Steven Ellement has tonight written his name into the history books once again as he claimed his fourth West Australian Formula 500 Title, etching his way into a club that only three other men are in as four or more time winners of the event.
The win also means that not only did he become the first back to back winner since his first two Title victories in seasons 08/09 and 09/10, but also that he becomes the second most successful driver in the event behind the legendary Johnny Andersson, whom he honoured last night with a salute to JA feature win.
Ellement has now got four wins in the event, along with four second places and one third place, even more remarkably that all nine of these podiums have happened in a twelve year period.
Indeed, Ellement put on a strong showing across the whole weekend, coming into the final night as the points leader, then finishing second in his only heat tonight to set up a pole position start in the feature alongside former WA champion Glenn Carstairs.
Ellement looked to make the most of it, but the first two attempts didn’t go well; the first being deemed a jump start while the second saw a number of the front runners come together and come to a stop in the opening turn; lucky for all to be able to continue.
The third attempt saw Ellement head the field as the race went green with Ryan Higgs settling into second after ducking below Carstairs down the back straight, while Brendon Marshman and Chris Dymock would trade places a number of times in the opening laps before Dymock moved into fourth.
As the laps wound down Ellement would maintain his lead and indeed build up a big gap, but behind him Carstairs was throwing everything at Higgs as he looked for a way through,with the yellows coming on for the first time since the race officially got underway when Sam Haythornthwaite spun in turn three and four. Unfortunately, stoppages breed stoppages, and this first one would set off a chain reaction of a number of incidents.
The race would resume and Ellement would hold his lead, with Higgs and Carstairs touching while George Eaton made a move on Dymock for fourth shortly after, Eaton spinning and bringing on the yellows once again.
Again the yellows would come on again as the race resumed, with Higgs and Carstairs then making contact and Carstairs spinning, resulting in him being relegated on the restart.
Carstairs made quick work of Marshman to retake fourth place as the race got underway once again, then shortly after Marshman would come to a stop in turn one after a couple of cars came together, bringing on the yellows once again with four laps to go.
Try as they might, the final few laps saw the order remain unchanged and as the chequered flag flew it was Ellement who defeated Higgs and Dymock, with Eaton and Carstairs rounding out the top five. Unfortunately Eaton was disqualified in the post-race checks, seeing Carstairs elevated to fourth and Marshman filling the fifth spot.
Excitingly, it wasn’t just Ellement who created history, with Ryan Higgs and Chris Dymock each grabbing their first podium finishes in the WA Title after years of trying. Ryan becomes the fourth man with the surname Higgs to have finished in the top three in the events sixty three year history, while Dymock has achieved something his father was never able to do with his own podium in the event.
Congratulations to all competitors, teams and officials who travelled up to Geraldton to be part of the Title event, thankyou to Geraldton Speedway and the whole team who helped make the event happen and congratulations again to our winner!
Just four shows remain for this season, with the final show at the Perth Motorplex next up on the schedule on Saturday the 14th of March, while the Fuel Distributors of WA West Coast Series will coming to a close with rounds to be held at Manjimup Speedway on the 21st of March, the 4th of April at Kalgoorlie Speedway and then the finale at Pithara Speedway on Saturday the 25th of April.
Release by DTN Media.
Pics Courtesy Midwest Speedway Photography, Geraldton.
Heat Five, 8 laps: 1.3 Chris Dymock, 2. 7 Ryan Higgs, 3. 117 George Eaton, 4. 17 Todd Broadwood, 5. 45 Sam Haythornthwaite, 6. 101 Damien Della. DNS: 5 Cody Turacchio. Total Time: 1.58.188. Winning Margin: 1.460. Fastest Lap: 14.182 3 Chris Dymock.
Heat Six, 8 laps: 1.49 Glenn Carstairs, 2. WA1 Steven Ellement, 3. 36 Brendon Marshman, 4. 71 David Carstairs, 5. 76 Tyler Carter. DNS: 14 Matthew Edwards-Pope, 24 Mark House. Total Time: 1.57.220. Winning Margin: 1.299. Fastest Lap: 14.129 49 Glenn Carstairs.
WA Title Feature, 30 laps: 1.WA1 Steven Ellement, 2. 7 Ryan Higgs, 3. 3 Chris Dymock, 4. 49 Glenn Carstairs, 5. 36 Brendon Marshman, 6. 17 Todd Broadwood (29), 7. 71 David Carstairs (29), 8. 101 Damien Della (28), 9. 76 Tyler Carter (25). DNF: 45 Sam Haythornthwaite (7). DQ: 117 George Eaton. DNS: 5 Cody Turacchio, 14 Matthew Edwards-Pope, 24 Mark House. Total Time: No Time. Winning Margin: 1.391. Fastest Lap: 14.136 WA1 Steven Ellement.
3 Chris Dymock 101 Damien Della
45 Sam Haythornthwaite 7 Ryan Higgs
17 Todd Broadwood 5 Cody Turacchio
117 George Eaton
76 Tyler Carter 36 Brendon Marshman
71 David Carstairs WA1 Steven Ellement
49 Glenn Carstairs 14 Mathew Edwards-Pope
24 Mark House
WA1 Steven Ellement 49 Glenn Carstairs
7 Ryan Higgs 3 Chris Dymock
36 Brendon Marshman 17 Todd Broadwood
71 David Carstairs 117 George Eaton
45 Sam Haythornthwaite 76 Tyler Carter
101 Damien DellaPics Courtesy Midwest Speedway Photography, Geraldton.Pics Courtesy Midwest Speedway Photography, Geraldton.Pics Courtesy Midwest Speedway Photography, Geraldton.