• The ‘Healesville Directional Drilling’ Late Model Sedan Victorian title was decided at the huge and excitingly fast Alexandra Speedway on April the 9th with Sydneysider David Doherty arriving in town for fun & driving out of town a winner when he defeated event sponsor and local favourite Justin Pearson to take the big prize with Nathan Disney from Newcastle in third place.

    Seventeen cars made it to race day with a driver from Western Australia, South Australia, New Zealand & seven from New South Wales tackling seven Victorians in an attempt to steal the big win.
    Defending champion Ben Nicastri was amongst the field fresh from winning the NSW title the week before & second place in that NSW event; Nathan Disney (# 11 Adamstown Car Doctors) also made the trip to Victoria.

    In six heat races; Doherty and Justin Pearson both took two wins apiece with Michael Holmes from WA & Chevy Edwards locally from Eildon both popular in the wins they took; as was Pearson with his staff cheering on from a business marquee.

    Starting off the night with an almost four second win, Doherty was slightly quicker than in his earlier hot lap session times with a 17.719 best lap time & he proved too strong for Scott McPherson who had landed a set of wheels from Bruce Mackenzie after his engine went down the drain recently. Matt Crimmins began his night well with a third place ahead of the last Alexandra meeting winner Todd Bayley (# 19 Shannon Australia). Bruce Mackenzie , Holmes, Tim McPherson (# 97 Lincoln’s Earthmoving) & Brock Edwards rounded out the field as all starters finished the ten laps without a stoppage in the Belkblast Protective Coating/McGrath Foundation supported race.

    A slightly slower race time in the ‘Crockford Real Estate Tauranga NZ/Vermeulen Motorsport’ supported second heat also saw the closest race finish for the evening when; after taking the lead on lap five, Chevy Edwards defeated Disney by .797 of a second in another race that went the distance without a stop. Behind Edwards and Disney was Cameron Pearson, Justin Pearson, Danny Amato (# 0 Australian Racing Products), Nicastri who found it tough to move forward from the back of the field, Liam Heaton & the Kiwi Kristin Vermeulen.

    Unfortunately veteran Graham Forte (# 7 Echuca Metaland) from Barmah in New South Wales had engine concerns after hot laps and had no option except to park his car for the night and watch everybody else.

    In the only heat race that had a stoppage, Justin Pearson proved to be too strong in the race supported by “Prestige Hino Dandenong’. At the start of the race Nicastri had a taste of the concrete wall in turn four and found himself bouncing around in front of the field & Crimmins (# 10 Hytek Concrete Australia) unfortunately was innocently damaged when he had nowhere to go.

    Justin Pearson then defeated Bayley, Disney, Doherty who had started eighth and was fourth by lap two, Cameron Pearson & Brock Edwards(# 12 Lake Eildon Houseboat Sales).

    West Australian Michael Holmes (# 91 Ozmine Drill Consumables) took his win in the ‘Petrogas’ supported fourth heat and it went down well with appreciative fans acknowledging his effort in being from the West and needing to get that race car home again after the nights racing.
    Holmes had an almost five second distance between he and Heaton at the finish line with Chevy Edwards, Amato, Vermeulen (# 9 Belkblast Powder Coating), Mackenzie & Scott McPherson finishing behind.

    Seven started and all finished in what was the slowest start to finish heat for the drivers for the night.

    Moisture from underneath the clay surface then made its way through to the top in the night air & Doherty went about setting the fastest ten lap time for the night with a 2 minute 59.847 second result in the ‘Progressive Traffic Solutions’ heat five in a win over Holmes, Mackenzie (# 6 Humanforce), Scott McPherson & Vermeulen. Doherty won by almost eight seconds and putting down a 17.439 lap time along the way.

    Pearson (# 25V Healesville Directional Drilling) went on to defeat his son Cameron in the ‘AKT Trophy Centre Croydon’ supported race with Brock Edwards, Bayley, Disney & Amato the other finishers in the final heat. Chevy Edwards lost a wheel on lap one whilst Tim McPherson didn’t start & was still in the pits making repairs to his machine in an attempt to make the final.

    A win in the last heat would secure Justin Pearson on equal points with Doherty with the fastest lap time recorded determining the start positions in the top eight shootout before the title race.

