Battling brothers dominate heats
THE crowd had a taste of sibling rivalry when Matthew and Joel Thomas battled each other in the heats and final of round two of the Super Street Sedan Challenge on Saturday.
It was a typical night of speedway – multiple crashes, engines smoking, tyres spinning off and cars dropping like flies as the heats continued.
But in the biggest race of the night, super street, three local boys pushed through to the finals after driving in the front of the pack in their heats.
Rockhampton Brothers Joel (now based at Sunshine Coast) and Matthew Thomas took the track in the finals with another local, Shane Howkins.
And it was all looking too good to be true when the three boys immediately took the lead in the feature race.
The 20 laps were largely dominated by Joel in first, but he continually lost his quarter of a lap lead after several crashes that caused the safety restart zone.
But after each setback Joel still managed to build back his speed until the final few laps when his engine blew and left him to fall back into last place.
Gladstone’s Chris Pendry saw the opportunity and edged past Shane Howkins then Matthew Thomas.
Pendry showed no mercy and left the two Rockhampton competitors to finish up as second and third as he took the round two super street title.
Rockhampton Saloon Car Club president Mark Hogan said Matthew Thomas and Howkins “proved that local blokes can stick it to the guys down south”.
But the biggest action for the night was in the fender bender final heat.
The competitors had barely made it through one lap when Sandy Jackson’s car flipped a 360, bounced upside down then flipped back onto its wheels, leaving a crumpled car on the tracks.
The crash was immediately attended to by the ambulance and Sandy was taken away on a stretcher.
“The initial report was that she was fine,” Hogan assured.
In the fender bender feature race Beau Saunders took Damien Arnold by surprise when he powered past him in the last couple of laps.
And although he struggled to maintain the lead, he still managed to push over the finish line in first.
The super stockers event had much-loved Danny Lennon bring back his competitive streak after a line of bad luck recently.
And there was no mistaking his need for the win. But Lennon’s car crashed into Mark Hogan in the final and the two locals were then knocked out of the race.
“I haven’t finished a feature race in a while and I was taking it easy, Danny had a mechanical failure which collided with my car,” Hogan said.
It was now left to Lee Briskey, Jeff Ohl and Brendan Walker.
Jeff was gaining good ground in second until his car spun out which left him racing back in last place.
Some may have thought it was all over for him, but to the crowd’s enjoyment Ohl worked past other competitors to finish in second with Lee Briskey in first and Brendan Walker in third.
The AMCA nationals was solely dominated by Robbie Irwin who, with little challenge, claimed the race in front of Col Pollock in second and Matt Stow in third.
The events were held on Saturday night at the Rockhampton Showgrounds.