THE 2022-23 season blasted into action for Hessions Auto Parts Grafton Speedway on Saturday night, and it saw a healthy crowd entertained by plenty of close and exciting racing action from beginning to end.
Headlining the action were the popular V8 Dirt Modifieds and the standout driver of the night was youngster Seiton Connor-Young who took out the feature-race spoils in impressive fashion.
After starting from pole position for the feature race, Connor-Young, from nearby Lismore, managed to move into the lead from the outset, and it was a position he didn’t relent all the way through to the fall of chequered flag. Despite leading the whole race, it certainly wasn’t easy for the newcomer with less than 12 months experience in V8 Dirt Modifieds to his name, as he had to fight off the challenges from five-time Australian Champion Kevin Britten during the opening 10 laps. Unfortunately, Britten, who had travelled down from Brisbane in Queensland, was forced to the infield, after he damaged his right-rear suspension following him hitting the cushion of the track wrong.
With Britten now out of the picture, Connor-Young was unchallenged for the remainder of the 25-lap distance and went on to win by a comfortable margin. Joining Connor-Young on the podium were fellow youngsters in locals Taylah Firth and Luke Dunn in second and third place respectively. For Firth, this was by far her best ever performance in a V8 Dirt Modified and she was rapt to come away with a podium finish on home soil.
Behind the podium finishes in fourth was another local in Andrew Firth, while the top-five finishes were rounded out by rookie V8 Dirt Modified racer Brock Armstrong.
A large field of Wingless Sprints converged on Grafton Speedway, and it was Sydney’s Jamie Dicker who drove a faultless race to claim the feature-race spoils. Dicker had started from the outside of the front row in the feature race and went on to make the most of the starting spot by taking the lead immediately. From there, Dicker controlled the pace throughout the 15-lap journey, and he went on to score a confidence-boosting victory.
At the fall of the chequered flag, Dicker defeated Andrew Seery in second and Sydney-based youngster Brayden Shute in third. Sydneysiders Bailey Goodwin and Tyson Williams completed the top-five finishes.
Current NSW Champion Jacob Jolley was the form driver leading into the Wingless Sprint feature race after being the highest point scorer from the heat-race action. Being the highest point scorer, Jolley drew position 8 in the inversion and had to start from position eight. In the feature race, Jolley was making his way forward, before he suffered a mechanical failure on lap six and crashed out of contention in spectacular fashion.
In the support classes, the feature-race wins were shared between Paul Reeves (AMCA Nationals) who proved too good for Darren Miller and Brett Robotham, Queenslander Matt Gordon (Legend Cars) was able to down Rieley Fisher and Jackson Tomkins, David Putsey (RSA Street Stockers) who defeated Brendan Hayes and Greg Dickinson, Nelson Mooney (RSA Four Cylinder Sedans) who outpaced Nathan Harper and David Putsey, and Jaiden Santin (SSA Junior Sedans) finished ahead of Jeremy Wade and Alisha Payne.
The next Grafton Speedway race meeting on the 2022-23 season calendar is going to be held on December 10, featuring the Late Models and the NSW Title for Modlites. The support classes will consist of RSA Street Stockers, Production Sedans and Junior Sedans.
Grafton Speedway would like to thank Hessions Auto Parts for their support throughout the 2022-23 season. Based in Grafton, along with their nearby Coffs Harbour location, Hessions Auto Parts stock a wide range of parts and accessories at competitive prices.
To find out more about Hessions Auto Parts, contact them on 0266 423 085 (Grafton) and 0256 456 361 (Coffs Harbour) or visit their website at hessionsautoparts.com.au.
For more information, contact Grafton Speedway promoter Mick Corbett on 0427 310 009. You can also visit their website at graftonspeedway.com.au or LIKE them on Facebook by searching Grafton Speedway.
Photo: Butcher Photography