DESPITE the fact he hadn’t raced in the south of the state for almost two years, sprintcar driver Adrian Redpath stormed to an impressive victory at the Mountain Dew Ice Raceway near New Norfolk on Saturday night. The former four-times Tasmanian champion was making only his third appearance of the season after a heavy crash on his home track at Latrobe four months ago.
Driving a car owned by Launceston’s Darren Goodyer, Redpath qualified on grid three for the final with a spin in one of his heats costing him valuable points in the lead-up. Launceston driver Kurt Luttrell, who finished second in the state title at Carrick, set the pace in the heats and qualified on pole position for the 25-lap final, but threw the race away on the first corner when he spun, causing a stoppage. With Luttrell sent to the rear of the grid for the subsequent re-start, Redpath inherited pole position and a chance to make amends for his third placing in the state title, which was won by his brother Jason, who did not race last night.
At the re-start, Redpath blasted away from Launceston teenager Callum Zizek to establish a handy gap. Westbury’s Anthony Frost held third place for the first 10 laps, until a reinvigorated Luttrell charged back through the field to rocket by Frost and take over third. With Redpath assured of victory, Zizek, to his credit, managed to hold out the more-experienced Luttrell for a solid second and his best result of the season.
On the same program, Devonport super sedan driver and former National Super Sedan Series champion Brad Smith fought hard to take victory in the V8 Super Sedan Treat from a quality field, which included current and former Australian and Tasmanian champions. Reigning Australian champion Jarrod Harper, of Hellyer Beach, qualified on pole position for the final and survived an early battle with Launceston’s David Nichols, who slipped back through the field after an early mistake, which let Harper’s son and current Tasmanian champion Callum Harper, and Smith, through.
Smith powered around Callum Harper on lap four to take over second and hit the lead with a similar move on his father on lap 12. As Smith cleared out to a dominant lead, Callum Harper took advantage of a mistake from his father to snatch second spot on lap 18, with Harper Snr scrapping for third place in the remaining laps with former two-times Australian champion Kevin Purton, of Deloraine, and David Nichols, before holding them both out to finish third behind his son.
Saturday night’s program wasn’t just about V8s, with two state titles also decided for six cylinder sedan divisions. Hobart’s Luke Gunn scored his third consecutive victory in the Tassie Sixes state title, while Sean Devine, also from Hobart, took out his second consecutive Tasmanian Bombers Championship. Hobart veteran Marcus Cleary qualified on pole position for the 30-lap final of the Tassie Sixes championship with Gunn joining him on the front row. Cleary led early, but Gunn assumed the lead after only two laps with Dwayne Sonners also getting by Cleary on the next lap. Cleary spun on lap five causing a stoppage and was relegated to the back of the grid for the re-start, with Sonners retiring a lap after the re-start with a broken axle. Cameron Briggs inherited second and challenged Gunn in the dying stages, but proved unsuccessful, with Cleary making a concerted charge back through the field to claim third place.
In the Bombers title decider, defending champion Sean Devine had to work hard in the early stages of the race to ensure victory in a tough encounter. Former champion Mick Hart led Devine early after starting brilliantly from outside pole position, but tangled with lapped traffic mid-race, ending his night prematurely.
Devine inherited the lead and one in front, was never headed to score a huge win, lapping all but second-placed Heath Bennett. With only four cars finishing the gruelling final, post-race confusion reigned over third place to one of the remaining lapped cars, with officials eventually awarding the last podium spot to Garry Moore Jr.
Saturday night also saw the 12th round of the Junior Sedan Championship Series, with top qualifier Josh Stephens dealt a cruel blow when he punctured a tyre before the start of the race. With Stephens on the in-field, Hobart’s Nathan Russell took advantage of the favourite’s demise and scored a good win ahead of James Nolan and Harley Croft.
The V8 AMCA final saw an easy for Kallan Muir, with the Latrobe driver starting on outside pole position for the 20-lap decider and never headed for the entire race distance. Rodney Bassett, who started on pole position, finished a creditable second ahead of Josh Hardy, who recorded his best result of the season with a distant third in a tough race which saw half of the field failing to finish.
RESULTS – Jones Environmental Services V8 Sprintcar Treat – Heat one: A Redpath, 1; K Luttrell, 2; A Frost, 3. Heat two: K Luttrell, 1; C Zizek, 2; C Smith, 3. Final (20 laps): A Redpath, 1; C Zizek, 2; K Luttrell, 3. Jones Environmental Services V8 Super Sedan Treat – Heat one: D Nichols, 1; B Smith, 2; S Latham, 3. Heat two: J Harper, 1; C Harper, 2; A Beechey, 3. Final (25 laps): B Smith, 1; C Harper, 2; J Harper, 3. Tassie Sixes Tasmanian Championship – Heat one: L Gunn, 1; B Price, 2; M Cleary, 3. Heat two: : M Cleary, 1; L Gunn, 2; D Sonners, 3. Heat three: M Cleary, 1; D Sonners, 2; C Briggs, 3. Final (30 laps): L Gunn, 1; C Briggs, 2; M Cleary, 3. Tasmanian Bombers Championship – Heat one: S Devine, 1; H Bennett, 2; J Cooley, 3. Heat two: M Hart, 1; S Devine, 2; D Jetson, 3. Final (15 laps): S Devine, 1; H Bennett, 2; G Moore Jr.
Central and Phoenix Steel Junior Sedan Championship Series (round 12) – Heat one: J Stephens, 1; J Nolan, 2; N Russell, 3. Heat two: J Stephens, 1; N Russell, 2; H Croft, 3. Final (10 laps): N Russell, 1; J Nolan, 2; H Croft, 3. V8 AMCAs – Heat one: D Brooks, 1; M Graham, 2; A Ryder, 3. Heat two: R Bassett, 1; J Smith, 2; A Ryder, 3. Heat three: K Muir, 1; R Bassett, 2; J Hardy, 3. Final (20 laps): K Muir, 1; M Graham, 2; D O’Connor, 3.