In his first ever race meeting at the Perth Motorplex, American Tucker Klaasmeyer has raced his way to a brilliant win in the inaugural Di Candilo Steel City John Day Speedcar Classic.
Klaasmeyer, originally slated to start the thirty lap feature race from position five, had the angels smiling upon him from the get go as Tom Payet, who was scheduled to start from position three, was unable to make the call, elevating Klaasmeyer a row further forward.
Neville Lance, coming into the race undefeated after winning both of his heats, would start from pole position with fellow local competitor and WASDA President Glen Mears coming from position two.
As the race went green for the first time Lance and Mears remained side by side before Lance got a small break only to be passed by Mears who worked the highline to perfection to lead the opening lap.
Behind them Klaasmeyer held down third position with fellow countryman Alex Bright in fourth and WA local Travis White tucked into fifth, the top five opening up a small gap.
Local hope Dayne Kingshott, who started in position fifteen after an earlier DNF in a heat race, made his moves early and was in position six by the end of lap two, with the field beginning to spread out slightly, but still allowing for wheel to wheel battles right throughout the field.
The leaders would find themselves in lapped traffic on lap four, with the top six of Mears, Lance, Klaasmeyer, Bright, White and Kingshott really starting to assert their dominance.
As the laps wound down White closed on Bright, the two touching, with Bright spinning and gently tipping over onto his lid. This would set up a restart with twenty one to go, the only restart for the race, where White was sent to the rear for his part in the incident while Bright, who was lucky to be able to restart also, was just ahead of him.
As the race went green again, Mears lead away Lance, who looked underneath him but couldn’t make the move stick, while behind them Kingshott also dove under Klaasmeyer for third, but Klaasmeyer too would get back by him to reclaim the position.
Once again the top four pulled away, Mears leading Lance, Klaasmeyer and Kingshott in what was fast becoming a great race. On lap twelve Klaasmeyer dove under Lance, followed quickly by Kingshott, relegating Lance to fourth.
On lap fourteen Klaasmeyer then moved under Mears and this time the move stuck, Klaasmeyer grabbing the lead and again very closely followed by Kingshott who moved into second the following lap.
Unfortunately for Lance he would then retire to the infield.
Over the remaining part of the race the leading duo would again pull away and fight hard in lapped traffic, Kingshott desperately waiting for Klaasmeyer to make a mistake that ultimately never happened. Klaasmeyer claiming his first win on Australian soil ahead of Kingshott.
Behind them was another epic battle as Alex Bright, who had earlier rolled and gone to the rear, fought his way back through the field into fourth and set out to close the gap on third placed Mears.
With just a lap and a half to go Bright was right on Mears’ tail, the duo fighting it out right in the thick of heavy lapped traffic. The duo ducked and dived, weaving in and out of the lapped cars, Bright getting the nose in front before Mears powered back through the middle and grabbed third place as the checkered flag flew in honour of ‘The General’.
Travis White worked his way back through the field to finish in fifth position, followed by Keenan Fleming, Stuart Yates in a great driver and Brett Ireland the best of the interstate drivers in eighth place. Fifteen drivers of the original eighteen drivers who started the race took the checkered flag, with three cars failing to also start the feature.
Earlier in the night the only real incident was when Dene McAllan slowed slightly while leading the opening heat, with Victorian Joe Lostitch getting caught up, drifting into the turn one wall and rolling over. McAllan was unable to compete for the rest of the night but Lostitch and his team worked hard to get back out on track without even dropping his next heat race.
Courtesy of tonight feature result, Travis White still leads the Perth Motoplex Track Championship, but only by six points with Glen Mears and Keenan Fleming both holding down equal points in second.
In the meantime, the Speedcars have very little rest as all eyes now turn to the South West Speedcar Series to be held at Manjimup Speedway and Margaret River Speedway this coming Friday and Saturday night’s.
Once again, thankyou to all the sponsors who have made this event possible: Di Candilo Steel City, Great Southern Fuels, Access Hire and Access Service Group, Statewide Oil Distributors, DASCO Supply Group, Wescone Distribution, Jones Contracting, The Pool Shop Group, GKR Transport, Air Control Transport Refrigeration, Coverall Sheetmetal, Oval Track Diecast and Racing Collectables, Let’s Talk Clothing, American Tyre and Racing Services, Rebecca Jones, The Perth Motorplex, Speedcars Australia, WASDA and of course Janet, Kylie, Nadine, Lisa and Justine Day and families. Also a huge thanks to allthe drivers who competed and of course the fans who turned up in droves to support the man, the legend, the General.
Release by DTN Media.
Heat One – 10 laps: 1. Tom Payet, 2. Glen Mears, 3. Travis White, 4. Keenan Fleming, 5. Vaughan Manders, 6. Stuart Yates, 7. Dene McAllan, 8. Luke Ferguson. DNF: V22 Joe Lostitch (8). DNS: 12 Chris Telenta. Total Time: No Time. Winning Margin: 1.364. Fastest Lap: 16.801 Dene McAllan.
Heat Two – 10 laps: 1. 14 Neville Lance, 2. USA7 Tucker Klaasmeyer, 3. V15 Andy Pearce, 4. 17 Dan Golding, 5. S83 Brett Ireland, 6. 15 Rob Golding, 7. USA4 Alex Bright, 8. 89 Aaron North (9). DNF: 24 Dayne Kingshott (8), 72 Nathan Chalmers (4). DNS: 37 Phil Jeffrey. Total Time: 2.49.767. Winning Margin: 1.486. Fastest Lap: 16.540 Dayne Kingshott.
Heat Three – 10 laps: 1. 23 Glen Mears, 2. USA4 Alex Bright, 3. 38 Travis White, 4. V15 Andy Pearce, 5. 9 Vaughan Manders, 6. 15 Rob Golding, 7. V4 Luke Ferguson, 8. 12 Chris Telenta. DNF: 37 Phil Jeffrey (2). DNS: 72 Nathan Chalmers. Total Time: 2.45.971. Winning Margin: 0.573. Fastest Lap: 16.419 Travis White.
Heat Four – 10 laps: 1. 14 Neville Lance, 2. 52 Tom Payet, 3. 24 Dayne Kingshott, 4.USA7 Tucker Klaasmeyer, 5. 17 Dan Golding, 6. 32 Stuart Yates, 7. 26 Keenan Fleming, 8. S83 Brett Ireland, 9. V22 Joe Lostitch, 10. 89 Aaron North. DNS: 47 Dene McAllan. Total Time: 2.42.816. Winning Margin: 2.168. Fastest Lap: 16.073 Tom Payet.
Feature – 30 laps: 1. USA7 Tucker Klaasmeyer, 2. 24 Dayne Kingshott, 3. 23 Glen Mears, 4. USA4 Alex Bright, 5. 38 Travis White, 6. 26 Keenan Fleming, 7. 32 Stuart Yates, 8. S83 Brett Ireland (29), 9. 9 Vaughan Manders (29), 10. V4 Luke Ferguson (29), 11. V22 Joe Lostitch (29), 12. 15 Rob Golding (29), 13. 12 Chris Telenta (28), 14. 89 Aaron North (25), 15. 37 Phil Jeffrey (24). DNF: 14 Neville Lance (16), Dan Golding (9), V15 Andy Pearce (9). DNS: 47 Dene McAllan, 52 Tom Payet, 72 Nathan Chalmers. Total Time: No Time. Winning Margin: 1.751. Fastest Lap: 16.018 Dayne Kingshott.