Brockley wins state title, Saville wins Cup, Mills wins Memorial and Claridge wins series round at Wangaratta

Wangaratta City Raceway was the host venue for the Goulburn Ovens Sedans Victorian title on Saturday night (Jan 14th) with a healthy crowd enjoying the Carnival atmosphere around the facility as the local club continued to provide activities for families to bring their children to enjoy.

In the on-track action Corowa based racer Justin Brockley won the Victorian title in the main event of the evening for the Goulburn Oven’s Sedans. Whilst another Corowa resident Trevor Mills won the prestigious blue-ribbon event for Production Sedans, the Bob Bailey Memorial. In Junior Sedan action Connor Claridge won the latest series round for the Junior Open Sedan class and Janelle Saville won the Wangaratta Cup for Grand Prix Midgets.

Wangaratta on Saturday night and the northeast in general was threatened by severe weather with lightning and thunder surrounding the speedway from all directions from around 8pm in the evening. As a result, the club and competitors cancelled round three of competition and entered into the four main feature events with the intent to run other finals if, the lightning moved away from the venue.

In the Goulburn Ovens Sedans title event two rounds of qualifiers resulted in both Rhys Collins from Stanley and Brockley winning two heats each and putting everybody on notice that they were the standout competitors. Brockley won the fastest heat race in a time of three minutes 19.769 whilst Collins et the fastest one lap time of the night for the class of 18.899 seconds.

In the title race across thirty laps Collins began out front of the field with Nathan Shortis, Brockley, Wayde Little and Justin Ewert the top five. Nothing changed at the front of the field until lap eleven when Collins exited the race due to mechanical issues leaving Shortis in the lead. Four laps later and whilst also leading the race, Shortis pulled infield leaving Brockley leading Little, Ewert, Steven Davey and Billy O’Donoghue.

After five more laps of terrific action Brockley led Michael Sayers who had steadily come from nowhere and then blasted off in the five laps between fifteen to twenty to move into second after starting in thirteenth. Ewert moved to third, Robbie Miller was now fourth and Ben Schmetzer in fifth after Wayde Little lost his spot in the top five coming off the track in turn four before re-entering towards the rear of the field. Ewert made a pass on lap twenty-two to take second spot and as the laps wound down Brockley went on to win from Ewert, Sayers, Miller, and Ben Schmetzer.

It was Brockley’s first title victory and the first state title for the class for four seasons after Covid and weather intervened since the 19/20 season. Brockley’s previous best was second in the title.

In Production Sedan action in the tenth Bob Bailey Memorial, Trevor Mills secured his fifth victory in the event after he a two-time Australian champion and Stephen Laidlaw another two-time national champion went to battle early in the race. Mills Senior (Trevor) took the lead after making a turn one dash from the second row passing Chris Fitzgerald who opened the door for Mills to come through took the lead right from turn one. Fitzgerald who during heat races had competed outstandingly well dropped out of the race due to mechanical on lap two whilst another Wangaratta racer Leighton Evans moved into third with Mills Junior (Jacob) in fourth and Rodney Anderson from Albury in fifth.

At ten laps Mills Senior was still out-front lapping at .4 of a second a lap quicker than others in the line-up. Laidlaw and Jacob Mills followed with Wayne Bourke now in fourth spot and Anderson fifth.

A terrific battle between Sean Alessi, Anderson, and Bourke for fourth to sixth went on for around ten laps or so and Alessi settled in as fifth behind Bourke by lap fifteen. At lap twenty Mills Senior still led Laidlaw and Mills Junior and in the last five laps Alessi moved to fourth ahead of Bourke and as the race concluded Trevor Mills defeated Laidlaw, Jacob Mills, Alessi and Bourke.

In the Grand Prix Midgets Wangaratta Cup over ten laps Travis Florrimell led the race from Gary Bowyer from Sydney with Janelle Saville in third on lap one. On lap six positions changed as Bowyer dropped backwards and Alex Hudson-Myers moved into third spot. Saville took the race lead on lap seven and Hudson-Myers moved into second on the final lap as Saville took victory in the Wangaratta Cup from Hudson-Myers, Florrimell, and David Bacon.

Junior Open Sedan competitors in the latest series round for the class provided great entertainment during the nights racing with Connor Claridge leading from lap one of the final with Riley Balins and Jack Randall following behind. By lap three Claridge was leading Randall, Anthony Hanson, Marcus Maclean, and Hunter Carey. After a stoppage on lap nine of ten, the race was declared with Claridge the winner from Randall, Carey, Maclean and Balins.

Rhys Meakins won two of the three heat races in Sports Sedans with Wangaratta member Kelvin Guppy winning the third. Without a final, points decided the class winner and it was Meakins who took win from Steven Loader, Guppy, Chris Aarts and Jaimi Barber.

Another Meakins victory was in the Standard Saloons as Rhys’s father Aaron won the class. Aaron Meakins had also taken a victory in heat races as did Steven Danks and Courtney Meakins (Aaron’s Daughter). On points Aaron Meakins defeated Steven Danks, Warrick Howie, Trevor Evans, and Courtney Meakins.

Rounding out all the results the Ladies Open Sedans wins in qualifying went to Jaimi Barber and Felicity Roycroft. On points Roycroft won the night from Belinda Nicolaisen, Lisa Chalcraft, Jaimi Barber and Bianca Ballantyne.

February the 4th will be the next race meeting for Wangaratta City Raceway with the Victorian Production Sedan state title, the Compact Speedcars Victorian title and the visiting Australian Motor Contest Association plus local club classes.

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Ends Release.

Media written by Speedcafe contributor DMT Sports Media – Dean Thompson

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