Teenager’s ‘incredible’ Qld title victory
MOTORSPORT: With just over a dozen Wingless Sprint race meetings to his name, youngster Casey O'Connell's first full season in the class has reached a new level.
The Ipswich racer scored an upset victory in the Queensland Wingless Sprint Title at Archerfield Speedway last Saturday night.
In what was an outstanding drive throughout the state title-deciding feature, the 17-year-old racer started from position eight in the field. He had powered his way through the field and into the lead by the middle stages of the 30-lap event and from there went on to score a comfortable victory.
"To pick up a Queensland title win in my first full season in the Wingless Sprint class is an incredible feeling,'' said O'Connell, who raced his Qld # 48 Tranzmile Truck and Trailer Parts-Wacol supported Cool car. "And I enjoyed a pretty much dream run in the feature race and it rewarded me with the win.
"The Wingless Sprints are one of the country's most competitive classes and to be able to have a Queensland title win to my name so early in my time in the class is quite a surreal feeling."
O'Connell said his Queensland title victory, which adds to his 2018 Northern Territory title win in Junior Sedans, wouldn't have been possible without his ongoing support.
"I can't speak highly enough about the support from my family and pit crew and this Queensland title win is dedicated to them," the teenager said.
"My family have been racing in the Wingless Sprint class for four seasons now with my brother Cody, and it's fantastic to be able competing in the one class together as a family.''
The Ipswich racer also thanked the Butcher family and Nic Moncrieff.
Older brother Cody steers the Qld # 49 Tranzmile Truck and Trailer Parts - Wacol supported Cool car.
He was last season's Queensland Wingless Sprint Title runner-up finisher. He hd impressively qualified on pole position for the feature race after being the form driver from the heat races. However, in the feature race, he struggled throughout the race with an engine issue that left him lucky to finish let alone just off the podium in fourth.
The following morning, it was discovered by the team while they were trying to unload the car off the trailer was that Cody's engine had seized up.
For O'Connell, his first season in the Wingless Sprints has been highlighted by the Queensland title success, but it's not his first feature-race victory in the class, which occurred earlier this season in Toowoomba.
"I'm having so much fun running in the Wingless Sprints with my older brother, and it's a shame what happened to him in the Queensland Title, as he has been so close to winning this event in the past," Casey said.
"Cody has helped me so much with my step into the Wingless Sprints class and it's that assistance that has played a big part in becoming competitive so early in the class."
For the remainder of their 2019-20 season schedule, the O'Connell Racing team is currently unsure about their plans.