After knocking on the door all season with a string of top five finishes but unable to make the climb to the top step of the podium, defending Qld Sprintcar Summer ShootOut Champion Todd Wanless broke through for his first Series win of 2000/2001...
After knocking on the door all season with a string of top five finishes but unable to make the climb to the top step of the podium, defending Qld Sprintcar Summer ShootOut Champion Todd Wanless broke through for his first Series win of 2000/2001 at Toowoomba's Charleton Raceway on March 24.
Wanless (ABC AutoGear Maxim), starting from position four, took the lead on lap two and was under pressure from Toowoomba local Andrew Scheuerle (Lucas Oils Maxim) throughout the event, with Scheuerle gaining the front spot momentarily on lap nine prior to a yellow light for Adam Mackenzie who had spun his Electrostatic Coatings Gambler. With Scheuerle having played his hand, Wanless was able to defend his position and open a small lead in lapped traffic, taking the chequered flag by half a dozen car lengths. "The car felt really good in hot laps but we weren't as good as we would have liked through the rest of the night" Wanless said following the presentation. "But we got a bit lucky with the yellow light which put us back in front of Andrew and hung on for the win we have been chasing". Bell's third place finish was much needed in his chase for the Series crown, bridging the gap once more to leaders Darrell Hodges and Darren Jensen. Bell (Speedflow Maxim), who had set fast time with a 12.25 second lap and finished second in the Dash, made the most of the early laps before settling in third place by mid-race distance. 3x3 ShootOut winner Cameron Gessner (Union Steel Viper) moved from position ten to fourth to claim the Hard Charger Award and was certainly on the move all night. Close racing between himself and Andrew Scheuerle, his cousin and both Toowoomba residents, in the early heats and 3x3 races gave the parochial crowd on hand plenty to cheer about. Joint Series leaders coming into Round 12, Darrell Hodges and Darren Jensen, both sustained damage in the heat races and battled on throughout the night to finish sixth and seventh respectively. Jensen rolled his Serco Maxim #75 in Heat one while Hodges (Valvoline Maxim) found the wall in Heat 2 after a steering component broke.
Round 13 of the Series is scheduled for Brisbane International Speedway on April 21, with the final event to be run on May 19, the rain-out date for Round 8 postponed from December 26.