BLYTON IS THE NSW WINGLESS CHAMPION

It was a season of success for Dubbo’s Mark Blyton as he scored victory in the 2014/15 Aussie Forklift Repairs and Fruitwheels Refrigerated Transport NSW Wingless Sprints Club Championship.

In a season that was full of consistency, which included two wins, The Dubbo Flyer was rarely out of the top five in the results.

Sadly the grand final of the championship succumbed to rain and that was enough for Blyton to win the pointscore by 30 points over Nathan Dicker who, like Blyton, also had a very consistent season.

Both Nathan Dicker and Mark Blyton were locked into a battle that lasted the majority of the season which, if weather permitted, would have been a fascinating conclusion to the season.

Finishing in third, just 44 points off the lead was Brian Briton. Briton won the opening event of the season back in October and remained in the hunt right through to the end.

Throughout the championship, fans were witness to some of the best racing in the history of the NSW Wingless Sprints. Many of the main events provided close wheel to wheel racing with the results sometimes not certain until the final corner.

It certainly has been a breakout year for the NSW Wingless Sprints.

Season 2014/15 winners:
October 11: Brian Briton
October 18: Dean Thomas
November 8: Daniel Sayre
November 29: Damian Abbott (NSW Title)
January 3: Jason Bates
January 31: Mark Blyton
February 7: Blake Darcy
March 7: Mark Blyton
March 21: Blake Darcy

Final Points Club Championship: (Top 10)
Mark Blyton – 2844
Nathan Dicker – 2814
Brian Briton – 2800
Jason Bates – 2787
Mikaela Blyton – 2745
Sean Dicker – 2715
Marshall Blyton – 2679
Nikki Briton – 2649
Ashleigh Jack – 2587
Clint McCorquodale – 2559

Enders-Stevens: 'We're definitely headed in the right direction'

Erica Enders-Stevens, driver of the Elite Motorsports Chevy Camaro, is the defending NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock world champion and recently scored her second event win of the season at her home event in Houston. It was her third final-round appearance of the year, and she has been the No. 1 qualifier at two events. She also won the K&N Horsepower Challenge specialty race in Las Vegas for the second consecutive year. She took part in a recent NHRA media teleconference to talk about her season to date.

Q: Erica, it seems that Las Vegas kick-started the season a little bit for you guys. What did you find either going into that race or at that race that kind of was a breath of fresh air to the team?

Enders-Stevens: We kind of struggled a little bit at the beginning of the year, as all teams have with the rule changes and the tire and the fuel. The key to our success in Vegas was staying after the Charlotte event on Monday and doing some testing. We made some significant changes to our race car and definitely headed in the right direction. So Vegas has been really great to my team and me over the last few years. I was very happy to be able to get everything lined up in order to go into that event and come out with a double win again.

Q: We race in Vegas twice a year. Does it give you that little bit of comfort at the start of the season thinking you can sort some stuff out and boost the season?

Enders-Stevens: Yeah, absolutely. We love going to Vegas because of our past success there. But had we not gone to Charlotte or stayed at Charlotte and tested, we would not have run like we did in Vegas this spring. That was crucial to our success there. Vegas is lucky for us. Some drivers have lucky tracks. Some crews have tracks where they have better setups. It seems to be a combination of both of those for our team. I think we have 18 consecutive round-wins there now. And headed into the fall race later this year in October, you know, that's the second-to-the-last race before the season ends. Hopefully we're right in the mix of things like we were last year.

Q: You've been doing this it seems like forever. I wonder if over the years your personal habits have changed in terms of working out or dieting. Your reaction times are amazing. Is that something you can actually work on, or over the years are there exercises or programs that you've done that keep you in shape?

Enders-Stevens: Yeah, absolutely. My sister, Courtney [Enders], is a personal trainer. She has my entire team and me on some sort of a meal plan. I'm pretty mindful of what I put in my body on race weekends. Obviously, living on the road is pretty hard to stay in shape while you're gone on the road all the time having to eat out three meals a day, just being physically and mentally exhausted. She's really been a help to me. What you fuel your body with is pretty crucial to how you perform. As far as reaction times and stuff goes, I have a simulator here at our shop in New Orleans. Every race weekend, I get in my car in the pit area, and I sit in there for 15 or 20 minutes alone by myself, and I do a lot of visualizing. That mental side of it really helps to perform the best that I can.

