Paul Dumbrell stayed clear of the chaos behind him to beat Chris Pither to victory in Race 3 of the Dunlop Super2 Series at Symmons Plains.
The two previous race winners this weekend ran nose-to-tail all race, including a willing exchange in the early laps, as drama unfolded before and after the race started.
Dumbrell walked his #88 Eggleston Motorsport VF Commodore off the line well to lead Pither (#44 Garry Rogers Motorsport VF Commodore), Brodie Kostecki (#57 Kostecki Brothers VF Commodore), and Macauley Jones (#14 Brad Jones Racing VF Commodore) down to the hairpin for the first time.
Jack Smith escaped further damage when his #21 Brad Jones Racing VF Commodore was turned around ahead of the bulk of the field after contact with Garry Jacobson at Turn 2.
Neither Matt Chahda (#18 Matt Chahda Motorsport VF Commodore) nor Nathan Morcom (#54 Eggleston Motorsport VF Commodore) were so lucky when the former launched off the latter’s left-hand-side as several cars sprayed onto the bike circuit to avoid Smith.
Both retreated to the pit lane, as did Jacobson in his wounded #26 MW Motorsport Nissan Altima, while the incident went under investigation by officials.
Racing continued and the top three broke away until Pither leaned on the rear end of Dumbrell’s Commodore as he tried to pass at the end of the back straight on Lap 6.
That bottled up the first five cars for the next half a lap and Pither cranked sideways as Brodie Kostecki got into his door at Turn 3.
Jones snatched third on the outside when they all checked up at the hairpin, while Alex Rullo (#62 MW Motorsport Nissan Altima) also latched on to the train.
Rullo in fact found a way past Brodie Kostecki a lap later, only to be nudged off the road at Turn 6.
The Safety Car was called on Lap 11 after Dom Storey locked the brakes and beached his #63 Eggleston Motorsport VF Commodore at the hairpin.
At the time, Dumbrell led Pither, Jones, Brodie Kostecki, Kurt Kostecki (#55 Kostecki Brothers VF Commodore), Will Brown (#38 Eggleston Motorsport VF Commodore), Rullo, and Thomas Randle (#5 Tickford Racing FGX Falcon).
The restart on Lap 14 was clean, save for Rullo going deep at the hairpin but managing to hold position.
He pressured Brown for several laps and eventually passed at the end of the back straight on Lap 21.
At the front, Pither continued to go with Dumbrell and while he could not fashion a move he did win the round.
“100 percent turnaround from Adelaide (Round 1) to be honest,” said Pither.
“It’s great to go away from a round where you’re not quite there and make some changes and have them pay off.
“The First Security Holden was fast out the gate on Friday and we had to just fine tune it from there.
“Full credit to the team, GRM, they’ve done an awesome job and fantastic result. (It is) Round 2, we can only build on this.”
Jones finished third in a race shortened to 25 laps due to time certainty, while a five-second penalty for Brodie Kostecki’s touch with Rullo put him back from fourth to sixth.
Kurt Kostecki therefore finished fourth and Rullo fifth, while seventh through 10th was Brown, Randle, Shae Davies (#67 Paul Morris Motorsport FGX Falcon), and Adam Marjoram (#15 Image Racing VF Commodore).
Jack Smith finished 12th having been 20th after Lap 1, Bryce Fullwood (#16 Matt Stone Racing FGX Falcon) was 15th, and Jacobson did not reappear.
There was carnage even before the race started when Tyler Greenbury (#13 Matt Stone Racing VF Commodore) shunted Brenton Grove (#10 Grove Racing VF Commodore) on John Bowe Straight as they started the formation lap.
Greenbury provisionally finished 13th and Grove 16th in two bent Commodores.
Dumbrell’s series lead has grown as Pither swapped positions with Jacobson to be second and seventh respectively in the standings.
Round 3 of the series supports the Perth SuperSprint on May 4-6.
Results: Race 3
|1||88||Eggleston Motorsport||Paul Dumbrell||Holden Commodore VF||25||24:57.3280|
|2||44||Wilson Security PAYCE GRM||Chris Pither||Holden Commodore VF||25||24:57.7503|
|3||14||Payce||Macauley Jones||Holden Commodore VF||25||24:59.2456|
|4||55||Arcoplate Racing||Kurt Kostecki||Holden Commodore VF||25||25:02.0035|
|5||62||Land Surveys / MWM||Alex Rullo||Nissan Altima||25||25:04.1864|
|6||57||Arcoplate Racing||Brodie Kostecki||Holden Commodore VF||25||25:05.5814|
|7||38||Eggleston Motorsport||William Brown||Holden Commodore VF||25||25:05.6414|
|8||5||Skye Sands||Thomas Randle||Ford Falcon FG/X||25||25:06.1859|
|9||67||Paul Morris Motorsport||Shae Davies||Ford Falcon FG/X||25||25:10.6240|
|10||15||Auto One Racing||Adam Marjoram||Holden Commodore VF||25||25:13.6002|
|11||49||Dynamic Supplies||Jordan Boys||Holden Commodore VF||25||25:13.9522|
|12||21||SCT Logistics||Jack Smith||Holden Commodore VF||25||25:14.2580|
|13||13||Green Unicorn Racing||Tyler Greenbury||Holden Commodore VF||25||25:16.4464|
|14||8||BGD Architects||Zane Goddard||Holden Commodore VF||25||25:17.4965|
|15||16||Middy’s Electrical||Bryce Fullwood||Ford Falcon FG/X||25||25:17.7760|
|16||10||Grove Hire||Brenton Grove||Holden Commodore VF||25||25:21.2211|
|17||56||Arcoplate Racing||Jake Kostecki||Holden Commodore VF||24||25:03.5092|
|18||63||Eggleston Motorsport||Dominic Storey||Holden Commodore VF||21||25:21.6719|
|DNF||99||Wilson Security PAYCE GRM||Mason Barbera||Holden Commodore VF||21||21:33.7577|
|DNF||23||Sitech-Trimble / MWM||Dean Fiore||Nissan Altima||6||5:33.1560|
|DNF||54||Eggleston Motorsport||Nathan Morcom||Holden Commodore VF|
|DNF||26||MEGA Fuels / MWM||Garry Jacobson||Nissan Altima|
|DNF||18||Auto One Albury||Matthew Chahda||Holden Commodore VF|