Rhys Heinrich won his third Steve Butcher Memorial event for street stocks in a row when the Sunline track at Waikerie held its final meeting for the season on Sunday. Perfect conditions saw some great racing in front of a big crowd.
Two heat wins and a second placing made Heinrich still appear the man to beat but Phil Watson loomed as the main threat when he rebounded from a fifth placing to win the next two heats and earn a spot on the front row alongside the defending champion. Yellow flags early indicated a lot of nerves amongst drivers in the feature but as racing settled down four drivers, Heinrich, Watson, Sam Brumfield and Paul Hayes pulled their way clear to really put on a show. Racing hard but fairly no more than a car`s length separated the individual vehicles and after Brumfield lost ground by going wide on turn three and four it all came down to the last lap for Heinrich as he ran into lapped traffic with Watson right on his rear bumper. Thankfully the lapped car of Keith Moore moved clear so as to not effect the result and Heinrich crossed the line by half a car length fom Watson with Hayes third and Brumfield fourth.
The presentation of the inaugural Robert Gwynne Memorial Perpetual Trophy for the Sunline Junior championship was an emotional occasion with the event proceeded by a four car wide salute led by Lachie and Josh Gwynne.
When racing got underway the Thorne brothers Nathan and Heath put on a dominant display by each winning two heats to enter the feature tied on points. The rivalry continued in the feature and it was a race in two but although Heath pushed hard Nathan triumphed in the end. Back in the field it was not without its excitement too. Debutant driver Makayla Maxwell drove splendidly to be third over the line only to be relegated to ninth position on a restart infringement. Dani Stumann was elevated to third in her final drive in the class before moving to AMCA`s next season.
A dominant performance all season by Nathan Thorne with four championship feature wins as well as a sixth place in the State title made him the deserved winner of the inaugural Robert Gwynne Trophy. Heath Thorne was second in the points score followed by Josh McEwin, Bradley Sheridan and Dylan Richter while a special mention should be made of the highest placed female in Kayla Tumes of Broken Hill who finished eighth.
In an action packed program nine drivers competed in the second round of the AMCA’s Spectacular. Wayne Vickers and Mick Brougham won the heats but Vickers good form came to an abrupt halt when a collision with Frank Theirry on lap one of the feature ended his race. Brougham went on to an easy win upon the restart and set a new 15 lap record in the process but there was further drama behind him before Theirry finished second followed by Brian Chadwick and John Drapala.
In the Sunline Championship for Modified Sedans six drivers contested with Wade McCarthy putting on a dominant display in the feature to win from Marty Raams by half a lap with Alan Tremaine third and in the return of Wingless Sprints to the track six cars started but the number to finish was down to four with Greg Cunningham never troubled to take out the final ahead of Bradley Kirtland.
In a small field of three Super Sedans Steve Schwarz was an easy winner.
On Radio 5RM`s ‘Sports Saturday’ last weekend Sunline promoter Rob Stevens commented on another successful season for the complex as the upgraded facility attracts good enries for its meetings and is supported strongly be club sponsors, officials, volunteers and the motor sport public.