Reigning champion McFadden qualifies ahead of US pair

GUN Queensland driver James McFadden last night had pole position for the A main in round five of World Series Sprintcars at Premier Speedway.

McFadden claimed the honours in the gold shootout to secure his spot on the front row for the final, as The Standard went to print.

Americans filled the next positions, with Kyle Hirst taking second and Jason Johnson third.

Warrnambool speedster Darren Mollenoyux started out of four after making the most of home-track advantage in qualifying and heats. 

Organisers were last night waiting for rain to clear before starting the A main.

Earlier, crashes aplenty delivered frustration and entertainment during the heats.

Ricky Maiolo was the big winner of the drama-filled races by winning both his starts. Driving the S24 car, Maiolo made sure he was far enough in front to avoid any carnage by being consistently quick off the start line.

But while he enjoyed the view from the front, others were battling mechanical problems and crashes into the wall.

Heat five was particularly eventful, with American Caleb Griffiths rolling after hitting the wall in turn four and Shaun Bradford doing likewise. The crash continued a run of bad luck for Bradford. He failed to get his car started for qualifying and started the heats with no points to his name.

Domain Ramsay rode the wall shortly after the restart — his second crash in two heats — and the incident also caused damage to Trent Pigdon’s car.

Others to succumb included Todd Waddell with a spectacular crash in turn one and Nick Lacey in turn three during heat four. Lacey’s crash came after an advertisement on the big screen promoting a chance to win a drive in his car.

Darren Mollenoyux and Matt Egel also collided coming out of turn two in heat six.

Veteran Danny Smith was among the most impressive in the heats, taking heats one and four to join Maiolo as a dual heat winner. Other heat winners included John Vogels, Stephen Bell, Steve Caunt  and Tim Kaeding.

Waddell said his crash was “a shame” after travelling from Western Australia.

“We have come a long way and I hit the wall going down the back stretch and I think something must have broke because it wouldn’t turn,” he said.

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