Sunday, April 2, 2017
Last night the Formula 500 competition was left with bells ringing in their ears as Jack Bell led home his Uncle Stephen in the Formula 500 65 Roses Feature at the Murray Machining and Sheds Speedway at Murray Bridge. After starting on the front row the Bell’s dominated the 30-lap finale as they ran 1-2 for the entire race distance with Jack winning by over 2.8 seconds.
Third across the line was a hard charging Josh Buckingham, who after starting on the fourth row, had his car dialled in for the latter stages as he made up several places in last ten laps. Fourth place went to Dion Bellman with Patrick Merrett being the first South Australian across the line in fifth. Ash Sinclair got the better of Dale Sinclair in their own private Family battle with Angelo Karoussis, who faded back into the pack after starting from position four, Jake Hose and Jordan Mansell completing the top 10.
In what was a great preview for the upcoming Australian Championship over Easter the event attracted a field of over 30 cars with nominations from South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania.
Earlier in the night the field was split into three heats per round with the heat winners being Tyler Beasy (Vic), Jack Bell (Vic), Terry Rankin (Vic), Stuart Townley (SA), Simon Reichelt (SA) and Stephen Bell (Vic) while Lockie Cates (SA), Chris Bellman (Vic), Joe Mercorella (SA) and Richard Schmidt (SA) transfer out of the Last Chance Qualifier.
The events also doubled as a Round of the South Australian Formula 500 State Series with current points leader and “King of the Bridge” Chris Bellman having a tough night as he failed to finish the final with an engine failure.
The “Big Kids Night Out” also featured the Wingless Sprints Modlites and Junior Sedans with good fields in all classes.
The Wingless Sprints provided some great racing as Spencer “The Ironman” Taylor defeated a determined William Caruso who got the better of Anthony Tapley in what was a great battle for the runner-up position. Fourth place went to Darryl Sloan with Brett Ireland rounding out the top five in the 15-car field.
The Modlites were unfortunately down on numbers by the time the feature race rolled out with only six drivers completing the 25-lap final. After being among the top qualifiers Danny Prade charged from the back to make a late race pass for the lead on Scott Webb to claim the final. Third place went to Jake Lewis with Michael Cowland, Denis Knowles and Brian Chadwick completing field.
One of the pre-event favourites Cory Hodgson didn’t complete a lap after contact with the back straight wall on the opening lap.
Finally, the Junior Sedans were divided into two groups with Kooper Greig defeating Aaron Tranter and TJ Pitcher in the “A” Feature while Drew Flatman edged out Rory Maroney and Jenna Chapman in the “B” Feature.
The “Big Kids Night Out” also included several novelty events including a Caravan Boat and Dunny Derby, Burnouts on the infield pad, including “Whity’s” ground pounding twin turbo powered Kenworth, and a monster Fireworks display.