2024 Season – Meeting 1 Review

Article by: Scott Kernahan

Darwin’s Northline Speedway has roared back to life following the annual Wet Season slumber with Meeting #1 King of the Valley on Saturday night 11th May 2024.

Sections represented included Dirt Karts, Junior Sedans, AMCA Nationals, Wingless Sprintcars and Sprintcars. Each section was to contest three rounds of Heats and then a Feature Race.

Dirt Karts – The mighty Dirt Squirts began season 2024 with five runners to commence proceedings however Ruel Mitchell was to suffer terminal problems and being sidelined for the night before it began. The name Brown was to dominate as per last season but this time it was Yazmin Brown who began with a 3rd place finish in Heat 1, but then went on to win the next two Heats and the Feature Race. Brad Fichtner was the best of the rest with two second place finishes in the Heats and a second place in the Feature Race whilst Michael Brown collected the first Heat Race win and then third place finishes for the remaining Heats and Feature Race.

AMCA Nationals – A very healthy field of 11 AMCA Nationals cars arrived for Night 1 duties and it turned into a Mark Allcorn benefit with a clean sweep of the Heats and Feature Race in the NT55 machine. Erica Glazbrook brought on the yellow’s on lap 1 with a spin before Allcorn romped away for the win. Heat 2 was briefly led by Jimmy Keane before Allcorn rounded him up and assumed the lead with Keane settling for second place. Allcorn started from near the back of the pack for Heat 3 and wasted no time in ploughing his way through the field to record 3 from 3 Heat Race wins whilst Jacobus Beets recorded a fine second placing. The Feature race was all Allcorn as he nearly lapped the entire field in the 15 lap journey. Keane was to pull infield with a retirement on lap 3 ending his night. Matthew Barker came good in the feature to take out second place behind Allcorn and Beets to round out the podium placings.

Junior Sedans – Junior Sedans, fresh from a Titles meeting in Alice Springs fronted with 14 cars for split Heats and a Feature Race. Zachery Czoloszynski claimed the first Heat Race win in Heat 1A ahead of Caiden Weaver and Liam Butterworth whilst River Spitzbarth reassumed his dominance on the class over the recent past with a win in Heat 1B ahead of WA’s Hannah Tomkins and Kallen Hall. Czoloszynski claimed his second Heat Race win in Heat 2A with the same results for the minor placings with Weaver and Butterworth in a carbon copy of the first heat race. Heat Race 2B saw a bit more action with Brock Beurskens and and Riley King coming together in a tangle in turns 1 and 2 with 5 laps to go. Not to be outdone Beurskens then rotated again on the restart which relegated him to the infield for causing a second stoppage. Harrison Turnbull also failed to finish the heat. It was to be River Spitzbarth who also claimed a second Heat Race win ahead of Tomkins and Blake Overend. Harrison Turnbull returned to form in Heat 3A with a flag to flag victory ahead of Liam Butterworth and Caiden Weaver home in third place. Hannah Tomkins was forging an impressive performance to win Heat 3B ahead of Czoloszynski and Blake Overend. With 1 lap to go River Spitzbarth bumped Tomkins whilst challenging for the lead which spun Tomkins in turn 1. Spitzbarth was deemed the cause of the stoppage and relegated to Rear of Field for the re-start. Tomkins was to hold sway and win the heat race. River Spitzbarth was to go flag to flag in the 15 lap Feature Race with the only notable action being Liam Butterworth exit with 10 laps to go in turns 3 and 4. Caiden Weaver was to unfortunately

fail to finish after 9 laps with Czoloszynski taking out second place with Harrison Turnbull home in third place.

Sprintcars – Unfortunately there were only 2 Sprintcars entered for the night with WA flyer Trent Pigdon journeying to Darwin and newcomer to the Sprintcar ranks in former Wingless Sprintcar star Zack Grimshaw now piloting the Ekins Motorsport #11 machine. It was a series of 8 lap Heats for the two winged warriors and a 10 lap Sesh with Pigdon holding sway throughout. Grimshaw showed that he will be no slouch in the division with some impressive laps peeled off in his debut in the 410 monsters. No doubt the field will increase as we lead up to the NT Titles and Chariots of Thunder Series later in the season. Quizzed later on his performance for the night Grimshaw was beaming but added that the boss thinks he needs to grow a set !

Wingless Sprints – No doubt the action class of Northline Speedway at the moment the Wingless section arrived with 17 cars to run through 3 x split Heats and a Feature Race. The cagey veteran Jamie McInnes commenced the night with a resounding win in Heat 1A whilst Matt Sealy and Josh Norman engaged in a last lap tussle for the minors, with Sealy holding on for second and Norman third. The horrid run of luck for Daniel Goldoni continued with a retirement on lap 1 whilst Keelan Edwards also failed to fire up for the race at all. Cameron Jaenke showed a clean set of heels to the field in Heat 1B but was challenged by second year driver young William Prest who settled for second place with Victorian Tim Van Ginneken piloting the second McInnes Racing machine home in third place. Keelan Edwards recorded his first win for the season in Heat 2A with a flag to flag win whilst Jamie McInnes and Matt Sealy duelled it out for second place with McInnes holding on and Sealy home in third place. Jarrod Goldoni lead a coast to coast win in Heat 2B ahead of Van Ginneken and Mick Kelly taking out third place. The cursed luck of Daniel Goldoni reared it’s ugly head again in Heat 3A retiring before the race start. Matt Sealy sprinted away with the win ahead of McInnes and Jaenke. Tim Van Ginneken rose to the top in Heat 3B taking the McInnes Racing #V44 to the win ahead of Jarrod Goldoni and William Prest. Matthew McLennan retired with 5 laps to go and then it was Prest who took the challenge up to Goldoni (who was suffering injector issues). It was a very mature drive from Prest who was all over Goldoni like a rash in what was a cracking race. The Feature Race was the race of the night. Jamie McInnes was largely unchallenged to take out the Feature win whilst behind him, it was on ! James Dennis brought on the yellows with 9 laps to go and eventually retired. Shane Norman and Daniel Taylor also retired on the same lap whilst both the Goldoni boys did not start along with Kyle Wiseman. With 5 laps to go it was Matt Sealy in second place with Van Ginneken engaging in a mighty duel, with Van Ginneken sliding underneath Sealy on the last corner to sneak home in second place to record an emphatic 1-2 result for Team McInnes Racing.

It was a very entertaining night of racing for the Season opener for 2024. Next meeting is scheduled for 25th May for Round 2 and will feature Sprintcars, Wingless Sprints, Junior Sedans, Go Karts and the return of the Solo’s and Street Stocks.