For what will be the 70th time, the WA Speedcar Championship, supported by The Pool Shop Group, is on the line this weekend and as in the previous sixty nine attempts, there is going to be a whole pile of drivers determined to give it their all for the honour of bringing home the coveted number one.
Since the Perth Motorplex’s inception in 2000, the event has been held here a number of times, the first in that inaugural 2000/01 season where Neville Lance claimed his fourth title win, and since then not only has the event returned a number of times, but also Neville has won the title a further three times, coincidently each time right here at the Motorplex.
These results totaled means that Neville has seven WA Title wins, leaving him tied on the all-time leader board with two other Speedcar legends in Johnny Fenton and Michael Figliomeni. If we go simply by wins, these three men, who have each recorded seven wins, account for nearly a third of all title wins in the events history. Fenton claimed his first in the 1970/71 season, then claimed five wins in a row from 1973/74 through to 1977/78, followed by a final victory in 1979/80. He also recorded four second place finishes in that time, meaning for a period of eleven years straight, he was never outside the top two finishers, an incredible record.
‘Figs’ recorded his first win in the 1992/93 season and he too won five straight, with individual victories in 1999/2000 and 2001/02. He also finished second once and third five times, meaning in a period of eighteen years he claimed a podium finish thirteen times, another incredible record.
Neville Lance is obviously the only of the three drivers still active and he is as passionate as ever for the division, hungry to claim another title win in order to be the individual holder of the most wins. Lance claimed his first WA title podium in 1986/87 with a win, with his last podium appearance being in 2012/13 where he came third. This means that across those twenty seven years he recorded, along with his seven wins, two second places and three thirds, for a total of twelve podium appearances. He is now desperate to claim the all-time win record for himself and will be a hard nut to crack this weekend.
With thanks to The Pool Shop Group, a good field of seventeen cars have nominated for their chance at the Title, including Lance, and this Saturday night is certainly going to see any number of drivers who are capable of claiming the win.
Just twice in the events history has the title left our State, with Victorian Ken Wylie claiming the inaugural running of the title while New South Welshman Adam Clarke claimed the 2012/13 running of the event.
This Saturday night we have three visiting drivers having a crack at taking the crown and it is certainly a formidable lineup, spearheaded by New Zealand Champion Michael Pickens.
Pickens raced in WA for the opening event of the season and came home second in the main event, so now with some experience at the Motorplex behind him, he will be an even tougher nut to crack. Once again racing the Graham Jones Racing #4, the very same machine that New South Welshman drove to third place in this same event last year, Pickens is certainly going to be giving it all to claim one of the few events not already on his racing resume.
Victorian Joe Lostitch and South Australian Brett Ireland are once again back in Western Australia and after a season of traversing the nation, both are keen for a reward in the form of the WA Title. The duo have performed well in our fine state each time they have hit the track but both are keen to bounce back after both recording DNF’s in their last show at the Laurie Matthews Memorial and of course the long trip home back across the Nullabor would be much sweeter with the WA Title trophy in hand!
Defending champion Dayne Kingshott will certainly have his work cut out for him in his quest for a fourth title, but judging on recent form, where he has so far claimed four feature wins in WA alone this season, plus the South Australian Title, come home second in the Australian Title and claimed further podium finishes all across the country, he can certainly never be discounted.
Glen Mears has also claimed a blue ribbon feature event this year, not to mention finishing on the podium another five times this season. Having claimed a second and a third in this WA Title race before, he has never been in a better position to claim the WA#1 and he is sure to fight tooth and nails to grab that elusive win this Saturday night.
Travis White has claimed three podium finishes so far this season, Keenan Fleming two and Dan Golding one, but none of the three have claimed the first place trophy as of yet. White and Fleming have both had feature wins in seasons past while Golding has been knocking on the door for a number of years: can one of these three grab the biggest win of their career by the end of the thirty lap feature event?
Alfie Guadagnino returned with a bang last weekend aboard the Glazebrook Motorsports #3 last weekend and now that the bugs are ironed out could very well be a strong contender, while Lee Redmond will this weekend make his return after a significant amount of time out of the seat. Of course a whole host other names like Heywood, Manders, North, Telenta, North and Chalmers are all also after a strong result, meaning that this weekend’s showdown will be a real cracker.
Make sure you are at the Perth Motorplex this Saturday night to see history once again being made!
Don’t forget that WA Title shirts will be available for purchase this weekend at the Perth Motorplex souvenir shop, so get in quickly before they run out!
Release by DTN Media.
Pics courtesy Peter Roebuck.
Official Nominations – 17
2 Ross Heywood
3 Alfonso Guadagnino
4 Michael Pickens
9 Vaughan Manders
12 Chris Telenta
14 Neville Lance
17 Dan Golding
V22 Joe Lostitch
23 Glen Mears
24 Dayne Kingshott
26 Keenan Fleming
27 Shaun North
38 Travis White
52 Lee Redmond
72 Nathan Chalmers
S83 Brett Ireland
89 Aaron North