When race fans arrived at Redline Raceway on Saturday 13th of January, it was possible they were going to go home having not seen any race action. As this reporter entered the track the rain was pelting down, however in typical Ballarat and surrounding township fashion the rain came and went came back again for a drizzle and took off for a while before making its presence felt one more time.
In the meantime, Mitch Foster in the Sprintcars had lit up the race track with some sensationally quick laps and amazing highline passing of his competitors, the Street Stocks completed all their heats, fifteen of them to set up their finals and a great little Shootout for the top nine drivers had resulted in Lenny Bates qualifying for the pole position for the Duo Mobile Eliminator and elsewhere through the night a few competitors cracked the wobblies with regards to on-track incidents, breakdowns and officials decisions.
Back to the Sprintcar action and three heat races split drivers into competing in two each before the feature race later in the night.
Foster won the first race from Adam Greenwood who would prove to be Fosters toughest competitor for the night. Greenwood then won the second heat race before Foster returned to win the last from Shane Steenholdt.
Early in the feature race Foster checked out on the field and had a commanding lead. Foster then slowed to get around some backmarkers allowing Greenwood to catch up. Steenholdt passed Alistair Bastian and then the rain came and the race was declared with Foster winning from Greenwood, Steenholdt, Bastian and Wayne Nicholls.
Foster after the race was glowing of opinion his class and the track. “Anybody looking to go racing fast at a decent budget, should really look at this class. The cost for a LS3 engine under the rules in place is just brilliant and look at how well they go. I loved the track, we will be back next time to see how we go.” Foster during the final got around the track in a time of 12.27 seconds, pretty good for an engine just over 600hp.
This rain caused the end of the meeting before the Duo Mobile Eliminator for Street Stocks could be run and as a result, the finishing order was declared on Shootout finishing results with a minor adjustment due to a mistake club officials had admitted to making.
Lenny Bates was declared the winner from Matt Nelson, Anthony Beare, Darryl Atkinson, Mick Dann, Mick Hetherington, Mick Clark, Jason Degoldi and Leigh Gooding.
Competition in the earlier heat races was sensational with Brad McClure, Scott Secombe, Bates, Nelson and Dann winning in the first round and Dylan Campton coming from the furthest back to record a second place, he started eighth in his heat.
In the second round of heats Clark, Beare, Nelson, Bates and Darren Forrest all had wins and then in the third round, Gooding, Hetherington, Megan Forrest, Beare and Bates finished up with wins. Shaun Henry made the biggest charge forward in the third round from ninth to second in his heat.
In Standard Saloon racing with no feature, the result was declared on points with Priscilla Grech coming out winner of the evening ahead of Patrick Walsh, Dave Chivers, Fred Cattermole and Michelle Sinclair.
Whilst the V8 Thunder Sedans did not have a feature heat races were won by Wally Hucker, Graeme Nugent and Greg Raggatt. Steve Hodder was doing the right thing earlier in the night helping the club bring the track back to racing condition after rain and unfortunately crashed the race car into the wall and was unable to compete, however, the fans certainly thank him for his contribution to the night, bringing the track bag and giving them a crash to cheer about.
Action returns to Redline Raceway on the 26th and 27th of January with the running of the AMCA Nationals Australian title event.
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