The SDAV Hot Rod season got underway at Heartland Raceway in Moama a hop, skip and jump over the Victoria/New South Wales border with victory going the way of the only female racer amongst the group, class stalwart Kali Hovey.
Another season of Thunder Down Under series action looks like it will be fiercely contested with the likes of the Hovey and Shannon Meakins teams, Dean West, Phil Jenkins and the Marco crew amongst the front runners at the first meeting of the new season.
Former Victorian championship winner Dean West began at the front of the field in heat one of three with Tom Marco, Hovey, Chris Wilkes, Stan Marco Snr (#5 A1 Automotive & Balancing), Meakins, Jenkins and Stan Marco Jnr completing the line-up.
Before the flag though, Marco Snr pulled out with engine concerns, West (# 4 Dandy Bolts) then charged around lap one leading Jenkins and Marco Jnr, Hovey and Meakins as they passed the finishing line the first time. Things got worse for Team Marco when on lap one Tommy Marco blew an engine.
Meakins (#84 Kilmore Towing and Transport) passed Hovey on lap two and West led the rest of the race to defeat Jenkins, Marco Jnr, Meakins and Hovey.
Heat two began with Jenkins, Marco Jnr (# 11 Darby’s Paints), West, Meakins, Hovey and Wilkes the line up.
Jenkins (#3 Consolidated Signage) was the race early leader from Marco Jnr, Meakins, West and Hovey with Meakins on lap two passing both Marco Jnr and Jenkins. On lap three Marco Jnr moved into second ahead of Jenkins before laps wound down with Meakins the winner from Marco Jnr, West, Jenkins and Hovey.
Meakins and Hovey (#22 Norlane Pizza) were a husband and wife front row for the third and final heat race with Jenkins, Wilkes, Marco Jnr and West behind them. Meakins led Hovey from Jenkins, Marco Jnr and West. The ten lap went through with positions maintained and Meakins picking up the win from Hovey, Jenkins, West, Marco Jnr and Wilkes (#13 D & F Racing Products).
With a coin toss resulting in the top qualifiers going to the rear of the field for the feature event race start Wilkes moved to the front with Hovey, Marco Jnr, Jenkins, West and Meakins. Hovey led lap one from Jenkins, Meakins, West and Wilkes on lap one before Marco Jnr moved to fifth on lap two passing Wilkes. Marco Jnr though spun in turn two on lap three and ad to move to the rear of the field for the restart.
Meakins made a second place passing moving on lap three when the race restarted and a few laps later West pulled out of the race with a broken exhaust. On lap twelve of fifteen Marco Jnr headed infield with damaged suspension whilst the laps clicked past and Hovey took the race win ahead of Meakins, Jenkins and Wilkes.
SDAV Hot Rods Club thank their season supporters:
Ribeau Transport – Little Boot Café – Fourth Designs Websites & Graphics
DMT Sports Media
For SDAV Hot Rod Club of Victoria