Monday, November 26, 2012

Speedway champions strut their stuff

REIGNING V8 speedway champions took the main honours at the Mountain Dew Ice Raceway, near New Norfolk, on Saturday night, with current national super sedan series champion Brad Smith and reigning state sprintcar champion Jason Dawkins both scoring impressive victories in their respective finals.

In the Super Sedan Sizzler, Smith, of Devonport, capped off the perfect preparation for his national series defence, which starts in Queensland next week. Smith won both heats convincingly and qualified on pole position for the 20-lap final and led from start to finish to record his third consecutive victory on Tasmanian tracks this season. Fellow North-West Coastal driver Callum Harper, of Hellyer Beach, took the race up to Smith in the early stages, but the Devonport driver was able to find drive on a slick track and open a decisive break after six laps. Devonport rookie and former junior sedan driver Ethan Cole showed plenty of promise to finish third after starting behind experienced veterans Leon Cleary, of Hobart, and Devonport’s Grant Hopkins, but passing them both in the final to claim a well-deserved third. The win gave Smith plenty of confidence ahead of his national series title defence, claiming it was the most confident he had ever felt heading into his seventh national series.

Meanwhile reigning Tasmanian sprintcar champion Dawkins was equally impressive in his final, but had to work hard for victory after starting on grid four for the 30-lap decider. Dawkins, of Launceston, started strongly and had worked his way up to second after eight laps, when fellow Launceston driver Jamie Bricknell was involved in a crash which halted the race. Bricknell had started on pole position for the final after a first and a second in his heats and led the race early. However, he made heavy contact with a lapped car and then the wall, ending his night on the tow truck. Bricknell suffered a similar fate, coincidentally with the same lapped car, a month ago at the southern track when he had the race in his keeping and will keen to dismiss any thoughts of a Hobart hoodoo when he next races at the venue. With Bricknell’s demise, Dawkins inherited the lead and led the field at the subsequent re-start, pulling out a large break over the remaining laps and lapping all but the top four, to win convincingly from Mark House, of Forest, and Launceston’s Kurt Luttrell.

On the same program, Longford’s Bruce Pitt was too good in the second round of the Super Series for Lightning Sprints, winning both heats, qualifying on pole position for the final and leading from green light to chequered flag to score his second consecutive round victory and take a decisive lead in the series. Sassafras driver Luke Redpath and current state champion Kerry Short, of Burnie, came out on top in a  battle for the minors, to take s share of equal second in the series.

Hobart’s Daniel Brooks scored a thrilling win in the V8 AMCA final after a race-long battle with Latrobe’s Kallan Muir. The pair raced side by side for a number of laps, swapping and changing the lead, before Muir over-cooked his run to the line, coming unstuck on the last lap, but recovering to claim second ahead of  Hobart’s Shaun Kelly. Penguin’s Terry Watson made a brilliant start in the wingless sprintcar final, to score his second consecutive victory after also winning at Latrobe the previous week. Racing back in the pack for the minor placings was close and exciting, with Latrobe driver Scott Bissett getting the better of Devonport’s Chris Breen in the dying stages. Elsewhere on the program, Ulverstone driver Dale Riley Jr picked up his first win in a final this season, leading the street stock sedan final, while Hobart’s Kylie Jetson showed the boys the way home in a bruising bombers final, managing to avoid the carnage for a clean victory.

RESULTS: National Pies Sizzler (V8 super sedans) – Heat one:  B Smith, 1; C Harper, 2; G Hopkins, 3. Heat two: B Smith, 1; C Harper, 2; G Hopkins, 3. Final (20 laps): B Smith, 1; C Harper, 2; E Cole, 3. Sprintcars – Heat one: M House, 1; J Bricknell, 2; S Robbins, 3. Heat two: C Johns, 1; K Luttrell, 2; J Dawkins, 3. Heat three:  J Bricknell, 1; R Dawkins, 2; J Dawkins, 3. Final (30 laps): J Dawkins, 1; M House, 2; K Luttrell, 3. V8 AMCAs – Heat one: E Stuart, 1; S Kelly, 2; K Muir, 3. Heat two:  A Ryder, 1; C Bagorski, 2; E Stuart, 3. Heat three: K Muir, 1; D Brooks, 2; C Bagorski, 3. Final (15 laps):  D Brooks, 1; K Muir, 2; S Kelly, 3. Launceston Powder Coating Lightning Sprint Super Series (round two) – Heat one: B Pitt, 1; L Redpath, 2; B Webster, 3. Heat two: B Pitt, 1; B Webster, 2; L Redpath, 3 Final (15 laps): B Pitt, 1; L Redpath, 2; K Short, 3. Wingless sprintcars – Heat one: P John,; T  1; Watson, 2; J Goodluck, 3. Heat two: C Gallagher, 1; C Breen, 2; T Watson, 3. Final (15 laps): T Watson, 1; S Bissett, 2; C Breen, 3. Street stock sedans – Heat one:  M Hammond, 1; M Farrell, 2; D Riley Jr, 3. Heat two:  S Russell, 1; D Croft, 2; M Farrell, 3. Heat three: D Riley Jr, 1; D Croft, 2; J Rogers, 3. Final ( 15 laps): M Hammond, 1; D Riley Jr, 2; D Croft, 3. Bombers – Heat one: D Greaves, 1; K Abel, 2; S Devine, 3. Heat two:  J Cooley, 1; S Devine, 2; K Jetson, 3. Final (15 laps):  K Jetson, 1; M Hart, 2; K Abel, 3.

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