2012 Perth Tattoo Rob Woffinden Classic Wrap-up.
The third running of the Rob Woffinden Classic produced some of the best ever bike action seen at the Pinjar Park Speedway.
British born but West Australian raised Tai Woffinden returned to the tiny 142 metre oval where he finished his Junior Solo career with a victory in the WA Junior (125cc) Championship as a leading member of the Wolverhampton Wolves Elite League team in England and a recently confirmed starter in the Speedway Grand Prix Series.
And it showed!
The 22 year old Woffinden meant business every time he came out onto the track.
In his opening heat he had to battle it out with Victorian Ryan Sedgmen for the first half of the race before he managed to power around the outside.
Next up he was leading when local Kale Ballantyne came down.
Woffinden had to refocus and get the job done again in the rerun, and he did.
His third ride – heat 11 – was pivotal in the outcome of the meeting as he faced two other unbeaten riders – Ricky Kling (Sweden) and recently crowned WA Champion Cameron Heeps – with the experienced British star Simon Stead in the mix as well.
Wuffy was able to rise to the occasion and dive underneath Kling for the lead as they raced down the back straight for the first time.
He kept the momentum going during his final two heats to emerge unbeaten on 15 points.
Next best – and seeded into the semi finals with Woffinden were – Ricky Kling (Sweden) 12, Ty Proctor (Victoria) 12, Ricky Wells (USA) 11, Daniel Winchester (WA) 11, Cameron Heeps (WA) 10, Simon Stead (UK) 10 and Joe Jacobs (UK) 9.
Danish rider Morton Risager just missed out – being beaten on a countback with Jacobs after also scoring 9 points.
Further back were Ryan Sedgmen (Victoria) 6, Douglas Scoble (WA) 5, Kale Ballantyne (WA) 3, Brady Webb (WA) 3, Ethan Ballantyne (WA) 2, Jesse Ballantyne (WA) 1, Adam Berezowski (WA) reserve 1 and the unlucky veteran Frank Smart who suffered a fall and a broken chain in his first two rides and was forced to pull out of the show with his injured leg suffered a fortnight earlier in the state title.
Woffinden accounted for Wells, Stead and Heeps in the first Semi Final.
The second Semi final saw Kling down Winchester with Jacobs failing to finish and Proctor falling after making a big outside challenge for the lead.
So the stage was set for an exciting final.
Woffinden shot out of gate 1 and was never headed, with Kling maintaining his second spot over Wells and Winchester.
With the pressure off, Woffinden showed some of the emotion that he had kept a lid on all through the night.
It was a great victory by the youngster who came out here aged three with his parents Rob and Sue and competed in the Junior ranks at the Bibra Lake Speedway and then the Pinjar Park oval before the family headed back to England to start Tai’s very successful Senior career.
It was a top night of action – and won’t the local contingent of riders have learned a lot from the experience of racing with the professionals.
The support section was the Sidecars – who also turned in on for the big crowd in attendance.
Glenn O’Brien dived underneath Russell Mitchell for the lead on the last corner of the final, with Mitchell sliding off onto the infield giving second spot to Rod Brown.
Congratulations to everybody involved with the Speedway Motorcycle Club of WA for making the Rob Woffinden Classic a night to remember – and now we can’t wait for next year.
Courtesy of WA's leading speedway writer Ken Brown.
Last Modified on 04/12/2012 01:01