Wally’s and Junior’s night at Nowra in NSW Grand Prix Midgets

A huge night for the New South Wales Grand Prix Midget Racing Association was had at Nowra Speedway when club and class legend Wally Kermond received the highest honour in the sport on behalf of Speedway Australia when Michael Braggs announced to everybody at Nowra that Wally would be inducted into the Australian Speedway Hall of Fame at the 2023 awards night in Melbourne.

The honour is well deserved with Wally a six time national champion in the Grand Prix Midget Class. The NSW club are so proud to have this recognition of the class through Wally and the man himself is so very humbled to be the first ever representative of the NSW and the Australian Grand Prix Midgets class to receive such an honour considering the likes of Grant Walker, Lester Appleton, Noel Freeman and Dennis Myers have all competed and dominated in the class also.

At Nowra after the announcement Wally jumped into the Adam Buckley owned race car to do a parade lap of honour with the Australian flag flaying in the breeze behind him bringing a tear to many watching on. All this occurred in front of special guests that made the trip down Peter Kermond, Mal Paton, and Mike Power to make the day extra special for Wally.

On to the action for round six in the Gulf Western Oil Super Series.

With Speedcars, Legend Cars, 4 Cylinder Sedans, Street Stockers, Vintage Sprintcars, the Grand Prix Midgets and a Demolition Derby it was a huge night at Nowra in great weather on a fantastically prepared racetrack in front of another large crowd.

Six cars made it through to the nights feature event and for the second meeting in succession the going was hard from green to chequer flag without a stoppage all night. The night also seen the debut of Allan Black having never competed in a Grand Prix Midget, Black acquitted himself very superbly finishing all four races and even engaging in battle with newcomer racer Tyler Lea (NSW 25 – Paul Perry Chassis – Suzuki GSXR 1100) through the evening.

The starting line-up for heat one seen Tyler Lea, Riley Bowyer, Buckley, Anthony Lea, Gary Bowyer and Black (NSW 3 – Independent Chassis – Yamaha R1) greeting the green in that order. Buckley was off to a flying start from the third spot and took the lead through the first and second turns on lap one as he was followed by Anthony Lea, Bowyer Junior (Riley), Tyler Lea, Bowyer Senior (Gary) and Black. On lap four Bowyer Senior moved into fourth place. A track race lights malfunction during competition resulted in a single file restart with four laps to go.

Caught napping on the restart Buckley was passed as Anthony Lea drove around the outside and into position one at turn showing improved performance after a second new transplant in recent months with the #7 Perry Bros Chassis, Kawasaki ZX10 cracking along. At the chequered flag Anthony Lea took victory in front of Buckley, Riley Bowyer, Gary Bowyer, Tyler Lea and Black.

Anthony Lea then slotted into the prime spot of pole position for heat two with Bowyer Senior, Tyler Lea, Bowyer Junior, Buckley, and Black making up the field. Anthony Lea charged to the lead when the green flag dropped with Bowyer Senior and Buckley (NSW 67 – WAR Chassis – Kawasaki ZX12 1200) who had moved forward from fifth chasing closely with Bowyer Junior in fourth. The top four cleared out and maintained their positions until lap five where they caught the backmarkers of Tyler Lea and Black. Bowyer Senior took advantage of the opportunity and made a move with a clean pass through turn three and four as both of them split in passing Tyler Lea.

In the final three laps a freight train of the Midgets as they followed in a line with Bowyer Senior at the head of the line leading Anthony Lea, Buckley, Bowyer Junior, Black and Tyler Lea across the finish line.

Buckley started from the pole position in heat three with Bowyer Senior, Bowyer Junior, Anthony Lea, Tyler Lea and Black completing the line-up. From position four on the outside row Anthony lea got a great start passing both Buckley and Bowyer Senior on lap one to take the race lead. Bowyer Senior also passed Buckley who slotted back in third spot with Bowyer Junior, Lea Junior (Tyler) and Black.

As in the second heat, the top four drivers cleared out leaving space between themselves and the backmarkers as Lea Junior passed Black to move into fifth by the halfway mark of the race. Out front the top four racers drove hard for the final laps with Anthony Lea taking a second heat race win of the night followed by Bowyer Senior (NSW 5 – WAR Chassis – Yamaha R1), Buckley, Bowyer Junior, Lea Junior and Black.

For the feature event in line with the club rules the highest point scorers start at the back of the field however in front of debut drivers. Tyler Lea started from pole position with Bowyer Junior, Buckley, Bowyer Senior, Anthony Lea and Black the order.

It was a chaotic start to the final with Buckley driving up over the outside wheel of Lea Junior as Buckley tried to re-enact one of his boyhood dreams believing he was Scotty from the Thunderbirds trying to launch into space, only to crash back down to earth moments later, slightly red-faced. causing a restart. Bowyer Junior at the re-start lead the field into turn one with Bowyer Senior moving up two spot from fourth into second in hot pursuit. Lea Senior continued his great night as he quickly moved into third spot passing Buckley before lap one was done.

For fifteen laps the top four in the field charged out front with Bowyer Senior doing his best to reign in the lead of his son Riley with all important club championship points up for grabs, along with the thrill of race victory. Lapped traffic caused a few heart flutters amongst the leaders however Bowyer Junior (NSW 50 – WAR Chassis – Suzuki GSXR 1000) held his nerve and his right foot flat to the floor to finish first to take his second win of the season ahead of Bowyer Senior, Lea Senior, Buckley, Black and Lea Junior.

Comments from around Nowra back to the club committee came in with praise for the quality of the top four drivers who were battling close and hard all night, whilst not taking anything away from Lea Junior and our debutant Black who raced terrifically for their spots and will be much improved for the experiences they gained on this night.

The New South Wales Grand Prix Midget Racing Association thank their season sponsors;
Gulf Western Oil
Arjan Motors
White Ant Racing
Beesafe Travel
AOK Trophies
Full Throttle Publishing

Ends Release.

Media written by DMT Sports Media – Dean Thompson

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