht Club thanks to Maddington Toyota and CanningVale Toyota, the official 2023/24, LMRWA awards night was held to acknowledge the season that was and all those who played a part to exceed expectations in one of the biggest seasons to date.
 
First up was at the acknowledgement of the drivers who placed in the 2023 Winter Series thanks to Renegade Race Fuels & Lubricants. Abbey Pickering (All About Racing), in what was her rookie season which did enough to finish in third place while Chris Barrow (Barrow Motorsports) continued his good run to finish second, and Peter Walker made the most of his late model debut to claim the overall win.
 
Next up would be some of the exciting contingency awards, with Rod Musarra (Team Rocket), courtesy of his Late Model Nationals win, his consistent performances and the teams never giving up attitude throughout the season, claiming the Quiet Achiever award.
 
David Nylander (Nylander Motorsport) and his team would then be acknowledged as the Best Presented Car and Crew.
 
Heather and AJ Nylander would be next up to the podium, presenting the AJN Pursuit of Excellence Award. This year the award was presented to one of the stalwarts of the division, who gets behind every race meeting he can, supports other drivers on and off the track and has previously even been an active member of the committee in Michael Holmes (Michael Holmes Racing).
 
The award that every driver only gets one chance to win was next: the coveted Rookie of the Year trophy. This year, after a phenomenal performance, including a feature race win down in Albany and contesting her first full Pro Dirt Series with solid results, Abbey Pickering (All About Racing) was announced as the winner.
 
Rounding out the first segment of awards was a special presentation to the Cardy (Cardy Racing Components) family, acknowledging their long-term efforts in the Late Model division. This commitment would see them campaign a car almost every year since Late Models debuted in Western Australia, not to mention multiple members of the family serving as part of the committee. This year the team ended an amazing long term streak of attending Pro Dirt rounds and these efforts saw them acknowledged in front of an
appreciative crowd.
 
Kicking off the second round of awards was the special acknowledgement of champions with both WA Champion Kye Blight (Kye Blight Racing) and Australian Champion Joe Chalmers (Team BCM Motorsport:) being recognised for their efforts.
 
Chief Steward Jerome Sutton would be next to take the stand to present his award this season. He chose to acknowledge someone who had stepped up to compete a full season of racing for the first time ever, despite having run late models for many years. He acknowledged the level of competition that this person was able to provide as well as the fact that his results were outstanding. The
Chief Stewards award for 2024 was presented to Jason Oldfield (Oldfield Racing).
 
With LMRWA CEO Craig Vosbergen not present due to work commitments, Marketing Manager Craig Nylander stepped up to present the CEO award this year. Craig chose to acknowledge someone who put plenty of hard-work in behind-the-scenes, making sure there was a good show put on by Late Models on and off the track, Veronica McCann (Veronica McCann – Red Hot Racing) was thrilled to receive the award.
 
One of the awards that means the most to the drivers is the Drivers Driver, which is voted on by peers. This award represents someone who has put in the time and the effort on and off the track, gaining the respect of their fellow drivers around the way that they approach the race season. This year the winner was Jason Oldfield (Oldfield Racing), who was clearly chuffed to receive his award.
 
Perth Motorplex Speedway Manager Gavin Migro was next invited up to the stage where he acknowledged the efforts of all Late Model drivers, the committee, pit crews, families and spectators. He was also thrilled to announce that next season the Late Models will again play a massive part in the Perth Motorplex calendar. This includes the announcement that the that the Motorplex has officially been awarded the 2025 Australian Championship.
 
This title will form the first part of a huge week of racing for Late Models with a massive $75,000 prize pool up for grabs across five nights. Beginning on the seventh and eighth of March will be the Australian Title with $40,000 up for grabs. This will be followed by mid week show on 12 March that will see $10,000 on the line. The Late Model Nationals will round out this week with two nights of racing on the 14th and 15th of March that will see an extra $25,000 out for grabs
 
After the excitement of these announcements, Late Model Chief Steward Jerome Sutton was once again called to the stand, this time to acknowledge the outstanding contribution of 18+ years to the Late Model division. Jerome was clearly taken back with his award, stating he is proud of what he has achieved with working with the division across so many years, and looks forward to seeing what’s next.
 
Finally, it would be time for the season long, Pro Dirt Series points payouts to round out the evening. Drivers who finished from position 20 to 6 were called forward firstly and received their prizes.
 
This was followed by the top five place getters receiving special acknowledgement. Fifth place Ken MacPherson (KMM – Ken Macpherson Motorsport) and fourth placed Jason Oldfield (Oldfield Racing) came up first before the top three received their trophies in third place Joe Chalmers (Team BCM Motorsport:), second place by just one point, Jamie Oldfield (Oldfield Racing) and the 2023/24 Pro Dirt Series Champion Warren Oldfield (Oldfield Racing).
 
A recurring theme across the evening was drivers who talked about how Late Model racing is such a family-based sport. They all acknowledged the efforts of their families, supporting the amount of hours it takes to get cars on the track week in week out. Drivers also acknowledged the efforts of their crews, their sponsors who were so valuable and of course to all those who work hard behind the scenes to make the season possible.
 
Thank you to everyone and we can’t wait to see you for what will quite possibly be the biggest season of Late Model racing ever seen here in WA in 2024/25!!
 
Release by DTN Media.
 
Pics Courtesy Peter Roebuck.