IT might have been a last-minute decision for Grant Anderson to contest last night’s Dance in the Desert event at Arunga Park Speedway in Alice Springs, but it was certainly a worthwhile decision in the end after he came away with the winning spoils.
Regarded as one of the country’s leading Sprintcar racers, Anderson, from the NSW-Victoria border regional city of Albury, showed his class throughout the Dance in the Desert event, which kicked off proceedings for this week’s Red Centre Nats, and he managed to pace the feature-race field for the entire 20-lap journey aboard the Vic # 11 car owned by Brad and Kristine Foster.
After he had started from the outside of the front row for the feature race, Anderson, who had last weekend finished sixth overall in the final Chariots of Thunder Series point standings at Darwin’s Northline Speedway, was able to get the jump on V8 Supercar star and part-time Sprintcar racer Cameron Waters and once in control of the lead he was never headed all the way through to the fall of the chequered flag to claim the $4500 winner’s prize.
The most popular driver to attend the Dance in the Desert event was without a shadow of a doubt Cameron Waters. The V8 Supercar racer, driving for the Chief Racing team, put in the best night of his Sprintcar career that only began less than two years ago. In the heat-race action, Waters dominated all three of his heat races and in the final round of heat races he was able to set a new lap record and also break the 8-lap record that had stood for 16 years. For the feature race, he continued his good form; however, he was outpaced from the drop of the green flag by Anderson but still managed to remain consistent in second behind Anderson and went on to finish in second.
Photo: Nakita Pollock Photography
In what was a Victorian driver podium domination, Dennis Jones completed the feature-race podium in third. It was a great bounce back to form for Jones after he had struggled at times during the Chariots of Thunder Series over the past two weekends.
Finishing just off the podium was another Victorian in David Donegan, who finished in fourth ahead of the best of the locals Ricky Boston in fifth, while fellow locals Lenny Cole and Warren Thompson were next and they were followed by Nicholas O’Keeffe (Qld), James Matthews (Qld) and Libby Ellis (Qld) who rounded out the top-10 finishers.
The heat-race action earlier in the night saw Waters claim three wins, while the remaining winners were claimed by Donegan, Anderson and Jones.
South Australian Jason Duell (Street Stocks) and local Jacob Foley (Junior Sedans) picked up the wins in the support classes. Unfortunately, due to a lack of nominations, the Speedcars were scratched from the night’s program.
Last night’s Dance in the Desert was the first time the event was held since 2018, which on that occasion was won by former local James McFadden driving for the Monte Motorsport team.
The Arunga Park Speedway team was very pleased with how the Dance in the Desert event played out.
“Thank you to everyone who made tonight a success, as the feedback we have received from the drivers and the crowd has been very positive and everyone is now already talking about next year’s event,” expressed Arunga Park Speedway president Ray Tebeck.
“Apart from the drivers and spectators, this year’s event wouldn’t have been possible without the generous sponsorship support: Steely Sales, Bullant Building, Bluedust NT, Blueprint Construction, Spears Sheetmetal Works and Motorsports NT.
“We can’t forget the endlessly busy volunteers who make time in their crazy busy lives to make nights like this happen, including our loyal and humble Alice Springs Motorsport Fire and Rescue crew and officials.
“The racers and their pit crews who made the effort to be here and commit to being here. To everyone who showed up last night to show your support - to watch, drink and eat, thank you for getting behind our club.”
This year’s Dance in the Desert event was proudly sponsored by:
Spears Sheetmetal Works