Press Release by Speedway Sedans Western Australia
Fourteen years after his first victory in the event, Kye Blight has tonight won his second SSA Production Sedan WA Title, this time at the Tyrepower Manjimup Speedway!
In what was one of the most exciting and hard-fought titles seen, Blight raced his way from position eight on the grid to take the lead on lap eleven from early pace setter Rod Musarra, then pulled away to record a comfortable win over Jason Batchelor and brother Jake Blight.
With the final five qualifying races held earlier in the program (won by Stephen Pearce, defending champion Kyle Sayer, Beau Riley, Gaje Price and Jason Batchelor) it would be a Blight starting on pole position, but in the form of Jake as high points, starting alongside Rod Musarra, with the second row filled out by Price and Batchelor.
Beau Riley would win the first B main to make the big dance along with Calon Ball and Wayne Leviston while Mitchell Baker would advance from B Main number two, alongside Jayden McCuish and Ricky Williams.
With the twenty-two car field now set, and once the parade laps had been completed in front of the huge and appreciative Manjimup crowd, the race would get underway, with Musarra getting ahead by half a bumper as the race went green, then moving clearly into the lead as the field moved through turns one and two.
Jason Batchelor charged into second past Jake Blight with one complete while behind them Kye Blight was also moving forward, into fifth on lap two and fourth on lap three.Musarra was clear out front while Batchelor and the two Blights began to fight hard for the second position.
Lap five would see Kye Blight draw level with Batchelor as he passed Jake for third, and then moving past Batchelor in turn three to grab second on lap six.
Musarra was still out front, but Kye Blight looked to close the gap, while behind him was Batchelor holding off Jake Blight, former champion Drew Ogle and Hamish Macalpine who was gaining plenty of fans aboard his Cortina.
With ten laps complete Blight drew alongside Musarra, then made the move to take the lead through turns one and two, leading lap eleven.
The top two pulled away while a three car battle for third waged between Jake Blight, Batchelor and Ogle, all three making moves and changing positions over the next few laps.
Jayden McCuish would become the first retiree of the race on lap fifteen, and with twenty complete Blight was on the tail of the back makers, getting ready to lap them, with Musarra just over two second behind while the battle for third was still on, Batchelor now holding off Jake Blight and Ogle.
Just as punters began to think the race was going to go green to chequers, the yellow lights came on as Calon Ball spun in turns three and four, with Trent Claybrook also hitting the wall heavily in turn one as the lights came on, both cars unable to rejoin the race.
Jake Avins would also retire under the yellows.
The race restarted, but it didn’t last long as the yellows were out again a lap later as Hamish Macalpine spun heading into the back straight, Frank Does trying to avoid him and resulting in a flat right front tyre for the #3 machine, as Macalpine rejoined the field at the rear with eighteen remaining, but ultimately retiring infield as the race restarted.
Unfortunately, Rod Musarra hit the cone on that same restart, seeing the yellows come on again as the cone was stranded in the middle of the front straight, leaving Musarra to restart from the rear after running in second.
This left Kye Blight to lead away Batchelor and Jake Blight, but again the yellow lights would come on as a number of cars were baulked by a slowing Kyle Sayer, his title defense now over as he headed infield and the field back under cautions once more.
Kye would lead away with Batchelor and Jake still fighting with Ogle for position while Michael Clark was now running in fifth place.
With ten laps to go the top four had pulled away and spread out, with the real battle happening back in fifth as Clark was now coming under pressure from Aydan Trewern.
The laps continued to wind down and still the biggest battle was for fifth between Clark and Trewern with Beau Riley also joining in.In the end though it didn’t matter, Kye Blight racing away to claim the official win, crossing the line over two and a half seconds ahead of second placed Jason Batchelor and his brother Jake Blight in third.
Drew Ogle would hold for a popular hometown fourth place while Beau Riley continued his charge from seventeenth on the grid to claim fifth place.
The event was a great one at the Manjimup Speedway and we look forward to seeing the SSA Production Sedans back on show in the National Title at Ellenbrook Speedway in a few months time.
Feature, 40 laps: 1. W61 Jake Blight, 2. WA21 Rod Musarra, 3. W15 Gaje Price, 4. W46 Jason Batchelor, 5. W13 Drew Ogle, 6. W00 Hamish Macalpine, 7. W99 Benny Curtin, 8. W41 Kye Blight, 9. WA1 Kyle Sayer, 10. W7 Tylar Main, 11. W12 Aydan Trewern, 12. W3 Frank Does, 13. W28 Michael Clark, 14. W21 Trent Claybrook, 15. WX11 Jake Avins, 16. W75 Stephen Pearce, 17. W40 Beau Riley, 18. W9 Mitchell Baker, 19. W8 Calon Ball, 20. W58 Jayden McCuish, 21. W86 Wayne Leviston, 22. W92 Ricky Williams.
1. W41 Kye Blight, 2. W46 Jason Batchelor, 3. W61 Jake Blight, 4. W13 Drew Ogle, 5. W40 Beau Riley, 6. W28 Michael Clark, 7. W12 Aydan Trewern, 8. WA21 Rod Musarra, 9. W7 Tylar Main, 10. W15 Gaje Price, 11. W99 Benny Curtin, 12. W92 Ricky Williams, 13. W9 Mitchell Baker, 14. W86 Wayne Leviston. DNF: W75 Stephen Pearce (27), WA1 Kyle Sayer (22), W00 Hamish Macalpine (22), W3 Frank Does (22), W21 Trent Claybrook (21), WX11 Jake Avins (21), W8 Calon Ball (21), W58 Jayden McCuish (15). Total Time: No Time. Winning Margin: 2.520. Fastest Lap: 20.922 W41 Kye Blight.