Rookie Bellman pushes Pronger in Formula 500 Speedweek

FORMULA 500 Speedweek debutant Chris Bellman has credited consistency for his podium finish.

The 17-year-old Purnim driver finished the seven- round series second to Queensland raider Nathan Pronger after the final night of racing on Sunday at Premier Speedway, Allansford.

Batesford’s James Aranyosi was third overall.

Aranyosi won the final A main feature from with Queensland’s Brock Hallett and Scotts Creek’s Mathew Symons.

Bellman’s best result for the series was second in round one at Mount Gambier, while he finished third at Allansford in round three.

The Brauer College student’s other placings were sixth, 14th, fifth, fourth and fifth.

Bellman said it was a fairytale debut, having graduated from the junior sedans class.

He had six formula 500 race starts in the lead-up to the speedweek series.

Bellman said he raced with a conservative outlook, which paid dividends.

“I made sure I finished each race,” he said.

“I qualified straight for the A main every night and didn’t have to go into the B main.

“I did as little racing as possible.

“We didn’t have problems and didn’t wreck gear.

“We weren’t having to come home and do all-nighters to fix it.

“A lot of people had trouble and were flat out trying to get it done.”

Bellman said his first speedweek campaign was about experience and to finish second was a bonus.

“The car handled really well. It goes where you want it to. You point it and it shoots,” he said.

Bellman said his best result was in round one, where he was runner-up behind the dominant Pronger.

“In the first round at Mount Gambier I won my two heats and second in the final,” he said.

“I led for half the race and then made a mistake.

“Pronger was the benchmark. He was someone to chase.”

Bellman said round four at Laang, where he finished 14th in the A main, was his poorest result in an otherwise strong series.

“The worst thing that happened was when the track at Laang went black,” he said. 

“I couldn’t handle it. I went backwards. It was an experience learning to drive on that sort of track.”

Pronger started in emphatic fashion, winning the first three rounds to set up the series aggregate.

His other results were seventh, fifth and fourth, while he failed to finish round six at Simpson. 

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