McHugh Claims Australian Sprint Car Championship


Lachlan McHugh celebrates in victory lane Saturday at Premier Speedway in Australia. (Corey Gibson Photography)

ALLANSFORD, Australia – In a flag-to-flag feature, Queenslander Lachlan McHugh captured the Locked Down Australian Sprint Car Championship crown Saturday at Premier Speedway Warrnambool.

Following a runner-up finish in last year’s Australian Championship, held at Perth Motorplex, the 25-year-old McHugh was masterful down the stretch of the 40-lapper this time around.

He took the top spot for good with 13 laps left after a hard mid-race battle with local star Jamie Veal.

Veal ended up as the bridesmaid for the second time in three years, after winning his only Australian title race in 2020. Another past Australian champion, Jock Goodyer, completed the podium ahead of Jordyn Change.

Only the top-four finishers ended on the lead lap after a nonstop finale that took just seven minutes and 46 seconds to complete.

Top point earner Brock Hallett, who led the chart following Friday’s preliminaries, paced the first 17 laps of the main that was slick at the start following a rain shower just before the feature kicked off.

Hallett succumbed to issues on lap 18, however, opening the door for Veal to assume the lead at that point. McHugh was third behind Veal and Goodyer, but made his charge shortly after, grabbing second on lap 20 before dicing back and forth with Veal five laps later.

McHugh edged ahead on lap 25, before Veal rallied back to lead the next two circuits. Once McHugh made the winning pass on lap 28, however, he never looked back again.

Grant Anderson was the first car one lap down, crossing fifth. James Inglis, Alex Orr, Kerry Madsen, Supercars ace Cam Waters, and Luke Dillon completed the top 10.

First held in 1963, Saturday marked the 61st edition of the Australian Sprint Car Championship, and it was McHugh’s first victory in the premier event on the sprint car calendar Down Under.

It was the ninth time since 1972 that Premier Speedway hosted the race.

The finish:

1. Lachlan McHugh, 2. Jamie Veal, 3. Jock Goodyer, 4. Jordyn Change, 5. Grant Anderson, 6. James Inglis, 7. Alex Orr, 8. Kerry Madsen, 9. Cam Waters, 10. Luke Dillon, 11. Ryan Newton, 12. Brendan Quinn, 13. Brett Milburn, 14. Jamie Bricknell, 15. Marcus Dumesny, 16. David Sayer, 17. Callum Williamson, 18. Sam Walsh, 19. Brock Hallett, 20. Luke Oldfield.

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About Jacob Seelman

Jacob Seelman is Motorsports Hotspot’s News Editor and Race Face Digital’s Director of Content, as well as a veteran of more than a decade in the racing industry as a professional, though he’s spent his entire life in the garage and pit area.