Michael Learoyd wins 2014 Australian Junior Sedan Title
Michael Learoyd has won a thrilling Lucas Oils Australian Junior Sedan Title, at the MCD Contracting Esperance Speedway, in front of a huge crowd, in the South East of Western Australia.
Michael Learoyd had to survive several late stoppages, before winning in the second closest finish in Junior Sedan National Title history. In his sixth and final National Title, Learoyd defeated a gallant Matt Iwanow and Patrick Brennan.
Brendan Learoyd though who along with Brandon Atto would be the highest qualifiers, after twenty eight heats, with Michael Learoyd and Matthew Iwanow starting from the second row, with Josh Fraser and fellow West Australian Blake Watson starting from row three.
Michael Learoyd got a brilliant start taking the lead on the opening lead, as both brothers ran side by side in the early exchanges.
Matthew Iwanow passed Brendan Learoyd on lap three to move to second place, as the race was conducted at a cracking pace.
Jarrin Bielby from Western Australia, who started out of position nine, joined a large leading pack, and moved into fourth place on lap four, but sadly for Bielby it would not last, with a flat tyre ending his charge on lap eleven.
At the half way mark Michael Learoyd was a car length ahead of Matthew Iwanow, who was the same margin ahead of Patrick Brennan and Brendan Learoyd, with Atto back in fifth place, with nothing separating the five.
Brooklyn Vanzetti’s A Main came to an end on lap fourteen, just the second retiree from the event.
With six laps to go, West Australian Josh Fraser moved to fifth, relegating Brendan Learoyd to six place, and a lap later, Learoyd would lose a wheel in turn two, ending the event for the driver, who the night previous set the eight lap track record, and the quickest one lap around Esperance Speedway.
Brendan Learoyd’s demise, set up a five lap run to the finish, with Michael Learoyd running wide on several occassions in the concluding stages, but Matthew Iwanow was not able to get underneath. Iwanow had a final challenge on the last corner but to no avail, in the second closest finish in Australian Junior Sedan Title history.
In a blanket finish, Patrick Brennan would finish just 0.751 off winning the event, while Brandon Atto narrowly finished fourth ahead of Josh Fraser by a mere 0.140. Blake Watson remained just behind the leading pack throughout to finish sixth, while Drew Ogles drive was full of merit after winning the B Main, finishing seventh.
Sixteen of the twenty starters completed the twenty five laps.
Earlier, Jack Bell, Brandon Atto, Jack Gartner, Matty Smith, Heydon Hicks, Jordan McDonald and Michael Learoyd were successful in the final round of qualifying heats, which saw some thrilling finishes, including heat twenty two with Bell downing Kye Walters by 0.097, in what set the seen for the entire night.
The C Main was littered with a plethora of stoppages, which would eventually see Cameron Pearson and Jess Vanzetti advance to the B Main.
The B Main would have a couple of heavy crashes, one involving Madalyn Wallace which resulted in her requiring medical attention. Drew Ogle, Matty Smith, Gaje Price and Ryan Morris would advance to the A Main, with only nine cars completing the distance.
A Main - 25 Laps: 1. Q64 Brendan Learoyd, 2. Q25 Brandon Atto, 3. Q92 Michael Learoyd, 4. W26 Matthew Iwanow, 5. W71 Finlay Mills, 6. W74 Blake Watson, 7. Q97 Patrick Brennan, 8. W98 George Eaton, 9. W39 Jarrin Bielby, 10. W11 Jake Avins, 11. W24 Jordan MacDonald, 12. V42 Jack Bell, 13. W5 Josh Fraser, 14. W118 Brooklyn Vanzetti, 15. W15 Heydon Hicks, 16. W84 Jamie Higgs, 17. W63 Drew Ogle, 18. Q36 Matty Smith, 19. W96 Gaje Price, 20. Q9 Ryan Morris
Result 1. Q92 Michael Learoyd, 2. W26 Matthew Iwanow, 3. Q97 Patrick Brennan, 4. Q25 Brandon Atto, 5. W5 Josh Fraser, 6. W74 Blake Watson, 7. W63 Drew Ogle, 8. V42 Jack Bell, 9. Q36 Matty Smith, 10. W71 Finlay Mills, 11. W11 Jake Avins, 12. Q9 Ryan Morris, 13. W15 Heydon Hicks, 14. W24 Jordan McDonald, 15. W98 George Eaton, 16. W84 Jamie Higgs, 17. Q64 Brendan Learoyd (20 laps), 18. W96 Gaje Price (19), 19. W118 Brooklyn Vanzetti (14), 20. W39 Jarrin Bielby (11). Time: No Time, Winning Margin: 0.240, Fastest Lap: 18.360 W63 Drew Ogle