Friday, 21 September 2018

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WINGLESS SPRINTS

The strong form continued for Anthony Tapley over the weekend on home soil: Murray Bridge Speedway, when he claimed his second Wingless Sprint feature-race victory of the 2017-18 season.

Picking up right where he left off at his local track, having won his first race meeting of the season there back in September, the Murray Bridge-based racer delivered a fantastic performance throughout last Friday night’s event, placing second and fifth in his heat races before starting from position five for the feature race.

Making his way up to second place by the completion of lap three, the remainder of the 25-lap distance saw an exciting display of close racing between race leader and current and two-time Australian Champion Joel Chadwick, Tapley and another two-time Australian Champion in Daniel Hartigan (WA). Managing to successfully execute a passing move on Chadwick on lap 12, Tapley took control of the lead and went on to defend his position, greeting the chequered flag in first place.

Anthony Tapley Savage Shots Photography cropped

Photo: Savage Shots Photography

This winning result comes off the back of Tapley’s maiden visit to Sydney’s Valvoline Raceway in NSW the weekend prior, where he showed solid form in the Australian Championship, heading into the final night of competition 16th overall in points after placing sixth, first and fourth in his first three heat races and ending up 12th in the preliminary feature race.

Coming away with a runner-up finish in his remaining heat race, Tapley exceeded his goal of qualifying into the feature race, lining up just outside of the top 10 in 11th. While he had hopes of moving forward in the field, his car wasn’t quite suited to the wet track and an unfortunate late-race incident saw him relegated to the rear of the field while running just outside the top 10, ultimately coming home in 19th.

“Backing up our Australian Championship performance with our second win of the season, particularly at our home track, was an awesome feeling,” expressed the 31-year-old racer, who had never won a feature race at Murray Bridge Speedway prior to this season.

“To defeat two of the country’s best racers in Joel (Chadwick) and Daniel (Hartigan) was a great accomplishment for the team and doing it in front of my local crowd and our local sponsors makes it even more rewarding.”

Commencing his racing career in the dirt circuit Juniors class before later moving into dirt circuit Open Wheelers, Tapley entered the speedway scene in his late teens, joining his brother and uncle in Street Stocks, where his time was highlighted by a fifth-place finish in the South Australian Title at Waikerie’s Sunline Speedway.

Stepping into V6 Sprints for a season and a half, Tapley then tried his hand in AMCA Nationals, which he also raced for a season and a half before settling into the highly competitive Wingless Sprints in the 2014-15 season, when his boss Andrew May decided to purchase a Triple X car, offering the driving duties to Tapley.

Spending the first few seasons learning the car, May and Tapley were then forced to purchase a Maxim chassis when the Triple X was destroyed in a crash during the 2016 South Australian Title at Adelaide Motorsport Park.

Experiencing a pleasing 2016-17 season, Tapley placed third overall in the Easter Trail after winning the second of three rounds at Renmark’s Riverland Speedway, placing second and eighth in the others, while also collecting numerous minor podium finishes throughout the season.

Currently contesting his fourth season with the class, Tapley will return to Murray Bridge Speedway on February 24 for a club show, before heading to Mildura’s Timmis Speedway for the two-night South Australian Title on March 10 and 11. Tapley previously recorded the quick time at the track during time trials and will be hoping to capitalise on his speed to achieve a front-running result.

Tapley will also be participating in the three-round Easter Trail, with the opening round taking place at Mildura’s Timmis Speedway on March 30 and the final two rounds being held at Murray Bridge Speedway on March 31 and April 1, along with the 50 Lapper at Timmis Speedway on May 12.

Tapley would like to thank his 2017-18 season sponsors: Andrew May Racing, Fox Contractors, Hoctor Refrigeration, Treliving Valves, Whity’s Earthworks, Ace Engineering, and Blackwoods. Special thanks go to Andrew May and his partner Lyn Spry, Lyn’s son Nick Spry, and Tapley’s wife Kiah and their son Blake.

To find out more about Tapley and his team, LIKE them on Facebook by searching Andrew May Racing or Tapley Racing.

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