Tasmania’s Callum Harper made it back-to-back South Australian Late Model Championships last Saturday night as he dominated the 35-lap final at the Murray Machining and Sheds Murray Bridge Speedway to defeat newly crowned Australian Champion Brent Vosbergen and New South Welshman Lachlan Onley. After starting from position four Harper made his way to the lead on lap nine after passing Vosbergen and he then went on to what was an easy win as he lapped all but the top four drivers eventually winning by over four seconds.
“That was a long, physical race. The way the track was I didn’t think I could win from there. It was fast and pretty narrow, but we found a way past Brent and got it done. I must thank my guys for the work they have put in and to SALMA and Murray Bridge for putting the race on” added Callum on the podium.
“I have always struggled a bit here. I wouldn’t say I love the place but a few races back we threw a few things at the car it seemed to like it so the results have come but I still feel I can be better. We will roll out the Super Sedan next weekend and give it another go.”
New South Welshman Todd Bayley was the final driver on the lead lap in fourth with three time South Australian Champion Ben Nicastri completing the top five. Western Australian Freddy Kinsella, who started on the front row, was sixth with Brendan Hucker, Mat Crimmins and Jason Robinson completing the finishers.
Warrnambool’s Fiona Verhoeven and Peter Nicola were both involved in a lap two crash, with both drivers eventually retiring due to damage sustained in the turn four incident.
Earlier the night started with Time Trials with Victorian Brendan Hucker setting the quickest time in the 11 car field with a new 1 lap track record of 13.964, while Vosbergen won his first race with the #A1 on the door in heat 1, while Kinsella and Bayley won the remaining two heats.
A further four racing classes were in action supporting the Late Models with Junior Sedans, Formula 500’s, AMCA’s and Street Stocks on the program.
The Formula 500’s saw a field of seven cars front with Brendan Zadow winning the 20-lap final comfortably ahead of Corey Jones and Scott Dungey. Earlier the heat winners were Dungey and Jones.
With 15 Junior Sedans in the pit area the field was split into Top and New Stars with Henry Brumfield and Mildura’s Cameron Smith both winning a heat in the Top Stars while Evan McAllister dominated both heats of the New Stars. The final saw both fields combined with the final being an entertaining race with the result not being decided until the final turn. Henry Brumfield, who was leading into the final turn would eventually finish third after he got all crossed up allowing both Lachlan Brown and Diesel Fallon by with all three drivers separated by only .363 of a second. Lucas Warnett and Evan McAllister completed the top five.
Due to the Australian Championship being conducted in Western Australia the Street Stock event was an “Invitational” race with 9 drivers taking up the offer to compete. Phil Watson and Wade Fell were victorious in the heats while Fell was on his way to the Feature race victory until a flat right rear tyre ended his run. Phil Watson went on to win ahead of Neville Nitschke, Craig Buchanan, Ryan Buchanan and Jarryd Farrell.
Mildura’s Darren McCarthy defeated Kent Davey, Malcolm Crick and Michael Qualmann in the AMCA Nationals.
The Murray Machining and Sheds Murray Bridge Speedway will host a double header this weekend with action on Friday March 10 and Saturday March 11. The Friday night racing program will feature Night 1 of the Wingless Sprints 60 Lapper and the Super Sedan Cowland 42 while Saturday will see the Wingless 60 Lap Final, the South Australian Super Sedan Championship and the Ross Wright Sprintcar Memorial, featuring Australian Sprintcar Champion Jock Goodyer and Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic Champion Brock Hallett.