After so many close finishes in past attempts, Rob Rawlings Jnr’s Australian Legend Cars Title wait came to an end in last Saturday night’s 2019-20 season running of the event at Sydney’s Valvoline Raceway that was sponsored by Narellan Powder Coating.
In an event that was constantly under threat from the wet weather, which included the middle of the race meeting being halted and also the feature race brought to a premature close, the Canberra, ACT-based Rawlings Jnr, who in his past three Australian Title attempts has recorded a pair of seconds and a third, showed his rivals the way to finally become an Australian Title holder.
After qualifying on the outside of the front row for the 25-lap Australian Title deciding feature race, Rawlings Jnr, whose wife Anna was expecting their first child at any moment throughout the weekend, proved too strong for his rivals, even as the track had turned quite challenging due to the falling rain. In the end, the feature race was unfortunately cut short by 10 laps following the rain falling heavier and the track becoming unsafe to race on.
To say that Rawlings Jnr was elated to finally claim the Australia # 1 honours would be quite the understatement and he is proof that persistence can pay off. It’s interesting to note that there have now been four Australian Legend Car Titles held and Rawlings Jnr has finished all of them somewhere on the podium.
Completing an all Canberra Australian Title podium were John Egan and current NSW and Victorian Champion Troy Bolton in second and third place respectively. The latter had the best run through the three rounds of heat races with two wins and a second and by virtue qualified for the feature race on pole position. Both Egan and Bolton were two of the favourites heading into Saturday night’s Australian Title and they were able to back up those expectations with two pleasing drives to round out the podium finishes. It was unfortunate that the rain brought the feature race to a premature end, as the battle between Rawlings Jnr, Egan and Bolton was just starting to heat up.
Photo: The Art of Speedway
In what was a career-best drive, Keanu Palma finished just off the podium in fourth ahead of Matt Elliott, Liam Camilleri, Dylan Goodger, Matt Gordon (Qld), Allen Leayr and Sam Putland (SA) in 10th.
Rated as one of the favourites heading into the Australian Title, Camilleri was innocently involved in an opening heat-race crash that saw him record a DNF. Camilleri’s team worked hard to repair the damage to his car but it was that opening heat-race DNF that consequently saw him start further down the feature-race field (position 16) than he would have liked despite winning his remaining two heat races.
David Browne, Clinton McKenzie, Luke king (Vic), Narellan Powder Coating proprietor Trevor Stark, Sean Rooney, Robert Amess and Ken Enright completed the remaining feature-race finishes.
There were only four drivers that failed to finish the feature race, and they were Kieren Pilkington, Nathan Moreau, Brock Bolton and Greg Thompson. Unfortunately, due to not going to post-race scrutineering, fifth-place finisher Jacob Griffin was disqualified.
The heat-race action saw wins shared between Troy Bolton (x 2), Rawlings Jnr (x 2) and Camilleri (x 2).
Photo: The Art of Speedway
This season’s Australian Legend Cars Title was proudly sponsored by Narellan Powder Coating. To find out more about them, visit their website www.narellanpowder.com.au, call them on 0246 461 584 or FOLLOW them on Facebook or Instagram by searching Narellan Powder Coating.
A massive thanks must go out to the team at Legend Cars Australia, for all their ongoing hard work and support. For more information, visit www.legendcarsaustralia.com.au or LIKE them on Facebook by searching Speedway Legend Cars Australia.
To find out more about the Australian Legend Car Association, LIKE them on Facebook by searching Australian Legend Car Association.
Photo: Gary Reid