The 2017-18 season for the NSW Late Models recently wrapped up at Sydney’s Valvoline Raceway and it was Ryan Fenech who reclaimed the NSW Club Championship, supported by United Acreage & Property Marketing, win with a consistent season performance, outpacing his arch rival Ben Nicastri.
With major event wins to his name, including the NSW Late Model Title and the Late Model Easternapolis, Fenech, who wrapped up the point standings battle with a victory in last Saturday night’s final round at Valvoline Raceway ahead of Nicastri and David Doherty, took the top points honours for season 2017-18, ahead of last season’s NSW Club Champion Ben Nicastri in second and veteran Darryl Grimson rounding out the podium finishers in third.
Repeating his 2015-16 season efforts when he took out the NSW Club Championship, Fenech racked up six feature-race wins which included the final three events in-a-row and such was Fenech’s domination this season, there was a lone DNF recorded with his worst on-track performance being a fifth.
Coming home second in the points was defending NSW Club Champion Nicastri. With two wins under his belt this season, one of which being the Michelle Ward Memorial at Goulburn Speedway, Nicastri was always in contention, and put in a spirited effort to chase Fenech as the season progressed. The difference in points ultimately came down to Nicastri missing a round due to engine dramas, which saw Fenech pick up the win at Valvoline Raceway. Rounding out the top three was Grimson. Playing the consistent game all season long, the quietly spoken veteran picked up a win, a second and a third amongst other strong performances in season 2017-18 and rapidly improved on his fifth-place finish in last season’s NSW Club Championship.
Ex-V8 Supercar racer Clayton Pyne recorded a fourth-place finish and had several strong performances which were capped with Pyne setting a new one lap and 10-lap Valvoline Raceway track record. Showing good car speed all season, which included a feature-race win earlier in the season, Pyne was always a front-running threat.
Michael Hickey recorded what has been one of his career-best results, claiming fifth in the club championship. Although not recording a win during the season, Hickey, who is one of the veterans of the Late Model class, always figured prominently which included a pair of fourth-place finishes.
Completing the top-10 in this season’s NSW Club Championship was relative newcomer David Cassidy followed by Nathan Disney, Bruce White, Doherty and Todd Bayley in 10th. The latter enjoyed a very consistent finish in the closing stages of the season, which was highlighted by a third-place finish in the NSW Title.
It was a successful season for the NSW Late Models with 10 race meetings being completed and a total of 25 drivers competing in one or more rounds of the NSW Club Championship. Unfortunately, four race meetings were washed out throughout the season but despite this, the racing was top class all season.
As the curtain comes down on the 2017-18 season, plans are well-underway for an exciting 2018-19 season with the schedule expected to be released in coming months.
NSW Late Models would like to thank United Acreage & Property Marketing for their support of the Club Championship throughout the 2017-18 season. United Acreage & Property Marketing specialise in selling and leasing residential, acreage and prestige properties throughout south-west Sydney, as well as rural properties in regional NSW.
To find out more about the NSW Late Models, visit their website at www.nswlatemodels.com or LIKE them on Facebook by searching NSW Late Models.
United Acreage & Property Marketing NSW Club Championship Final Point Standings:
1 Ryan Fenech - 1204 points 2 Ben Nicastri - 1114 3 Darryl Grimson - 1065 4 Clayton Pyne - 1057 5 Michael Hickey - 830 6 David Cassidy - 790 7 Nathan Disney - 694 8 Bruce White - 610 9 David Doherty - 610 10 Todd Bayley - 582 11 Robert Carrig - 572 12 Brad Goman - 560 13 Blake Lutiger - 502 14 Dean Hickey - 486 15 Katelyn Hickey - 486 16 Ed Borg - 428 17 Daniel Moon - 386 18 Joel Carrig - 312 19 Brad Giffen - 306 20 Barry Kelleher - 304 21 Wade Carter - 298 22 Shannon Jennings - 250 23 Darrell Kime - 240 24 Tim Bink - 222 25 Raymond Kime - 178