Joel Berkley is the highest point scorer after the opening night of the Speedway Sedans Australia, JAC Civil, National Production Sedan Title, at the Fraser Shores Maryborough Speedway, which had absolutely everything, including rain, fires, crashes, spectacular rollovers and some excellent raining.
The opening heat despite taking thirteen minutes of race time to complete, in fact one hour and fifty three minutes to complete after rain hit the venue mid race. The race started with Kev Young hitting the fence on the opening lap, followed by Mark Quirk spinning in turn two on the subsequent restart. When Rick Hazelgrove spun on lap eight in turn four, the rain intensified, leading to a lengthy break. Drivers were afforded hot laps on the return to racing, which was a disaster for Brendan Harper and Brett Baxter, who both hit the fence in the hot lap session, while Johnny Ralph caught on fire. Only four cars would finish, with Brad Scherer defeating Nick Cook and Kev Young.
The opening heat would set the scene for the rest of the night, with heat two as dramatic as the opening heat. Monique Bailey spun on the opening lap, and then spun again on the resumption. The following restart would see Aaron Sander spin in turn one, while at the opposite end of the track, Brian Grundy would spin resulting in a further stoppage. Wade Flikweert would then spin in turn three, with the second lap taking a very long time to complete. When all looked destined for an end to the race, Darren Dalton spun on the last lap, requiring a stoppage. During this time, Justin Hawkins who was second at the time suffered a flat tyre. Maddi McGee would eventually win the race, defeating Jack Millthorpe and Jim Cowley. Flikweert would lose a wheel on the last lap, capping off a race that many would rather forget.
The third heat would be a thriller, but it did also take twenty two minutes to complete, including three restarts on the final lap. Brett Barron was able to hold off Josh Harm and Joel Berkley, with the trio separated by 0.628.
Jarrod Peacock would come from position seven to win heat four, but was assisted by several stoppages, one which was for Craig Harm who stopped on the back straight while leading. Damien McAlister who came from position nine finished second, while Cameron Vicary finished third.
Daniel Henshaw would provide a spectacular spin in heat five, as he spun through the oncoming traffic, with drivers doing well to miss Henshaw, with just one car making contact. Upon the resumption, Adrian Stott, who was celebrating his birthday would hold off National Champion Trevor Mills, with the pair never separated by more than a car length throughout. Richard Cook would finish a distant third.
Heat six would see a seven car pile-up from two separate incidents thirty metres apart in turn one and two. Josh Crang would suffer serious damage, ending his title chances. Brayden Pacey would suffer the wrath of the officials, the first driver for the night to be disqualified for causing two stoppages. Chris Pagel would take the lead mid race, after West Australian Jeff Pahl had control for the first six laps. Steve Downes would finish third.
Brett Baxter would lead all the way in heat seven, accounting narrowly for Adrian Stott and Josh Harm.
A great race developed throughout heat eight, but alas for the drivers concerned, it was for second place, as Jim Cowley drove away from the opposition, recording the biggest win of the night to that point. Brett Barrow held off the challengers, finishing second ahead of Damien McAlister.
The racing was getting better, race by race, with heat nine seeing three drivers fight out the lead for the entire twelve laps. Brendan Bayfield, Ray Ussher and Craig McAlister where never separated by more than two car lengths at any point of the race, with Bayfield prevailing.
Mark Quirk did not get a good start in heat ten, breaking his steering at the start of the race. National Champion, Trevor Mills would put in a dominant performance, downing Tim Atkin and Brayden Pacey. It would also be the first heat of the night, to go without a stoppage.
Heat eleven would see Andrew Beaton lead all the way, defeating Scott Thomsen and Richard Cook, with Zachary Harris finishing fourth after being second for the first ten laps in an entertaining race.
Heat twelve had multiple lead changes amongst three drivers with Nick Cook leading early, having the lead taken from him by Josh Arthur, who was then relegated for an unfair passing move at the next stoppage, elevating Cook back to the lead. Cook was then passed by Joel Berkley would defeat Cook and Arthur in a close race, with less than five seconds covering the whole field.
Heat thirteen will be long remembered for a spectacular crash involving Scott Thomsen and Ray Ussher, with pair in the leading pack, before both drivers rolled over in spectacular fashion in turn two. Both drivers were unharmed in the incident. Only five drivers would finish after numerous other incidents which also saw Brett Baxter disqualified for causing two stoppages. Stephen Laidlaw would prevail, defeating Patrick Brennan and Gemma Laidlaw.
