15/05/2014…Pam Franz…courtesy of Chris Metcalf
Matt Pascoe rebounded from the disappointment of his Australian Championship campaign with an exciting drive to victory in round 11 of the QA Developments Super Sedan Championship Series at Maryborough Speedway on Saturday night (May 10). Starting the 30-lap feature event from position five, Pascoe (Cranecorp Sweet-Chevrolet) steadily edged his way forward before swooping on Jason Campbell in lapped traffic to assume the lead. Campbell, who had established a significant advantage in the early laps, finished in second spot, with Wayne Randall securing a third-place finish aboard his KRB Trenching Rocket-Pontiac.
Kingaroy’s David Musch finished a fine fourth ahead of series leader Dale Christensen, who now has the championship in his keeping with just one round remaining. Ashley Peall and Brett Randall were next in advance of Gary Pagel, who was running inside the top three until a spin on lap three proved the catalyst for his charge from the back of the pack. Ian Brims was the last runner on the lead lap when the chequer fell, with Paul Geary, Grant Shaw, Peter Basmadjian, Graeme Elliott and Paul Coleman completing the finishers.
It was Campbell and Darren Kane who were the standouts in the preliminaries; the Dominator-mounted duo collecting two heat wins, although the latter was dealt a harsh penalty when stripped of his heat six victory following contact with one of the infield marker cones in his duel with Grant Shaw, who was also penalised for the same offence. The relegation of Kane and Shaw saw Peall leapfrog from third to first. The only others to visit victory lane in the heats were Wayne Randall and Pagel.
The 6-lap Penrite Dash saw Campbell score an emphatic win, finishing over three seconds clear of Randall, with Pagel, Musch and Pascoe next in line. Christensen started on pole position but any chance of securing the same position for the feature disappeared with a spin on the opening lap.
In what proved to be another terrifically exciting feature event – presented by Hervey bay Wreckers – Randall outjumped Campbell when the green flag flew to lead the opening lap. However, immediately following the restart the resulted from Pagel’s turn three turnaround, Campbell pounced to usurp Randall and quickly cleared away from the field. With 10 laps completed, Campbell enjoyed a half lap advantage and looked unstoppable as Randall found himself under intense scrutiny from Pascoe. Using the outside line to good effect, Pascoe moved ahead of Randall, only to have another restart negate the pass. With Randall drawing on his considerable experience and moving up-track from the resumption, it took until lap 17 before Pascoe was able to execute an inside pass and set sail after Campbell, who had cleared away once again at the restart. As the laps wound down, lapped traffic became a factor as Campbell found himself snookered on the low line while Pascoe edged closer with every circulation. Eventually, with just four laps to run, Pascoe steered around the outside of Campbell to assume the lead and secure a hard earned win.
The supporting events were also impressive with the Modified Sedans putting on a great display despite a very small field. Bundaberg’s Dennis Shallcross edged out pole qualifier Kerry Lack to win the feature event, with Brendan Bayfield storming home to finish third. Josh Harm, TJ Horne and Richard Brosnan were the only others to go the distance.
Likewise, Formula 500’s were down on numbers with shows in Mackay and Brisbane on the same night and it was Queensland champ Nathan Pronger who proved unstoppable in the feature race. Dale Shilletto annexed second spot over Ken Newton, with Phil Roberts, Blake Hancock and Paul Swindells rounding out the top six.
In Junior Sedan action, Brendan Learoyd upstaged his Australian Championship-winning brother to take out the feature event. Daniel Johnston and Joshua Schultz completed the podium, followed by Hayden Jones, Casey Collins and Rachel Jenkins.
After a slow start to the season, the Super Sedan brigade have hit their straps over the last few rounds and the scene is set for a great series finale at Gympie’s Mothar Mountain Speedway on Saturday, May 24. While Christensen seemingly has the championship wrapped up, the minor placings are yet to be decided with Musch, Pascoe and Kane all very much in contention.