ELIASON WINS ON MOTORPLEX DEBUT
California’s Corey Eliason has claimed his first QSS World Series Sprintcars main event win on his debut at the Perth Motorplex.
Still struggling with jetlag after flying in a day earlier, the 27-year-old from Kingsburg had barely taken a glance at the venue before claiming Revolution Racegear QuickTime , and set about on a campaign to play “the spoiler” in the championship battle between Kerry Madsen and James McFadden who qualified third and seventh respectively.
Eliason struggled during the heat races in the Diamond Bay Motorsport #26, however Madsen and McFadden both gained multiple positions to be the highest point scorers prior to the shootout.
Tasmanian teenager Jock Goodyer had different plans however and drew on the experience from two weeks earlier where he won on his debut at the Motorplex to advance from the bronze shootout right through to claim pole position from the gold shootout, starting alongside McFadden who was able to hold his front row position while Madsen was relegated to position four.
McFadden claimed the lead instantly in the main event and looked in control before Glen Sutherland exited the race from an incident in turn three.
On the restart, McFadden hosted a three-way battle for the lead as Eliason leapfrogged Madsen to take over 2nd and polesitter Goodyer quickly fell back as far as 9th in the first five laps, slipping back into the clutches of Brooke Tatnell who’d started out of 9th.
The battle between Tatnell and Goodyer ended abruptly however when the two came into contact on lap eleven, sending Tatnell into the turn three fence and out of the event.
Despite the abundance of passing throughout the field, the track began to take rubber and it soon became evident that tyre conservation would become a major factor in the outcome.
Meanwhile, Eliason kept within striking distance of McFadden and while the series leader battled traffic, the Californian pounced on lap twenty-two to claim the lead as Madsen wrestled with Dave Murcott who’d climbed from 9th to 4th.
Numerous cars retired early for various reasons over the next eight laps, however a twist in the script was introduced with just five laps remaining as Ryan Lancaster brought on the caution lights and the stewards had tallied that the field had completed over seventy combined laps under racing and caution, leading to a decision to halt the race for a fuel-only pitstop.
While teams scurried to pour minimal fuel into the cars to get them home, the stoppage also revealed the state of the field’s tyres, with many showing wear down to the canvas, and sending teams into overdrive to find a strategy to complete the race.
As predicted, on the restart Eliason spread-eagled the field and was unstoppable with McFadden and Madsen unable to reach him, however a series of blown tyres ended the race for notables such as Murcott, Jason Kendrick and Jock Goodyer before Eliason claimed the chequers to finally add a World Series win to his seven previous podiums.
“We got kind of fortunate that the lapped car held James up and I was close enough to take advantage of it, but I’ve finally got the World Series win that’s been eluding me for three years now,” the elated Eliason said in victory lane.
“What I think helped me was that at the initial start, I found the middle in three and four first before everyone else did and then we had that fuel stop which I wasn’t too impressed about but it kind of worked out. I was just thinking that my tyres were going flat and there’s no way, but at first I thought it was thirty laps and then I realised it was thirty five so I was just praying we’d have the tyres to make it.”
McFadden’s runner up finish over Madsen in third gives him a 42-point buffer going into tonight’s series Grand Final, with a total of 366 points on offer for a clean sweep of the event.
Photo courtesy of Richard Hathaway Photography
SERIES TOP TEN STANDINGS
1 W17 James McFadden 3554
2 W2 Kerry Madsen 3512
3 V55 Brooke Tatnell 2867
4 T22 Jock Goodyer 2828
5 W5 Lucas Wolfe 2812
6 W60 Brock Hallett 2619
7 V88 Dave Murcott 2596
8 V40 Rusty Hickman 2566
9 W14 Jason Pryde 1998
10 W26 Cory Eliason 1889