Lachlan Mineeff has moved into Australian Formula Ford series contention with a race win and round honours in a dramatic Round 5 of the season at Sandown.
Zac Soutar qualified on pole and Race 1 saw a big battle for top spot between him, Cody Donald, and Angelo Mouzouris.
Soutar was second when he had a mechanical failure just as he crossed the control line to start Lap 8, which saw him hit by Mouzouris.
That would therefore be the final lap and while Donald was first to take the chequered flag, he was disqualified for a fuel irregularity, handing the win to Mineeff from Victorian Formula Ford Championship leader Ben D’Alia and his state rival Ben Bargwanna.
Soutar charged from near the back of the field to take out Race 2, ahead of Cody Burcher.
Donald was also mounting an impressive recovery drive until an incident with Jay Hanson and Peter Fitzgerald that took him out of contention.
Hanson crossed the finish line in third but was penalised for that incident, putting Mineeff on the podium again.
Soutar also won Race 3, but there was more frustration for Donald when he again put himself back into position to vie for the victory, only to have a clash with Burcher and another DNF.
Jay Hanson finished the race in second position, ahead of Mouzouris and Mineeff.
Mouzouris’ salvage effort means that he leads the series by 24 points over Soutar, with Mineeff another eight behind.
Tom Sargent was diagnosed with concussion after making heavy contact with the tyre wall at Turn 6 while trying to avoid traffic during qualifying.
After a night in The Alfred Hospital for observation, Sargent returned to Sandown on Sunday but sat out the racing due to not having medical clearance to compete.
The sixth and penultimate round for the national Formula Ford season is at Wakefield Park on September 6-8.
Standings (Top 10)