|Posted on April 25, 2016 at 3:20 AM|
History was created at Sunline Speedway on Saturday night with Cory Hodgson claiming the inaugural South Australian Modlite Title, proudly sponsored by United Speedway Association. 6 heat races were conducted through the night with drivers trying to score enough points to be able to start the 20 lap main event from the front. As expected, the racing was close and winners tough to pick with 4 drivers taking heat wins. Cory Hodgson and Andy Maxwell Jnr had 2 heat wins each whilst Mark Martin and Rob Swain had a heat win each.
Hodgson and Tony Hardy started the Title race from the front row, followed by Maxwell Jnr, Duran Cowland, Brian Chadwick and Scott Webb. It was an early exit for Webb and Maxwell Jnr, both pulling to the infield on the opening lap and retiring with mechanical issues. On the restart, Hodgson got a great jump and led by half the straight within 2 laps. Whilst Hodgson pulled away, all eyes were on the battle for second with 5 cars racing hard and fast with each other. Initially Hardy was leading this group but after several laps started to drift back and would eventually finish sixth. The charger in the group was Rob Swain, who after starting seventh, was making up places quickly and had made it to second by lap 7.
With 5 laps to go, and a certain victory ahead for Hodgson, the yellows came on for Graham Knuckey, who had spun in turns 3 and 4. This bunched the field and made it a tight race to the Title. As he had showed during the night, Hodgson was the man of the moment and won easily ahead of Swain, Cowland, Chadwick, Hardy, Michael Brown, Jake Lewis, Martin, Brad Foregeard and Ty Forrestal.
The Thorne brothers cleaned up in Round 3 of the Robert Gwynne Memorial Track Championship for Junior Sedans. Nathan claimed a heat win whilst Heath won the other 2 heats as well as the 12 lap feature race. Corey Richter and Jamie Pumpa made their debuts at the venue whilst first year races Callum Crossing and Tegan Sheridan are already getting quicker and more comfortable in their cars.
After 3 Rounds, Heath Thorne has a 32 point lead over his brother Nathan in the race for the Track Championship. The battle looks to be between these 2 drivers with 2 rounds to go but as we’ve seen, anything can happen in Speedway racing and there are several drivers who are ready to pounce should either of the Thorne’s strike trouble.
Modified Sedans had their final hit out before their State Title at Renmark next month. After an absence, it was good to see Terry Brown back at Sunline and proved to all that he still knows how to get around the tight track. Brown won 2 of the 3 heats on the night and quite possibly could have won the third but retired from that race, allowing Adam Haseldine to take the heat win. Brown claimed an easy 12 lap feature win and in doing so set a new track record, beating second placed Trevor Raams by over half a lap. Third was Haseldine followed by Marty Raams and John Burton.
Street Stocks had a large field of 8 cars which included the senior class racing debut of Cheyanne Richter-Uren who stepped into her father’s car for the night after a couple seasons in Junior Sedans. Her night ended early when in heat 2 when she made heavy contact with the wall on the exit of turn 2 and wasn’t able to repair the car. Albert and Wade Fell took a heat race win each to at the top of the points heading into the feature but due to Albert being a late nomination, he would start rear of field. This elevated Justin Demaine to the front row ahead of Josh Roberts and Travis Skinner. Starting from the rear obviously didn’t faze Albert Fell as within 3 laps had made his way to the front and claim an easy feature race win. Wade Fell finished second ahead of Demaine, Roberts and Skinner.
Formula 500’s were meant to have 5 cars at the venue, but only 3 made it to the track with late withdrawals of Rory Stevenson and Jason Nottle. This dropped to 2 when Shaun Brown had discovered he’d fired the throttle cable and was out for the night. That left Austin McDonald and Joe Mercorella to put a display on for the fans. McDonald claimed the 2 heat wins before the feature was declared a non event after Mercorella made heavy contact with the pit gate on the first lap.
Attention now goes to the May 14th meeting with a big program planned with the final round of 2 series being held. Super Sedans will have their final round of the J. D. Couriers Super Series, proudly sponsored by Scotcher Race Fuels and Oils as well as the 360 Sprintcars will have their Scotcher Race Fuels and Oils Sprintcar Series finale. Junior Sedans will contest Round 4 of the Robert Gwynne Memorial Track Championship with support from Modlites, Wingless Sprints, AMCA’s, Street Stocks and Modified Sedans. Gates open at 3pm with racing from 5pm. For anyone that wishes to help out with support, sponsorship or any other form of assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact Rob Stevens on 0412 474 289.