Williamson claims opening blow

CALLUM Williamson fired an ominous first shot in the Maddington Toyota Sprintcar Series when he claimed the season-opener in dramatic fashion at the Perth Motorplex on Saturday night.

Williamson had traded blows with Shaun Bradford for much of the 30-lap feature race and with only a couple of laps remaining he was trailing before his run on the low line paid off, taking the win by 0.288 of a second over Bradford, with Queenslander Lachlan McHugh 3.460 seconds back in third.

It was Williamson’s first major sprintcar win and a clear sign he will be a major championship contender this year after starting from P6 in the main event.

The first round of the season was part of the Shannon’s Powerpalooza in a condensed format that also featured drag racing and burnouts.

Each team only had one heat before going into the feature race.

Jason Pryde and Bradford started on the front row, ahead of McHugh and Jamie Oldfield, with Taylor Milling starting inside Williamson on the third row.

The race was off to a cracking start before Oldfield and Pryde came together on the back straight, ending Oldfield’s night that showed so much promise.

The pilot of the #51 was blistering in his heat race, circulating in the very fast 13.105 seconds and shaving five seconds off the eight-lap track record.

Pryde resumed the battle at the front but he was soon under pressure as Williamson, Bradford and McHugh all made their way by and Williamson held down the lead for a handful of laps before Bradford took the lead on lap 10.

Williamson responded a couple of laps later to resume the lead but again Bradford was up for the challenge and by the time 20 laps were in the book he was back in front and looked fast in traffic.

Williamson was equal to the challenge and fired the telling blow on the last lap.

McHugh dropped to as low as fifth early on but by lap 10 he was in third, and while he was unable to mount a challenge on the leaders, it was a position he held until race end.

This was a good start for the McHugh arrangement with the J&S Drilling team as they prepare for World Series Sprintcar duties later in the season.

He won’t be at the next show but expects to contest a few more shows in WA over the coming month.
Defending series champion Jason Kendrick, who started from P8, got up to sixth early on and eventually clawed his up to take fourth, crossing the line ahead of Pryde.

Mitch Wormall, who started P13 finished sixth, ahead of Milling (who was the other heat race winner), Kris Coyle, Ben Ellement, Ben Van Ryt, Todd Davis, Adrian Haywood, Robert Watson junior, Matthew Cross and Tom Callaghan.

Trevor Jolly and Daniel Harding were the only other DNFs, while Darren Mewett, who took third in an earlier heat race, was a DNS.

Round two of the Maddington Toyota Series will be held at the Perth Motorplex next Saturday night, being the Bonza Bradford race.


HEAT 1: Taylor Milling, 2nd Shaun Bradford, 3rd Darren Mewett, 4th Ben Ellement, 5th Lachlan McHugh, 6th Jason Kendrick, 7th Todd Davis, 8th Robert Watson jnr, 9th Trevor Jolly, DNF: Matthew Cross.

HEAT 2: 1st Jamie Oldfield, 2nd Callum Williamson, 3rd Tom Callaghan, 4th Jason Pryde, 5th Ben Van Ryt, 6th Daniel Harding 7th Kris Coyle, 8th Mitchell Wormall. DNS: Adrian Haywood.

FEATURE: 1st Callum Williamson, 2nd Shaun Bradford, 3rd Lachlan McHugh, 4th Jason Kendrick, 5th Jason Pryde, 6th Mitchell Wormall, 7th Taylor Milling, 8th Kris Coyle, 9th Ben Ellement, 10th Ben Van Ryt, 11th Todd Davis, 12th Adrian Haywood, 13th Robert Watson jnr, 14th Matthew Cross, 15th Tom Callaghan, DNF: Trevor Jolly, Daniel Harding and Jamie Oldfield, DNS: Darren Mewett.
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