First race of 2013 and it's on the short track. This was the first qualifying with the combined fields of IPRAWA and street cars.
Results for IPRAWA were good, with five of the top ten times being posted by our guys.
Tim Riley lost his crank angle sensor on lap 3 of qualifying and was out for the better part of 3 hours trying to fix the issue.
Kevin Ledger led the way with fastest qualifying in O2L with a time of 54.454 from John Callegari, while Gavin Reynolds posted an excellent time of 54.829 to lead the U2L from Shane Seward.
In the new U1600 class, newcomer Kris Barton qualified fastest with a 62.28 from Geoff Duckworth in his "new" U1600 car.
Two IPRAWA short track records were broken in this race, with Kevin Ledger setting a new record of 54.36 seconds in the O2L class in his Race Torque Engineering Subaru Impreza WRX, but his superb effort was outdone by Gavin Reynolds in the Western Concrete Honda Civic with a new record for U2L of 54.31.
John Callegari got away to a flying start from 9th, to be 6th at Turn 1...then it all ended with a failed ECU cutting in and out for a first and only lap of 3:38.53, before finally dying completely...a new track record.
Kevin Ledger was having a very good tussle up the front with street cars before finally nailing the front runner on the final turn to get the chequered flag..He was outright winner and 1st O2L from a very consistent Wayne Chrystal.
Gavin Reynolds was flying and took out the U2L flag from Shane Seward. In the new U1600 class, the wiley Geoff Duckworth took the flag from newcomer Kris Barton by five seconds.
Reverse grid, with integrated classes...nuh! bit of controversy happened next.
IPRAWA cars presented to the dummy grid in the full expectation of a reverse grid, as per normal, based on finishing positions race 1, as per normal.
It wasn't to be. Others, in their wisdom had decided, without consultation, that the two classes would be split, and each have their own "reverse grid."
To make it worse, the nationally recognized class, IPRA, was also relegated to the rear of the grid so the likes of Ledger and Reynolds in particular, apart from having to work their way through two sets of slower cars, stood the front runners of the other class a good sixty metres...hard to make up in 8 laps of the short track...but they tried.
Ledger chased down the leader and failed by 3.5 seconds to get his 2nd flag, while Reynolds finished a creditable 6th overall.
Ledger took out the O2L points again from Chrystal, while Reynolds took out U2L, from Jamie McKinnell in his flash red Westair Air Compressors
Honda. Duckworth again got the points in U1600 from Tim Riley, who made it back albeit by a mere 19/100th of a second.
Shane Seward, who had been chasing Reynolds hard, suffered an intermediate shaft failure after five laps and couldn't continue and was accredited with the much hated DNF.
Some semblance of order returned for Race 3 and the proof of the pudding was in the eating.
Ledger cleared away for his second outright flag and his third O2L first for the day. Wayne Chrystal again finished second for three seconds and very handy points leading into the season.
Reynolds, 4th outright, cleaned up again in the U2L class from Jamie McKinnell, who also had a good night.
Tim Riley bolted in the U1600 from Duckworth by over a lap, to finish the night on a high note for him.
A safe meeting, well driven by our guys, no injuries....... the way it should be.