Williamson wins first race at World Championships
By Jonny Turner
Matthew Williamson won his first race on Swedish soil and surged towards the top of the leader board on day three of the World Driving Championships on Tuesday morning (New Zealand time).
Williamson plotted a perfect path from last for Ior Tooma to get up for a thrilling last-stride dead-heat win with rival, Saphir D'inverne.
Williamson was far from disappointed with having to share his first victory with one of his world championship rivals.
Instead, he said he was thrilled to split the honour with American reinsman, Yannick Gingras.
“It was a huge thrill to get the win and to share it with a Yannick was really cool.”
“The series is going really well and I am absolutely loving the experience.”
Williamson produced another sensational series drive to clinch his first win outside of Australasia.
Ior Tooma drifted back to last after beginning slowly from his tricky barrier 1 on the second row draw on the Lindesberg track.
Williamson saved ground with the $11 chance and eventually weaved the horse in to a striking position before the home turn.
Ior Tooma produced a late burst of speed, under Williamson’s urgings, to claim his dead-heat victory right on the line.
Williamson scored a second placing with another $11 chance, Ilaria Sidney, earlier in the day.
His remaining three drives produced seventh, eighth and 11th placings.
Those results helped Williamson finish day three of the World Driving Championships in third position on the leader board.
The Oamaru reinsman’s 72.5 points has him just four points behind the leader, Swedish driver, Ulf Ohlsson.
Norwegian driver, Eirik Höitomt, was just one and a half points ahead of Williamson at the end of the Lindesberg meeting.
“It was a great day at Lindesberg, I actually hit the front of the leaderboard at one stage.”
“But my last couple of drives were real roughies.”
Williamson will compete in five more heats of the series in the early hours of Wednesday morning (New Zealand time).
He said he hoped he could secure some favoured drives
“Hopefully I can get on some favourites there and keep things rolling.”
Day four of the World Driving Championship will be held at the Sundbyholm track.