PINJAR PARK RACE REPORT from Saturday 19th January
Tai takes Woffy in crowd pleasing fashion
World Champion Tai Woffinden was in spectacular form again at Pinjar Park as he totally dominated the race named in honour of his late father Rob. Tai who won the 2012 running of the event was in blistering form and the large crowd in on a hot Perth night saw the World's number one at his very best.
While he was untroubled to win his four qualifying heats, his final and the RWC race Tai rode for the crowd and did it brilliantly. He never backed off, riding flat out. He was mesmerising to watch. While Tai was the pre-meeting favourite and there was little doubt about his ability to win the tenth running of the Woffy, his competitors had to fight for points all night.
In the end it was Woffinden who led defending and two-time RWC holder Cam Heeps across the line with Dan Winchester in third. A fantastic night by Blake Russell had vaulted him into the final four but he fell in turn one and so went any chance of standing on the podium.
While Woffinden was undefeated, Cam Heeps, Blake Russell, Kale Ballantyne and UK visitor Josh Bailey put a fabulous set of heats together, winning three heats apiece and only losing once on their way to the finals. Others with wins on the night included Doug Scoble, Frank Smart, Jarryd Ziedas, Des Heys, Daniel Winchester, Matt Marson and Kris Keast.
Scoring was at a premium as were places in the top eight to see who would contest the two finals. After the qualifying heats were run four riders Kris Keast, Des Heys, Matt Marson and Doug Scoble faced a run off for the last position available in the A Final. Marson grabbed the win.
The B Final was a Tai Woffinden benefit and he did as he pleased in a runaway win from Blake Russell. Tai and Blake through to the RWC race Josh Bailey's and Frank Smart's night finished. The A Final saw defending and two-time Woffy Titleholder Cam Heeps charge away to hide from the field with Daniel Winchester doing enough to hold off Kale Ballantyne. Heeps and Winchester through to join Woffinden and Russell.
It was no surprise when Woffinden, who was top point scorer on the night elected to ride out of gate one. He had a superb start but Cam Heeps went with him, at least until they reached the first turn. Woffy turned it up another notch and established a good lead, although Cam Heeps was close enough to follow Woffinden's lines around the track. Blake Russell fell in turn one and brought out the red flag so ending his night. The re-run saw Woffinden repeat the dose, Heeps chasing in second with Daniel Winchester in third.
That's the way they finished and Tai Woffinden now joins Cameron Heeps as the only two-time winners of the event. We all hope he and Cam are back here next year to see if one of them can make it three.
After the drama of the State Title at our previous meeting another strong field of sidecars was on hand for their last race rehearsal before tonight's prestigious Jeff Gittus Memorial.
Reece Liptrott/Jess Thomas fired the first shot and put their name down as a possible JG winner with an impressive win in their first heat. The Fanderlinden brothers Ryan and Adam did likewise, good gating and consistent performance a hallmark of their racing. Crowd favourites the father and daughter combination of Steve and Gaynor Scoble were also first up winners, young Gaynor swinging superbly for her Dad.
The second set of heats saw another great family combo in Jeff (Dad) and Daniel (Son) Bishop put their beautiful outfit to the test with strong win, before Liptrott/Thomas took their second win of the night. The final heat in this second round saw 'long, lean, lanky' Clayton Mills, with Steve McQueen on the chair take the win.
The Bishops were dialled in for their third heat and again led the way. Liptrott/Reece looked to have a major engine problem in this one which finished their night. Mills and McQueen had come to party and they grabbed their second win of the night. As did the fabulous flying Fanderlinden's in their last heat. But qualifying for the sidecar final looked to be a difficult assignment. On a hot night a few engines had started to falter.
The last set of heats saw Mills/McQueen return to the winner's circle along with previous heat winners, the Fanderlinden's and Scoble’s. All three combinations were through to the last dance of the night. But who would join them? That chance fell Rocky Bryan and Matt Young's way when the Ken Hankin/Scott Moffat team ended on the infield in the last chance qualifier.
The final saw the Fanderlinden's get a great start and they seemed to have the measure of the field. But a very determined Mills/McQueen sat tight running low and took the only opportunity provided all race to blast through on the inside coming out of turn two and from there they took command. M&M first, Fanderlinden's second, Scoble's third with Bryan/Young in fourth.
Good riding on the night also by 'Chief' Horrie Payne and Matt Reese, the new combination of Adam Wenn and Jamie Thomson plus Chad Harvey and Nathan Metcalf.
Great stuff, tonight's 'Gittus' should be a monster. Most teams have had enough time on the new track to know some of the magic needed for a win.
In the absence of WA Champion Luke Killeen who was at Ipswich, Queensland contesting the Australian 125cc Championship, the McDiarmid brothers Jack and Mitchell along with Xander Smith contested four heats and a final. Jack McDiarmid had a great night taking four wins including the Final. Younger brother Mitchell was second with Smith in third.
Luke Killeen returns to Pinjar Park as Australia 3 after making the finals in the 125cc's after in Queensland. Congrats Lukey!
Meanwhile brother Declan was busy contesting the 250cc Title at the same event. He qualified in the top seven making the B Final and actually led the event before another rider fell causing a restart. Unfortunately, Declan wasn't able to repeat his first attempt and ended up officially Australia 7 in the 250cc's. Top effort Dec!
With Declan away and Ryan Phillipson still on the injured list Lincoln Worroll honed his racing ability with several sets of four laps. He came down on a couple of occasions but much to the delight of the crowd raised his hands and jumped on board again. Go Linc.
125cc Lite action saw a strong field of six contest ten heats and two finals. Max Harvey, Darcy Timmis, Axle McCarthy, Trevor Dossett and Linkin Metcalf all tasted victory on the night. Jake Corbett continues to impress and is working hard at his track craft.
In the Thumpsters Tyler Magden continues to set a high standard along with Axel McCarthy. Darcy Timmis and Jake Corbett also double duty here. All four still getting used to the different characteristics of the new Junior track.
A healthy group of 50cc's were also on hand for their five timed events. Regan Dossett, Jett Harvey, Mason Moffat, Nate Rice, Mason Robins and Coby Robson all thoroughly enjoying themselves.
A good field of Balance Bikes provided plenty of entertainment and involvement with their one run of the night. One lap can be a long way when you have no engine, no brakes, no pedals, no nothin'. Well done to all involved.