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Score One For Sullivan (finally). & Avalon Preview

Discussion in 'AMCA Nationals' started by Garth, Nov 8, 2013.

  1. Garth

    Garth Media Rep

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    After coming close on a few occasions in the past Paul Sullivan finally realised a long held ambition and knocked the monkey clean off his back when he took his maiden AMCA Nationals feature win at Rushworth Raceway back on October 28th.

    After leading quite a few features previously only to be frustratingly denied often within sight of the chequered flag, Sullivan was able to confirm for all to see the talent and dedication that he possesses as he led home multiple State champion Jamie Collins and veteran Steve Lodwick.

    A great field of 17 cars fronted for the season opener including some heavy hitters such as the three placegetters and also multiple State champions Tim Reidy and Mick Jackson. Bathurst 1000 V8 Supercar top ten placegetter Darren Hossack was back for some more low stress fun and a host of rookies were also making their debut including mother and son combination Robyn and Tristan James, the Mills brothers Jamie and Matt and Cameron Barrie and Kent Davey.

    Battler Brendan Jarvis in the “original” AMCA led away the first heat before Sullivan shot through into the lead and started to open a gap. Meanwhile Reidy had worked his way forward to be on the tail of Jarvis and the battle for second was on until contact between the pair saw Jarvis hit the wall and bring on a caution. Reidy was then able to use the restart to launch a successful attack on Sullivan taking the lead and the win with Bruce Tait third. Jamie Mills’ debut sadly ended on the infield after accidental contact with Sharon Tindall.

    Frank Thierry led the field away in the second heat and never looked back and took out a convincing win. Back in the field however, it was a different matter with fellow front row starter Hossack not able to keep up with Thierry after developing an engine miss and running on 7 cylinders for the majority of the race. Back in the field there was a great battle for third between Jackson, Lodwick and then eventually Collins who ended up spinning in turn 1-2 and re-joined the track to make his way back to 5th by races end. Jackson & Lodwick both battled it out till the end with Jackson able to fend off all challenges made. The close racing didn't end there with
    Alan Cullinger having his hands full trying to fend off rookie Matt Mills with Davey and Robyn James rounding out the remainder of the field.

    Heat 2a was a mere formality for Reidy who started off the front row and took a convincing win from Sullivan and Tait. New driver Barrie had his motor expire and ended his night’s fun while missing from the race was Tristan James who had found more mechanical woes with the car after breaking his gearbox early on and his night was now over. Matt Mills also missed the heat while carrying out repairs on the car from his first heat damage.

    Jackson Lead the field away in heat 2b only to have the yellows come on after contact was made in the back straight with the result being that Hossack spun and slammed the wall severely bending the front chassis and ending his night early. After a complete restart Jackson once again got the jump on Cullinger going into turn 1 and was able to hold off Collins for the win with Cullinger rounding out the top 3.

    The third round of heats saw the traditional highest point scorers start from the rear. Reidy who had to start out of position 6 quickly jumped into the lead and made it 3 wins from 3 starts. Lodwick who had started out of position 2 finished in that place having found no answer to the speed of Reidy and then home in third for the 3rd time on the night was Tait.

    Collins took full advantage of his start on the front row by winning the final heat of the night from Sullivan who did just enough to lock in enough points for a front start in the final. Back in third was another of the old timers, Cullinger, showing he can still be competitive. Back in the pack there was some brotherly love as Jamie and Matt Mills finally had their first AMCA race together. Jamie had to start behind Matt but soon showed that he wanted to be the superior driver on the night and made a great inside pass on his brother with just a little bump to say get out of my way. Thierry who started the night well saw it go down-hill from here with a dnf in the race after trying a little too hard down the back straight and clipping the wall causing a flat tyre and pulling into the infield.

    Finally, the time arrived for the drivers to compete for the first feature event of the season and bragging rights. After a four car salute to the crowd 14 drivers got set to great the green flag. Reidy led the field into turn 1 and it almost looked like he was going to run away from the field until going through turn 3-4 he spun and was narrowly missed by the rest of the field and the yellows came on. At this time Sullivan was told to go to the infield to get his car checked as a report of fluid coming out the back of the car was made. Once rectified, he took up the front row position for the single file restart with Reidy re-starting off the rear. As the green flag fell the cars took off with Sullivan eking out a small gap on the field and settling in to a comfortable groove until young gun Collins caught up and started to apply the pressure. Further back in the field Reidy was making his way back up to fourth.

    With four laps to go the yellows came out which gave Sullivan a little breather, but also gave Collins a chance to try and figure out a way around Sullivan. It also gave Reidy renewed hope of maybe regaining the lead. At the restart Sullivan pulled a small gap initially but Collins closed it back up but could not make the move on Sullivan. Reidy, who tried his best to get around Lodwick for 3rd clipped the wall and flattened the right rear tyre and pulled infield.

    At the end of the race the placegetters beamed widely due in no small part to the pretty trophy girls while Sullivan thanked everyone for their hard work, dedication and perseverance. Sullivan was clearly relieved to have finally broken through for his first feature win in AMCA's stating “We have come close a few times and especially here at Rushworth. To finally get rid of the bad luck is fantastic and I hope tonight will be the first of many.”

    Avalon - 9th November.

    The next event for the AMCA Nationals (weather permitting) will be tomorrow night (9th November) at Avalon International Raceway where the usual suspects will be joined by rookies Benn Rudd and Dean Heseltine and also by Ashlee Harris and Kevin Peachey in what will be a very strong field of V8 open wheelers.

    Keep up to date with AMCA Nationals Victoria at www.amcanationals.net or on Facebook at AMCA Nationals Victoria

    AMCA Nationals Victoria would like to thank their great supporters;
    Bursons Auto Parts, Lodweld Engineering, Ballarat Driveshafts, Totally Speedway Magazine, Inaction Photos, Hot Impressions, Geelong Citrus Packers, Collins Construction Group, Cullingers’ Service Centre, Panther Chassis and M & S Stainless Steel.

    2013/14 AMCA Nationals Victoria race dates.

    16th November 2013 Rosedale Country Cup Rnd 2
    7th December 2013 Redline Country Cup/ Metro Series Rnd 3
    29th December 2013 Hamilton Action Series Rnd 2
    11th January 2014 Horsham Country Cup Rnd 4
    18th January 2014 Redline Action Series Rnd 3
    25th January 2014 Murray Bridge South Australian Title
    1st February 2014 Rushworth M & S Stainless Steel 20 / 20
    15th February 2014 Nowra New South Wales Title
    22nd February 2014 Wangaratta Country Cup Rnd 5
    1st March 2014 Rosedale Victorian Title
    5th - 8th March 2014 Carrick Australian Title
    15th March 2014 Venue T.B.C Tasmanian Title
    22nd March 2014 Collie Western Australian Title
    29th March 2014 Avalon Action Series / Metro Series Rnd 4
    5th April 2014 Kingaroy Queensland Title
    18 & 20th April 2014 Mildura Action Series Rnd 5
    3rd May 2014 Redline Country Cup Rnd 6 / Metro Series Rnd 5
    10th May 2014 Dubbo State of Origin NSW vs. Victoria
     

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