AUSTRALIAN champions worked their magic to come away with more wins to add to their tally at Leeton’s Brobenah Speedway on the weekend.
In what was a hugely successful annual race meeting for the Leeton Motor Sports Club, current Australian champion Anthony Beare proved too good in the NSW SSA Street Stock Title, while another current national title holder in Callum Harper managed to achieve a hat trick of Long Track Classic victories in the Super Sedans.
With four blue-ribbon events on the program, along with support from a small field of Legend Cars, there was plenty of action on the 940-metre track, which saw other feature-race winners include local racer Justin Hawkins (Graham Bourke Memorial - Production Sedans), Mark Gordon (Ray Chaffey Memorial - GOSA Sedans) and Matt Gordon (Legend Cars).
Beare takes home the honours
With defending NSW champion Peter Thompson, from Kingaroy in Queensland, looking to hold onto his NSW SSA Street Stock Title, Beare, from Mount Gambier in South Australia, certainly wasn’t going to make it easy for Thompson or anyone else to claim the crown.
Qualifying on the outside of the front row for the NSW Title-deciding feature race alongside pole-sitter Jacob Mills (NSW), who was driving for local team Patriot Motorsport, it didn’t take long for Beare to assert his dominance, quickly making his way into the lead and attempting to create a gap from Mills, who had his sights set on chasing Beare down.
Surviving a challenge from Mills on lap five, which resulted in Mills sustaining damage as the pair fought for the lead, Beare didn’t put a foot wrong throughout the remainder of the 20-lap duration, going on to claim the chequered flag and adding to his title victories this season.
Not quite able to catch Beare for the win due to being forced to nurse a car that had dropped from six to five cylinders after a plug lead had come off, Mills was forced to settle for the runner-up spot, while Darryl Atkinson (Victoria) managed to retain his starting position, coming home in third in what was a career-best performance. Continuing what was a strong showing overall from the Victorian contingent, inaugural NSW champion Brad McClure and Jason DeGoldi rounded out the top-five finishers.
Failing to record a full lap, due to contact on the opening lap which saw him sustain steering damage, Thompson’s NSW title defence was overall a disappointing one as he encountered some misfortune during the heat races, while local Ricky Bright was unfortunately unable to start the feature race.
Banking maximum points after experiencing a faultless run throughout his heat races, Mills scored three wins from three starts to earn pole position for the feature race, while remaining heat-race wins were shared between Beare, Shane Roycroft (Victoria) and DeGoldi.
Third time’s a charm
After emerging victorious in the event over the past two seasons, Tasmanian-based Harper was no doubt going to give his all, as he attempted to claim a third consecutive win in the Long Track Classic, and that’s exactly what he did.
With the feature race cut down to 20 laps, Harper was in the best possible position to commence the race, having earned pole position; however, it was regular front-runner Brad Wicks (Victoria) who made the best of the start, pipping Harper at the drop of the green flag and controlling the pace out in front for the opening six laps.
Not willing to let his chance of a three peat pass him by, the current and two-time Australian champion refused to let Wicks pull away, eventually managing to overtake him for the lead, with his determination rewarding him with top honours as he crossed the finish line over eight seconds clear of his nearest rival.
Unable to reel Harper back in, Wicks came home in second place, followed by Lachlan Onley (NSW), who completed the podium finishers, while the top-five finishers were rounded out by Neil Whitnish (Victoria) and Paul Kranitis (NSW).
In a fitting prelude to the feature race, each of the four heat-race wins were shared between Wicks and Harper, with the pair claiming two apiece.
Home advantage pays dividends
In the Graham Bourke Memorial for Production Sedans, Hawkins proved that home-track advantage pays off, claiming the victory after taking the lead on lap three of the 15-lap feature race. Despite occupying first place in the early stages, Raymond Ussher (Victoria) couldn’t quite hold on to his position, ultimately placing second, while current NSW champion Damien McAlister (NSW) came away with third place.
Unfortunately for Wayne Bourke, son of the event’s namesake Graham Bourke, the local racer was unable to continue his winning streak after taking out the event in the past two seasons, finishing fourth, followed by Brett Norman (NSW) in fifth.
Heat-race wins went the way of Justin Hawkins, Scott Hawkins, Ussher, Bruce Robb, Damien McAlister and Bourke.
Making up a number of positions, Mark Gordon (NSW) did well to make his way into the lead on lap four of the 15-lap feature race and hold on to it through to the fall of the chequered flag to win the Ray Chaffey Memorial for GOSA Sedans, while James Powell (Victoria), who powered into the early lead but was unable to retain it, placed second and Troy Frost (Victoria) came home in third. Dave Walton (NSW) and Peter Little (NSW) finished in fourth and fifth place respectively.
Earlier in the night, heat-race victories were awarded to James Powell, Frost (two wins), Liam Powell, Liam Granger (NSW) and Little.
Small cars, big fun
In the Legend Cars feature race, Matt Gordon (Qld) took top honours ahead of four NSW-based drivers in Steve Chilby, Jim McCabe, Ken Davis and Mick Hebditch. The latter had earlier dominated proceedings in the three heat races.
Brobenah Raceway would like to thank the committee members, volunteers, competitors, spectators and everyone else involved for making this season’s race meeting a successful one.