Warren Ferguson refused to lose tonight and his persistence paid off with a spectacular last lap last gasp A-Main win at Sydney’s Valvoline Raceway.
The nailbiting last lap victory saw him retake the lead from Sammy Walsh as the duo entered turn one and two for the last time and from there the #32 Fruitwheels entry was never going to surrender.
“It’s really awesome for this team. We’ve got a great engine builder in Adrian Maher, and everyone involved in this team. I gotta really thank my Dad, he’s about 76 years old now and he’s there every night working on this car as hard as I do. Tonight we finally put it all together and got the result that this team deserves. I had to be patient in traffic and I could see Sammy up on the cushion so I had to stick with where I was good on the bottom.”
Sammy Walsh was naturally disappointed.
“I probably should have gone to the bottom with a lap to go but when we were good upstairs we were really good so what do you do. I wish we could have got the big cheque tonight but full credit to Warren he did a great job.”
Grant Anderson flipped hard turn two on the start after innocently being caught up in someone else’s incident.
“I’m a bit over this to be honest, it’s just a racing thing but I’m just not feeling it at the moment. I can’t believe our luck right now,” explained the devastated Albury hard charger.
USC Championship leader James Thompson suffered a flat left front tyre in the same incident but was able to change it and also remove a chunk of clay in the work area during the red light stoppage.
Jessie Attard made contact with Troy Little, dropped him back off the cushion and losing a few positions.
American Buddy Kofoid moved up to sixth place but tagged the infield berm on lap four and lost two positions.
Sammy Walsh was leading from Ferguson, Matt D (who unfortunately would cook his motor despite still finishing) Robbie Farr and Troy Little. Jessie Attard brought on the caution and sadly had to restart from the rear.
Ian Madsen was lurking in position eight with 30 laps to go. Farr moved to third with 28 to go. Sammy extended his lead. Matt Dumesny and Robbie Farr picking up their battle from December 9 and there was plenty of feeling between the two cars. With 26 to go there was contact between them with Dumesny pulling off a 360 degree spin on the back straight and remarkably kept going. Matt, Max and Marcus Dumesny were glued together in the remaining laps. Ferguson began pulling in Sammy with 20 laps to go. Farr was in third, then Little 4th. Little got by Farr with 18 to go however and set off after Ferguson. Alex Orr was the big mover of the field rocketing to fifth from the final row of the A-Main –after transferring from the B-Main and a heated on track discussion with James Thompson. Orr sizzled to 4th with 11 to go and looked like he was headed to the podium. Ferguson moved to the lead over Walsh on the bottom just as Orr developed a flat left rear tyre with 10 to go. Daniel Sayre moved up to sixth with a strong drive to retain some valuable USC points after starting an incredible position 24. Walsh closed on Ferguson by using the cushion with five laps to go. With only 2 laps to go Sammy was on the top and Warren on the bottom as they lapped Kofoid. Walsh put the #92 in front and looked to have it won until he tagged the cushion hard in turn one and bobbled. Ferguson retook the lead and never gave it up in a thrilling finish to a fantastic race.
The A-Main starting grid was:
Warren Ferguson Sammy Walsh Robbie Farr Matt Dumesny Troy Little Jessie Attard Danny Reidy Jordyn Brazier Buddy Kofoid Max Dumesny Marcus Dumesny Ian Madsen Jason Gebert Ben Atkinson Grant Tunks Grant Anderson Alex Orr Matt Geering Andrew Wright James Thompson James Duckworth Daniel Sayre
Final A-Main placings:
1. Warren Ferguson 2. Sammy Walsh 3. Troy Little 4. Robbie Farr 5. Alex Orr 6. Ian Madsen 7. Daniel Sayre 8. Danny Reidy 9. Matt Dumesny 10. Marcus Dumesny 11. Jordyn Brazier 12. Max Dumesny 13. Braydan Willmington 14. James Thompson 15. Buddy Kofoid 16. Ben Atkinson 17. Grant Tunks 18. Jessie Attard 19. Matt Geering 20. Andrew Wright 21. Callum Williamson
AT A GLANCE:
Sammy Walsh set Quick Time in Qualifying. Jessie Attard was also impressive. James Thompson surprisingly missed the transfer to the A-Main in his heat. Robbie Farr won Heat One and looked typically fast. Dean Brindle big crash destroyed his chassis, surprisingly USC front runner Daniel Sayre didn’t transfer and Jesse Attard won Heat two. Troy Little was up against Sammy Walsh on the front row of Heat Three. Troy held on for the win from Walsh and Darwin’s Benny Atkinson in third. Heat four saw Matt and Max Dumesny and the livewire Jordyn Brazier. Brendan Scorgie spun, Carl Dowling was spectacular. Kayla Green continued her impressive debut by finishing sixth and Matt Dumesny went on to win. The C-Main saw Daniel Cassidy and Cordi O’Hehir touch on the back straight on the opening lap. Cordi regained the lead moving under Cassidy but the lead swapped back for Daniel and Cassidy and Shane Sheedy were the first two cars across the line in the end. Warren Ferguson came from the Bronze Shootout situation to the front row for the main event. Bronze: Warren Ferguson Reidy Walsh Jordyn Brazier Silver: Ferguson Walsh Attard Troy Little Gold: Ferguson Walsh Robbie Farr Matt Dumesny The B-Main saw bad luck for Matthew Thomas when the bonnet came up and he had to retire before one lap. Thompson lead from Dowling, Wright, Skipper and Sayre. Carl Dowling moved by Wright to 2nd with 15 laps to go The big mover was Alex Orr behind Sayre for the final transfer and he then moved into 4th with 12 laps to go. Scorgie brought on cautions with 11 laps to go with an engine fire and Orr moved into second at the restart where he set off after leader Thompson. Andrew Wright, Daniel Sayre and Matt Jackson battled for the transfer. Orr moved into the lead with five to go after passing James Thompson on the bottom with a move that USC points leader Thompson was none too happy with. Heated words in respective interviews for Thompson and Orr set up a juicy final row of the A-Main. Andrew Wright was third and Daniel Sayre fourth. James Duckworth qualified into the A-Main but the car refused to lock in gear on the initial push and heartbreakingly had to start from the rear.
The Wingless main event win went to the durable Dubbo veteran Mark Blyton who added another success to his already impressive season and showing some great lead-up form to the Australian Championship coming up in February. Blyton took the win from the Thomas Brothers Jeff and Dean in second and third respectively. Just outside the top three was Ashleigh Jack in fourth, Troy Baker fifth, Jason Martin sixth, Kyle Angel seventh, Daniel Flood eighth, Harley Smee ninth and Sean Mayo rounding out the top ten.
Lightning Sprint main event win went to the racing accountant AJ McTaggert who was rapid all night to defeat Chris Davis in second place and Danny Stone consistent yet again for the final podium position. Jordan Binskin was hectic early and looked set for a podium at least but mechanical issues sent the #6 to the pits early. McTaggert took the win from Davis, Stone, Dean Eden, Matt Reed, Peter Styles, Dan Morris, Brett Davies, David Atwood and Mick Connolly.
The next event for Valvoline Raceway is Saturday, December 30 for the NSW Sprintcar Championship and Demolition Derby.