The annual Victorian Compact Speedcar title this year supported by ‘Associated Powdercoating’ has been run and won with Victoria’s current strongest competitor Justin Paull retaining his championship having gone back to back by winning at Nyora Raceway on Saturday night.
With fifteen competitors in the pit enclosure to start the meeting after a couple of unfortunate late withdrawals, the championship was a hard fought affair in the end between Justin Paull and Mark Heaton. In addition, a number of standout performances through the night included the qualifying efforts of Andrew Wiles and Duane Cordina, plus the podium running, to rear of field and back to the podium effort of Tania Hallett was another outstanding performance.
Six heat race events were held for drivers to qualify for the title race and start as close to the front as possible and starting off the evening Paull took a convincing win ahead of Kyle Sharpe, Andrew Wiles, Mark Hutchinson the title sponsor, Aaron Stubbs (#46 – Cohuna Car Spa – Suzuki Engine) , Gavin Cooper and Aaron Bacon with Ben Fairfax blown clutch from the New South Wales club unable to finish. For Fairfax (#44 Suzuki GSXR – Stealth) it was such a shame as he travelled so far, him and his crew however helped fellow racer Kyle Sharpe the rest of the night.
Australian champion and Victorian champion from two seasons ago Mark Heaton won the second qualifier over new to the club racer Matt Papa (# 25 – Yamaha R1 – Spike) who is a very experienced racer in Speedcars. Glen Wiles, Mark Cecil who had spun whilst out in front of the field and had to drop back to the rear for the restart and Cordina rounded out the finishes. Whilst Hallett sustained damage from a crash to the front end of her car leaving her with shock, radius rod and tyre damage and Andrew Lardner (#5 Nissan A13 – Pearce) with fuel pump issues were non-finishers.
Paull (# 12 – Ringwood Mazda – Spike) then won the third qualifier of the night with Hutchinson putting in a strong second place performance. Andrew Wiles again finished in the top three with Stubbs fourth in front of Cooper (# 34 – Be Seen Signs – Razor) whilst Sharpe after a fuse went on the start solenoid and Bacon did not finish, the latter after hitting the wall hard.
Tania Hallett (#15 – Ripper Stickers – Beast) recovered from her mechanical issues from the first round and took an outstanding win in the fourth qualifier leading to the line Glen Wiles, Heaton, Papa and Cordina. Whilst Lardner and Cecil (#7 – Total Tools Shepparton – Cox) both did not finish.
Paull became the only driver to win all three of his qualifying races when he won the fifth heat race in front of his sister Hallett and Sharpe. Cordina (#41 – Kangaroo Lake Caravan Park – GSXR1000) , Hutchinson and Glen Wiles (# 9 – Local Village Garage – TCR) all finished in order rounding out the race.
Heaton then won his second heat race in the sixth and final qualifier when he was able to defeat Andrew Wiles (# 32 – Yarra Valley Towing – Pearce), Papa, Cooper and Stubbs with Cecil once again unable to finish the race.
Bacon (#56 – CLR Electrical) was unable to start the feature race as he discovered he had front end damage from the crash in his second heat race that he just could not get fixed in time.
The field was set for the ‘Associated Powdercoating’ Victorian title in the following order; Paull, Heaton (#26 – Jam Signs – Stealth), Andrew Wiles, Papa, Glen Wiles, Hallett, Hutchinson (#6 – Dtour Trailers – Robotham), Sharpe, Cordina, Stubbs, Cooper and Cecil.
When the steward gave the command to start, Paull was quick to assume control of the race lead. Heaton, Andrew Wiles, Hallett and Papa all settled into position and Cecil made a quick start from the back to move forward a number of positions. Hallett whilst fourth was the first of the front-runners to make a mistake as she spun and had to start again from the rear of the field.
Soon after Andrew Wiles whom had done so well to qualify third in his Curren family owned racecar looked guttered as he finished infield having maintained his third spot in the opening laps looking strong, his issue was battery fault. Hutchinson was a spinner early and Hallett who had started to come through the field, gently nudged into the six car as they both came to a stop. Hallett was able to resume in position whilst Hutchinson went to the rear of the field.
Out front, Paull was still leading from Heaton, Papa, Sharpe (#34N – SMEG – Stealth), and Glen Wiles whilst Cecil who had brought himself into six spun and went to the rear of the field. Cooper hit a tyre inside the pole line and flicked his car infield to cause the next caution and Cordina also exited the race whilst he was running in sixth and looking to challenge for a title top five spot after he broke a Jacobs ladder bolt and his chain came off that drives his motorbike engine.
Paull still led the race from Heaton with a handful to go and Sharpe had moved to third when Papa in fourth felt his engine started to miss and pulled infield as Paull went on to close out the race with victory from Heaton, Sharpe, Hallett, Glen Wiles, Cecil, Stubbs and Hutchinson.
After the race a jubilant winner spoke to media. “I am so stoked to win with a lot of my friends and family here at Nyora. This has been our home track for the last few seasons as a family. I really appreciate the support Nyora has given our class to have our title here and hopefully now we can get two or three runs here a season. Well done to the other competitors for their results. It is a pleasure racing with the likes of Mark Heaton, Kyle Sharpe, the Wiles boys, Matt Papa etc. great competition, great people. Thank you to our committee people for their work and thank you to my team for all their support and efforts.” Shared Justin Paull.
The best presented award went to Mark Hutchinson who also happened to be the event sponsor. His beautiful ‘Associated Powdercoating’ number 6 racecar stands out wherever it goes. Much deserved award.
Victorian Compact Speedcar Club would like to also thank and acknowledge these supporters for their involvement in the state title.
Hammonds Paints of Swan Hill
Kangaroo Lake Caravan Park
D & F Racing Products
Jam Signs & Embroidery Designs
Trevor Perry Chassis (TPC)
Media provided by Speedcafe contributor DMT Sports Media – Dean Thompson