IT was South Australian Dave Gartner’s night on Sunday in the Goulburn round of the National Super Sedan Series Championships.
A combination of good driving, luck and setting his car up to suit the tight Goulburn track enabled Gartner to take the chequered flag in the feature race.
Crashes and mechanical failures reduced the original starting field by half in the 35 lap feature race.
National champion Brad Smith jumped to the lead from the start leaving Gartner to chase him for 30 laps. Just five laps from home Smith faltered and with the skin ripped from the left hand side of his car he could take no further part in the race.
Moments earlier Wayne Randall, who had advanced from sixth on the grid, jumped around both Smith and Gartner to momentarily grab the lead only to lose it with the final restart. Randall finished the race with the podium second spot.
Darren Kane had started the feature third on the grid, but was relegated one spot for an infield infringement. He recovered the ground to finish as he started in third and regain the series lead.
Local driver Paul Kranitis put in a competitive performance despite sustaining some panel damage in earlier heats and failing to finish his final heat due to brake failure, caused by a minor altercation with another competitor’s machine.
Kranitis’s sedan was looking somewhat second hand and it was a credit to his driving skills that he was able to recover from a touch with Jason Campbell and a slide coming out of turn two in the greasy conditions caused by the light rain. He then clipped the 200 litre corner barrel in the final couple of laps of the race.
West Australian Kodee Brown finished in fourth with Steve Jordan in fifth. Michael Nicola had charged his way through the field to advance 10 places to sixth and secure the Supercharge Hard Charger Award.
Following behind were Matt Pascoe, Trent Wilson, Steve Latham, Bill Miller and Jason Campbell, with Paul Kranitis rounding out the finishers.
Lucas Roberts, Mark Pagel, John Brown and Luke Dodding all suffered flat tyres while the machines of Lachlan Onley and Tony Barklimore’s suffered other failures.
Heat winners included Mt Gambierbased Gartner, who won two and placed third in another to secure his pole position, Jordan, Roberts, Smith, Campbell, Kane, Pagel and Kodee Brown.
Gartner’s win advanced him to third position overall in the championships chase.
The next round of the series will be the opening round of the Gartner Transport triple challenge at Mildura’s Timmis Speedway on Friday night.
At the Goulburn presentation Gartner said that it was good to be heading to his home state and the family business sponsored series with a win.
He complimented the Goulburn Speedway Club for the effort they had put in to preparing the circuit for the event and the support local businesses, including the Goulburn Workers Club, who made staging events like theirs possible.
In the juniors support race Braydan Willmington was first, despite a flattened nose on his car, Scott Bradley from Portland was second and Samantha Hebdich from Canberra ran third in their feature race.
In the seniors support race Brett Norman took the flag followed by Craig McAlister and in third spot his father Brian McAlister.