QUEENSLANDER Dan Moes has been stripped of the national wingless sprints championship he won at Allansford’s Premier Speedway on Sunday, elevating Camperdown youngster Jye Saunders to second.
In a dramatic aftermath to the controversial title, second placegetter, Melbourne’s Brett Milburn, stands to become the winner.
But Australian Wingless Sprint Racing president Allan Woods said no announcement would be made on final placings until today at the earliest with Milburn’s motor set to be inspected this morning.
He said John Sidney Racing in Melbourne was being used as an independent tester of engines with the motors from the top five on Sunday night sealed and sent for inspections.
Should Milburn’s comply with the category’s rules, he would be announced as winner. Moes’ motor was found to have a timing belt set at two degrees instead of zero in the heavy-controlled class, which is designed to be a budget category. The development comes after a heated drivers briefing on Sunday where some competitors questioned the legality of other rivals’ motors.
Woods said he was disappointed the sport’s title had been tarnished. “This is beyond our control,” he said.
“We would have liked to present one, two and three on the night and that’s that.
“The guys who come here, they sign, they believe their cars comply.
“It’s a bit sad it’s turned out like this. But that’s racing.
“We just move on.
“It’s a bit sad second place won’t get the same recognition the first place would have got but we will issue a press release and recognise it in some way.”
Moes, who has been racing in the category for three years, had described the triumph in the 30-lap feature as the biggest win of his speedway career.
In a statement posted on the AWSR website, Moes said he was an innocent victim in that the dots on the cam timing did not align and breached the rules of the sport.
“As we have no knowledge of engine building, we rely on being able to pass the rulebook to an engine builder and ask for a motor to be built within the parameters of the rules and unfortunately by placing trust into this process we have had an outcome of this,” he said.
“I have been racing for 15 years and have had multiple engines pulled down for inspection and not once have had an issue until now.
“I would strongly advise each and every race team out there that do not do their own engine work to be vigilant in placing trust in such people. We have been stripped of our Australian title win and have been issued a 12-month suspension from the AWSR.
“To say I’m pissed off is an understatement. I can now only apologize to the AWSR and keep my head up high as our team is innocent but unfortunately has to wear the consequences.”
With Moes disqualified, Milburn stands to go from a $2500 second-placegetter’s cheque to $5000 while Saunders would jump from $2000 to $2500.
He said the controversy was disappointing.
“At the last re-start with two to go, I got underneath Brett and we made contact and he came out of it better,” Saunders said.
“Had I got under him, I could have become the winner now. All those things go through your head now.
“I feel sorry for Brett, it’s a bit of a hollow win and he didn’t get the joy of celebrating a win. For someone like Juddy (Camperdown’s Jeff Judd), he was first emergency for the final and missed out on the feature because of an illegal car. It has a huge snowball effect.”
Premier Speedway general manager David Mills said the club was disappointed.
“…we presented the track in the best way we could and gave them three nights of racing and to see it go the way it did has left a bad taste in our mouths and whether it was worth our while in taking it on,” Mills said.