Q: Could you talk a little bit about getting that second championship after coming off of a championship? Talk a little bit about the special moments that you've had already trying to become a repeat champion and what you hope will work for you to get you that second one.

Enders-Stevens: It was such a dream season last year for my entire team. Aside from my engine guy, Nick Ferri, none of us had won championships before. It was a first for us. We all definitely wanted it very badly. I talk about my team a lot. I feel like people are the most important part of the puzzle. This is the first time in my professional career that I have had such a solid group of guys. I mean, they have my back. They treat me with respect. It's just an awesome environment to work in. It's positive. That's what allowed me to do my job better, I believe. Being able to have fun with these guys, we have a lot of natural team chemistry; we choose to spend our time away from the track together as well. Typically, when you're done racing, you're just out of there, going to hang out with your family or friends rather than your team.

I've got a unique environment to work with, and they're definitely the reason why we are successful. This year is a little different. We've had a little bit of a target on our back throughout my career, just being a girl. When we started to have success again after I joined back with Cagnazzi in '11, '12, and '13 and our dominant season last year with Elite Motorsports. It's different to be chased rather than to chase. It's a little bit of a different mindset. Going through the struggles that we did at the beginning of this year, being able to tackle those issues and come out on top again, the season is very, very long and challenging. I'm sure it will be another knock-down, drag-out fight till the end of the year with Jason [Line] and me. Being in the position we are now, having accomplished exactly what we accomplished last year to this point -- last year, we had a runner-up at Gainesville, doubled up at Vegas, win at Houston -- this season, we had a runner-up at Phoenix and went on to double up at Vegas and win Houston. We're on the track to doing what we did last year, but just keeping at the front of our minds that we're out here to have fun. We're a lower-budget team, but we're doing the best that we can with what we have. Richard Freeman has just organized a great group of people. I'm really excited and optimistic about what's to come.

Q: Is there any part of being a champion that you can't quantify, can't define, that you either have it or you don't?

Enders-Stevens: I don't know. I mean, I do believe that you either have it or you don't as far as being able to drive is concerned. But I go back to what I said a second ago: It's all about the people. When I drove for the team prior to this one, we had the horsepower, and we had a huge budget actually, almost a million and a half dollars more per year than what we're running on at Elite Motorsports. We weren't able to get it done. I believe it was because of the people. I've got the best people in the world now. I'm a firm believer in the idea that there's a plan bigger than mine. I understand now why he made us wait. It was all about having the perfect group together.

Q: When you tested the car, did it come easily in finding what you were looking for, or was it so fine that it took you all a few runs to discover that answer you were looking for?

Enders-Stevens: We did stay after in Charlotte. We were fighting weather all week. It rained Monday morning, so we only actually got a half a day of testing in. We made six runs, which is a handful. My crew chiefs Rick and Rickie Jones and Mark Ingersoll had a list of ideas they wanted to try. They were pretty significant changes. The Pro Stock cars are very finicky. The work that has to be done on them is very tedious, but at the same time, there were some huge swings for the fence that we had to change. We don't test as much as the other teams because of budget. But since we struggled so much, we had to make the decision to stay. They were changes that we weren't comfortable making during qualifying or elimination rounds because typically those changes can either make it or break it for you, I guess, without trying to divulge too much information on what we changed. They were huge swings. Fortunately enough for us, they were in the right direction. We picked away at it on that Monday test. We started with smaller changes. When we saw we were heading in the right direction, we were able to use that data we acquired to make other changes as well. When we left that test in Charlotte, the confidence in my crew chiefs' voices was very evident. That's something I feed off of. I'm excited we did stay and they were able to make the changes they wanted to make. It was definitely crucial.

Q: You're very dependent then on the crew chief and the technicians working on your car. What kind of stress was it for you to make the runs not knowing exactly whether it was going to work or not?