    The AA Industrial Supplies Bayswater’ shootout began with the fifth through to eighth qualifiers up against each other with the top two moving on into the next shoot out. Disney & Bayley held out Scott McPherson (# 66x TimeTarget) and Chevy Edwards and moved on to compete with Cameron Pearson & Holmes. The latter two were able to hold out the others and move into the battle for pole position with Doherty & Justin Pearson.

    Justin Pearson from his outside position let rip around the outside of Doherty in turn two and went on to win pole position from Doherty, Cameron Pearson (# 10 Progressive Traffic Solutions) & Holmes setting a fastest one lap time of 17.437 just .002 faster than Doherty’s earlier best one lap time.

    Excitement for the thirty lap ‘Healesville Directional Drilling’ Victorian title was massive as the crowd got right behind the local hero who had put himself on pole position.

    After pre-race ceremonies, the race began with Doherty from the prized outside starting position taking the lead quickly with JP slipping behind Holmes into third ahead of Cameron Pearson & Disney.

    By lap five, fifteenth placed starter and defending champion Nicastri, had moved into twelfth spot & the positions by lap seven after Holmes exited the race thinking he had a flat tyre, were Doherty, Justin Pearson, Disney, Cameron Pearson & Bayley before he dropped out of the race not long after hitting the concrete wall and Chevy Edwards moved into the top five.

    Doherty was still leading at lap ten with JP chasing, Nicastri (# 99 ACM Parts) had moved up to tenth after Crimmins pulled infield having broken his differential & the lead drivers were catching up to him as they worked through traffic.

    Doherty led JP, Disney, Cameron Pearson and Chevy Edwards (# 21 Provender Country Bakehouse) on lap twenty with Nicastri now in seventh and ten laps to go.

    With Cameron Pearson dropping out of the race after blowing an engine & Brock Edwards breaking a tailshaft, Nicastri moved into the top five behind Chevy Edwards & then a race incident on the back straight between Justin Pearson & Disney occurred where Disney was left on the infield before coming to a halt close to the track.

    Stewards couldn’t call it so it was deemed a race incident and both drivers put back to second and third spot and a yellow light re-start required.

    The field were now bunched up for the final five laps after running twenty five without a stop & Doherty kept his composure to fire out to the lead once more with JP leading the chase.

    When the chequered flag fell it was Doherty from Justin Pearson, Disney, Chevy Edwards, Nicastri, Scott McPherson, Mackenzie, Heaton (# 89 TAI Powdercoat & Spray Finishes)& Vermeulen with all on the lead lap accept for Vermeulen.

    In victory lane a champagne shower with support from ‘Thirsty Camel Alexandra’ took place as Pearson & Disney showered the winner Doherty (# 25N Active Power Steering) before he said a few celebratory words. “I would like to thank all my crew and supporters for being behind my racing. Well done to the Victorian Late Model Club, the host club Alexandra & the other competitors for their results and competition.”

    The Late Model Racing Victoria team would like to thank the following for their support of the Victorian title.

    Healesville Directional Drilling
    Petrogas
    AA Industrial Supplies Bayswater
    Prestige Hino Dandenong
    Belkblast Protective Coating/McGrath Foundation
    Crockford Real Estate Tauranga/Vermeulen Motorsport
    Progressive Traffic Solutions
    AKT Trophy Centre Croydon
    Australian Racing Products
    Q Racing Oil
    Barry Wright Race Cars
    Old School Plaster Cartage
    Herdy’s Trailer Hire Alexandra
    Devil Race Parts
    Triangle Weed Control
    Victory Lane Racegear
    Eildon Auto Repairs & Towing
    HDD Racing
    Edwards Motorsport
    Sausage Sizzle Crew
    Metro Tow
    Hetherington Race Team
    Fine Design Projects
    Forte Engineering
    Lambs On Malvern
    Murrindindi Kitchens
    Fast Freddies Tyre Service
    Fineblade Concreting
    Time Target
    Echuca Metaland
    Keath’s Excavations
    V & R Vella Concreting
    Thirsty Camel Alexandra

    Written by
    Dean Thompson
    DMT Sports Media
    For LMRV Inc



    David Doherty the winner of the Victorian title (C) Inaction Photos




    Justin Pearson a local was second on his home track (C) Inaction Photos




    Nathan Disney came from Newcastle to finish third (C) Inaction Photos

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