FOWLER TURNS A BAD RUN OF LUCK INTO A POT OF GOLD AT WANGARATTA
The competitors doing battle for the second round of the Ballistic’s Performance Parts Masters series headed up to Wangaratta Speedway on November 19th with a healthy field of ten entrants & after a terrible run of luck at round one and in the earlier qualifying heats, Chris Fowler left the venue with the win.
Round one winner Trevor Perry (# 55 Perry Bros Chassis – Suzuki) who late last season scorched around Wangaratta Speedway in the mid 15 second range was among entrants, as was the man who has won everything to win in Grand Prix Midgets Dennis Myers, the Victorian champion Jason Crawford & former Masters Champion Lisa Chalcraft & former Wangaratta Cup champion Chris Fowler (# 13 Ballistic Performance Parts – Suzuki).
With the big powerful Super Sedans also on the program, the Wangaratta track preparation had to be a bit wetter for the earlier racing in the heat of the day & times reflected that in the first heat.
Crawford, Sean Denning ( # 81 TM Lineboring – Yamaha) & Myers made up the top four with David Bacon, Chalcraft, Perry, Marty Job, Greg Campbell & Scott Laird closed out the line up with Fowler pulling infield during hotlaps with engine timing issues.
Myers(#11 Super Balance Automotive – Suzuki) assumed the lead from the drop of the green, Crawford moved into second whilst Chalcraft pushed forward from sixth into third. Campbell with a fuel pump issue failed to complete a lap whilst Bacon with a lack of fuel in the tank didn’t finish the same fate for Denning who threw a chain after the first lap and headed infield. Myers held firm with laps in the mid 19 second bracket to win from Crawford ( # 50 Pitstop Mowers – Yamaha), Chalcraft, Perry & Laird after seven laps when Job spun out of the race resulting in a chief steward declaration.
Campbell then jumped from his Guardline Security supported Suzuki machine & into the vacant seat of the Team Perry # 44 car that was on the trailer after the guest driver who was booked in could not make the trip due to work. Perry assumed the pole position for the second heat race with Chalcraft (# 15 Gulf Western Oils – Suzuki), Bacon, Fowler, Crawford, Myers, Denning, Job, Laird & Campbell the complete field.
Continuing his run of bad luck, Fowler on lap one & in turn three lost his rear left wheel after the pin came out of the wheel and the nut came off & whilst coming to a stop, Crawford had no opportunity to avoid the # 13 car and connected breaking the battery mount just for good measure.
At the restart Perry led Chalcraft, Myers, Crawford & Bacon (# 36 DB Cleaning & Kanga Hire – Yamaha). Denning & Laird moved ahead of Bacon on lap two before Laird passed Denning on the fourth lap and circulating with a best time of 16.020 Perry stormed to a win from Chalcraft, Myers, Crawford, Laird (# 6 Perry Bros Chassis – Suzuki), Denning, Bacon & Campbell. Job was a non finisher also with a leak in the brake system forcing him out of the race with no brakes.
Fowler sat out the third heat with the team still fixing the battery bracket that was smashed in the second heat race. Denning started in pole position with Myers, Chalcraft and Bacon the top four followed by Perry, Crawford, Job (147 Snooker Supplies – Suzuki), Laird & Campbell.
The first attempt to start turned disastrous for Crawford who looked to go high for an outside run around the field as they passed the start line only to run out of room as the field in front of shuffled around and Crawford’s machine slammed the concrete wall & ended his race destroying the whole front end.
Myers again took control with a front row start & Perry set about on his chase with Denning holding strong in third spot. Job pulled out of the race after one lap with a faulty ignition switch leaving him without power, Chalcraft on lap three made her way past Denning to assume the third spot & put in some quick laps to try & catch Myers & Perry.
Laird pushed ahead of Denning & Campbell still ran well with Bacon at the back of the field. Myers took the win from Perry both running almost a full second quicker than the others in the closing laps with times now in the low 16.1 to 16.3 range, Chalcraft, Laird, Denning, Campbell & Bacon.
Having crumbled the front end of the # 50 car in the last heat, Crawford assumed control of the # 81 car that Denning had driven through the night in order to compete in the final leaving Denning to turning spanners in between the third heat and the final.
Fowler & Job began at the front of the field with low qualifiers at the front, top qualifiers to the rear with Crawford for changing his car & the rookies behind the top qualifiers. As a result Bacon, Chalcraft, Perry, Myers, Crawford, Laird & Campbell lined up behind Fowler.
Fowler took off at the drop of the flag with a great start & Perry & Myers chasing him. Lap two finished badly for Campbell who hit the wall on the back straight putting him out of the race. Fowler at the restart again got away with Myers, Perry & Chalcraft in chase.
Perry suffered mechanical issues on lap four putting him back in the field & Myers, Chalcraft & Crawford continued behind Fowler. On lap seven Laird in the Australia 1 car of Paul Perry, drifted high through the top end of the track and hit the wall between turn one and two, launched sky high like a rocket before hitting the dirt with a thud. Stewards declared the race and deservingly having led seven of seven laps Fowler took the win from Myers, Chalcraft, Crawford & Perry. Job didn’t finish breaking a rod end on the right torsion arm, Campbell’s front end was damaged when he smashed the wall & Bacon had mechanical gremlins. The Ballistic’s Performance Parts Masters Series now heads to Ballarat’s Redline Raceway for the December 10 show.
Ballistic Performance Parts
Automotive Super Balance Shepparton
Rock Solid Productions
Written by Dean Thompson DMT Sports Media for Victorian Grand Prix Midget Association