After rain washed out the first night of the World Midget Championship at the Castrol Edge Lismore Speedway on Australia Day Rico Abreu (USA) showed his class by winning both the 20 lap feature race held over from night one and the 40 lap final later in the night to be the overall series winner.
The first feature was run at 5:00 pm (DST) on night two with the temperature still in the 30’s. Consequently, the track dried out as the race progressed but it made little difference to Abreu (Keith Kunz Motorsport Bullet/Toyota) who led from the outset and headed home Brady Bacon (GO Racing Bullet/Toyota) and West Australian Dayne Kingshott (McAllan Motorsport MAC/Eagle). Abreu maintained good pace the whole way through and is the new 20 lap record holder at Lismore.
Abreu (13.425) was top of the time chart in Time Trials ahead of Bacon (13.567) and Kingshott (14.848) after Bacon had set the quickest time on night one with a 13.203 lap. Before the rain arrived Matt Smith (NSW) and Abreu won the two heats that were held. Unfortunately, Smith would not be back for night two as he was contesting the Australian Sprintcar Championship at Parramatta.
The Saturday night heats went through without any incidents with both Abreu and Bacon scoring two heat wins each leaving the former top of the points for the 8 car Pole Shuffle. Michael Stewart in the Dillon Motorsport Breka/Fontana from South Australia picked up two seconds with Kingshott, American Andrew Felker and Brendan Palmer all in the mix. After losing an engine at Archerfield Scott Wilson had borrowed a Mopar engine from Col and Jason Bell and worked hard all week to have it installed for Saturday night at Lismore. However, he suffered some minor problems early in the night and the engine wasn’t right until feature race time.
After the track was reworked the Pole Shuffle went as expected with Brock Dean accounting for Darren Dillon in the first round only to lose to Brendan Palmer who also defeated Andrew Felker. Dayne Kingshott sent Palmer back to the infield and then Michael Stewart gained the upper hand in the next round. Stewart lost to Brady Bacon which meant the American pair of Bacon and Abreu faced off in the final. It was also brother against brother with Rusty Kunz turning the spanners for Bacon’s car against the Keith Kunz prepared Abreu car. Abreu was too good even though Bacon gave it his best shot.
With time becoming an issue the cars were pushed away for the 40 lap final just after 10:00 pm. Abreu burst into the lead at the start with Bacon right on his tail while Kingshott and Stewart battled for third. Bacon made his move during lap 5 to take over the lead and was soon a couple of car lengths in front. Kingshott had gone to third as Stewart now had to deal with Felker and Brendan Palmer. When the lead duo caught lapped cars, Abreu closed in and on lap 15 recaptured the point. Felker fell out with a blown tyre ten laps later as Dean went to fifth. Bacon dropped back another spot when Kingshott went by on lap 28 but Abreu was holding a good break on second place. The race looked as if it was going to go non-stop until Palmer came to a stop with just 10 laps remaining causing the only yellow light of the two nights of speedcar action.
It is customary for double row restarts at Lismore so the field was bunched up again for the last quarter of the race. Abreu surged to the front where he stayed with Kingshott, in his first meeting in the Keith McAllan car, second and Brady Bacon third. Brock Dean kept moving forward to be a well-deserved fourth. Rico Abreu was the overall series winner from Bacon and Dean.
Next week-end is the 2017 Australian Speedcar Championship at the Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway. Qualifying heats are on Friday night February 3 followed by the last round of heats, Pole Shuffle, B Main and the 40 lap Championship final the next night. See the Australians Adam Clarke, Nathan Smee, Dayne Kingshott, Michael Stewart, Rusty Whittaker, Troy Ware and Michael Harders and more take on the Americans Rico Abreu, Brady Bacon, Andrew Felker, Zach Daum and Alex Bright and the ‘Flying Kiwis’ Michael Pickens, current title holder, Hayden Williams, Leon Burgess and Chris Gwilliam.
Meet the drivers at the ‘Social/Calcutta’ on Thursday night, February 2, 6:00 pm at the Acacia Ridge Hotel just 2 kilometres from the track. Tickets are $55.00 a head for a 3 course buffet with the evening being compered by Bennie Bishop. Everyone is welcome but tickets MUST be pre-booked by contacting Angie Harders on 0412 598 244 or email email@example.com
Lismore Speedway 26 January 2017
Brady Bacon (USA) 13.203
Rico Abreu (USA) 13.352
Andrew Felker (USA) 13.638
1 Matt Smith (NSW) 2 Brady Bacon (USA) 3 Dayne Kingshott (WA)
1 Rico Abreu (USA) 2 Michael Stewart (NSW) 3 Andrew Felker (USA)
Meeting then washed out
28 January 2017
Feature # 1 (20 laps)
1 Rico Abreu (USA) 2 Brady Bacon (USA) 3 Dayne Kingshott (WA) 4 Andrew Felker (USA) 5 Brock Dean 6 Michael Stewart (NSW)
7 Brendan Palmer 8 Darren Dillon 9 Mitch Haynes 10 Dallas Sharp
Rico Abreu (USA) 13.425
Brady Bacon (USA) 13.567
Dayne Kingshott (WA) 13.844
1 Rico Abreu (USA) 2 Michael Stewart (NSW) 3 Brock Dean
1 Brady Bacon (USA) 2 Andrew Felker (USA) 3 Dayne Kingshott (WA)
1 Rico Abreu (USA) 2 Dayne Kingshott (WA) 3 Andrew Felker (USA)
1 Brady Bacon (USA) 2 Michael Stewart (NSW) 3 Brendan Palmer
Brock Dean def Darren Dillon
Brendan Palmer def Brock Dean
Brendan palmer def Andrew Felker
Dayne Kingshott def Brendan Palmer
Michael Stewart def Dayne Kingshott
Brady Bacon def Michael Stewart
Rico Abreu def Brady Bacon
A Main (40 laps)
1 Rico Abreu (USA) 2 Dayne Kingshott (WA) 3 Brady Bacon (USA) 4 Brock Dean 5 Michael Stewart (NSW) 6 Darren Dillon 7 Dallas Sharp 8 Scott Wilson