A CASE of mistaken identity ruined any chance Warrnambool sprintcar driver Jamie Veal had of winning the Australian title.
Veal was the victim of a race officials’ error which sent him to the back of the field 16 laps into the 40-lap feature at Brisbane’s Archerfield Speedway.
The misfortune came after Ian Madsen slammed into the wall after a crash involving the lapped Brock Dean while he was running in the top five.
Officials deemed Veal was at fault, despite being nowhere near the crash, mistaking the back of his car for the similar-looking one driven by Dean.
Veal, driving the N6 car for New South Wales car owner Dave Doherty, started out of position 12 and was running in the top 10 when Madsen crashed out.
But he could only drive himself into 18th of 21 cars to start after having to re-start from the rear.
Veal was unavailable for comment yesterday, but motorsport website speedcafe.com wrote: “Understandably, Veal was furious post-race”.
In-form Queenslander James McFadden claimed his second title by holding off Victorian Dave Murcott in a hectic race on Saturday night.
McFadden trailed Murcott for most of the race — by the length of the straight at one point — but drew level in lapped traffic and made a pass on the lowline with seven laps to go.
South Australian speedster Steven Lines was third home. Former Warrnambool resident Max Dumesny was ninth home in a top 10 dominated by former national champions.
McFadden also won the preliminary A main on Friday night, also ahead of Murcott, while Veal was fifth.
The performance, if not the results, bode well for the Warrnambool driver ahead of the 41st Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic on January 26 and 27.