Manders Strikes Gold In Kalgoorlie
By Sprintcars Australia
Western Australian Kaiden Manders has become only the second driver in the history of the 360ci Sprintcar division to win multiple Australian 360ci Sprintcar Championships after leading all 40 laps at the Kalgoorlie International Speedway on Saturday Night. Manders now joins four-time Champion Ryan Jones in the exclusive club and he has already confirmed that he will try for the hat trick at the Simpson Speedway in Victoria in 2020.
Second across the line was Tim Van Ginneken who trailed Manders for the entire race after starting from the pole. Third place went to Ben Butcher, who started from position three in the final after his win in heat two catapulted him up the grid after finishing night 1 in position 8 on the score chart.
Fourth place went to a determined Dan Evans, who had a race long battle with Taylor Milling and Mitch Wormall. Wormall would eventually finish fifth after starting from position 8, while Milling fell to sixth after running inside the top four for most of the race. Sam Borlini, Daniel Keen and Jamie Landrigan would complete the finishers from the initial 19 car field.
Prior to the A-Main the drivers performed a four wide salute to packed crowd with the spectators on hand extremely appreciative of the fact that high quality Sprintcar racing had returned to the Goldfields venue.
As the green flag dropped the field hadn’t even got to the flag stand when the field was reduced by four cars when Daniel Keen made it three wide on the front straight resulting in Callum Sweetman hitting the wall and Daniel Hartigan and James Inglis had nowhere to go. This incident took all three cars out of action while Matthew Iwanow failed to even take the green due to ongoing engine issues.
Throughout the race there were several caution periods for several spins, but the most crucial yellow came out on lap 25 when AJ Nash spun in turn four and couldn’t keep the car going just as Van Ginneken was attempting a slide job for the lead. The resulting caution prevented Van Ginneken from making the pass and from that point Manders drove away to take a well-deserved win and his second National Title.
Earlier in the night the three heats went to local racer Robert Watson Jr, Ben Butcher and Tom Hooper.
The Australian 360ci Sprintcar Championship will return to the east coast in 2020 with the Simpson Speedway set to host the Championship in Victoria for the first time since the inaugural Championship was won by Stephen Bell at the Timmis Speedway in Mildura.
Photo By Phil Michell For Sprintcars Australia