Cham­pi­ons race to Avalon opener

Herald Sun - Motoring - - What’s On -

CUR­RENT Aus­tralian sprint­car cham­pion James McFad­den heads the list of nom­i­na­tions to con­test the open­ing round of the Sprint­car Se­ries at Avalon Race­way to­mor­row night.

A field of 47 nom­i­na­tions has been re­ceived for the event that also dou­bles as the first round of the Sprint­car premier­ship, with a new car the ma­jor prize for the sea­son-long points bat­tle.

At 21, McFad­den be­came the youngest driver to win the na­tional ti­tle when he de­feated a stel­lar field in May at Dar­win’s North­line Speedway.

McFad­den led home Vic­to­rian Stephen Bell, who is also among the en­tries for to­mor­row night at Avalon.

Four-time and de­fend­ing Eureka Se­ries cham­pion John Vo­gels leads the Vic­to­rian con­tenders as he shoots for a fifth se­ries ti­tle.

Vo­gels cap­tured last sea­son’s Eureka Se­ries cham­pi­onship by virtue of a con­sis­tent year, de­feat­ing Mike Van Bre­men and Jamie Veal.

Van Bre­men broke through for a pair of fea­ture wins at Avalon Race­way last sum­mer and will look to con­tinue his re­cent good form at the venue.

Jamie Veal was awarded the most im­proved driver last sum­mer in Vic­to­ria af­ter an ex­cel­lent year that net­ted the Vic­to­rian Sprint­car ag­gre­gate for the best per­formed driver at ev­ery Sprint­car event last sea­son.

Veal will look to be­gin the new sea­son strongly fol­low­ing a re­cent trip to Amer­ica that saw him com­pete in meet­ings against the best driv­ers in the world.

NSW stand­out Jeremy Cross will make the trip south to Avalon from Dubbo and fol­low­ing an ex­cel­lent per­for­mance at the Easter Trail will be keen for fur­ther im­prove­ment.

Syd­ney’s Matt Young will also com­pete hav­ing raced at the venue pre­vi­ously in a speed­car, how­ever, this week­end he will be at the wheel of the im­mac­u­late Rocket In­dus­tries #6.

‘‘It’s look­ing like an ex­cit­ing start to the year with so many cars nom­i­nat­ing for the first round of both the Essendon Ford Sprint­car Premier­ship and the Eureka Se­ries,’’ Avalon Race­ways’ Jeff Drew says.

‘‘It’s such a great field with Grant An­der­son also among the starters as well as Dar­ren Mol­lenoyux, who is al­ways quick. Nick Lacey will keep get­ting bet­ter and Do­main Ramsay is also fresh from rac­ing in the US.’’

Sev­eral South Aus­tralians are also among the en­tries, en­sur­ing a solid in­ter­state feel to the event.

Mod­i­fied pro­duc­tion sedans will sup­port the pop­u­lar sprint­cars.

Fast and fu­ri­ous: de­fend­ing Eureka Sprint­car Se­ries champ John Vo­gels will be­gin his se­ries de­fence to­mor­row night. Pic­ture: Corey Gib­son

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