Mika Forss dabbed his way to victory in the final heat of the night
With two of the four World Driving Championships heats at Mohawk on Monday night being for the square-gaiters it was no surprise to see the Europeans enjoy some success on night two. While the North Americans dominated night one in Calgary, it was a different type of force to hit Toronto with Finland’s Mika Forss enjoying his best ever performance on the world stage.
Representing his country at a World Driving Championships for the third time, Forss drove three winners in the four races at Mohawk while hometown hero James MacDonald picked up the other. Previously Forss has driven six winners and a second placing from seven drives at a meeting in his homeland however Forss repeated the effort of Dexter Dunn at Wagga in the 2015 WDC in driving a treble, a performance that put him on the path to win the series.
In contrast, it was a tough night at the office for Aussie Shane Graham as he failed to finish in the top three in any of the fours heats and failed to beat a runner home in the first two.
HEAT ONE – Reigning champion Dexter Dunn needed to secure big points on night two after trailing series leader Marcus Miller by 40 points going into the meeting. So it was no surprise to see Dunn drive aggressively on Windsong Magic and take the lead in the early stages. Windsong Magic looked to be holding its rivals up the long Mohawk straight, only to see Captain Canada James MacDonald charge down the outside to score. Shane Graham’s drive Avuncular dropped out on the turn and finished last while Mark Purdon was sixth on Vics Royal Lady.
1st Mystery Bet James MacDonald CANADA
2nd Windsong Magic Dexter Dunn NEW ZEALAND
3rd Musical Spell Eirik Hoitomt NORWAY
HEAT TWO – Mika Forss first sat behind a pacer in Sydney 2015 when he represented Finland at the World Driving Championships and after only a handful of attempts won a race at Newcastle driving the Joe Rando trained Satu.
Fast forward the clock two years and he picked up his second victory behind a pacer when Dialamara scored in heat two at Mohawk. Forss drove aggressively in the early stages to take the lead off the Dunn driven Bugger Bruiser and once the Finn backed the speed off in the middle stages it became a dash up the straight.
Dialamara snuck away on the home turn and held onto a comfortable lead until the finish line. Shane Graham again failed to beat a runner home when driving Grande Seelster.
1st Dialamara Mika Forss FINLAND
2nd Bugger Bruiser Dexter Dunn NEW ZEALAND
3rd On Golden Ponder Mark Purdon NEW ZEALAN
HEAT THREE – While Forss led throughout to win with Dialamara he was forced to come up with different tactics to win his second race of the series. Partnering Lights Go Out for trainer Rod Boyd he sat in the running line and waited patiently before making his move three wide before the turn.
Leader Duncs Diamond driven by Gerhard Mayr found nothing and when Forss asked his horse to extend it raced away and scored in second gear. Mark Purdon’s Miss Coco Luck loomed as a threat on the turn but couldn’t sprint with Lights Go Out.
Graham fared better driving 12-1 chance Justabit Mean into fourth spot while Dexter Dunn was 9th on Life Is A Lady.
1st Lights Go Out Mika Forss FINLAND
2nd Miss Coco Luck Mark Purdon NEW ZEALAND
3rd Pretty Hot Rik Depuydt BELGIUM
HEAT FOUR – In the biggest upset of the night, Forss made it a treble as 39/1 longshot Mego Moss overcame barrier ten to score. Regarded as a flyer off the gate, Mego Moss was expected to be the early leader but Forss grabbed hold in the early stages and went back to the rear of the field.
Forss weaved his way through the field around the corner before Mego Moss hit the front halfway up the straight. As the winning post neared and egged on by the USA media representative Ryan Macedonio, Forss ‘dabbed’ in his sulky on the line and produced the type of dance move that is a global craze.
The Mohawk crowd broke into laughter after watching the replay on the big screen and Forss’ grin told the rest of the story. Second was LMC Mass Oak for Dexter Dunn while Sky Lav was third for Bjorn Goop.
Shane Graham finished 8th on Willyorwonthe while Mark Purdon had gear issues and finished tenth.
1st Mego Moss Mika Forss FINLAND
2nd Lmc Mass Oak Dexter Dunn NEW ZEALAND
3rd Sky Lav Bjorn Goop SWEDEN.
The next round of heats will be conducted at Georgian Downs on Tuesday night and will be screened live into Australia on Wednesday morning.
The WDC standings after nine heats
1st Mika Forss FINLAND 95
2nd James MacDonald CANADA 83
3rd Marcus Miller USA 74.5
4th Dexter Dunn NEW ZEALAND 71
5th Shane Graham AUSTRALIA 62
6th Bjorn Goop SWEDEN 62
7th Gerhard Mayr AUSTRIA 57
8th Mark Purdon NEW ZEALAND 52
9th Noel Baldacchino MALTA 49
10th Eirik Hoitomt NORWAY 44.5
11th Rik Depuydt BELGIUM 43