North Coast building contractor Troy Ware only won one race on the high banks of the Hi-Tec Oils Toowoomba Speedway on Saturday April 23 but it was the one that mattered the 2016 running of the Danny Davidson Memorial.
Three times winner of the event Michael Kendall (Boss Chassis/Esslinger) took out both of his heats and then the Pole Shuffle to claim pole for the 30 lap affair with Darren Vine (XXX/Turbo Esslinger) his front row partner. Kendall raced into the lead on the green with Ware (Spike/Mopar) quickly accounting for Vine to go to second while Vine was under siege from Mark George (Breka/Gaerte Ford). George secured third during lap 4 as the field settled down for some high speed laps. Gavin McDowell’s run came to an end during lap 8 bringing on the yellows for the first time with the restart order Kendall, Ware, George, Vine, Lance Towns, Brad Young and Brock Dean in the lead bunch.
Kendall again pulled away but Ware went with him albeit a couple of car lengths back. Over the next few laps Ware closed the gap and during lap 15 the race had a new leader. There were a number of dices going on through the pack including Ken Stanaway (Singleton Racing Alach/Esslinger) and Rodney Harders (Eagle/Eagle) who were closing on Young. Entering the back straight during lap 20 they watched as Young’s back axle broke on the right hand side sending the car towards the wall. Somehow he wrestled it away from the wall and brought it to s stop without hitting any other cars. The wheel, with a piece of the axle still attached, bounced along the track and may have hit Rodney Harders as he soon retired with a flat tyre.
Ware continued on to win the race with Kendall next while Vine reclaimed third from George with 4 laps remaining. It was an entertaining race in memory of one of nation’s finest speedcar drivers, Danny Davidson.
Three qualifying heats were conducted with each driver having two outings. Mark George lead home Vine and Lance Towns (i Custom Colour Phone Repairs Breka/Gaerte) in the first with Vine again second in the next encounter behind Kendall with Ware filling third spot. Kendall had his second win in heat 3 with Brad Young and Ware in the minor places. A ‘B Dash’ was run to decide the starting order in the main for the drivers who missed out on the Pole Shuffle with Brock Dean (All Car Engine Reconditioning Services Breka/Gaerte) claiming the win ahead of Michael Harders (Auto Upgrade Spike/KRE Eagle) and Stanaway. The Pole Shuffle had some close contests with Young defeating Towns before losing to Ware. Next George sent Ware back to the infield but couldn’t match it with Vine who then raced Kendall in the final with the Kiwi too good.
Chris Singleton (diff), Gavin McDowell (brakes) and Cal Whatmore (power steering pump) suffered problems earlier in the night but were able to line up in the feature. Whatmore was back after suffering a major engine problem a few months ago but the power steering issue would hamper his efforts on the night. Whatmore is a distant relative of one of the pioneers of Queensland motorsport, Chas Whatmore. Chas raced a small car at the purpose built Davies Park Speedway at West End in the late 1920’s early 1930’s with the cars racing in a clockwise direction. He raced on the horse track at Rosewood before World War II and then Bathurst after it. When speedcar racing took off in Brisbane in 1946 he was amongst the action and became the first Queensland resident driver to win the Queensland Championship in December 1946 driving a Studebaker powered car. He only raced speedway for a couple of seasons but continued in road racing for many years and at one stage was the importer of Lotus race cars. It would be nice to think that Cal can emulate some of the achievements of Chas.
The midgets are back in action next Saturday night April 30 at the Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway for the Grand Finale of the 2015-16 Polar Ice Midget Series. The midgets will then take a break to prepare for the annual American Tire & Racing Services Brisbane 50 lapper on May 28.
1 Mark George 2 Darren Vine 3 Lance Towns
1 Michael Kendall (NZ) 2 Darren Vine 3 Troy Ware
1 Michael Kendall (NZ) 2 Brad Young 3 Troy Ware
1 Brock Dean 2 Michael Harders 3 Ken Stanaway
Brad Young def Lance towns
Troy Ware def Brad Young
Mark George def troy Ware
Darren Vine def Mark George
Michael Kendall def Darren Vine
Danny Davidson Memorial
1 Troy Ware 2 Michael Kendall (NZ) 3 Darren Vine
4 Mark George 5 Michael Harders 6 Lance Towns
7 Ken Stanaway 8 Brock Dean