Enders-Stevens: I have all the faith in the world in my guys. I know that we all want it very, very badly and that everybody is trying their hardest every time we go up there, including myself behind the wheel, every crewmember that I have from my tire guys to my engine guys to my crew chiefs making the calls on the race car. It was very challenging for us at the beginning when we were uncertain with what was happening with the new rule changes. We had to dig deep and do the very best we could, even when the future didn't look extremely bright certain weekends at the racetrack, Charlotte for instance. Had there been 17 cars on the property, we would not have made the show. We did not get down any qualifying passes, and two were taken from us due to rain. That was a very grim weekend and very challenging. But we all dug deep. Staying after that Monday, it just completely turned everything around for us. I rely on them greatly. I'm there for them when they fall and vice versa. When I'm not up on the wheel, they pick me up and give me even a better race car than they normally do. It's a great team environment to work in.

Q: Dynasties, great performances are all built on little moments. Not all of them necessarily happen on the racetrack. Where does the 11-minute engine change that your team went through this past week rank for you? Does a moment like that, where your guys do something that is really impossible, yet they pull it off, does that make you a better driver?

Enders-Stevens: The motor change going into the semifinals in Houston was probably one of the most amazing experiences in my professional career. To be in my pit area when not just my team but Drew Skillman's team jumped in on my race car to get it done. We pitted after second round, did our normal maintenance on the car, serviced it for the next round, but we went to warm the car up. There was 15 minutes left before we had to be in the water for live TV. We just manned up. Everybody threw in on the race car. Drew Skillman's guys got an engine out of the trailer, took the intake manifolds and carburetors, while my guys drained the water, disconnected the motor in my car. There was one moment prior to deciding what we were going to do that one person said, “I don't know if we have time. We’ve got to be in the water in 15 minutes.” I'm like, “We got to try; we got to try.” That was it. Everybody pulled their weight, pulled together. Not only did they get it done, but they got it done with zero mistakes. It was just such a cool environment to be in.

As far as making me a better driver because of it, I mean, over the years, I heard champions like Bob Glidden, Greg Anderson, Jason Line, Allen Johnson say, “You’ve got to learn how to win.” That is one of those moments I completely understand that. Had I not been in an experience like that before and gone up to the starting line, I mean, your heart's pounding, things are so crazy, you've still got to go up there and get suited up and buckled in in time, then have your wits about you to calm down, get your heart rate under control, get your breathing under control. We were running Jonathan Gray, who is one of the best leavers in the class. I had my work cut out for me. I knew I needed to be on the Tree. We were able to get it done. That environment in our pit, I can't wait till people see the footage of it because it was absolutely incredible.

Q: You're starting to approach Shirley Muldowney on the list of female all-time winners. Do you look at numbers like that or do you let it fall where it may race to race to race?

Enders-Stevens: Yeah, I mean, I know the two females that are ahead of us right now are Angelle [Sampey] with 41 wins and Shirley with 18. They're heroes of mine, mentored me, been friends of mine over the years. First of all, it's awesome to have my name on the list with theirs. If the trend continues with what we've been able to accomplish over the last couple years, I'm hopeful we can continue to rack the wins up. I know where we stand with wins as far as those two women go. At the same time, we're going to go out and do what we love, have fun. I'm proud of my team regardless and very optimistic about the years to come with Elite Motorsports. I've never had as much fun in my entire life, and it's because of the guys that are involved.

Montoya Leads Indianapolis Motor Speedway Opening Day

Opening Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was highlighted by a significant jump in speed in the on-track debut of superspeedway aero kits from Chevrolet and Honda. Twenty-one drivers surpassed last year's fastest lap of Opening Day as drivers turned more than 1,800 laps in preparation for this month's 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.

Footage from Opening Day practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is now available Click Here.

"It's faster, for sure, no doubt about it. Speeds are going to be up," 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay said. "The difficult part for teams and drivers is balancing the clouded read you get from a big tow and new tires versus getting a read on the new car."

Juan Pablo Montoya, who 15 years ago won the Indy 500, recorded the fastest lap at 226.772 mph (39.6874 seconds) on the 2.5-mile oval as 28 driver/car combinations became acclimated to the aero kits and developed a baseline for practice that begins May 11. The fast lap on Opening Day last year was set by Will Power at 223.057 mph.

