Sunday, 17 December 2017

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360 SPRINTCARS

Commencing his 2017-18 season in positive fashion, Ray Leonard was thrilled to come away with a runner-up result in the opening 360 Sprintcar Power Series round last weekend at Ellenbrook Speedway.

Having utilised his debut season to build up some valuable experience, contesting a total of nine race meetings, Leonard was sure to put his knowledge into practice aboard the WX # 12 Snap-on Tools - Kalgoorlie and Statewest Group supported Triple X car, owned by Troy Anderson, last Saturday afternoon in what is only his second season in the class.

Qualifying sixth for the 15-lap feature race after a fifth and an eighth-place finish in his heat races, the Kalgoorlie, Western Australia-based racer managed to make his way forward into third place by lap four, before inheriting second place from AJ Nash when the latter spun out six laps later.

Ray Leonard Peter Roebuck cropped

Photo: Peter Roebuck

Maintaining his composure, Leonard managed to fend off a challenge from good friend Jamie Oldfield for the remaining five laps to greet the chequered flag in a pleasing second place behind defending 360 Power Series Champion Kaiden Manders.

“I’m absolutely rapt to come away with the runner-up spot in the opening round of the 360 Power Series, particularly behind the defending champion,” commented Leonard, who placed sixth overall in last season’s 360 Power Series point standings, despite missing two rounds.

“The team is certainly better prepared this season and we’re focused on improving our consistency. Hopefully we can build on this result throughout the season in order to be a consistent front-running contender.”

Originally from Perth, Leonard had always grown up around speedway, having raced Junior Sedans as a child, before moving to Kalgoorlie in 1998 to complete a mechanical apprenticeship. He has also currently teamed up with the Oldfield family, building Junior Sedans for Jamie Oldfield’s son, two-time WA Junior Sedan Champion Bradley, with Leonard’s eldest daughter Tilly having also raced the cars sporadically.

Joining Formula 500s where he raced briefly until stepping away from racing, the 39-year-old later joined the Street Stocks class, where he competed for six years, which were highlighted by two top-five results in back-to-back National Titles (2012 and 2013), before once again taking a break from driver duties.

Following a practice session at Kalgoorlie International Speedway in late 2014, when he drove Troy Anderson’s Sprintcar, Leonard eventually teamed up with Anderson last season, with the pair looking forward to contesting their second full season together, which will include the Australian Title at the Perth Motorplex, which Leonard missed last season due to the birth of his daughter Violet.

Leonard’s next appearance will be at Pithara Speedway on the Saturday night of October 21, where he will hope to back up his recent form in round two of the 360 Power Series.

Leonard would like to thank the following 2017-18 season sponsors: Snap-on Tools - Kalgoorlie, Statewest Group, Genwest, Anderson Bobcat and Truck Hire, Emyjor Services, Kalsigns, P & C Auto Care, Richards Rock Breaking, BCM, Goldfields Canvas, Enzed - Kalgoorlie, and Sinopec. Special thanks must go to Troy and the rest of the Anderson family, Peter and Wayne Richter, his wife Louissa and their three daughters: Tilly, Annabelle and Violet.

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