HARTIGAN STARS IN AUSTRALIAN TITLE OPENER
The opening night of the Australian Wingless Sprints Title at Toowoomba’s Hi-Tec Oils Speedway in Queensland resulted in Western Australian Daniel Hartigan scoring the preliminary feature-race spoils and in the process coming out on top of the overall point standings.
Hartigan, the 2014 Australian Champion, went into the 20-lap preliminary feature race as the joint highest point scorer with Queenslander Scott Thomsen, but started from position two, due to Thomsen recording the fastest lap of the two in the earlier heat races. From the drop of the green flag, Hartigan powered to the lead over Thomsen. Once out in front, Hartigan cleared out from the rest of the field.
The only stoppage occurred on lap 11, when Tom Payet (WA) and Daniel Flood (NSW), who had both qualified into the preliminary feature race via the B main, collided in between turns three and four, which resulted in Flood crashing out in spectacular fashion. Payet was able to restart, but Flood sustained extensive damage that saw him towed to the infield.
This stoppage allowed the rest of the field an opportunity to challenge leader Hartigan. At the restart, Hartigan led away from Thomsen and Brad Whitchurch (Tas). As the laps ticked away, Luke Weel (Vic) worked his way into second and then went about reeling in Hartigan. In the closing laps, Hartigan encountered lapped traffic, and it presented Weel to close right in on Hartigan. However, despite the best efforts of Weel, Hartigan managed to hold on for the win.
A gallant Weel finished in second, while Scott Thomsen completed the podium in third.
Just off the podium in fourth was Whitchurch ahead of Sam Wren (Vic), Jason Bates (NSW), Peter Logue (Vic), Daniel Storer (Vic), Matthew Balcombe (Vic) and in 10th was David Eggins (NSW).
The finishers were rounded out by David Lindsay (Qld), Andy Hibbert (Vic), Darryl Marshall (NSW), B-main winner Nathan Dicker (NSW), Mark Blyton (NSW), Michael Budgen (Qld), Joel Chadwick (SA), Payet and the final finisher Robert Mazzer (NSW).
Flood was the only non-finisher in the preliminary feature race.
Earlier in the night, the heat-race winners were Daniel Storer (x 2), Weel, Payet, Scott Thomsen, Brady Baldwin (Qld), Travis Millar (Vic), Mazzer, James Wren, Whitchurch, Mick Santin (NSW), Peter Logue (Vic), Jaymee Budgen (Qld), Marshall, Bates, Sam Wren, Hartigan and Troy Carey (NSW).
The B main went the way of Dicker. He was joined in the preliminary feature race by fellow transferees Daniel Flood, Payet and Mazzer.
Source: Toowoomba Speedway