|Posted on February 18, 2018 at 7:50 AM|
Sunline Speedway played host to its biggest crowd in years, with an estimated 1500 people in attendance for Opening Night of the 2017/18 season.
Headlining the night was Round 9 of the Australian All Stars Sprintcar Series with 16 drivers taking on Sunlines tight confines. Paul Solomon showed his speed early in Time Trials, claiming Quick Time by 0.3 seconds whilst the following 13 cars were covered by the same margin. After 4 tight heat races, it was into the top 6 Pole Shuffle. Whilst he didn’t claim Pole Position, Michael Trancredi managed to add his name to the record books by lowering both the single lap and 2 lap track records. Paul Solomon was able to claim Pole, and was never really troubled to take the victory in the Feature whilst all the action happened behind him. On the opening lap, Trancredi took a tumble in Turn 3, ending his challenge whilst near mid race distance Dan Evans had a spin in front of half the field whilst trying to pass a lapped car. Evans was able to avoid any contact however he wasn’t so lucky crossing the finish when he made contact with Chris Solomon. Evans would roll several times before quickly ejecting himself from the vehicle.
Michael Brown claimed the Modlites Feature amongst some controversy after earlier receiving a black flag for failing to acknowledge a previous mechanical black for sparks flying from the rear brakes. During a mid race stoppage, Brown was able to have discussions with the stewards who allowed him to continue. After an earlier heat win, Danny Prade had a wild ride during the feature making contact with Andrew Launer exiting turn 2 and rolling twice down the back straight.
Junior Sedans were destined to have a new feature winner for some time with Heath and Nathan Thorne not in attendance. Earlier in the night, Nate Trewin claimed 2 heat races whilst Tamika Pitcher claimed the other ahead of an exciting feature. It turned out to be a memorable night for Callum Crossing claiming his maiden Feature race victory ahead of Trewin and Jordan Grillett. After the first night of their Track Championship, Trewin holds a narrow lead over Crossing and Grillett.
Wingless Sprints had a quality field, headlined by recently crowned back to back Australian Champion Joel Chadwick. The night to be a battle between the Joel’s, with Chadwick claiming 2 of the 3 heat races with Joel Heinrich claiming the other. Come Feature time and Chadwick pulled in early with what appeared to be engine issues, which allowed Heinrich to power on to claim the win.
In the lead up to the meeting, Sunline Speedway in partnership with Tough-As Products announced a new type of Track Championship where all drivers compete against each other to be crowned at the end of the year the Tough-As Products Grand Champion. Points will be weighted to ensure that as long as a class contests at least 2 rounds during the season any driver could claim the Title. From results of Night 1, the Wingless Sprint trio of Heinrich, Matthew Kennedy and Jake Ashworth currently lead but now have to sit and wait other classes rapidly chase them down, as Wingless Sprints aren’t set to return to the Venue until the fourth meeting of the season in May.
Sunline Speedway next comes to life on the March long weekend, Sunday 11th March with 7 classes competing. V6 Sprints will be holding their annual 2 Night King of the Riverland series, holding Night 1 on the night before at the Riverland Speedway. Super Sedans will compete for points for a round of their country series whilst the Junior Sedans have Round 2 of their Track Championship. Street Stocks, Modlites, Formula 500’s and Modified Sedans will round out a big program. Expect to see a big field of Modified Sedans, getting some valuable track time ahead of their State Title at the Venue in April.