In what was a fantastic performance, Chris Bellman travelled to Murray Bridge Speedway in South Australia on Saturday night and emerged victorious in the King of the Bridge for Formula 500s.
After a number of minor podium finishes in the previous King of the Bridge attempts, Bellman put in a near-perfect night and managed to come away with the win in the prestigious event.
Electing to start the feature race from the outside of the front row by virtue of his Dash win, the 21-year-old racer immediately dropped back to third on tricky track conditions. Quickly realising that the top of the track was not the optimal racing line, Bellman cut to the bottom and was able to drive underneath his rivals to regain the lead by the completion of the opening lap. However, it was anything but smooth sailing from there.
In the middle stages of the race, current and two-time Australian Champion Liam Williams launched a challenge on Bellman, but was unable to make the move stick. Moments later (lap 16), disaster almost struck when Bellman attempted to lap James Aranyosi, who proceeded to defend his position against the race leader before his engine seized, causing Bellman to turn hard left and narrowly avoided race-ending contact with Williams. Bellman was able to hang on for the remainder of the 25-lap distance, steering his Vic # 31 RnR Contracting supported D1 car to victory.
“It was definitely a tough race against a quality field and the track was quite unpredictable, so I couldn’t be happier to overcome those obstacles and get the win,” commented the Warrnambool-based racer.
“It’s a great honour to win such a prestigious event and it’s really encouraging to get the win at Murray Bridge ahead of the Australian Title at the track later this season.”
Bellman made his presence felt early, finishing second in his opening heat race and backing it up in heat race two when he charged to another second-place finish – this time from position 11. Second on points heading into the top-six Dash, Bellman managed to overthrow his competitors to take the win.
The event was Bellman’s third feature-race win for the 2016-17 season, with previous wins at Murray Bridge Speedway and Bordertown’s Tolmer Speedway.
Bellman is now gearing up to contest the five-round Victorian F500 Speedweek Series over the Christmas-New Year period, which is set to commence on Tuesday night of December 27 at Simpson Speedway and will conclude on Monday night of January 2, 2017 at Portland’s Southern 500 Speedway.
“The key to the Speedweek Series is consistency,” added Bellman, who placed second in the series way back in his maiden season in Formula 500s.
“Not only do you need to start strong, but you need to carry that momentum the whole way through. You can’t win them all. Sometimes it’s better to go for the minor podium positions rather than challenge for the lead and risk a DNF, which would pretty much put you out of contention for the series.”
Bellman would like to thanks the following 2016-17 season sponsors for their valued support: RnR Contracting, Autosmart NT, InAction Photos, Mugaflow, Bratt Race Engineering and C.I.C Racing Wheels. Special thanks go to Ros and Roy (mum and dad), Dion (brother), and Michael, Troy and Karli (crew members).
To find out more about Bellman and his team, LIKE them on Facebook by searching Bellman Motorsports.