ROGERS ROLLS IN THE NEW YEAR AT CHARLTON 31/12/07
Well what a night! Numbers were down but Dwarfcars tried there best to put on a show for the crowd at Charlton New Years Eve. Have to say that the new promoters "National Speedway Promotions", Allan Woods, Doug Cavell, the rest of there team and all volunteers did a fantastic job to make the night happen.
Rain earlier in the afternoon and unsettled weather all night threatened to end the 2007 racing year prematurely. Due to this Dwarfcars first heat was cancelled as the programmed start time came and went. However the rain held off and the Promoters worked on the track and the officials organised the drivers and there crews.
Heat two grid draw was drawn at the track by drivers as not all nominated cars were able to make it to the track. starting off the front row was #44-Peter Rogers and #69-Anthony Vervaart. Second row #93-Jamie Cowling and #95-Ian Jones(lightening McJones). #11-Max Wright and #24-Anthony Chaffey filled third row. Fourth row saw team mates, #33-Mark Arthur's and #99-Merv Tennant from the Merv Tennant Racing Team (MRT) three rows back from MTR's third team member #69. The last row consisted of two new drivers in there first race in a dwarf car, #C1-Nicholas O'Keefe and #59-Russel Harwood. Nicholas is the first junior(16yr.old) to join the division and race a dwarcar and this was the first meeting since Russell bought his car.
Some clean controlled racing by all on a track that was very grease and wet. Vervaart, Chaffey, Rogers and Cowling were handling the conditions the best with some aggressive DRIVING. Vervaart got the whole shot over Rogers off the start and on the second lap Chaffey drove around Rogers for second. Harwood was having mechanical trouble and had a DNF on Lap 4. Fifth lap saw Tennant also having a DNF, bring the yellows on due to mechanical trouble in apex of turn three and four. single row restart saw Vervaart, Chaffey and Rogers, Cowling continue to lead the way. With two laps to go Wright's oil light came on making him pull in field for a DNF. Heat two was won by Vervaart with Chaffey right on his bumper. A couple of car lengths back was Rogers then Jones who was monstered by Arthur's with O'Keefe having a fantastic first drive keeping touch close behind.
Heat three saw Rogers and Cowling off first row. Second row was Arthur's and Chaffey. Jones and Vervaart off three and Tennant started off the fourth along side O'Keefe. With Harwood alone on the last row as Wright couldn't make it after heat two. Harwood retired infield on warm up lap. when the lights went green there was a mad dash for turn one with Rogers, Cowling and Chaffey getting plenty of traction as the track had dried out considerably from last dwarfcar heat, getting a jump on Arthur's, Jones, Vervaart, Tennant and O'Keefe. Cowling got the whole shot with Rogers and Chaffey fighting side by side for second, with all cars carrying a lot more speed. Until on lap two down the end of the back straight, Rogers had Chaffey come down to far entering turn three causing both cars to rub tyres. Shooting Rogers sideways onto the infield still carrying plenty of speed and out of shape the car clipped the berm/lip on the infield. Launching his car into the air and rolling 3-4 times, coming to rest on the roof as red light came on and Rogers hanging upside down in his harness. The officials were there in a split second putting the car back on its wheels and extracted Rogers out of the car, giving the crowd a big wave once back on his feet again. Chaffey also sustained damage and was towed in field leaving Cowling, Vervaart, Arthur's, Jones, O'Keefe and Tennant left for restart... (the whole accident from start to finish was professionally captured on video by Shane, the owner of HyPerformance Videos based in Toowoomba and copies of the whole nights racing is available for purchase)... Cowling took control out front after restart with the only position change was by O'Keefe passing Tennant with three laps to go. Then on the last lap Tennant pulled in field recording his second DNF, leaving Cowling to comfortably take the win with Vervaart, Arthur's, Jones and ex.junior O'Keefe right on there hammer. The official time for the last seven laps after restart was 1minute 26:49seconds given an average of 12:35 seconds per lap.
The feature was reduced back to eight laps from twelve as reports suggested rain was coming and the National Super Sedan Series A Main was yet to run. Vervaart started from pole and Cowling outside him. Arthur's and Jones row three, Chaffey and Tennant next row with O'Keefe off the rear. DNS were Rogers, Wright and Harwood leaving them to watch from the hill. Cowling got the jump on the start and controlled the race from start to finish leaving Vervaart, Chaffey and Arthur's to battle it out for minor placing. The three of them put on some very close hard racing neither of them able to find a way around each other and it wasn't from a lack of trying. Lap six saw Tennant retire in field for another DNF. Cowling took the win with Vervaart second Chaffey third Arthur's fourth and Jones just holding out O'Keefe for fifth. Have to commend Nicholas O'Keefe on the way he drove tonight being his first drive, handling the track conditions in a new class and car he had never driven before and unless you have driven a dwarfcar it is very hard to understand how twitchy these things are, but to his credit he did a fantastic job. Max Wright believes he has worked out the mechanical gremlin and will be right for Archerfield. Merv Tennant is determined to work out the setup on car 99. Peter Rogers wished he had brought a couple more spares on the night, believing he could have got his car back out for the feature. Peter will make it to Archerfield but only after few repairs and then going through an independent QSCAinc. machinery. Russel Harwood is confident on sorting out his new car by the 26-27th Jan for the two night meet at Maryborough.
Again also to NSP Allan Woods, Doug Cavell the rest of there team. All the officials, stewards, lap scorers, marshals and volunteers top effort and thanks for the night. Hope you have better luck for the rest of the season with the weather and get a bit of reward for the time and effort your putting in to give us some where to race have fun and hopefully to put on a show.