Hayden Williams comes from the Shaky Isles but he certainly wasn’t stirred by having to drive the Colin and Jason Bell owned Breka/Stanton SR 11 from deep in the pack to victory lane in the annual Brisbane 50 lapper at the Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway on Saturday May 28.
With two heat wins Adam Clarke (Jack Berry Racing Spike/Esslinger) topped the qualifying points table and after drawing the ‘12’ card inverted the top twelve with each driver nominating who wanted to start next in line. Clarke asked Michael Kendall to start beside him in row 6 while Scott Doyle and Ken Stanaway made up the front row. The race was run in trying conditions with Brisbane experiencing high winds on the day and a couple of days prior. Aidan Corish (IGA St Georges Basin Spike/Esslinger) surged forward from the second row to lead the first of fifty and held that position for 11 laps. Even though the track was dusty there were two useable lines with a thin ribbon on the bottom and a cushion about three quarters of the way up the track. Clarke made use of both to be third on lap 10 and second a lap later and continued this momentum to be the new leader when they crossed the line at the end of lap 12.
One driver who went largely unnoticed for some laps was Hayden Williams (NZ – CJR Motorsport Breka/Stanton SR11). He qualified for the main by winning the B Main giving him position 17 for the 50 but he kept moving forward passing four cars in the opening lap and then basically a car a lap to be second during lap 12. There were a couple of minor incidents with Darren Vine stopping during lap 10 and even though he re-fired the car he pulled onto the infield before the green lights reappeared. The other Kiwi, Leon Burgess (Illuminated Water Spike/KRE Chev), was also steadily marching forward from the fifth row and was sitting in sixth behind Clarke, Williams, Corish, Scott Wilson and Brock Dean after 12 laps. At the half way mark Clarke was still at the point with Williams right on his tail and Burgess now third while Dean had moved to fifth behind Corish with Wilson (Western Landscape Supplies Boss/Stanton SR 11) sitting sixth. With the leaders now amongst lapped traffic the inevitable happened with a four car tangle sending some of the mid field runners to the back of the pack.
Williams made his move during lap 35 and became the new race leader with Clarke unable to fight back and was now under pressure from Burgess. Troy Ware (Troy Ware Constructions Spike/Mopar) came unstuck in turn 2 during lap 41 and his race was done with the field reformed for the run to the end. Burgess attacked after the restart sending Clarke back to third and he now appeared to be struggling in the slick conditions. Brock Dean (Break/Gaerte) came on strong in the second half of the race and moved to third a couple of laps later after a torrid dice with Scott Wilson and Michael Kendall. Hayden Williams became the first international driver to win the Brisbane 50 with Burgess giving the Kiwis a quinella and Brock Dean third with just over 2 seconds separating the top three.
Amazingly 16 of the 20 starters completed the marathon journey. Clarke faded to finish 8th with both his back tyres almost bald with many others also finishing with tyres that were well and truly worn out. Nonetheless, it was a great race in difficult conditions and thanks must go to Auto Upgrade (Michael & Angela Harders), KRE Race Engines (Ken McNamara) and Troy Ware Constructions (Troy and Cora Ware) for their financial support of the race and the 50 sponsors who provided $100 for the leader of each lap. Also a big thank you to John and Kathy Kelly who again have shown great faith in the midgets with John trying his hardest to give the division the best track he could for the 50.
Clarke led Mark George and Dean to the line in the opening heat while Darren Vine, with a regular Esslinger engine under the bonnet, heading Rodney Harders and Michael Kendall in the second. The third heat of the round was in trouble early in the tricky conditions with Ken Stanaway (Rod Singleton Racing Alach/Esslinger) spinning off the track in the first corner and then in the fourth turn Michael Harders (Auto Upgrade Spike/KRE Eagle) got lose and was hit by Rusty Whittaker (Ti Bolts & Race Parts King/Esslinger), Brad Young, Mitch Haynes and Troy Ware. Harders finished wheels up but not badly damaged with Whittaker (Ti Bolts & Race Parts King/Esslinger) and Young (Federal Tyres Spike/Gaerte) copping the worst of it with their night done. Only three cars were able to go again with Ware collecting the win from Stanaway and Scott Doyle. Both Clarke and Ware scored again in the reverse grid second round with Michael Kendall (Boss Chassis Aust Boss/Esslinger) also gaining a win. Hayden Williams failed to start his first heat and despite finishing behind Ware in the second round had to get into the A Main by taking out the B Main ahead of Michael Harders, new driver Dallas Sharp and Chris Singleton.
The 2015-16 QSRA racing season is now concluded with just the awards night to finish another great season. This gala night is being held at the Acacia Ridge Hotel on Saturday night July 16 with all the drivers on hand to receive their trophies. It is an opportunity for all the guys and girls to dress in their finery for a fitting finish to the season. Everyone is welcome but tickets must be pre-purchased. If you are interested in attending visit the QSRA web site www.queenslandspeedcars.com.au for more information.
1 Adam Clarke (NSW) 2 Mark George 3 Brock Dean
1 Darren Vine 2 Rodney Harders 3 Michael Kendall (NZ)
1 Troy Ware 2 Ken Stanaway 3 Scott Doyle
1 Adam Clarke (NSW) 2 Scott Wilson 3 Leon Burgess (NZ)
1 Michael Kendall (NZ) 2 Darren Vine 3 Jason Bell
1 Troy Ware 2 Hayden Williams (NZ) 3 Michael Harders
1 Hayden Williams (NZ) 2 Michael Harders 3 Dallas Sharp
1 Hayden Williams (NZ) 2 Leon Burgess (NZ) 3 Brock Dean
4 Scott Wilson 5 Aidan Corish (NSW) 6 Michael Kendall (NZ)
7 Lance Towns 8 Adam Clarke (NSW) 9 Dallas Sharp
10 Mark George 11 Rodney Harders 12 Ken Stanaway
13 Tony Michell 14 Michael Harders 15 Jason Bell
16 Cal Whatmore