Rain, accidents dog speedway
AT least the Carline Mufflers National Super Sedans series got under way!
That was the only consolation Central Queensland driver Michael Doblo could take from the first four rounds of the series.
After rain washed away any hope of the event – the biggest of the year for Rockhampton Saloon Car Club – from getting under way here last Monday night, the tour rumbled on to Gympie for racing on Tuesday night.
While the weather again cast doubt on whether round two would be raced at Gympie’s Mothar Mountain speedway track, a window of opportunity did present itself and local organisers seized the chance to stage a national event at the track for the first time.
In the end it was some of the big names who gave notice they were up to the challenge once more in 2009/10.
Last year’s winner, Darren Kane, got points on the board by winning two heats, but will be disappointed with himself after doing the hard work, as in the feature he was forced to watch as Matt Pascoe went through to take the chequered flag.
Kane, however, was good enough to take the second placing and after two rounds of the series trailed Pascoe by 50 points on the ladder.
Twenty cars started in the feature and just eight finished the race with Steve Jordan third and Michael Nicola fourth.
While it would be easy to blame the track for all the woes, as the weather had taken its toll on its preparation, there were other reasons for the mayhem.
For Doblo his major problem was with officialdom.
Twice he got into tangles as he tried to force his way to the front and twice he was adjudged to be the guilty party and sent to the rear of the field for the restart.
Tasmanian racer Brad Smith, who finished sixth in the feature, was the man whose car Doblo made contact with.
“I’d come from 13th to sixth and was about to pass him, but we both spun out,” Doblo explained.
After being relegated to the rear Doblo made one final effort to get up with the front-runners, but another smash ended his evening.
“I was too eager to pass them all,” he said.
Doblo said there was a lot of damage to cars in the feature, but despite being involved in a couple of crunches, most of his own vehicle problems were superficial.
Wednesday was spent changing panels and wheels before the series continued at Toowoomba.
Again Doblo was unable to complete the evening, failing to finish in the B Main feature as he tried to gain a qualifying place to move into the A Main.
Fellow Central Queenslander Matt Williams, who missed the Gympie event, went one better than Doblo at Toowoomba as he too raced in the B Main, but did well to finish runner-up and qualify at the rear of the field for the night’s feature.
Unfortunately, that is where it all ended for Williams as he ended with a DNF (did not finish) to his name, as did Gladstone’s Chris Bussey, in a race won by Darren “The Dominator” Kane.
Race four of the 10-race series at Dubbo also fell victim to the weather, leaving Kane with top points on the ladder and drivers like Doblo with a ton of work to do if they are to make the top five, never mind win the series.
This coming weekend will be make-or-break for the aspirations of drivers as there are three meetings in three nights starting on Friday at Hamilton, Victoria.