COLLIE, W.A. (January 16) – Steve Francis has tonight continued his winning ways in Western Australia, this time winning the thirty lap feature event at QUIT Collie Speedway.
Francis however, didn’t have it all his own way, with Jamie Oldfield challenging him the entire distance, even leading twelve laps through the middle of the race. In the end though, Francis was simply too good and led the laps that mattered: the last four, crossing the line ahead of Jamie Oldfield, with Jeep Van Wormer in third, having lapped all but the top three cars.
Of course what would an Invasion Tour event be without a little bit of drama and we sure had it at the start of the A Main! As the field lined up for the four wide salute, Devin Moran, who was slated to start out of position three, appeared to make contact with another car, leaving him without a front left wheel and seeing him parked on the infield before the race began!
Francis assumed the lead at the drop of the green, with Jamie quickly settling into third, while Jeep Van Wormer moved into third place closely followed by Jason Oldfield. After just five laps, the leading group found themselves in heavy traffic and this is where the top three in particular began battling it out in incredibly close quarters.
With fourteen complete Francis was forced wide in the traffic and this gave Jamie the opportunity he needed, ducking through to grab the lead. By the halfway point the leading trio were still locked together, until Van Wormer went high in turn one and clobbered the wall, seeing him drop back from the leading two, who then began an epic battle.
The two lead competitors swapped the lead numerous times, with Francis only officially back in the lead with four to go. From here he went on to lap fourth and fifth placed Brad Blake and Jason Oldfield as he raced his way to victory in what was truly an incredible feature race.
All six heats held earlier in the night were also intensely hard fought, with no less than six different winners. The opener took three attempts to get underway; the first with Rob Galloway spinning and being collected by Brad Ludlow, Dean King and Paul Stubber. Although Stubber required some extensive repair work to his rear panels, the only one out from the incident was Ludlow with a flat tyre. The next start saw Dean King spin, with Bryn Haythornthwaite cannoning into him, followed by Galloway, Stubber and Jayden Meckenstock. The third start was much better and Jamie Oldfield set about building a big gap, which he maintained, even through a stoppage on lap nine, to defeat Matt Nylander and Clint Noakes.
The second heat was much simpler, with just one stoppage for a spun car, with Lee Watt taking the win over Jason Oldfield and Brad Blake. The third heat was possibly the heat race of the night, with cars using every inch of the track.
Feature Race – 1. Steve Francis, 2. Jamie Oldfield, 3. Jeep Van Wormer, 4. Brad Blake, 5. Jason Oldfield, 6. Lee Watt, 7. Marc Giancola, 8 Matt Goodlad, 9. Ryan Halliday, 10. Paul Stubber, 11. Jay Cardy, 12. Kye Blight, 13. Phil Zuidema, 14. Morgan Melvin, 15. Rob Galloway, 16. Clint Noakes, 17. Dean King. DNF: Jamie Moon, Matt Nylanders. DNS: Devin Moran.
Heat One – 1. Jamie Oldfield, 2. Matt Nylander, 3. Clint Noakes, 4. Paul Stubber, 5. Dean King, 6. Rob Galloway. DNF: Jamie Moon, Bryn Haythornthwaite, Brad Ludlow, Jayden Meckenstock.
Heat Two – 1. Lee Watt, 2. Jason Oldfield, 3. Brad Blake, 4. Marc Giancola, 5. Ryan Halliday, 6. Craig Vosbergen, 7. Kye Blight, 8. Tyson Bryden. DNF: Phil Zuidema.
Heat Three – 1. Devin Moran, 2. Steve Francis, 3. Jay Cardy, 4. Matt Goodlad, 5. Jeep Van Wormer, 6. Jai Mazzini, 7. Jeff Rogers, 8. Morgan Melvin. DNF: Jac Dolmans Jnr, George Lee.
Heat Four – 1. Paul Stubber, 2. Craig Vosbergen, 3. Marc Giancola, 4. Brad Ludlow, 5. Lee Watt, 6. Matt Nylander. DNF: Tyson Bryden. DNS: Phil Zuidema, Bryn Haythornthwaite, Clint Noakes.
Heat Five – 1. Steve Francis, 2. Ryan Halliday, 3. Devin Moran, 4. Jason Oldfield, 5. Kye Blight, 6. Brad Blake, 7. Jay Cardy, 8. Morgan Melvin, 9. Jeff Rogers. DNS: Nathan Disney.
Heat Six – 1. Jeep Van Wormer, 2. Jamie Oldfield, 3. Dean King, 4. Matt Goodlad, 5. Rob Galloway, 6. Jai Mazzini. DNF: Jayden Meckenstock. DNS: Jac Dolmans Jnr, Jamie Moon, George Lee.
A Dash – 1. Steve Francis, 2. Jamie Oldfield, 3. Devin Moran, 4. Jeep Van Wormer, 5. Jason Oldfield, 6. Lee Watt, 7. Marc Giancola. DNF Paul Stubber.
B Dash – 1. Ryan Halliday, 2. Matt Goodlad, 3. Brad Blake, 4. Matt Nylander, 5. Dean King, 6. Jay Cardy, 7. Kye Blight, 8. Rob Galloway.
B Main – 1. Jamie Moon, 2. Clint Noakes, 3. Morgan Melvin, 4. Phil Zuidema, 5. Bryn Haythornthwaite, 6. Jeff Rogers. DNF; Tyson Bryden, Jac Dolmans, Jayden Meckenstock. DNS: Craig Vosbergen, Jai Mazzini, Nathan Disney, George Lee, Brad Ludlow.
Invasion Tour Top Ten Points After Round #1 of #4
1. Steve Francis 119
2. Jamie Oldfield 113
3. Jeep Van Wormer 108
4. Jason Oldfield 103
5. Brad Blake 103
6. Lee Watt 102