07/01/13…Pam Franz…NSSS Media Release
South Australia’s Dave Gartner emerged triumphant in an action-packed round five of the 2012/2013 National Super Sedan Series at Goulburn Speedway last night (Sunday, January 6). In the first ever NSSS event staged at the venue, Gartner qualified on pole position for the 35-lap final but spent most of the race in pursuit of defending series champion Brad Smith, who surged into the lead on the opening lap. However, when Smith faltered with just five laps remaining, Gartner pounced to grab the lead and his first round win of the season.
Wayne Randall advanced from position six on the grid to finish second, charging into the lead momentarily at one stage with a simultaneous swoop around both Gartner and Smith, only to have the move negated by the final restart that resulted in Smith’s demise.
Having earlier been relegated one spot for an infield infringement, Darren Kane recovered to finish third and reclaim the series lead as a result. Western Australia’s Kodee Brown continued his run of strong results in fourth spot, with Steve Jordan fifth ahead of 16th-starting Michael Nicola, who stormed home to snatch sixth on the final lap and secure the Supercharge Hard Charger Award.
Matt Pascoe was next best, with Trent Wilson, Steve Latham, Bill Miller, Jason Campbell and Goulburn’s own Paul Kranitis completed the finishers in a gruelling race conducted in less than ideal conditions with light rain falling from the outset. Lucas Roberts, Mark Pagel, John Brown and Luke Dodding succumbed to flat tyres, while Lachlan Onley and Tony Barklimore also failed to go the distance.
Gartner was the standout performer in the heats with two wins and a third-place finish securing pole position for the feature event. Other heat winners on the night included Jordan, Roberts, Smith, Campbell, Kane, Pagel and Kodee Brown. Steve Pearce’s night ended early with a blown engine in his final heat, while Nigel Skeers failed to advance beyond hot laps courtesy of a broken tailshaft.
In contrast to the event in Dubbo 24 hours earlier, the feature race was halted on several occasions for a variety of mostly minor skirmishes and altercations. The wildest moment of the race came when Smith – having wrestled the lead back from Randall exiting turn four – slowed suddenly in the main straight and sent his pursuers scattering. Gartner was unable to avoid the stricken Smith and was launched into the air before returning to earth to assume the lead for the final dash to the chequer. With Randall unable to repeat his earlier heroics, Gartner saw out the final laps to secure the win and advance to third overall in the chase for the championship
The next round of the 2012/2013 National Super Sedan Series is the opening round of the Gartner Transport Triple Challenge at Mildura’s Timmis Speedway this Friday night, January 11.
Shock Doctor Lucky Sevens: Matt Pascoe
Supercharge Hard Charger: Michael Nicola
Oval Express Best Presented Car and Crew: Matt Pascoe
American Racer Encouragement Award: Lachlan Onley
2012/2013 National Super Sedan Series progressive pointscore: (top 20): Darren Kane 2183, Matt Pascoe 2117, Dave Gartner 2106, Mark Pagel 1789, Lachlan Onley 1717, Kodee Brown 1660, Steve Jordan 1552, Wayne Randall 1523, Michael Nicola 1473, Steve Pearce 1442, Lucas Roberts 1371, Jason Campbell 1369, Brad Smith 1360, Trent Wilson 1290, Steve Latham 1242, Tony Barklimore 1236, Bill Miller 1016, Luke Dodding 999, Michael Doblo 924, Wayne Brims 523