05/01/2014…Pam Franz…courtesy of NSSS/SSA Media
Victoria’s Mick Nicola has emerged victorious in round two of the 2013/2014 National Super Sedan Series, drawing on all his experience to win the New Year’s Eve fixture at Gympie’s Mothar Mountain Speedway. Nicola qualified on pole position but found himself under constant pressure throughout the 35-lap affair, with both Michael Doblo and Matt Pascoe launching raids on the lead. However, the three-time national champion was unflappable in the dusty conditions and remained in control when the chequer was unfurled.
For Doblo, his second runner-up result in as many events saw him clinch the QSCA Queensland Cup and he is now perched atop the championship leader board in what has been a stellar start to his bid for a second NSSS crown. Improving upon his fourth-place result from the opening round, local favourite Mark Pagel finished third on this occasion and now sits third overall in the championship standings.
Jason Campbell enjoyed a very solid night that culminated in a fourth-place finish ahead of Lachlan Onley, who finished third in the corresponding event at this circuit last season. Matt Williams finished sixth to secure the Queensland Cup for the top placed non-contracted driver after the opening two rounds, with Peter Nicola, Dale Christensen, Tim O’Shea and Michael Roza rounding out the top ten.
Having put in a spectacular drive that took him to the lead momentarily, a frustrated Pascoe could only muster a 12th-finish behind Sean Black. Having trailed Nicola and Doblo in the early laps, Pascoe surged around the outside of both of them to take the lead, only for the race to be halted when Gary Pagel spun to a halt on lap 15. Officials reinstated Nicola to the lead and a great restart from Doblo saw him regain second spot. Pascoe demoted Doblo again on lap 18 and made another bid for the lead with an audacious three-wide swoop through turn two that unfortunately resulted in the Australian Champion sliding to a halt in the back straight.
Meanwhile, opening round winner and defending series champion Darren Kane also endured a difficult night, an engine breakage in his own Ian Boettcher Race Parts Dominator-Nissan necessitating a swap to Jack Childs’ car for the feature race, which resulted in a 13th-place finish and the Supercharge Hard Charger Award after starting 21st. Bill Miller was next best, with the luckless Gary Pagel completing the finishers.
Casualties included Tony Barklimore, Dave Gartner and Steve Latham, all of whom exited on lap 26 whilst running inside the top ten, while Dempsie Pails, Graeme Elliott and Western Australia’s Rob Bawdon also failed to go the distance.
In his first ever look at the Gympie circuit, Peter Nicola impressed in collecting a heat win, with Mick Nicola, Doblo, Pascoe, Williams, Barklimore, Gartner, Mark Pagel and Gary Pagel also visiting victory lane during the preliminaries.
The feature race was the culmination of a good night of competition in front of a very healthy Gympie crowd, a great way to end the year as the series now heads south to Goulburn Speedway for round three on Saturday night (January 4).
Following his fifth place result in the opening round, Mick Nicola now sits second overall in the championship standings, 82 points adrift of Doblo, with Mark Pagel a further 78 points back. Kane has slipped to fourth overall ahead of Pascoe, Campbell, Peter Nicola, Onley, Willams and Black.
2013/2014 National Super Sedan Series Round 2: 1 Michael Nicola, 2. Michael Doblo, 3. Mark Pagel, 4. Jason Campbell, 5. Lachlan Onley, 6. Matt Williams, 7. Peter Nicola, 8. Dale Christensen, 9. Tim O’Shea, 10. Michael Roza 11. Sean Black, 12. Matt Pascoe, 13. Darren Kane 14. Bill Miller, 15. Gary Pagel, 16. Dave Gartner, 17. Tony Barkimore, 18. Steve Latham, 19. Dempsie Pails, 20. Graeme Elliott, 21. Rob Bawdon
2013/2014 National Super Sedan Series progressive pointscore (top 20): Michael Doblo 1020, Michael Nicola 938, Mark Pagel 860, Darren Kane 785, Matt Pascoe 698, Jason Campbell 657, Peter Nicola 616, Lachlan Onley 577, Matt Williams 567, Sean Black 508, Bill Miller 464, Gary Pagel 438, Dave Gartner 436, Tony Barklimore 408, Graeme Elliott 395, Steve Latham 385, Dale Christensen 304, Brett Randall 288, Tim O’Shea 259, Jack Childs 256
The 2013/2014 National Super Sedan Series is proudly supported by:
Speedway Sedans Australia
Super Charge Batteries
Queensland Saloon Car Association