"(Having the fastest lap) is good for Verizon and for Chevy and for everybody that is paying attention. But I think the time sheet, as always, is irrelevant until you get to the race or until you get to qualifying," Montoya said.

Montoya, the Verizon IndyCar Series championship points leader in the No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, was 0.0533 of a second faster than teammate and three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves. Marco Andretti was third on the speed chart at 226.268 mph and the fastest of the Honda contingent. Scott Dixon, driving a Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, was fourth at 225.881 mph and Simon Pagenaud of Team Penske was fifth at 225.641 mph.

Takuma Sato (225.571) was sixth in an AJ Foyt Racing Honda, followed by Simona de Silvestro (225.317) in an Andretti Autosport Honda and two-time defending Indianapolis 500 Verizon P1 Award winner Ed Carpenter (225.257) in a CFH Racing Chevrolet. Hunter-Reay was ninth in an Andretti Autosport Honda (225.208) and Sage Karam, who made his Verizon IndyCar Series debut in the 2014 Indy 500, was 10th (224.931) in a Chip Ganassi Racing Teams Chevrolet.

A rookie orientation test and refresher test for drivers who had not competed in a Verizon IndyCar Series oval race since last May also was part of the on-track activity.

Gabby Chaves of Bryan Herta Autosport completed the three phases of the rookie program that examines car control, placements and a consistent driving pattern at various speed parameters. Stefano Coletti was out of the country and will run through the rookie phases May 11 in a KV Racing Technology Chevrolet.

Overall, 1,845 laps were turned without incident.

A balance between aerodynamic drag reduction and maintaining sufficient downforce is the hallmark of both manufacturer superspeedway aerodynamic bodywork kits. Different approaches were taken by manufacturers to achieve optimal performance in conjunction with their 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6 engines, and it is reflected in their base platforms.

Both manufacturer packages include a variety of individual aerodynamic components fitted to the Dallara rolling chassis that make them markedly different from the road/street and short oval kit that has been utilized in the first four races of the Verizon IndyCar Series season. Additionally, multiple options are available to teams to explore during practice for qualifications May 16-17 and the May 24 race.

"We have a laundry list of changes to try and luckily we have time to work with it," Andretti said of the aero options.

Verizon IndyCar Series teams return to Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 7 for a Promoter Test on the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course in preparation for the Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 9. Pagenaud was the winner of the inaugural road race in 2014 while with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.

Daly Will Be 'Fueled By Bacon'

Smithfield Foods will be the primary sponsor of Conor Daly's No. 43 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda at the Indianapolis 500. The team's third entry will be called the Fueled By Bacon Special in reference to Smithfield, the global food company founded in 1936 that is the world's largest provider of high-quality pork products.

"We've been in motorsports, as most people know across the country, now in (NASCAR) Cup," said Bob Weber, Smithfield's vice president of corporate marketing. "It's exciting for us to finally step forward with the Indy 500. It's the next logical step for us. Our motorsports has proven very effective for us, not only in expanding our brand nationally, but also in generating sales for our company."

Daly, who made his Verizon IndyCar Series debut in the 2013 Indianapolis 500 with AJ Foyt Racing, participated in today's open test on the 2.5-mile oval.

Clauson Ready for Second Indy 500 Chance

Despite a three-year absence from the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing," Bryan Clauson feels on more even footing with the competition as practice began today for the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race - thanks to the new superspeedway aerodynamic bodywork kits that debuted with the oval test.

Clauson, the multiple champion in the U.S. Auto Club national series for sprint cars and midgets, made his one and only Indy 500 appearance in 2012 as a benefactor of an INDYCAR scholarship that funded his ride with Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (now CFH Racing). Clauson started 31st and finished 30th, retiring after just 46 laps with mechanical problems. The Noblesville, Ind., resident has had a year to prepare for this opportunity after being named to drive the No. 88 KVSH Racing/Jonathan Byrd's Chevrolet in May 2014.

He spent Opening Day going through the mandatory driver refresher program to get himself back up to speed at a methodical pace. Clauson, 25, believes the fact everyone else has little experience with the new aero kits will work to his benefit.

