By Dean Thompson
NYORA Raceway closed its season with the annual Bob Hickson Memorial for Open Sedans on a show that included the Crash and Bash and National Junior Sedans.
Ardley won the prestigious event six days after purchasing the car in which he won the race in whilst Dale Morrison came through to take the win in the Crash and Bash and Tim Gorski won the Junior Sedans.
Open Sedan competition had competitors scheduled in two heat races each before the top 20 on points qualified for the final 50 lap race.
The rest went on to compete in a last chance race where four more drivers progressed into the feature event.
Brad Warren, who had recently finished second in a 100-lap event at Alexandra, won both his qualifying races as did Ardley.
Leigh Bourke, Lenny Bates, Warrick Taylor and Stephen Laidlaw won the other heat races and at stages all four of them were in the top five of the race.
In the case of Taylor and Laidlaw they were serious contenders for the possible win at the time of their demise which was a torn up tyre for Taylor and a wheel coming off the car for Laidlaw.
The Hickson Memorial is always a race of attrition with some damage expected as various types of cars compete with each other on the tight little track.
Shona Bent, Peter Cox, Taylor, Rob Tatterson then Laidlaw were amongst the early casualties, not before Taylor and Ardley had exchanged the lead a couple of times though.
After Taylor’s race ended Warren tried to keep the pressure on Ardley however as the traffic became less, it became easier for Ardley to keep distance between he and Warren.
When the chequered flag dropped Ardley had claimed the win from Warren, Bates, Dale Mead and Nick Hill who started in 22nd spot before climbing to fifth. Four of the top five drivers were from the Nyora club.
Earlier Rob Bushell, Gemma Laidlaw, Mick Evans and Darren O’Brien had earnt a run in the feature by virtue of a top four finish in the B Main.
In the Junior Sedans, Tim Gorski claimed wins in the first two qualifiers before Ayden Bellman took a win in the third.
Gorski, Bellman, Ricky Cornwall, Ally Morrison and Jack Ramsdale were the usual top five during the heats before Gorski won the 15-lap final from Cornwall who was quickly reeling in Gorski in the concluding laps with Bellman then Ramsdale and Morrison rounding out the top five.
Crash and Bash action included a lot of biff and barge and Scott Van Loo got smacked around like a drunk out the front of a bar and probably wished he left the car at home, whilst Alan George went up and over for a wild rollover in turn one and two and walked away whilst the Ford station wagon looked more like a Mini Cooper station wagon by the time it finished rolling.
Warren and Bushell were competing in two classes for the day and Bushell won the first heat against Warren after a spin payback from earlier in the race was dished out when Bushell spun Warren at the bottom end of the track to take the lead and go on to win.
Jake Young won the second heat after starting from last and coming through the field into the lead before lap one had finished.
Med Medley and Warren won the second round qualifiers then Morrison and Warren again in round three.
In the feature race Warren had complete control of the race for much of it, however these type of races you can be brought un-stuck quickly with Warren spinning on his own without contact as Morrison was working his way through spinning others around him making a path towards the front as other competitors kept dropping away.
Morrison then in a fashion reminiscent of Steven Bradbury, the typical Australian hero, found himself in the lead of the race and went on to take victory from James Kane, Ron George, Kris Bevenja the surprise new guy in the event and Andrew Miles.
Nyora begins its next season in October and anybody interested in being involved is encouraged to follow the club on social media and make contact with the club.