Travis Mills put the loss of the prestigious Skip’s race behind him with a dominant win in the Speedcar feature at Speedway Wangaratta last Saturday night (7th April).
Mills didn’t have it all his own way throughout the heat races having to share the wins with Nick Parker (Heat 1) and Dillon Ghent (Heat 3) but was virtually untouchable in the short feature race after taking the lead from his outside front row starting position and never again being headed. Pole sitter Nick Parker chased in vain and at about 3/4 race distance came under pressure from 3rd finishing Ghent who’d earlier enthralled the crowd with a great battle with 4th finishing Justin McMinn. Ashley Booker in the Flux Fitzgerald V18 completed the top 5 positions.
For some reason, a number of nominated teams failed to turn up meaning it was a smaller field of small cars than expected.
Despite this there was plenty of great racing throughout the night with Parker pushing his Permatex Aggressor-Eagle to the opening heat win from his 4th place starting position. Ghent in his Ghent Automotive Spike Mopar led early but couldn’t withhold the more experienced Parker and Mills (Dutton Garage Spike-Eagle) who’d spent a couple of laps dicing furiously swapping positions.
Mills had the Sacrifice Scooters #10 dialled in a bit better for heat 2 which he won from his pole starting position with Parker and McMinn (Bosch Australia Spike-Esslinger) next.
The final heat saw Ghent off the outside front row get the jump and lead away as Mills and Booker (Alfie’s Excavations Bullet-Ed Pink) made contact on lap two with Booker coming off second best but able to continue. Mills then diced with McMinn before finally grabbing third place behind Ghent and Parker (Artistic Tiles #39) who’d closed in on Ghent but had been unable to pass.
Parker’s solid results saw him start the final from pole with Mills alongside and McMinn, Ghent, Booker and Toby Smith next on a slickish track.
Parker ran hard into turn 1 with Mills on his outside but from then on it was all Mills as he immediately opened a gap and continued to enlarge it until the chequered flag dropped. Even after a mid-race yellow for a spun Booker, Mills remained untroubled and quickly re-established the margin.
Behind Mills, however McMinn and Ghent had a tight battle and the fighting duo even reeled in Parker making it a three-way battle before Parker awoke and opened a small gap over Ghent with another small gap back to McMinn with Booker further back in fifth.
Next-up, the Bill Evans Classic – Redline Raceway April 14th.
A much larger field is now expected for the postponed Bill Evans Classic at Redline Raceway (Ballarat – April 14th) in a much vaunted return of the Speedcars to the venue where the Late Bill Evans made the drivers of the day household names and superstars.
The group of local hero’s now head to Redline Raceway (Ballarat) this weekend for the delayed milestone event, the Bill Evans Classic, where they will be joined by South Australia’s Norm Moore who will be the only competitor who actually raced here back in the heydays of the 60’s and 70’s.
It will be a special event for Chris Nankiville whose grandfather was a regular racer, and winner at the legendary track.
Nominations are not yet closed for this event but already it is shaping up to be a great field of competitive local and interstate racers. The Speedcars were for many years the headline class at Redline under the promotion of the late Bill Evans and most of the Nations’ best drivers such as Gary Rush, George Tatnell, Rex MacKay, John Fenton, Johnny Stewart, Blair Sheppard and Dean Hogarth to name a few competed there at various times during events that were often televised live.
Many past and present drivers, crews, family and media have been invited for this unique event that is designed to bring the past and the present together in an exciting atmosphere of speed and reminiscence.
Keep up to date with any late nominations or changes via the Victorian Speedcar Drivers Association Inc. Facebook page or the club’s website – www.vsdaspeedcars.com
VSDA 2018 race calendar (subject to change)
April 21 Avalon – Round 6 Track Championship.
Further details and a complete list of nominations can be found on the VSDA Facebook page – Victorian Speedcar Drivers Association Inc. or on the VSDA website at VSDAspeedcars.com