Callanan retains crown

GORMANDALE’S Toby Callanan successfully defended his state division two hot rod championship at Rosedale Speedway on Good Friday.

The Ford driver was dominant through the heats often winning by half to three-quarters of a lap before lapping the final field up to fourth place. Based on crowd reaction Callanan seemed to be a popular winner.

The first of six heats began with Rob Tatterson at the front of the field with Ricky Mills, however in the lead quickly was Callanan from Mills and a fast starting Jeff Smith who, from eighth on the grid, was in third by end of lap one.

Smith picked off Mills on lap three with Morwell’s Scott Laidlaw in fourth and Jamie Kingston in fifth in a field heavy with top running cars. Callanan won from Smith, Mills and Laidlaw.

A pre-event top three favourite, Nyora’s Andrew Galley led every lap in the second heat to win from Jimmy Low and Skippy Hooper.

Kingston out-gunned Smith at the start of the third heat and led him start to finish with Galley in third.

There was drama in the fourth heat with Mills leading on lap six with Callanan chasing before Callanan hit the lead.

Mills tried to take the position back at the top end of the race track and succeeded in popping a tyre and spinning. His race done, a black flag for trying to restart and accidentally crunching Tatterson didn’t help his cause.

Callanan took the win from Tatterson, Hooper and Gary Uprichard.

In the final round of heats, Paul D’Arcy and Broderick Stray couldn’t hold back Callanan, who again was leading before lap one finished.

Galley passed Stray for second on lap four and trailed the leader across the line in second followed by Stray and Hooper.

Kingston, who was also looking like a top three finisher in the title, led all 10 laps in the final heat ahead of Laidlaw and Smith.

The first attempt to start the final when Kingston, who began in third, spun and headed to the rear of field to restart.

Callanan led Galley, Smith, Laidlaw and Jimmy Low with the leaders lapping Jason Seymour by lap four. On lap nine, Galley, who had been behind Smith the previous six laps, moved back into second.

Smith suffered mechanical breakdown on lap 10 and headed infield and on lap 11, Laidlaw passed Galley for second.

Making waves was Kingston, who from last was in fourth by lap 11.

On lap 34 in traffic, Kingston passed Galley with Galley getting the position back on the final lap.

Callanan defended his championship with Laidlaw, Galley, Kingston and a Jimmy Low rounding out the top five.