The series final on Saturday night, which was also the 68th running of the Western Australian Speedcar Championship, saw West Aussie Kaiden Manders claim the victory at the Quit Bunbury Speedway ahead of fellow sandgroper Lee Redmond and Harders. While Manders’ domination at the event with whitewash wins in all of his heats and the feature moved him to an impressive 8th place on the Five Crown leaderboard, Harders was untouchable in the points chase; taking the series overall with 624 points earned at all five rounds. In addition to his QLD title win and third placing in WA, Harders claims the bonus series winnings of $4,000 for first place overall!
“This year the Auto Upgrade team have won the series by all the hours spent in the shed with the maintenance of the speedcar” noted an elated Harders on his win. “A lot of races are won or lost by the level of car preparation and we finished every race in each state! My KRE hat goes off to my team Angie, Brett and Barry”.
Sydney racer Paul Murphy who was the only competitor within striking distance of Harders heading into the final round was unavailable for the rescheduled WA title date and therefore claimed an impressive second in the Five Crown series in his brother-in-law Mark Harrington’s SA6 The Speedway Shop ride from Hardwyer Motorsport in South Australia. Despite having less than two seasons of Speedcar driving under his belt, Murphy claimed third place in both the QLD and SA Championships from his four rounds contested in QLD, NSW, VIC and SA and finished on 460 points, earning him a bonus $2,500 from the Five Crown Series!
Seventeen year old Braydan Willmington of NSW continues to make enormous strides taking out third place in the series having contested three rounds in NSW, VIC and SA in the Braydan Willmington Motorsports BEAST NSW89 machine. Willmington finished 2nd at the Victorian title at Premier Speedway Warrnambool with an excellent run behind the throttle stomping victor Domain Ramsay. His consistent form saw him close out the series with 343 points and a series bonus of $1,500!
Queensland’s Anthony Chaffey had a disappointing break in his Five crown campaign heading into round four, the 66th SA Championship; when he was sitting in a competitive third place. When the Victorian based Jaxxon Wrapz VIC6 team arrived in Adelaide the day prior to the date, the team identified an engine issue which saw the engine extracted before the event rather than making its way further west to Whyalla. While this dampened the efforts for the series, Chaffey still finished in 4th position in the series on 308 points after three rounds in QLD, NSW and VIC and claimed the bonus $1,250!
Wrapping out the top five is ACT’s Michael Stewart of Michael Stewart Racing who finished 2nd in the NSW Championship at Parramatta and after contesting only two rounds in NSW and SA, scored a bonus $750 from the Five Crown Series with 255 points! Stewart held out his closest rivals Ben Hall and Nathan Squiers both of South Australia on 247 and 235 points respectively who both contested the VIC and SA rounds.
With 74 competitors contesting the inaugural series and many travelling to multiple events, Speedcars Australia President Mark Cooper is only too pleased with the inaugural season in what is its infancy!
“The series has created interest with competitors and promoters alike and we as a body would like to thank Speedway Australia for partnering with us to give the Speedcar fraternity an opportunity to impress spectators with this new series. A big congratulations must go out the teams that took part in the series and obviously a huge congratulations to the inaugural winner Michael Harders”.
Inaugural series winner Michael Harders, who coincidentally is the Secretary of Speedcars Australia INC. and a driving force behind the administration of the series; also recognised the effort put in by the many competitors involved in the inaugural season with what was a late addition to the program. Likewise to the track promoters at IBRP Carina Speedway in QLD; Valvoline Raceway in Sydney NSW; Premier Speedway, Warrnambool VIC; Westline Speedway in Whyalla SA; and the Quit Bunbury Speedway in WA for supporting the inaugural series.
“We needed to bring the prestige and honour back into our state titles, all of which have been in the running for 60-70 years” noted Harders after his win. “I hope the Five Crown Speedcar Series has done just that! Now the history books can show how much these events mean to the competitors with the help of Speedcars Australia, Speedway Australia and the promoters or clubs who hosted the inaugural series rounds this season. I look forward to the series growing into the future as more teams strive for maximum attendance”.
2015/2016 FIVE CROWN SPEEDCAR SERIES POINTS:
1. Michael Harders, QLD - 624 2. Paul Murphy, NSW - 460 3. Braydan Willmington, NSW - 343 4. Anthony Chaffey, QLD - 308 5. Michael Stewart, ACT - 255 6. Ben Hall, SA - 247 7. Nathan Squiers, SA - 235 8. Kaiden Manders, WA - 170 9. Todd Waddell, WA - 148 10. Lee Redmond, WA - 146 11. Travis White, WA - 144 12. Domain Ramsay, VIC - 142 13. Ryan Condren, WA - 141 14. Nathan Smee, NSW - 140 15. David Perry, WA - 137 16. Phil Tremor, WA - 135 17. Nick Rowe, WA - 134 18. Todd Bennett, SA - 134 19. Jason Tremor, WA - 134 20. Matt Jackson, NSW - 132 21. Chris Griffiths, WA - 131 22. Scott Wilson, QLD - 130 23. Steven Henderson, WA - 130 24. Glen Mears, WA - 127 25. Troy Jenkins, NSW - 126 26. Stewart Grant-Campbell, VIC - 126 27. Jaimie Mckinlay, NSW - 125 28. Matt Smith, NSW - 123 29. Brad Warwick, WA - 122 30. Troy Ware, QLD - 122 31. Rusty Whittaker, QLD - 120 32. Paul Farrell, VIC - 120 33. Todd Wigzell, SA - 119 34. Grant Draney, QLD - 118 35. Ken Stanaway, QLD - 117 36. Matt Hefford, QLD - 117 37. Trevor Malouf, NSW - 115 38. Reid Mackay, QLD - 115 39. Darren Vine, QLD - 114 40. Gavin Wesble, QLD - 114 41. Justin McMinn, VIC - 112 42. Ashley Booker, VIC - 112 43. Brett Thomas, QLD - 111 44. Gary Rooke, NSW - 110 45. Jack Alfirevich, WA - 110 46. Stuart Ferguson, VIC - 109 47. Cameron Restall, NSW - 107 48. Matt Papa, VIC - 107 49. Brad Young, QLD - 106 50. Tim Caddy, SA - 105 51. Bob Jackson, NSW - 105 52. Nick Parker, VIC - 103 53. Darren Jenkins, NSW - 102 54. Rodney Harders, QLD - 102 55. Dean Meadows, NSW - 101 56. Ian Jones, VIC - 101 57. Courtney O'Heir, NSW - 98 58. Don Mackay, NSW - 96 59. Andy Pearce, VIC - 94 60. Jeremy Evans, NSW - 93 61. Jordan Mackay, NSW - 91 62. Jack Day, VIC - 90 63. Jack Black, NSW - 89 64. Kaitlyn Anthony, NSW - 83 65. Michael Paice, NSW - 82 66. Aiden Corish, NSW - 79 67. Chris Talenta, WA - 44 68. Bob Goddard, WA - 40 69. Lance Towns, QLD - 33 70. Jessica Moulden, VIC - 31 71. Craig Smith, VIC - 21 72. Brett Ireland, SA - 10 73. Matt Hunter, NSW - 10 74. Corey Start, QLD - 10
Images courtesy of Peter N Chris Roebuck & Jigsaw Photography.