AUS: Karlenza Racing Oval Express final race summary

7 January 2005 - After celebrating Christmas with the family, Crew Chief Lee Lansdown and I headed off to Avalon Raceway, Geelong, to compete in the final 4 rounds of the Oval Express Series. After running the first heat we realized that we...

7 January 2005 - After celebrating Christmas with the family, Crew Chief Lee Lansdown and I headed off to Avalon Raceway, Geelong, to compete in the final 4 rounds of the Oval Express Series.

After running the first heat we realized that we needed to change the front gearing. The car felt good on the high line but was terrible down on the pole line. With being a support class to World Series Sprintcars the time frame between heats is very short and unfortunately we were not quick enough in making the gear change causing us to miss the2nd heat race and the A-Main feature race.

With 37 entries doing battle to claim one of the 20 positions available, dropping a heat race in the Oval Express Series immediately cancels any chances of making the A-Main race.

The next morning we gathered our things and headed to Hamilton for the 5th round of the Oval Express Series, and with a 2.5 hour drive and 32 degrees it was going to be a long day!

After making a few changes after the practice session on Friday night (New Years Eve) I started 7th in the first heat and finished 4th. Starting 5th in the second heat I raced to 3rd after crossing the line right behind current Stampede Series Champion Warren Ponting. For the 3rd and final heat I started on pole and quickly raced into turn 1 narrowly holding out Warren Ponting and current series leader Ken Willsher. From then I held my lines and my nerves to take my first ever race win in a Formula 500. I have to admit, I have never raced so hard to get a win and those 8 laps seemed to last for ever especially when I knew that Warren and Ken were right behind me.

For the feature race, I was starting from 3rd position, something I was ecstatic about considering I had just beaten 34 top drivers from around Australia and before tonight I had only ever done 3 races in the car.

Unfortunately on lap 17 the high soon became a low after making contacting with a spinning Jeff Heddington on the back straight destroying the left rear rim and ending any chance of finishing the final.

New Year's Day we were at Sungold Stadium in Warrnambool "Home of Premier Speedway" for a two day event. Starting 6th in the first heat I struggled with the setup dropping back to 9th at the checkered flag.

From there the bad luck started after I dropped out of the 2nd heat with a broken chain and ended any chances of making the A-Main race.

Sunday the 2nd and we were still not having any luck after dropping a chain for the 2nd time in a row. In a frantic rush to repair the car I decided to call it a day rather than risk damaging the car knowing that we were not going to make the A-Main feature race.

The Oval Express Series has been a fantastic adventure where I have learnt so much and meet some fantastic people.

I would also like to pay a special thanks to Danny Hogan, Viv, Warwick Hunter and Kurt Burrows who genuinely offered their advice and support whenever we asked and were a fantastic bunch of guys to pit next to.

-www.karlenzaracing.com

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