The Queen’s Birthday long weekend saw The SDAV Hot Rods racing at Wahgunyah for their last race of the season. With 12 cars nominated and the track looking good, an epic evening of racing was guaranteed. Wahgunyah is the biggest track they have ever raced with the pole line totaling 630 meters. The Hot Rods never fail to give it their all and they truly do bring the thunder down under!
The rumble of their engines is unmistakable – you know they are going to race hard and they are going to race fast! Hold on to your seats ladies and gentlemen – it’s about to get real!
Regrettably, Stan Marco Snr (#5 – Indy Race Parts) did not start due to fuel pump issues and whilst they continued to work on the problem in the pits, Heat 1 began with Tom Marco (#6 – Rock Solid Paving) spinning on turn 2 in Lap 2 and showing typical SDAV showmanship by continuing to race without missing a beat. Unfortunately, he stopped on turn 3 due to gear issues and a yellow light was called, sending him to rear of field. The worst of luck saw the stewards then black flag him and send him infield. Stan Marco Jnr (#11 – A1 Automotive) deftly moved through the positions from rear of field to 4th, holding that position till the end.
Dean West (#4 – Dandy Bolts) took the lead from outside pole position, holding it until lap 4 when he went head to head with crowd favourite, SDAV’s very own Spiderman, Shannon Meakins (#84 – Kilmore Towing and Transport) who managed to slip past him and take first place leaving Dean in 2nd place and Chris Wilkes (#13 – Procote Powdercoating) in 3rd place.
Before Heat 2 could begin, Glenn Lawless (#99 – Purrfect Cool Autoair) required a push start to get going, however the impact from the pushcar caused extensive pain in his spine and he was immediately taken off the track and into the pits with medical personnel. Stan Marco Snr was still out with a busted fuel pump whilst his 3 sons Stan Jnr, Tom and Raedyn Marco (#2 – Darby Paints) were lined up ready to race. The Marco’s are known for coming out strong and this race was no different. By lap 1 Stan Jnr had moved from 5th place to 3rd but regrettably on turn 3 Tom and Raedyn collided causing a yellow light and the 2 brothers going infield, leaving Stan Jnr the only Marco left racing. Once racing started again, Kali Hovey (#22 – Little Boot Cafe) kept her place in 1st position, followed closely by her father Russell Hovey (#25 – Ribeau Transport) in 2nd place and Dean West in 3rd.
Heat 3 unfortunately saw Stan Marco Snr and Glenn Lawless out. Stan Marco Jnr led the race from start to finish with Shannon Meakins looking like he was going to take 1st place from Stan Jnr until he spun between turns 3 and 4 in lap 2 and a yellow light was called, sending him regrettably to rear of field. While giving it his all to gain back those lost spaces Spiderman Shannon spun again on turn 4 in lap 4 – again causing a yellow light and sending him rear of field. Someone needs to remind Shannon to leave the spinning for the web, not the track!
While Heat 3 was less carnage, it was no less exciting with Stan Marco Jnr in 1st place, Phil Jenkins (#3 – P&S Automotive) in 2nd and Dean West in 3rd.
Heat 4 showed good steady racing from the SDAV drivers. Tom Marco held 1st place until overtaken by Shannon Meakins, who in 3 laps incredibly drove from rear of field to take 1st place! This pushed Tom back into 2nd place. Russell Hovey held 3rd followed by Kali Hovey, Chris Wilkes, Dylan Linehan (#28 – Chrislea Transport), Phil Jenkins and Raedyn Marco all holding their respective positions.
It’s the final.
The final race for the night, the final race for the season.
Hearts were thumping, engines revving, eyes not blinking (Stan Marco Jnr – I’m looking at you!)
The coin toss determined the drivers with the highest points took front of the grid.
Glenn Lawless sadly was still out due to injury but Stan Marco Snr was in!
Although not having raced all night, it didn’t stop Stan Snr coming out with all guns blazing. Each lap he gained a position until lap 5 when he spun on turn 3 causing a yellow light and was sadly sent back to rear of field. By turn 4 of the next lap he pulled infield with his car not feeling right.
For the first 6 laps everyone held their positions, defending it from the driver behind them and trying to pass the driver in front of them. Shannon Meakins started out in pole position and maintained 1st place consistently pulling away from the rest of the drivers. Lap 14 had spectators out of their seats and rushing the fence when Raedyn Marco’s engine blew, billowing smoke on the front straight. With no where to go, Chris Wilkes ran into the back of Raedyn’s car and sent him rolling twice, ending on his side. Infield personnel had him quickly back on 4 wheels and Raedyn exited his car under his own steam, gingerly walking infield while his car was towed in. Chris Wilkes also had to pull infield with damage to his car. While under the red light Dylan Linehan discovered he had no breaks and also had to pull infield.
The field of 11 cars was now down to 7 cars.
With 1 lap to go.
It only takes 1 lap!
Shannon Meakins kept his 1st place position with Stan Marco Jnr passing Dean West into 2nd just before the flag waved leaving Dean in 3rd! What a race!!!
Massive congratulations to the winners of the last race of the 2018/2019 season! Magnificent racing!
Huge kudos to the drivers that finished the final – Kali Hovey, Russell Hovey, Phil Jenkins and Tom Marco.
The SDAV Hot Rods committee, drivers and members would like to extend their wholehearted and heartfelt thank you to the Wahgunyah Speedway Club, President – Brendan Eames and all the wonderful volunteers and officials on the night – it was a brilliant track and a great time was had by all of the Hot Rods. They look forward to returning next season.
Thank you to SDAV Hot Rods sponsors – Fourth Designs, Little Boot Café and Ribeau Transport.
On behalf of SDAV Hot Rods