Justin Paul – NSW Compact Speedcar Champion. Photo: by Gary Reid
By Dennis Newlyn
Justin Paul was an impressive winner of the NSW Compact Speedcar Championship, while National Sprintcar Champion Jamie Veal showed he’s a major contender for the NSW Sprintcar title with an all the way victory in the 20-lap preliminary feature race at Eastern Creek Speedway, Saturday night April 23.
Meanwhile, Jordan Binksin did a fine job with his victory in the Lightning Sprints main event.
Paul set the scene earlier in the night with an indication of what was to come in the historic state title for the Compacts when he raced to a strong win in heat three.
Right from the outset of the NSW Championship decider he set a cracking pace in the opening laps and remained at the head of the field throughout the 20-lap journey. This particular NSW Championship has a strong heritage that traces back over the decades and Paul was most definitely a very worthy winner.
The battle for the minor positions held the interest and Kyle Sharpe, who took the opening heat, was right there in the fight before his car slowed in the latter stages and dropped out of a potential top three finish.
At the chequered flag, Paul was followed across the finish line by Ben Fairfax and Warren Lawler was third.
The preliminary Sprintcar feature race did not complete one lap before a stoppage after Matt Dumesny took a wild ride in turns three and four.
Matt walked away unscathed from the big crash and when the race resumed, it was the two front row starters, Veal and Robbie Farr, who engaged in their own personal match race.
With a clear track, the pair went hard at it as Veal held a slight margin before he opened a gap on Farr.
When lapped traffic came into play, Farr took advantage of the situation and closed in on Veal in an absorbing contest.
At one point he was right on Veal’s tail and took a shot down the inside entering the back straight. The two gave each racing room and this was clearly the highlight of the race.
Aaron Kelly crashed in the main straight with ten laps completed. He was unscathed, though the car took a pounding in the accident.
While the battle raged between Veal and Farr, Daniel Pestka also was there, followed by Brock Hallett, Grant Anderson, Troy Little and Ben Atkinson.
Farr was thrown off line between turns three and four toward the end of the race and drifted to the top of the track. That’s all Pestka needed to clinch a second placing as Farr finished third.
Veal put down the fastest lap of the race with a 11.315 second lap, while earlier in the night he established a new one lap record in qualifying time trials with a blistering 11.259 second lap for a speed of 147.082 km/h!
Lachlan Caunt earlier looked destined to be the holder of the one lap mark, but almost straight away his time of 11.562 seconds was lowed to 11.385 seconds by Ian Madsen before Veal embarked on his new record setting run in flight two.
Darren Saillard crashed heavily in heat two entering turn one, while Brett Hobson also finished upside down in heat seven.
Binskin showed everyone the fastest way around the super-quick Eastern Creek venue when he took out the Lightning Sprint main event.
Binskin had dominated the field throughout, while Sean Barnett and AJ McTaggart were also on the pace and kept up in pursuit of Binskin. It was an entertaining main event for the Lightning Sprints as the top three turned on a spectacular high-speed show. Binskin and Barnett were earlier heat winners on their way to the top three feature race result.
The stage is set tonight for the 63rd running of the New South Wales Sprintcar Championship and also one of the oldest Midget events in the world – the NSW title – which marks its 79th running this evening.
These races carry so much history and heritage and the Roll of Honour for both titles is very impressive. With the likes of Bill Warner, Steve and Garry Brazier, Max and Matt Dumesny, George and Brooke Tatnell, Garry Rush, Americans Billy Anderson and Danny Smith, Ian and Kerry Madsen, Bob Blacklaw, Adam Clarke, Skip Jackson and Troy Little as previous winners the NSW Sprintcar title takes a very special place in history after it commenced as a Hot Rod race in 1962 at Windsor Speedway won by Arthur Murray.
Likewise, the NSW Midget Championship has so much history and heritage.
First held in 1937, its winners’ list reads like a who’s who of Midget racing. The late great Sir Jack Brabham (AO & OBE) won in 1948 at the Sydney Showground (venue for so many of the titles).
The prestigious event also has been taken out by Ray Revell, Frank Brewer (NZ-USA), Johnny Harvey, Len Brock, Johnny Peers, Andy McGavin, Werner Greve (Germany), Peter Cunneen, Bryan Meyers, Johnny Stewart, Lew Marshall, Hank Butcher (USA, Barry Pinchbeck, Danny Davidson (QLD), Aaron Benny, Garry Dillon (SA), Michael Meyer, Terry King, Bob Woods, Lealand McSpadden (USA), Cory Kruseman (USA), Adam Clarke, Darren Jenkins, Steven Graham, Robbie Farr, Nathan Smee among the multitude of super stars who have won this race.
Michael Stewart is the 2021 champion who will face-off against four previous title winners – Troy Jenkins (2010), Matt Smith (2012), Matt Jackson (2014) and Nathan Smee (2008-2016).
Dennis Newlyn’s Speedway Classics magazine is a sponsor of the event, providing a $2,000 bonus for the winner.
The race victor also receives the Neville Donnelly Shield. Donnelly is a long time and dedicated member of the NSW Association.