For the second time in the events history, the Atkins name is on the WA Junior Sedan Title Honour Roll, but this time it is former
Australian Champion Todd Atkins who has raced his way to victory in a thrilling twenty five lap final tonight at Moora Speedway in the Make Smoking History SSWA WA Junior Sedan Title.
In an event that had it all, including racing under thunderstorms, a night one rain out, a midday start today, several more rain showers throughout the day and epic racing, Atkins held strong above all his competitors, going through the weekend with three heat wins from four starts and then leading every lap of the feature event.
Atkins would start on pole position for the feature alongside pre-race favorite Blake Iwanow, while Jackson Derrick and the fastest man in practice Brandon Buszan filled the second row.
As the race went green for the first time, Atkins was the early leader while Jackson Derrick and Luke Malcolm both used the low line to pass Iwanow who drifted back slightly, but the moves were negated with the yellows coming on after a couple of cars came together back in the pack to set up a complete restart.
The second start saw Atkins again hit the lead but this time Iwanow did not let him get away, chasing him hard. The yellows would come out with one lap complete as Jesse Steele came to a stop up against the turn three wall, pitting the cars against each other in single file for the first time under restart conditions.
Atkins led away Iwanow, Derrick and Malcolm on the restart, the whole field running in incredibly close conditions. The top ten cars in particular were nose to tail, fighting for position and with any little mistake there was another driver right there to pounce, Jack Dalton the first to make a move past Malcolm into fourth.
By lap five the top seven had pulled away slightly, Atkins leading Iwanow by 0.087 seconds with the yellows coming on again shortly after, this time for Nathan Carter who found himself in the turn three wall.
All cars restarted once again, with Atkins leading Iwanow, Derrick, Dalton, Malcolm, Blake Fletcher, Bradley Short and Rory Elsum-Beaumont in the leading pack. Again this did not last long, just one more lap completed before contact between Seth Hinsey and Zac MInshull saw Minshull come to a stop and Hinsey sent to the rear.
Atkins was away again as the lights went green once more and this time it was Derrick looking to make his presence known as he looked for a way around Iwanow with little success.
The next few laps saw Derrick try on multiple occasions to pass Iwanow on the outside, but each time he nearly completed the pass Iwanow found something and kept the position, all the while Atkins continued to lead.
On lap twelve Iwanow looked underneath Atkins for the lead, while Derrick, Dalton and Malcolm were right behind, the top five becoming a snarling pack separated by less than a second for a number of laps as they crossed the line.
Dalton moved under Derrick for third then started looking after Iwanow for second, while Fletcher and Short also joined the fray once again, the top seven cars fighting tooth and nails with eight laps remaining.
Dalton took advantage of Iwanow going low in turn two to move around his outside and grab second with seven to go, then a lap later the yellows came on for the first time in a number of laps as Kayne Dellar came to a stop on the front straight with a flat tyre.
This would set up a six lap sprint to the finish, the race picking up right where it left off, Atkins being chased by Dalton, Iwanow, Derrick and Malcolm, Fletcher and Short, but again the yellows would come out without a lap being complete as Nathan Carter, Jesse Steele, Lachlan Dellar and a couple of others came to a stop in turn four.
Atkins would lead away with Dalton making a last gasp effort to duck underneath him, but again Atkins would pull away, while shortly after Iwanows bumper would part company with his car in turn two, bringing out the yellows once again with four laps remaining and seeing Iwanow sent to the rear for the restart.
With four laps to go the race resumed once again, Atkins high, Dalton low and Derrick in the middle, the top three racing hard again for that elusive win, but despite being in close quarters for the final few laps, the order remaining unchanged, Atkins defeating Dalton, Derrick, Malcolm and Short.
Atkins win aboard the Fraser family machine would emulate his older brothers efforts of winning the WA Title back in the 2014/15 season.
In an acknowledgement of the standard of racing throughout the weekend, seventeen of the original starters in the A Main would finish.
A huge congratulations to all drivers in the high standard of professionalism both on and off the track all weekend and well done to Moora Speedway and all involved in making the Make Smoking History SSWA WA Junior Sedan Title a huge success.
A Main, 25 laps: 1. V4 Todd Atkins, 2. W24 Blake Iwanow, 3. W27 Jackson Derrick, 4. W198 Brandon Buszan, 5. W22 Luke Malcolm, 6. W13 Blake Fletcher, 7. W21 Jack Dalton, 8. W19 Bradley Short, 9. W7 Zac Minshull, 10. W33 Dylan Parkes, 11. W88 Izzak Delaporte, 12. W95 Kayne Dellar, 13. W26 Rory Elsum-Beaumont, 14. W42 Nathan Carter, 15. W31 Ethan Cooper, 16. W71 Alex Swift, 17. W12 Jesse Steele, 18. W195 Lachlan Dellar, 19. W108 Blake Webb, 20. W66 Seth Hinsey.
1. V4 Todd Atkins, 2. W21 Jack Dalton, 3. W27 Jackson Derrick, 4. W22 Luke Malcolm, 5. W19 Bradley Short, 6. W13 Blake Fletcher, 7. W7 Zac Minshull, 8. W198 Brandon Buszan, 9. W26 Rory Elsum-Beaumont, 10. W31 Ethan Cooper, 11. W108 Blake Webb, 12. W88 Izzak Delaporte, 13. W24 Blake Iwanow, 14. W66 Seth Hinsey, 15. W71 Alex Swift, 16. W195 Lachlan Dellar, 17. W12 Jesse Steele. DNF: W33 Dylan Parkes (19), W95 Kayne Dellar (18). DQ: W42 Nathan Carter. Total Time: No Time. Winning Margin: 0.283. Fastest Lap: 20.750 W27 Jackson Derrick.
Details provided by Scott BeattieWA Junior Sedan Title Podium, photos courtesy of Blake Jones