"I guess it's probably a good year to come in again because everybody is starting, not necessarily from scratch, but not everybody knows what they have when they rolled in here this morning," Clauson said. "So we're all kind of starting from the same level to some degree. It's been too long for me (since driving an Indy car) to sit here and say that I could tell you the difference between it. It seems like the aero kits are definitely more efficient from what we've seen and definitely add some intrigue."

Making Entrepreneurs Out of Lemonade

A group of local young entrepreneurs met today with the Verizon IndyCar Series drivers they are paired with to raise funds for charity on Lemonade Day Greater Indianapolis, May 16 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

A total of 10 lemonade stands will be set up on Pagoda Plaza that day. The young business owners selected to operate the stands will sell their individually prepared beverages to fans attending the first day of qualifications for the 2015 Indianapolis 500. Portions of the proceeds from each stand go to charities designated by the driver teamed with each stand. Among the charities benefitting from the day will be: the Julian Center (Juan Pablo Montoya), Susan G. Komen (Pippa Mann), Indianapolis Humane Society (Will Power, Simon Pagenaud) and Indy Family Foundation (Ed Carpenter).

The stand owners and drivers held an introductory session this morning to prepare for the big event. Lemonade Day is an annual national initiative directed at teaching children the fundamentals of starting and operating a business, as well as giving back to their community. Scott Jones, local entrepreneur and founder of Cha Cha, spearheaded bringing the program to Indianapolis in 2010.


POST-PRACTICE DRIVER QUOTES:

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet, fastest of the day): "It's OK. (Having the fastest lap) is good for Verizon and for Chevy and for everybody that is paying attention. But I think the time sheet, as always, is irrelevant until you get to the race or until you get to qualifying. Everybody is posting times in the draft and it's a matter of who is doing the best in the draft. I'll tell you, the Hondas are looking strong - I think they were doing a lot of race work at the end, so we'll see." ... (On switching from today's oval test to the Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis road course): "It's going to be a little bit of work for the team this week to switch the cars over, but it is what it is, and it's the same for everybody. This is a pretty cool road course and the race last year was pretty amazing. With the long straights and the draft, it's pretty exciting and it should bring really good racing."

MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 27 Snapple Honda, third fastest of the day): "It's interesting. I think there are definitely still some gremlins to work out. We have an overwhelming laundry list of changes to try. Luckily we have a lot of time to work with it, but we're going to need some time. I don't really want to go into a lot of detail, but there are a lot of things to work out still. I'm not thoroughly pleased with my car now. The good thing about that is we're still in the hunt speed-wise." ... "I enjoy the road course. It's tougher on the (team) because for me, you can wake me up and I'll drive whatever and wherever. But I enjoy this layout with the long straightaways, we're going to see a lot of different downforce levels and a lot of games being played. From that standpoint, it's fun. We're trying to find the ultimate lap time, do you want to trim, do you not? And it's going to be the same for everybody."

GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 Steak 'n Shake Honda):  "It was a good first day testing the aero kit. We also had to mileage out an engine, which we successfully did, but we have a little work to do with the handling of the Steak 'n Shake car. It's better than last year, but we're not where we need to be. It's the first on-track day of the month, which is good, so there is a lot of time ahead of us. The team is a little split up right now over the two cars, but once we get a full staff in here it will be a lot easier."

DAVEY HAMILTON (No. 24 Robert Graham Special Chevrolet, filling in for Townsend Bell, who was racing sports cars at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca): "It's cool to be back and in a race car. Townsend couldn't be here today. We're just running the car to shake it down and do a system check. We're doing a few baseline runs. It's definitely not a full test; just for today and then Townsend will take over."

JUSTIN WILSON (No. 25 Andretti Autosport Honda): "The day started off really good, but as soon as it got a little hotter it got a little difficult and we started to slide around quite a bit. All in all I'm quite pleased with the first day, there is still a lot to work on and lots to try and understand with the new aero kits and the new downforce levels. We're not sure what is a typical baseline for running race run trim or qualifying trim, so we're just working it all out."

