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  • Fresh from clinching his third Australian Championship, Matt Pascoe continued his winning ways at Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway on Saturday night (April 27) with victory in round 16 of the Brims Concrete Super Sedan Series. There was a feeling of familiarity for much of the feature with Darren Kane and Pascoe having cleared away from the field, only for Kane to strike trouble on lap 23 and exit, handing the lead to Pascoe, who would go on to finish ahead of Western Australian veteran Gary Higgs and Townsvilles Trent Wilson.

    In the final round of the Five Star Dirt Modified Series, Mark Robinson romped home to defeat Sam Bruggy, Scott Cannon, Kevin Britten and Ray Klarich in a race of high attrition.

    Other feature winners on the night were Trent Usher (Compact Speedcars), Jayden Iacono (Lightning Sprints), and Robert Kynaston (Ford vs Holden vs Sigma Sedans).

    After a few surprises in hot laps that saw Mark OBrien top the timesheets ahead of Tania Smith, Bob McCosker and Ed Doherty, it was Smith who streeted the field to win the opening heat, finishing more than seven seconds clear of McCosker and Wilson.

    The closest result of the night came in heat two when Wayne Randall downed Dale Christensen and Higgs.

    Heat three saw Pascoe prevail by more than six seconds, outpacing Tony Brinkmann and Ian Brims.

    The only blip on an otherwise impeccable sequence of qualifying heats came on lap three in the final preliminary when David OKeefe bicycled through turn and stopped after dropping back down to earth. Kane was clinical over the remaining laps to slay the field and leave second-placed Higgs more than nine seconds adrift, with Nicholas OKeefe finishing third.

    The Bronze round of the Pole Shootout saw Wilson emerge quickest ahead of Smith, putting them both into the next round and leaving McCosker and OBrien to share row four in the main event.

    The Silver shootout saw Kane outpace the others by a considerable margin, with Wilson continuing his progression as Smith and Wayne Randall bowed out.

    Running quicker again in the Gold showdown, Kane secured pole position ahead of Pascoe, Wilson and Higgs.

    At the drop of the green, Kane shot to the front ahead of Pascoe, with Higgs snatching third from Wilson and McCosker, who had leapfrogged Randall, Smith and OBrien. The first stoppage came on lap four when Colin Kaine, who had actually enjoyed a solid debut until that point, ground to a halt against the back straight wall. Pouncing from the outside in the two-wide restart, Higgs slotted into second spot behind Kane and it was only another five laps until the yellows were on again courtesy of Christensen stopping in turn two and subsequently heading infield. Just one more lap was completed before contact from OBrien sent Brinkmann into a spin, from which he emerged unscathed. Pascoe reclaimed second upon resumption and set about chasing down Kane and, while the scene at the front of the field was something we have seen many times before, unfortunately so was some of the carnage at the back of the pack. When Brims slowed in turn four to avoid a half-spun Ed Doherty, he wasn’t afforded the same courtesy and was hit hard by OBrien, the contact ultimately putting both cars out of the race and leaving Brims far from impressed. Kane led away again with 16 laps to run but Pascoe was edging closer with each circulation and another classic finish looked to be looming, only for Kane to spin in turn two with seven laps remaining and retreat to the infield, leaving Pascoe to lead the final restart from Higgs and Wilson. Both Randall and McCosker finished strongly, but ultimately the top three positions remained unchanged as Pascoe clinched his fourth consecutive feature race win. With Smith, Doherty, Nicholas OKeefe and Justin Randall, who won here last time out, also finishing on the infield, the only others to go the distance were Brinkmann and David OKeefe.

    Sam Bruggy got Dirt Modified qualifying underway with a win over Robinson and David Clark in the opening heat, with Kevin Stow outpacing Josh Rose and Britten in heat two.

    Trent Scofield blitzed the field in heat three, finishing more than 10 seconds clear of Brett Clarke and Chris Polsen, while Cannon downed Robinson and Dale Corbett in heat four.

    Britten was at his barnstorming best in heat five on his way to defeating Andrew Pezzutti and Brett Clarke, before Ray Klarich prevailed in the final heat in advance of Bruggy and Chris Corbett.

    Brett Clarke and Stow were eliminated in the first round of the Pole Shootout as Scofield and Cannon progressed to take on Robinson and Klarich.

    Cannon continued his advance when he joined Robinson in advancing to the final clash which was, perhaps not surprisingly, taken out by Britten. Robinson secured the other front row berth, with Cannon third and top pointscorer Bruggy relegated to fourth.

    The feature race bore a lot of similarities to the Super Sedan event that would follow in that, while the leaders were racing hard and clean at the front, some wild antics back in the pack relegated more than half the starters to the infield. Through it all, Robinson proved a class above, pouncing on a rare mistake from Britten on the opening lap to assume a lead who would maintain until the end. Lap three saw Britten drop two more spots to Bruggy and Cannon and, despite his best efforts, the Aussie champ could not fight his way back into a podium position. Robinson was untroubled in claiming the final round of the Five Star Series from Bruggy, Cannon and Britten, with Klarich finishing fifth and the final runner on the lead lap. Josh Rose took full advantage of the high rate of attrition to climb from 13th to sixth, while Scofield recovered from a spin to salvage seventh, leaving Andrew Firth and Peter Readett as the only others still mobile after 30 torrid laps. Amongst the casualties were David Clark, Andrew Pezzutti, Brett Clarke, Trevor Wiley, Stow, Polsen and both Corbetts, while a spin from Zac MacDonald in turn four on lap six saw him hit hard by both Anthony Ashen and Geoff Rose, both of whom would exit immediately as MacDonald persevered for a few more laps before also retreating to the grass.

    Following heat wins to Scott Jukes, Keith Blatch and Rob Holmes, it was Jayden Iacono who proved too quick in the feature race, leading his brother Sean to the chequer with Holmes annexing third ahead of Blatch and Kurt Wilson. Andrew Sparks and Jukes were next in line, with Australian champ Chris Davis and Tyler Stralow the only other finishers in a field reduced by a couple of spectacular heat race incidents. Dave Fanning rode out a wild ride in heat two when he climbed the main straight wall and crashed out without completing a lap, while the final heat saw half the field eliminated in a turn two melee.

    Steve Swingler, Trent Usher and Rob Stewart shared the spoils in the Compact Speedcar heats with a win apiece. In the feature race, Usher skipped clear of the field to establish a sizeable lead as Swingler and Stewart found it a little more difficult to move forward. Eventually though, they would slot into the minor placings with Swingler looking to have second spot wrapped up until the final moments when he found himself taking the chequer upside down and relegated to third as Stewart slipped ahead. Nick Gannon finished fourth ahead of Richard Rooke, Andrew Sparkes, Dave Swan and the final runner in Dave Collins.

    Robert Kynaston, Merv Price and Dave Tookey all snared heat wins in Ford vs Holden vs Sigma racing, with Kynaston proving too pacey in the feature race. Tookey took second ahead of Michael Laver, Maverick Dack and Kevin Maher.

    The next event at Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway is Saturday, May 11 featuring round 14 of the East Coast Sprintcar Track Championship and 50-lap feature for Midgets and Wingless Sprints, plus AMCA Nationals and Formula 500 Juniors.
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