Monday, 28 May 2018

JUNIOR SEDANS

The future speedway stars made their annual appearance at Sydney’s Valvoline Raceway on Saturday night, and it must be said, the Junior Sedans put on a great display with close, competitive racing throughout the night.

After a successful return to the iconic Sydney venue for the first time since 2004 at the final event of last season, the expectation was high going into this season’s one-off appearance and the drivers, aged between 10 and 16 years old, and many having their first drive at the venue, didn’t disappoint.

Photo: Lone Wolf Photography

A total of 21 drivers from all over NSW, which included Goulburn and Moruya in the south, Portland in the west and Newcastle, Grafton and Lismore in the north, converged for the annual foray onto the big stage in a night that provided fast and very clean racing.

Carrying on from last season’s dominant form, Lismore’s Josh Boyd picked up where he left off putting on a winning display. After qualifying on pole position for the feature race, following a win and a second-place finish in his two heat races, the 16-year-old racer, who finished third in the NSW Title earlier this season, hit the lead on the opening lap and led all laps to record an exciting win.

Boyd didn’t have it all his own way; however, as he was monstered at the finish line by Brock Youngberry and Jaiden Healey in second and third place respectively. The trio crossed the line at the time of the race’s declaration separated by less than a second.

Photo: Lone Wolf Photography

As current RSA NSW Champion and first-time Valvoline Raceway visitor, Youngberry, who also resides in the northern NSW regional city of Lismore, put on a great display after starting from the second row. Such was the closeness of the field, Youngberry was only a single point shy of joint top point scorer at the end of the heat-race action. Always keeping Boyd in range during the feature race, Youngberry finished a mere 0.2 of a second from the lead at the fall of the chequered flag.

Finishing in third and dramatically improving on his performance from last season’s event where he recorded a DNF next to his name, Healey continued his strong run this season. After finishing in a strong second place behind Youngberry in the NSW Title, the 12-year-old Portland, NSW-based racer put in a stirring performance and entered the feature race as joint highest point scorer, only being separated by the fastest lap during the heat races.

Fourth across the line was Bega, NSW-based Ryan Harris, who was having his first run at Valvoline Raceway. Now in his second season in the Junior Sedan class, Harris has travelled extensively this season including numerous interstate trips. Using all that experience, Harris put in a good showing to finish just off the podium in fourth.

Completing the top-10 finishers were Sam Mooney (Grafton), Ryley Smith (Lismore), Max Essai (Portland), Joshua Weir (Lismore), Olivia Fuller (Newcastle) and Liam Murphy (Canberra). Charlotte Fouracre (Goulburn), Riley Flanagan (Canberra) and Dean Giffin (Portland) rounded out the remaining finishers.

Jackson Goldie (Portland), Jack Murphy (Canberra), Millie Fuller (Newcastle), Harrison Granger (Canberra), Noah Douglas (Newcastle) and Jake Clark (Portland) were unable to record finishes in the feature race. In the only crash of the night, Clark slipped off the track during the feature race, before collecting a rut of the trotting track and flipping over. Despite the crash, Clark was shaken up but wasn’t injured.

Photo: Lone Wolf Photography

Earlier in the night, the heat-race wins went to Youngberry, Boyd, Liam Murphy and Healey.

Another of the hard-luck stories of the night was Tyler Burnham (Portland). Sadly, for Burnham, he suffered a blown engine during his second heat race that ultimately brought his night to a premature end.

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