CARLOS MUNOZ (No. 26 AndrettiTV/Cinsay Honda): "The first day with the new Honda oval aero kits - our first time at IMS with the new aero kits. Today was just a learning day. I feel really good with the car and I think we had a fast car all day. Here in Indy, it comes down to whoever has the best tow, the least amount of aero. It's only the first day; we still have a lot of testing to go, but it feels pretty good."

SIMONA DE SILVESTRO (No. 29 TE Connectivity Honda): "Today was a pretty good first day. ... I think our speed was OK. For me, it was a really good day just being with the team and learning a little bit on the oval. I think we're all pretty happy with the test day, and for sure we have some work to do, but I think we'll be OK. I'm just happy to be back in the car here in Indy."

ORIOL SERVIA (No. 32 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda):  "I enjoy driving here almost every time. It felt really good, I felt at home immediately and it helped that I was with the team I drove with last year. Everything felt like it was only yesterday that I drove an Indy car here instead of a year ago. The team did a great, great job. It already felt better than last year. We just went through a lot of changes and gathered data. We have a whole week now to look at the data and basically understand the new aero package. We have wind tunnel figures, which is good, but it's not the same as being on track so both cars tried different things to gather as much data as possible. Graham (Rahal) and I did a lot of laps today, but this week the engineers have a lot of work ahead of them to go through. I'm feeling pretty good. It's quite amazing to see how different the two aero packages are and yet are still so close in speed."

PIPPA MANN (No. 63 Dale Coyne Racing Honda): "First off, it was just absolutely fantastic to finally be back in an Indy car after almost a year sitting out on the sidelines. It's great to be reunited and continue the strong relationship with my team at Dale Coyne Racing. I'm pretty happy with our performance on day one since we were able to get over 223 miles per hour. We have some work to do next week to help polish out everything, especially the driver. We certainly knocked the rust off today and I am really looking forward to getting in the car on a more consistent basis come next week. It was also great to get the INDIEGOGO logos on the pink Indy car and out on track today for people to see because our partnership with INDIEGOGO is so important to help us raise money in the fight to end breast cancer forever."

GABBY CHAVES (No. 98 Bowers & Wilkins/Curb Honda, who completed his Rookie Orientation Program): "This was a very special day for me to be out there in an Indy car and to work with the new aero kits. The car felt great, very comfortable. I can leave today with a very positive feeling and I'm very happy with the teamwork. This is the first time I have gone over 200 miles per hour. It's very different. I thought it would be closer to what it was like in an Indy Lights car. When you're running 30 miles per hour faster than you have ever gone before, everything comes at you a lot quicker. That was the first thing I noticed, how quickly I am completing laps. We managed some pretty good results, top three in the trap times. We kept finding more speed all day. Now we can focus on trying to build a strong consistent race car."

Davison denies Lowndes in Barbagallo finale

An emotional Will Davison has answered his critics in the best possible fashion today, taking victory in the 200km race this afternoon at the Perth SuperSprint.

Following a promising, but ultimately disastrous run in Tasmania that culminated in his now infamous clash with James Courtney, the win today left the Erebus Motorsport V8 driver feeling vindicated. The clash with Courtney showed just how much a podium result would mean to the team ­– and today they were able to celebrate the best kind.

“I’m not a believer in karma, but to be honest … I won’t lie, you do start wondering when you’re going to win again, so it feels pretty damn special,” said Davison.

As a surprise victor, Davison rained on the parade of near-centurion Craig Lowndes as he passed the Red Bull Racing Australia driver with five laps remaining in the 84-lap fixture, scuttling any chance of a famous 100th victory for Lowndes.

“I’m one of CL’s [Craig Lowndes] biggest fans and I’ve got a lot of respect for him sitting on 99 there,” Davison said.

“But as much as that would have been a great headline, you don’t feel sorry for someone on 99 race wins.

“We’ve been working pretty hard for this, we wanted to do it clean, it’s very, very special for the team.”

Davison described the race as a ‘dream’, labelling his run as perfect across the tough test of man and machine.

“It was one of those races where everything just came together,” he said.

“It was about staying calm and to be honest, second was going to be an amazing result for us.

“I couldn’t believe when I started seeing CL have some big slides with about five or six laps to go. That actually drew me to go even smoother, just to really give us that tyre [life]. I just drove real smooth. They’re the races you dream of,” Davison said.

