Kane Takes Toowoomba NSSS Round 3

01/01/10…NASR National Office

Defending series champion and current national titleholder Darren Kane was the dominant force in round three of the 2009/2010 Carline Mufflers National Super Sedan Series at Toowoomba’s Charlton Raceway last night (Thursday, December 31).  Having qualified on the outside front row, Kane trailed pole sitter Dave Gartner for a handful of laps before surging to the front and speeding clear of the field, moving to the top of the championship standings and taking out the Ocean Tyres Queensland Cup along the way.

Working overtime to tame his wheel-hiking GT Bobcat Dominator-Mustang, Gartner did a great job to retain second spot, while Townsville’s Trent Wilson marked his arrival on the national Super Sedan landscape with an outstanding drive into third place ahead of fellow young guns in Clayton Pyne and B Main winner Ashley Bergmeier.

Michael Nicola was next best, with Kevin Purton, Brad Smith, previous round winner Matt Pascoe and Wayne Miles rounding out the top ten. Des Korn, Lachlan Onley and Shane Best were the only others to go the distance in what was another stop-start affair plagued by incidents and accidents that proved frustrating for officials, competitors and spectators alike and overshadowed some good performances. Casualties in the chaos included Steve Jordan, Tania Smith, Wayne Brims, Bill Miller, Chris Bussey, Matt Williams and Sam Hughes.

Whilst Kane was pretty much untroubled at the front of the field, there was action aplenty in the battle for the minor placings as Gartner found himself increasingly under siege as the laps wound down. In fact, Wilson usurped Gartner from the runner-up position at one stage, only to be penalised two positions by race officials for an infield pass at a subsequent restart.  Wilson remained unfazed by this setback and spent the rest of the race engaged in a scrap with Pyne for the final podium position that wasn’t resolved until the final corner when Wilson charged under Pyne and edged ahead in the sprint to the chequer. 

The last corner scramble also enabled Bergmeier – who started from position 15 – to edge out Nicola by 8/100 of a second for fifth spot in a performance that ultimately secured the Super Charge Hard Charger Award. 

Heat winners on the night were Kane, Korn, Smith, Purton, Bergmeier, Gartner, Wilson, Best and Jamie McHugh, whose performance in the final heat was simply stunning.  After starting at the back of the grid and desperate for points having missed his previous heat, McHugh stormed around the outside of the entire field to score an amazing win. 

Bergmeier finished ahead of Matt Williams, Miller, Smith, Brims, Onley, Graeme Elliot and Matthew Hawkings in the B Main.  Despite being unable to take his place in the field, Chris Jensen emerged as the winner of the Ocean Tyres Queensland Cup for non-contracted drivers, trekking to all three Queensland rounds from his Townsville base.

Contingency winners

AFCO Shock Doctor Lucky Sevens – Kevin Purton Joe Gibbs Racing Oils Lucky 13 – Shane Best Super Charge Hard Charger – Ashley Bergmeier Oval Express Best Presented Car and Crew – Des Korn

2009/2010 Carline Mufflers National Super Sedan Series progressive pointscore top ten (after 3 of 10 rounds): Darren Kane 1174, Matt Pascoe 916, Dave Gartner 840,  Michael Nicola 830, Steve Jordan 776, Trent Wilson 755, Clayton Pyne 744, Ashley Bergmeier 732, Brad Smith 711, Shane Best 703