Thursday, 21 September 2017

PRODUCTION SEDANS

With strong representation throughout both the East and West Coast of Australia this season, our top-10 ranking for Production Sedans resembles a battle of east vs west, with a number of drivers having stood out.

1. Trevor Mills (Vic)
With experience acting as his trump card this season, Mills achieved a career highlight that has been 30 years in the making, when he scored a commanding victory in the National Title at Wahgunyah Speedway; an achievement which was made even more special by his son Jacob finishing runner up. Continuing his success one week later, Mills did exceptionally well to pick up the second Victorian Title of his career with no power steering in the feature race, having won his first title in 2010, along with winning another three feature races throughout the season.

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2. Kane McDiarmid (WA)
Qualifying on the inside of the second row in the National Title feature race, McDiarmid proved that last season’s podium result was no fluke, delivering a fighting performance on an unfamiliar track to finish a gallant third behind the Mills duo. A genuine contender, McDiarmid performed strongly in both the Victorian and WA Titles, making his way into front-running contention, before ultimately suffering two unfortunate DNFs.

3. Stephen Laidlaw (Vic)
After qualifying in pole position for the National Title, Laidlaw was quick to experience adversity in the event, spinning out on the opening lap and subsequently being sent rear. Quickly bouncing back to deliver an inspired performance, the two-time National Champion managed to make amends for his error, regaining his composure and fighting his way back to fifth place by the chequered flag, showing great determination and resilience. Laidlaw also managed to make his way into the lead in the Victorian Title, after qualifying third, before retiring with mechanical issues.

4. Rod Musarra (WA)
Similarly to Laidlaw, Musarra’s National Title campaign didn’t quite go as planned, after qualifying sixth, being sent rear of field following contact with another competitor. Determined to turn his night around, Musarra began weaving through traffic, making his way back up to a remarkable fourth-place finish by the completion of the feature race. He also claimed a total of five feature-race wins this season.

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5. Tim Smith (Qld)
The 21-year-old former Queensland Junior Sedan Champion proved that he can mix it up with his more experienced counterparts earlier this season, clearly showing his talent when he won his maiden state title in senior competition with the Queensland Title at Rockhampton’s Rocky Speedway. Clearly showing that he will be one to watch in coming seasons, Smith collected five feature-race wins, along with a runner-up result in the NSW Title, after qualifying in pole position, a fortnight after his Queensland Title victory, in what was his first visit to Goulburn Speedway.

6. Drew Ogle (WA)
Competing solely in his home state, Ogle’s season certainly ended on a high, when he achieved the same milestone as Smith, winning his maiden state title in senior competition, having previously won the 2014 WA Junior Sedan Title, with a dominant WA Title victory at Broome Speedway. Ogle collected three feature-race wins this season, while also finishing runner-up in the Gold Cup at Bunbury Speedway.

7. Barry Rose (WA)
With six feature-race wins under his belt, including the Gold Cup at Bunbury Speedway and the Bill Sibbald King of the Road event at Collie Speedway, the defending Four Crown Series Champion’s successful season also saw him take out the Collie Speedway Track Championship.

8. Jacob Mills (Vic)
Having not raced much throughout the 2016-17 season, the former National Champion, who drove to victory in the 2011 National Title, proved he’s got what it takes to continue being a front-running contender on a national scale, coming away with what was an emotion-charged runner-up finish in this season’s running of the event, achieving a 1-2 finish for his family in the process.

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9. Damien McAlister (NSW)
Driving for the Mick & Joe’s Racing Team, McAlister achieved a major milestone this season, scoring the team’s first major win in the NSW Title at Goulburn Speedway, after driving a composed and determined race, while also finishing just outside of the top 10 in the National Title in 11th.

10. Wayne Bourke (NSW)
Tasting victory for the first time this season in December when he managed to go back to back at Leeton’s Brobenah Raceway to defend his father’s trophy in the Graham Bourke Memorial, the former Australia # 2 closed his season in similar fashion, winning the Aylett Automotive 1000, pocketing $1,000 for his troubles, as well as the Rocky Hill Royale. He had also been in podium contention in the NSW Title before a DNF dashed his hopes.

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