CALDER PARK, Australia – Les Heintz put his name on the Rowe Memorial Super Stock trophy once again with victory on Sunday in round six of the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series at Calder Park Raceway.
Joining him in the winners circle were Craig Geddes (Competition), Adam Murrihy (Supercharged Outlaws), Jason Stares (Top Sportsman), Matt Forbes (Modified and Super Gas), Joe Bresciano (Super Sedan), Matt Allan (Modified Bike), Garth O’Hehir (Super Street) and Eden Ward (Summit Racing Equipment Junior Dragster).
Previous Rowe Memorial winner Heintz qualified fourth in the seven-car Super Stock field then defeated Ray Oxley and Daniel Camilleri for a birth in the final.
There he defeated Mick Simic who fell asleep at the tree with a .410 reaction time as Heintz claimed victory with an 8.577 second pass on an 8.66 index to a 9.218 on a 9.39 index.
“To win it for Andrew (Rowe), keep it in Victoria and bring it back to Calder Park where Andrew was just a great competitor, it was just fantastic,” said Heintz.
“Knowing him personally I know he would have been very happy. I’m very luck to have won (the Rowe Memorial) more than once.
“We haven’t raced the car for six to eight months and I was a little bit rusty – it took a little bit to get used to again. With the new surface at Calder and getting the car to adjust to it, we worked reasonably hard on it.
“I’ve got great crew people, great crew chief and some very special people that give us a hand.”
In Competition Eliminator, Craig Geddes kept up his recent run of form reaching his fourth final in as many events contested this season picking up a third ANDRA Christmas Tree in the process.
Geddes had already taken the Trick Flow Top Qualifier then dispatched Mike Nola in round one followed by an engine saving bye in the semi final.
Against Shane Baxter in the finale, Geddes had the reaction advantage and never looked back covering the 1000 feet distance for the bracket at this event in 6.243 seconds on a 6.39 index from a 5.655 on a 5.86 index.
“It feels terrific, we’re really enjoying our racing and we’re passionate about ANDRA Drag Racing and the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series,” said Geddes.
“We’ve got a good car, a good combination and an index that is probably helping us at the moment. We’re just nibbling away at that – we can set the record and continue to do that as we’re working over the eighth-mile, 1000 feet and quarter mile tracks so there is plenty of scope there for all the records.
“We can put down some good runs when we need to, we’re still learning the car and the five speed is an interesting thing but that car being so light, and it doesn’t have a lot of power, so if you mess up it’s still fast.”
Six weeks ago in Portland Matt Forbes became the first Sportsman racer to win two ANDRA Christmas Trees in one event. He can now lay claim to being the first driver to achieve the feat twice and in the same season with another Modified/Super Gas double.
Forbes first defeated Darryl Stephen on a holeshot in the Super Gas final with a near perfect .002 reaction time to lead all the way in the 9.90 fixed index class on a 10.279 second effort to a quicker but losing 10.267.
He then set on an Olympic sized dash back to the staging lanes to pilot his Modified dragster on a drive around victory over Kenny Stewart with a 7.579 elapsed time on a 7.32 dial in to Stewart’s 7.847 second ET and 7.49 dial in.
To reach both finals Forbes defeated Super Gas number one qualifier Anthony Panetta in round one and defending National Champion Graeme Spencer in the semi final. In Modified the history making all rounder defeated 2014 Champion Shane Wynd for a solo in round two before sending Neil Dyson packing in the semi final.
At the beginning of the month Jason Stares claimed his first ever ANDRA Christmas Tree in Top Sportsman bookending December with a second consecutive victory.