Hazelwood wins Super2 title in dramatic finale

Todd Hazelwood pic: Matthew Paul Photography

Todd Hazelwood has clinched the 2017 Dunlop Super2 Series, winning the final race of the season after an intra-team crash in front of him in Newcastle.

An extremely conservative Hazelwood brought the #35 Matt Stone Racing VF Commodore second on the road but Shae Davies copped a post-race penalty due to a final-lap coming-together while battling for the lead with Jack Le Brocq.

Paul Dumbrell, Hazelwood’s only title rival, finished 13th after qualifying second-last due to a driveline problem.

“I can’t believe it,” exclaimed Hazelwood.

“That’s the hardest race I’ve done in my whole career (and) I’ve been racing for a while now.

“Tell you what, I’ve never had cramps like that in my guts in a long time so I don’t know where that come from but I’m just over the moon.”

The pole-sitting Hazelwood lit up his rear tyres at the start, losing first position to Will Brown off the line and second to Davies as the field went through the first corner.

Le Brocq, like Davies, took advantage of Hazelwood’s title focus to make an easy pass at Turn 7 on Lap 3, driving through a huge hole left by the South Australian.

Brown looked to be on for his first race win in Super2, enjoying a comfortable lead which ebbed and flowed around one second.

However, disaster struck for the rookie on Lap 16 when his #38 Eggleston Motorsport VF Commodore ground to a halt.

Brown managed to get mobile again, but only to drive back to the pits.

His misfortune put Davies into the lead, with MW Motorsport stablemate Le Brocq close behind.

More drama then struck at the top of Watt Street on the 20th and final lap, when Le Brocq attempted to round up the #26 Altima, only to be turned into the wall on exit.

Hazelwood was elevated from third to second as a result, while Davies pressed on.

However, Race Control issued the equivalent of a drive-through penalty shortly after the chequered flag, which meant that Hazelwood would cap off his breakthrough season with a sweep of the round.

Macauley Jones (#14 Brad Jones Racing VF Commodore), who also pressured Hazelwood early in the race, took second, with Bryce Fullwood (#16 Altima) ultimately the best MW Motorsport entry in third.

The result meant that Fullwood finished second for the weekend, his best round result in Super2.

Richard Muscat and Anton de Pasquale rounded out the top five for Race 2.

The top 10 was completed by Kurt Kostekci, Jordan Boys, Nathan Morcom, Andrew Jones, and Brodie Kostecki.

Davies was relegated to 11th, but at least collected enough points to place third for the round.

Dumbrell ran as high as 12th, having needed to finish in front of Hazelwood to win the series, before twice losing ground late in the race.

Outgoing series winner Garry Jacobson had another frustrating race, first taken out by Jack Perkins early on then running off later on while trying to make up ground.

The Prodrive driver had to come to the pits before finishing 17th, one place better than Perkins.

Le Brocq didn’t make the finish, but still held onto third in the series standings.

The 2018 season begins at the Adelaide 500 on March 1-4.

Results: Race 2, Round 7, Newcastle

1 Bigmate Racing Todd Hazelwood Holden Commodore VF 20 24:25.1665
2 PAYCE Macauley Jones Holden Commodore VF 20 24:25.3498
3 Middys Electrical / MWM Bryce Fullwood Nissan Altima 20 24:26.8035
4 Wilson Security PAYCE GRM Richard Muscat Holden Commodore VF 20 24:27.3044
5 Paul Morris Motorsports Anton de Pasquale Ford Falcon FG/X 20 24:31.5124
6 Arcoplate Racing Kurt Kostecki Holden Commodore VF 20 24:34.8732
7 Joss / Caltex Jordan Boys Holden Commodore VF 20 24:40.4528
8 Eggleston Motorsport Nathan Morcom Holden Commodore VF 20 24:43.3172
9 Alliance Truck Parts Andrew Jones Holden Commodore VF 20 24:44.7111
10 Sprint Cutting Racing Brodie Kostecki Ford Falcon FG 20 24:47.1094
11 LOCO Energy Drink / MWM Shae Davies Nissan Altima 20 24:49.0073
12 SCT Logistics Jack Smith Holden Commodore VF 20 24:50.0480
13 Eggleston Motorsport Paul Dumbrell Holden Commodore VF 20 24:53.2974
14 Auto 1 Albury Matthew Chahda Holden Commodore VF 20 24:56.3531
15 Wilson Security PAYCE GRM Mason Barbera Holden Commodore VF 20 25:03.3205
16 STR Truck Bodies & Trailers Matthew Palmer Ford Falcon FG 20 25:35.3763
17 MEGA Fules Racing Garry Jacobson Ford Falcon FG/X 19 25:19.4104
18 Titan Tray Jack Perkins Holden Commodore VF 19 25:23.8857
DNF GoGetta Racing/ MWM Jack Le Brocq Nissan Altima 19 23:06.5642
DNF Eggleston Motorsport William Brown Holden Commodore VF 16 20:45.1668
DNF Auto One Racing Adam Marjoram Holden Commodore VF  9 11:55.2128
DNF Wynns Josh Kean Ford Falcon FG/X  8 10:19.0988

Series Points: 2017

1 Todd Hazelwood 1808
2 Paul Dumbrell 1713
3 Jack Le Brocq 1481
4 Anton de Pasquale 1322
5 Shae Davies 1216
6 Garry Jacobson 1166
7 Macauley Jones 1154
8 Kurt Kostecki 1083
9 William Brown 1078
10 Richard Muscat 1038
11 Bryce Fullwood 1035
12 Andrew Jones  946
13 Nathan Morcom  876
14 Jack Perkins  789
15 Brodie Kostecki  781
16 Matthew Chahda  735
17 Mason Barbera  706
18 Adam Marjoram  675
19 Josh Kean  623
20 Matthew Palmer  607
21 Jack Smith  605
22 Jake Kostecki  564
23 Renee Gracie  534
24 Jordan Boys  309
25 Richie Stanaway  263
26 Gerard McLeod  102

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