Davison and Lowndes started seventh and eighth on the grid, and after passing yesterday’s dominant Pepsi Max Fords drove away from the field.

On lap 79 of 83 Davison made the dive at turn six and passed the Red Bull Commodore for the race lead.

Lowndes looked as if he was in the box seat as the soft versus hard tyre battle played out – but the Erebus E63 crashed the party in Perth, delivering Davison his first win for the team and first win as a driver since Townsville 2013.

Lowndes was philosophical about how close he got to his personal milestone, but is not stressed about being in the ‘nervous nineties’.

“It would have been nice to get the 100th win today, particularly here in Perth where I broke the record two years ago,” Lowndes said.

“Ultimately, it wasn’t to be and we just didn’t quite have the tyre left at the end of the race to defend against Will. There wasn’t much I could do about it.”

Third place was also unpredictable, with Fabian Coulthard coming from the back of the grid after an off in the sand at turn six ruined his qualifying. He powered on through a cool suit failure and recovered the day in his Freightliner Commodore.

“To start the day 24th and finish thirrd was pretty cool,” Coulthard said.

“The guys and the strategy was awesome. No-one gave up. That was the message that I got today. Everyone said don’t stress, what’s happened has happened so take it in your stride, and that is exactly what I did.”

Pole man Chaz Mostert was the first Ford home in fourth, with Holden Racing Team pair James Courtney and Garth Tander fifth and sixth, with James Moffat, Nick Percat, David Reynolds and Michael Caruso rounding out the top 10.

Shane van Gisbergen, who came into the race with an additional set of new tyres thanks to a ballsy strategy call yesterday was 14th, with Saturday double-winner Winterbottom in 15th.

It was a forgettable day for Jamie Whincup, finishing 19th after spearing off track early.

Result: V8 Supercars Race 9, Barbagallo 

1 Erebus Motorsport V8 Will Davison Mercedes E63 AMG 83 01:25:26.7265
2 Red Bull Racing Australia Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore VF 83 01:25:32.3340
3 Freightliner Racing Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore VF 83 01:25:34.1004
4 Pepsi Max Crew Chaz Mostert Ford Falcon FG/X 83 01:25:38.8487
5 Holden Racing Team James Courtney Holden Commodore VF 83 01:25:41.5978
6 Holden Racing Team Garth Tander Holden Commodore VF 83 01:25:43.4909
7 Nissan Motorsport James Moffat Nissan Altima 83 01:25:46.9039
8 Repair Management Aust Racing Nick Percat Holden Commodore VF 83 01:25:51.2885
9 The Bottle-O Racing Team David Reynolds Ford Falcon FG/X 83 01:25:51.5624
10 Nissan Motorsport Michael Caruso Nissan Altima 83 01:25:51.8276
11 GB Galvanizing Racing Dale Wood Holden Commodore VF 83 01:25:55.3320
12 Team Cooldrive Tim Blanchard Holden Commodore VF 83 01:25:57.0039
13 Nissan Motorsport Todd Kelly Nissan Altima 83 01:25:57.8053
14 Team Darrell Lea STIX Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore VF 83 01:26:01.6450
15 Pepsi Max Crew Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG/X 83 01:26:02.2944
16 Team BOC Jason Bright Holden Commodore VF 83 01:26:02.6148
17 Walkinshaw Racing Lee Holdsworth Holden Commodore VF 83 01:26:03.0823
18 Wilson Security Racing GRM Scott McLaughlin Volvo S60 83 01:26:07.6341
19 Red Bull Racing Australia Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore VF 82 01:25:32.5140
20 Nissan Motorsport Rick Kelly Nissan Altima 82 01:25:32.6822
21 Wilson Security Racing GRM David Wall Volvo S60 82 01:26:04.7346
22 Erebus Motorsport V8 Ashley Walsh Mercedes E63 AMG 77 01:25:44.5818
23 Supercheap Auto Racing Tim Slade Holden Commodore VF 69 01:26:23.2185
DNF Super Black Racing Andre Heimgartner Ford Falcon FG/X 78 01:21:12.3104
DNF DJR Team Penske Scott Pye Ford Falcon FG/X 78 01:21:12.6623

