Britten rewrites history
The history books were rewritten in tonight’s Bulk Fuel Australia 2018-19 season Australian V8 Dirt Modified Championship at Toowoomba’s Hi-Tec Oils Speedway in Queensland, where Kevin Britten became the first driver in the event’s history to claim four wins on the trot.
Leading into this weekend’s event, Britten was part of an illustrious group, which consisted of his older brother Peter along with Stuart Herne and Tim Morse, as the only drivers to have claimed three Australian Championship success in a row, but the younger of the Britten siblings now stands alone.
After starting from pole position in the Australian Championship deciding feature race and taking out the Steve Robinson Silver Fox pole position award (courtesy of Jim Fowler), Britten battled in the early stages of the 35-lap event with two-time Australian Champion Andrew Pezzutti (NSW). However, soon after Britten reclaimed the lead on lap seven, Pezzutti crashed on lap 10 due to slipping on fluid left behind by Chris Corbett’s car that brought his night to a crushing halt. Britten powered away at the restart and then went on to control the remaining 25 laps and greet the chequered flag an impressive victor.
Despite the best efforts to wrestle the lead away from Britten, Mitchell Randall (NSW) capped an outstanding weekend with a second-place finish after starting from the outside of the front row. Regarded as one of the dark horses heading into the weekend, the Grafton, NSW-based racer lived up to those expectations with a career-best performance.
2014 Australian Champion David Clark (Qld) finished in a third place on the Australian Championship podium for the second season in succession. Starting the feature race from position five, he managed to pick up a few positions and third place was the best he could manage.
Travis Kennedy (WA), who qualified for the feature race in position three, put in an awesome drive to finish in fourth. Like Randall, Kennedy was considered one of the dark horses and backed up that form.
Three-time Australian Champion Mark Robinson rounded out of the top-five finishers. After starting from position seven, he made his way forward and at the fall of the chequered flag came home in fifth.
The top-10 finishers were completed by Sam Bruggy (Qld), Jai Stephenson (NSW), B-main transferee Joshua Rose (NSW), Andrew Firth (NSW) and B-main winner and the driver who posted the fastest lap (13.945 seconds) of the feature race Zac McDonald (Qld). For Jai Stephenson, who won the 2015 Australian Champion, recorded a DNF (due to a flat tyre) in his opening heat race tonight and that saw him drop from the highest point scorer to eventually start the feature race from position six. There is no question that the current NSW and Victorian Champion’s misfortune at the beginning of the night hampered his winning chances.
Trent Schofield (NSW), newcomer Klinton Hancey (Qld), first reserve Geff Rose (NSW), veteran Ray Klarich (Qld) and Paul Tindal (Vic) were the only other feature race finishers.
Apart from an unlucky Pezzutti, other feature-race retirements were the Corbett brothers Chris and Dale (NSW), Terry Leerentveld (Qld) and 2001 Australian Champion Scott Cannon (NSW).
After transferring into the feature race via the B main, Lee Gorton (NSW) was unable to start, which saw Geff Rose to take his place in the feature-race field.
Leading up to the feature race, the B main was claimed by McDonald, and he advanced with Joshua Rose, Schofield and Gorton.
In the final two rounds of heat races, the wins were evenly claimed by Britten, Kennedy, Firth, Clark, Robinson and Tindal.
The Dirt Modifieds Australia committee would like to thank everyone from the competitors, team members, officials, race fans, the Hi-Tec Oils Speedway promotion and the event’s major sponsor Bulk Fuel Australia, for making this season’s historic Australian Championship such a success.
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