It was certainly a fruitful first visit to Darwin’s Northline Speedway last weekend for Raymond Kime, who proved that he didn’t need track experience in order to emerge victorious in last Saturday night’s Greener Grass NT AMCA Nationals Title and continue what has been one of his strongest seasons yet.
Making the long 43 hour trek north-west to Australia’s Top End, his longest journey to date, it appeared that Kime’s decision to travel was a good one from the outset, with the Newcastle, NSW-based driver winning Friday night’s feature race in what was a pleasing prelude to Saturday night’s NT Title.
Continuing his momentum, second-generation racer Kime was a force to be reckoned with aboard his 350ci Chev and Panther Chassis combination during the 20-lap feature race, managing to hold off defending NT Champion Spano Gutierrez to claim a well-deserved victory, just as he had done the night prior.
This continued what has been an exciting rivalry between the pair, which has seen Kime claim top honours ahead of Gutierrez in the Sydney-Newcastle Track Championship, while former Northern Territory resident Gutierrez, who now lives in Muswellbrook, NSW, beat out Kime for the overall Country Cup victory.
Forced to settle for the runner-up spot for the second night in a row, Gutierrez was followed home by fellow ex-Northern Territorian Jacob Belcher, now a resident of Moranbah, Qld who also managed to back up Friday night’s podium performance to clinch a pair of top-three results.
Next to cross the finish line was Lance Carew, who narrowly missed out on the podium, followed by rookie Reece Prior, Brendan Kenna and Maria Panasewycz.
The weekend didn’t get any better for Peter Harding, who suffered a second unfortunate DNF after having experienced a premature retirement during Friday night’s feature race.
Kime, who earlier in the season picked up a pleasing seventh-place finish in the Australian Title at Toowoomba’s Hi-Tec Oils Speedway, wasted no time in getting his NT Title campaign off to a pleasing start, winning the opening heat race, while remaining heat-race wins were shared between Gutierrez and Belcher.
In Friday night’s 15-lap feature race, Saturday night’s podium-getters Kime, Gutierrez and Belcher rounded out the top three ahead of Panasewycz, with Gutierrez earlier racking up a pair of heat-race wins, while Kime was victorious in the other.
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