Championship Standings

1 Craig Lowndes 717
2 James Courtney 665
3 Mark Winterbottom 643
4 Fabian Coulthard 641
5 Jamie Whincup 630
6 Shane Van Gisbergen 595
7 Garth Tander 595
8 Chaz Mostert 545
9 David Reynolds 486
10 Rick Kelly 431
11 Jason Bright 429
12 Will Davison 399
13 Todd Kelly 394
14 Nick Percat 349
15 James Moffat 332
16 Dale Wood 331
17 Scott McLaughlin 318
18 Tim Slade 311
19 Lee Holdsworth 309
20 Tim Blanchard 298
21 Michael Caruso 288
22 Andre Heimgartner 272
23 David Wall 237
24 Ashley Walsh 194
25 Scott Pye 143
26 Marcos Ambrose 125

New Motorsport Complex for Brisbane/Gold Coast

One of South–East Queensland’s largest motorsport projects is underway. “Loves Speedway and motorsport complex”, is set to create history, being the first multipurpose motorsport park in Australia. Strategically located between Brisbane and the Gold Coast, Loves Speedway and motorsport complex is earmarked to host local, national and international events.

Our vision is to become the hub for automotive based activities including Speedway, 1/8 Mile Street legal drag racing, Burnout competitions, Go-kart and Drift Tracks, Car shows, Monster Trucks, Stunt Shows and Super Cross and Motorcross events. It will also cater to more than 40 competitive sports and provide a large exhibition area for outdoor shows and events.

With a ‘fans first’ approach to planning and design, the stadium will offer an unrivaled spectator experience. Once completed, the complex will feature corporate facilities, meeting rooms, club house, catering services, medical facilities’, state of the art L.E.D lighting, and large display screen.

The “Loves speedway and motorsport complex” project will be built at no cost to local rate payers or taxpayers alike. This facility will create local jobs, and generate millions of dollars in annual revenue for the city. The local community will also benefit from regular charity and non-profit organised events. These events have been encouraged by the local authorities, aimed at reducing community crime and driving related offenses.

The consortium behind this exciting new development is made up of the current management team from Archerfield Speedway, John and Kathy Kelly. John and Kathy are well recognised promoters and accomplished competitors. Local Businessmen, Scott Wilson and David Grose, will also join this duo to support and create this facility. Our goal is to provide a complete venue for competitors, their families, friends, and spectators looking for local entertainment. This project will ensure a bright future for motorsport in South East Queensland.

Search continues for Targa Tasmania oil spill saboteur

TASMANIA Police is search­ing for a Targa “terrorist” who poured oil on a stage in an act of sabotage condemned by officials and drivers.

Four-time Targa cham­pion Jason White slammed the “act of stupidity” as police launched an investigation into the incident at Mole Creek, about 2.6km into the opening stage of day four.

“It’s ridiculous. It’s not just sabotaging the event it’s making things extremely unsafe for everyone,” White said.

“It was not the fact we couldn’t run the stage, but that someone could do something so stupid.

“It hasn’t bothered us at all, but it’s going to be a danger to the general public for God knows how long.”

He said the oil would stain the corner on Caveside Rd, ­especially in the wet.

“Whenever it rains it’s going to leach out and be a nasty one, and it’s part of the tourist highway through that part of the world,” he said.

“They are going to have to put up a caution sign or something because I’d hate to see a tourist come round there and slip on it and have a crash.”

Targa’s sweep team has been told to be extra vigilant today as the event heads to Hobart from Strahan over another six stages, although the senseless sabotage is expected to be a one-off.

Police praised the sweep crew — the last car through each of the 39 stages before they are declared “live” for the competition — for making the discovery.

Inspector Scott Flude was dumbfounded by the oil ­dumping.

“Had this discovery not been made prior to the race commencing, the conse­quences could have been very serious,” Insp Flude said.

“Further, this could have ­affected anyone using the road.”

Targa officials were more concerned for the safety of the public than having to downgrade one of its stages.

“It’s not just for what is does to Targa but, far more importantly, it can endanger the lives of the general public,” said Targa Tasmania media manager Ian Chesterman.