Jarrod Peacock and Daniel Henshaw went bumper to bumper in heat fourteen, just the second race to go flag to flag for the night. Jeff Pahl would finish third.
Josh Arthur survived a late stoppage to win heat fifteen, accounting for Brad Scherer and Aaron Sander.
Cars would go in all directions in heat sixteen as race leader Travis Hutchison ran out of noise. On the restart, Scott Duthie would spin in turn two, leaving no where for Wayne Bourke to go, resulting in a head on crash, eliminating both drivers. Tim Atkin would take some much needed points, defeating Chris Pagel and Brayden Pacey.
A great race between Damien McAlister and Trevor Mills endured for the entire twelve laps in heat seventeen. Mills tried everything to pass McAlister, but to McAlisters credit, he never put a wheel wrong to claim a narrow win over the National Champion, with Jack Millthorpe third.
The final heat of the night, would go very wrong for many drivers, starting with a multi car crash in turn two on the opening lap. Darren Dalton was one of many cars to be involved and after being pushed to the infield the car burst into flames, rolling from the infield back onto the race track. Later in the race, Zachary Harris would spin, leaving Rick Hazelgrove no room to move, slamming into Harris and losing his front end in the process. Joel Berkley would hold off Malcolm Kernke and Russell Cowley, to claim the most points on a very eventful opening night.
Racing will commence on Sunday, with the final round of heats from 4.00pm EST.
OFFICIAL POINTS 1 Q9 Joel Berkley 95 2 A1 Trevor Mills 92 3 N21 Damien McAlister 87 4 Q115 Tim Atkin 81 5 Q53 Jarrod Peacock 80 6 Q3 Brad Scherer 77 7 Q23 Adrian Stott 77 8 Q15 Josh Arthur 76 9 Q24 Chris Pagel 74 10 Q5 Nick Cook 73 11 Q11 Josh Harm 68 12 Q48 Brett Barron 68 13 Q61 Jim Cowley 64 14 Q18 Brendan Bayfield 62 15 Q2 Jeff Pahl 59 16 V31 Stephen Laidlaw 57 17 Q51 Richard Cook 56 18 V55 Jack Milthorpe 55 19 Q38 Maddi McGee 50 20 Q97 Patrick Brennan 47 21 Q63 Brayden Pacey 46 22 Q71 Kev Young 46 23 V26 Gemma Laidlaw 46 24 Q35 Brett Baxter 44 25 Q0 Scott Thomsen 44 26 N33 Craig McAlister 43 27 Q4 Malcolm Kernke 43 28 Q37 Andrew Beaton 41 29 Q6 Rick Hazelgrove 40 30 Q16 Aaron Sander 39 31 V98 Ray Ussher 38 32 N85 Cameron Vicary 38 33 Q14 Daniel Henshaw 37 34 N29 Steve Downes 37 35 N39 Kiel Rosevear 37 36 Q10 Russell Cowley 37 37 N83 Chris Besseling 36 38 N58 Trent Nicolia 33 39 Q22 Zachary Harris 33 40 Q8 Alex Sweeney 33 41 N27 Wayne Bourke 32 42 N75 Matt Vicary 30 43 Q36 Tim Smith 29 44 Q28 Scott Duthie 27 45 N56 Justin Hawkins 26 46 Q17 Neil Keldoulis 26 47 N81 Darren Dalton 26 48 N119 Matt Hutchison 25 49 Q47 Steve Jordan 24 50 N19 Monique Bailey 24 51 Q88 Craig Harm 23 52 Q66 Matty Smith 23 53 Q89 Wade Flikweert 23 54 Q7 Travis Hutchison 22 55 Q96 Amy Evans 22 56 Q45 Joel Thomas 21 57 V158 Brendan Harper 20 58 Q68 Kayla Stokes 16 59 Q57 William Graham 16 60 N12 Steven Terry 13 61 N41 Mark Qirk 11 62 Q25 Selina Jennings 10 63 N59 Aaron Hall 9 64 Q78 Josh Crang 8 65 S44 Adam Wilson 7 66 N65 Stuart Fawcett 6 67 N49 Johnny Ralph 6 68 Q34 Brian Grundy 2 69 Q32 Brody Fraser 0
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