Callum Williamson recovers from qualifying crash to get title defence moving in the right direction

Jake Santa MariaGeraldton Guardian
Callum Williamson recovered from a tough start to round nine.
Camera IconCallum Williamson recovered from a tough start to round nine. Credit: GEC Images

Callum Williamson recovered from a heat crash to claim fourth in the latest Maddington Toyota Sprintcar Series round and move into third place in the overall standings.

Round nine saw competitors head to Ellenbrook Speedway in what also served as round five of the WA versus USA speedweek competition.

Geraldton’s Williamson has endured a tougher start to the 2022-23 season with no wins in the first eight rounds of the season with three fifths, a sixth, two sevenths, an 11th and a ‘did not finish’.

It is a far cry from last year when he won four races over the summer to claim back-to-back championships though he has at least still continued to grab solid points hauls to keep himself in the running even if he hasn’t quite found his groove.

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It was a disastrous start for the speedster when in his first qualifying run he drifted high up between turns one and two and saw his back right tyre clip the wall before dragging the rest of the car into it and crashing out.

Williamson walked away unscathed from the crash but it left the team with plenty of work to do to get the car ready for the later heat rounds.

There was little reason to doubt the experienced crew however as they got the car back out on track and Williamson recovered to win his third heat and take out second in the B dash.

It saw him qualify fourth for the A main feature behind Americans Cory Eliason and Tyler Courtney and WA star James Inglis.

With the race running clean for the first 26 laps with no stoppages, track position was key with few drivers able to make up ground in a tight field.

However, a huge three-way crash saw the red light come on and bring a halt to proceedings as the track was cleared of debris allowing the field to bunch back up for the restart.

But on the run to the checkers Eliason was too good, driving another measured race to take the win ahead of Courtney and Inglis.

Williamson settled for fourth which he surely would’ve taken after his crash in qualifying and, though it wasn’t a podium finish represents his best result so far this season.

He had high praise for his team for getting him back on the track after his error.

“Great night for the team not the best start, however we were able to get work in which was a great effort by the boys and a fantastic result for us to get fourth in yet another quality field of cars,” he said.

“We are looking forward to heading back to Bunbury next weekend.”

The result sees Williamson move into third in the overall standings 48 points behind Inglis in first place.

He maintains his third place in the Speedway Australia Speedweek standings behind Eliason and Courtney though Inglis has now closed the gap to just eight points.

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