Story and Photos By Ken Keating (Illusion Photography)
February 18, 2013, Langford, BC (ISN) – On a cool but pleasant afternoon, seventeen drivers lined up for the start of two hours or two hundred laps of racing in the Steve Copp Construction sponsored Hornet Enduro Series held at Western Speedway.
Wolfgang Temmel had the pole position with Brad Aumen starting on his outside as they came around for the green flag. Temmel got the lead early with Aumen settling into the second position while Howie Mace drove into the third position. On lap nine, Aumen made the pass for the lead while Mace and Darren Yates used the opportunity to advance dropping Temmel back to fourth place. On lap thirteen, Yates moved up to run in second dropping Mace back to third with Temmel and Alex Atkinson running in the fifth position.
Tight quarters in frontstretch chicanes – Photo by Ken Keating (Illusion Photograph)
Over the next several laps, it seemed like Aumen and Yates were tied together bumper to bumper as they chased through the chicanes. On lap twenty-one, Brenda Leslie moved into the fifth position while the front-runners continued their battles. On lap thirty-seven, Yates made the pass and took over the lead with Aumen, Mace, Temmel, and Leslie rounding out the top five.
Brad Aumen #98 and Darren Yates do battle in Winter Enduro – Photo by Ken Keating (Illusion Photograph)
Several laps later nothing changed much in the running order until lap fifty-four when Mace, Temmel, Leslie and Jamie Rand moved up knocking Aumen back to sixth position. On lap sixty-seven the field reached the half way mark and drivers were allowed to change or just break for five minutes without suffering a penalty on the track.
Wolfgang Temmel exits overturned car unhurt, Crews right #77 car – Photo by Ken Keating (Illusion Photograph)
Returning to the green flag, Darren Yates had turned the wheel over to Alex Atkinson to complete the last hour of competition and he immediately assumed the lead followed by Mace, Temmel, Leslie, and Rand in the top five positions. On lap seventy-six, Temmel, exiting the pits and onto the backstretch, nailed the big tires and flipped his car onto the roof and slid down the track several hundred feet before coming to a stop.
The field stopped while emergency crews checked on the driver and removed the car from the track. Temmel was not hurt and walked away from the crash under his own steam but done for the day.
On the restart, Mace blasted into the lead followed by Leslie, Atkinson, Rand and Bailey Walker rounding out the top five positions. Over the next several laps, Atkinson and Leslie waged a battle while Rand and Walker did likewise for the next positions.
On lap one-hundred and eight, Atkinson finally passed by Leslie for the second position and set his sights on Mace in the lead. On lap one-hundred and ten, Walker pulled into the pits turning the fifth position over to Ron McPhee.Entering lap one-hundred and thirteen, Mace was forced through the grass in the very tight turn at the end of the drag strip and before the front stretch and this allowed Atkinson to regain the lead.
Alex Atkinson wins Winter Enduro – Photo by Ken Keating (Illusion Photograph)
Howie Mace places second in Winter Enduro – Photo by Ken Keating (Illusion Photograph)
Brenda Leslie places third in Winter Enduro – Photo by Ken Keating (Illusion Photograph)
After one-hundred and thirty-seven laps, Atkinson drove to the win followed by Mace, Leslie, Rand, and McPhee rounding out the top five positions. Winter Rutherford was on hand to greet the top three drivers as they accepted their trophies at Victory Square.
The final race of the winter series is scheduled for March 17th with regular racing set to return for the 2013 season on April 27th.