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  • In front a packed house at Gympie’s Mothar Mountain Speedway on Thursday night (December 29), Darren Kane outgunned a quality field to win the opening night of competition in the 2016/2017 Super Sedan Summer Slam. Having finished equal top qualifier with South Australia’s Ryan Alexander, Kane subsequently led every lap of the 40-lap feature race to finish ahead of Matt Pascoe, who advanced from position nine. Toowoomba’s Sean Black rediscovered the form that carried him to the SSA Championship last season, finishing third after occupying the runner-up spot for most of the race. No doubt buoyed by his final heat race heroics, Matt Williams surged into fourth place, with Alexander finishing a fine fifth given his lack of familiarity with the unique Gympie layout.

    On a beautiful summers day, 31 cars from four states hit the track for the first ever Summer Slam showdown, proudly presented by Think Money and in support of Beyond Blue.

    The opening heat saw Black chase down David Musch for the win, with Jordan advancing from the back to snare third aboard the supercharged V6 normally campaigned by Gary Pagel.

    Alexander was in a class of his own in heat two, circulating almost a second faster than anybody else on his way to an easy win. Dempsie Pails finished in second spot ahead of Lachlan Onley.

    Pascoe had established a half lap lead in heat three and seemed on track for maximum points until he inexplicably spun in the hairpin with just three laps to run, handing the win to Newcastle’s Mark Towers. Justin Randall and Leigh Williams filled the minor placings, while Pascoe could salvage no better than seventh.

    It was Gavin Northfield who prevailed in heat four, leading Kane and Tim O’Shea to the line before Alexander doubled up in heat five, downing Darren Anning and Bob McCosker on this occasion.

    Black also collected a second win when he outpaced Jordan and Glenn Boulter in heat six before a close result in heat seven saw Jason Campbell edge out the Rockhampton-based duo of Matt Williams and Northfield.

    Kane downed Pascoe and Leigh Williams in heat eight, with heat nine falling in favour of Jordan over Boulter and Black.

    Onley held on to win heat ten from a fast finishing Alexander, with another good run from Anning into third place. It was Kane from Pascoe again in heat eleven, with Northfield third on this occasion.

    The final heat proved the best of the night with a mighty drive from Matt Williams to prevail by .076 over Peter Nicola. When Williams’ first attempt to round up the leaders on lap five resulted in contact from Campbell that sent him backsliding to sixth, his victory hopes looked dashed. However, the former Queensland champ stormed back through the field, rounded up Campbell and then launched a last-corner pass around Nicola that enabled him to edge ahead in the sprint to the line.

    At the completion of qualifying, Kane and Alexander sat atop the leader board with 116 points apiece, with Black and Jordan next best. Northfield, Matt Williams, Lachlan Onley, Campbell, Boulter, who would not take his place in the field for the feature, and Pascoe rounded out the top ten, with Anning, Towers, Justin Randall, McCosker, O’Shea and Peter Nicola also securing direct entry into the main event.

    The remainder of the feature race field would come via the B Main in which Mark Pagel, who was surprisingly off the pace on his home track, prevailed in advance of Sam Roza, Leigh Williams, Dempsie Pails, Musch and Wayne Dick. The biggest surprise amongst those who failed to make the feature was three-time national champ Michael Nicola, who exited the B Main after just six laps.

    In addition to leading every lap of the feature, Kane would also clock the fastest lap of the race in a return to the form that has eluded him for much of this season. Alexander lost second spot to Black almost immediately and it looked as though the top two spots would remain unchanged until Pascoe, no doubt ruing his heat race blunder, made his move with just three laps to run. Williams also finished strongly in relegating Alexander another spot, with Justin Randall producing a barnstorming run to advance from 13th to finish sixth ahead of Onley, Northfield, Peter Nicola and Jordan, while Campbell, Pagel, Towers, McCosker, Pails and Leigh Williams were the remaining finishers.

    Round two of the Super Sedan Summer Slam will be contested TONIGHT (Friday, December 30) at Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway, with round three to be staged at Toowomba Speedway on Saturday (December 31). The final round will be staged in conjunction with the Australian Street Stock Championship at Kingaroy Speedway on Sunday evening (January 1).

    The 2016/2017 Super Sedan Summer Slam is proudly supported by:

    Super Sedan Association
    Ian Boettcher Race Parts
    Ford Wreckers Redcliffe
    Think Money
    Tania’s T’s
    Speedway Sedans Queensland
    Speedway Sedans Australia
    Speedway Australia

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