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Victorian Grand Prix Midget Association competitors headed to Rushworth Speedway on January the 13th for the second race of the season with a healthy field increased by the entries of Dennis Myers a local legend around Rushworth and Paul Perry a former Australian Champion returning to action, all eyes were on the potential battle that was expected between Danny Stainer and current Australian Champion Trevor Perry, however Jason Crawford didn’t see that script and he made sure everybody knew he was in the game come final time.

Qualifying action started in race one with Sean Denning (# 52 AR Suburban Fencing – Yamaha) and Chris Fowler alongside each other on the front row and Crawford and Tevor Perry on the second, Shawn Ward, Dennis Myers, David Bacon, Lisa Chalcraft, Mark Blackeby, Stainer and then Paul Perry (# 6 Perry Bros Race Chassis – Suzuki).

On the first attempt to start the race Fowler and Perry had a coming together down the back straight with the result being Fowler sitting infield with a broken right rear stub axle. Whilst Paul Perry did not get going suffering ignition issues.

At the restart Trevor Perry led Myers (# 11 Super Balance Automotive Shepparton – Suzuki) and Stainer on with the experienced drivers taking the highline on a very moist track. Stainer moved ahead of Myers on lap two and into second. The top runners held their positions from lap three with Trevor Perry winning from Stainer, Myers, Crawford (# 50 Pitstop Mowers – Yamaha), Chalcraft, Ward, Denning, Blackeby and Bacon. The field for race two lined up with Myers, Bacon (# 36 DB Cleaning – Yamaha), Chalcraft, Blackeby, Denning, Fowler, Crawford, Trevor Perry, Ward, Paul Perry and Stainer. Myers shot out of the blocks quickly and led lap one from Chalcraft (# 15 Jacobson’s Transport – Suzuki) and Crawford. Trev Perry passed Crawford on lap two before Crawford moved back into third on lap three. On lap four Stainer came into the action and passed both Perry and then Crawford to move into third. The action continued with Myers in the lead and on lap five Stainer moved into second with Perry following into third and Chalcraft dropping back to fourth just ahead of Crawford. And in an exciting race with the competitors all running hammer down, the finish line Myers was the winner from Stainer, Trev Perry, Chalcraft, Crawford, Bacon, Fowler, Blackeby (# 10 Kyabram Steel & Fabrication – Yamaha), Denning and Ward with Paul Perry on the infield again with ignition concerns.

In the final qualifying race Ward and Blackeby began on the front row with Trevor Perry and Chalcraft on row two, then Crawford, Bacon, Fowler (# 13 Ballistics Performance Parts – Suzuki), Myers, Denning, Stainer and Paul Perry.

Paul Perry’s ignition issues continued and he missed the third heat race as his brother and Australian champion Trevor took the race lead on lap one with Myers, Crawford, Ward and Blackeby forming the top five. Myers struck drama on lap two with a broken clutch and Crawford moved to second with Stainer now in third.

Fowler spun on lap four as the steering broke heading into turn three skilfully keeping the car off the concrete wall and retiring infield. Perry continued to lead Crawford at the restart until lap seven when Stainer moved into second ahead of Crawford. Trevor Perry took the win from Stainer, Crawford, Chalcraft, Ward (Fry’s Service and Repairs – Suzuki), Blackeby, Bacon and Denning.

Starting the feature race, supported by Oil Hydraulics for the Ironbark Classic, at the front as usual were the backmarkers with the top qualifiers starting at the rear of the field. Denning and Blackeby began on the front row with Bacon, Ward, Chalcraft, Crawford, Stainer and Trev Perry (# 1 Parr Motorsport- Suzuki) the starters.

A track prep before the finals included a light rain shower and drivers started to get nervous over the conditions. The rain in fact though had done the track good, as it made the surface nice and sticky and near perfect conditions.

Stainer (# 51 R & P Stainer Grinding Services – Yamaha) zipped through the field and into the lead on lap one with Crawford, Blackeby, Ward and Perry chasing. Perry moved into third by lap three. Chalcraft by lap five had moved up into fourth. On lap seven Stainer and Crawford had a half a lap lead on the rest whilst in third Perry spun coming off turn four and backed the car into the wall and was able to restart at the rear of the field.

Through to lap seven Ward, Blackeby, Chalcraft and Bacon were having a great little battle of their own, right in close together. Lap eight finished with Stainer still leading Crawford, Chalcraft, Blackeby and Ward. On lap ten as Stainer took the chequered flag, Ward spun after Blackeby made a move down his inside, the spun brought on the caution lights and the race was declared with Ward the cause of the stoppage being classed as a non finisher. Stainer the clear winner from Crawford, Chalcraft, Bacon, Perry and Denning were the final placings.

President of the Grand Prix Midgets John Fowler was complimentary of the club after the feature race. “It is a credit to all the racers as to the display they gave tonight. So much improvement in some of the guys who are developing their cars and race skills. It is great to see the competition at the front of the field also with those very quick cars. It is an exciting time to get involved in Grand Prix Midget racing. Well done to Danny Stainer on his first win of the season.”

The Victorian Grand Prix Midgets association thank Club Supporters:

Ballistic Performance Parts

Anchorage Boarding Kennels & Cattery

ABBA Boarding Kennels & Cattery

Oil Hydraulics

Jacobson Transport

Super Balance Automotive Shepparton

Pitstop Mowers

Rock Solid Productions

Vern & Jackie Parker Photography

Written by Dean Thompson

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