MILLGROVE, ON – The long wait for the fans was over, as they were allowed to be in the grandstands at 25% capacity for the first time in 2021. In short, they were treated to a show as all the divisions wanted to ensure they were entertained. (NOTE: Gallery at bottom).
Ontario Pro Challenge Series
The Ontario Pro Challenge Series got their 2021 season kicked off on Saturday night, with a familiar face in victory lane. Tim Norris scored the win ahead of Bryan Steveanus, Peter Hattin, Mike Norris, and Rick Seely. Larry Majuery finished sixth, followed by John Dryden, Emma Norris, and Mike O’Connell.
The second feature started off rough, with Majeury and Seeley getting hooked together coming to the green flag. Once they were separated, Mike Norris inherited the pole, and he did not look back en route to leading flag-to-flag for the win. Tim Norris got by Peter Hattin just past the halfway mark for second, with Bryan Steveanus and Rick Seeley rounding out the top-five. Larry Majeury placed sixth, followed by John Dryden, Emma Norris, and Mike O’Connell.
Devon Reyment ran into problems before the event, resulting in failing to take the green in either race.
Canadian Vintage Modified
The first event on the night saw the wiley veteran, Mike Podd score the victory. John Karley crossed the line in second, but was disqualified. Quinton Murdoch gets bumped up to second ahead of Jake Gilbert, T.J. Marshall, and Rick Willigar. Brian Pescetti placed sixth, followed by Joe Arsenault, Steve Murdoch, Doug Hood, and Dale Lucas. Jeremy Riopelle was 11th ahead of Connor Ross, while Rodney Rutherford failed to finish. Notably, Mike Westwood did not take the green flag.
The second feature started off a little messy, as Doug Hood spun in turn three and four, collecting several others along with him. Things seemed to smooth out, until Westwood and Rutherford made contact with eight laps to go, along with Murdoch hitting the outside frontstretch wall on the last lap.
Jeremy Riopelle, meanwhile, survived all the chaos to lead the field and score the victory ahead of Jake Gilbert, Joe Arsenault, Mike Westwood, and Dale Lucas. Brian Pescetti finished sixth, followed by Connor Ross, and Quinton Murdoch. As a result of the contact, Mike Podd failed to finish, along with Rick Willigar, T.J. Marshall, John Karley, Doug Hood, and Steve Murdoch. Rodney Rutherford, meanwhile, failed to take the green flag.
The dominance continues for Will Gibbons, as he was fast in both features and would not be denied on Saturday night, sweeping the events. It was not a clear simple task, though, as he had to work his way from the back and only made his way to first on the last lap, courtesy of a pass on Gillian Hils.
The first feature saw Will Gibbons score the victory ahead of Shawn Taylor, Dale Millard, Tyler Lewis, and Gillian Hils. Kaitlyn Wallace finished sixth, followed by Matt Young, John Istead, Cole Quinton, and Wayde Thorne. Mike Hooper and Mike Thomson placed 11th and 12th.
As previously mentioned, it was Gillian Hils whom placed second in the second feature ahead of John Istead, Shawn Taylor, and Dale Millard. Cole Quinton drove from the back for sixth, followed by Kaitlyn Wallace, and Tyler Lewis. Unfortunately, Wayde Thorne, Mike Hooper and Matt Young failed to finish.
Mike Gilmour did not start either feature due to issues in practice, while Mike Thomson did not start the second feature.
After scoring a fifth in the season opener, Phil Givens found his way to victory lane on Saturday night ahead of Kris Lawrence. Andy Wheller came across the finish line in third, but was disqualified post-race.
John Cote finished third, followed by Kyle Lucas and Leo Labarbera. Chase Mitchell placed sixth, followed by Bobby Mercer, Jimmy Hooper, Scott Tonelli, and Reece Bourgeois. Alex Stewart was 11th, followed by Rick VanKleef, Tim Shanahan, Spencer Riddell, Nicole Stewart, and Eric Stewart.
The invert for the second feature made things interesting and exciting in watching the drivers weave their way through traffic. Kris Lawrence made the most time, getting by Kyle Lucas in lap traffic to take the lead. He then led the rest of the way. Andy Wheller crossed the finish line in third once again, this time having no issues with tech, as Chase Mitchell and Leo Labarbera rounded out the top-five.
John Cote finished sixth, followed by Phil Givens, Scott Tonelli, Jimmy Hooper, and Bobby Mercer. Alex Stewart was 11th, followed by Eric Stewart, Reece Bourgeois, Rick VanKleef, Nicole Stewart, and Spencer Riddell. Tim Shanahan failed to start the event.
Pro 4 Modifieds
A new season for the Pro 4 Modifieds, and a familiar face in victory lane, as Dan Pettit swept both features.
The first feature saw Dan Pettit in victory lane over Nick Aballe, Shannon Morris, and Ken Mercer, while Mark Lucas failed to take the green flag due to issues.
Dan Pettit then won the second feature ahead of Nick Aballe and Ken Mercer, while Shannon Morris and Mark Lucas failed to finish.
Thanks to Ingrid Hartman for filming each of the features. Be sure to check out her videos at https://www.youtube.com/user/petalpower51/videos.
The next event at Flamboro Speedway is scheduled for July 10, featuring the Pro Late Models, Canadian Vintage Modifeds, Super Stocks, Mini Stocks, and Pure Stocks. Due to COVID restrictions set by government per stage two re-opening plan, there will be a limit of 25% capacity. No tickets will be sold online, but rather available at the gate on a first come, first serve basis. The spectator gates will open at 5 pm with racing kicking off at 6:30 pm sharp.
- By Ashley McCubbin
- Photos courtesy Derek Smith / RacePulse.com