Warren Minshull has won an incident packed and spectacular, West Australian Super Sedan Title, at the MCD Contracting Esperance Speedway on Saturday night.
After nine qualifying heats, four drivers would be tied on points, with Kodee Brown and Dave Gartner starting on the front row, while Chris Pavlovich and Warren Minshull would start on row two.
This was after a lengthy delay in proceedings, forced on officials by constant showers up until 5pm local time. After a couple of failed attempts to race on the track, racing eventually got underway, producing some great action.
The thirty five lap final saw a six car pile-up on the opening lap involving Ken Reid, Andrew Kennedy, Adyme Harvey, Steve Larson, Eddie Boeg and Rob Knox. Only Steve Larson survived and re-joined for the re-start.
As he did on the initial start, Kodee Brown took the lead, but cautions were immediately back on with Terry Green in the fence at the finish line after being hit from behind. This forced his retirement, leaving thirteen drivers to contest the distance.
Brown again assumed control and set a cracking pace, in a spectacular display of racing, lowering the track record with a 14.822 in lapped traffic. Brown was weaving in and out of traffic with ease, but one to many daring passing moves on the super quick race surface, saw the three times West Australian Champion hit the fence, leading to his demise. He led by 7.745 at the time, resulting in a stoppage on lap sixteen, to remove Brown from the track.
A lap prior to the Brown incident, Warren Minshull moved into second place, ahead of Dave Gartner, as they too weaved through lapped traffic at high speed, providing the large crowd with plenty of highlights.
On the re-start Minshull opened a small lead on Gartner, and within four laps had caught the back markers again, using this to his advantage to hold Gartner at bay. Meanwhile Pavlovich and Kevin Bell were having a great battle further back in the pack along with Warren Hambley for the minor placings.
With ten laps remaining, Gartner ran into the back of Tony St Jack, doing damage to the steering, forcing the defending Champion from the race.
This would be the final stoppage, with Minshull again driving away from the field, while Pavlovich, Bell and Hambley continued the battle for the final podium positons.
Minshull drove brilliantly, and in the concluding stages lowered the track record to 14.754 on his way to his maiden State Title. Pavlovich drove a great race to finish second ahead of Bell, Hambley and Bert Vosbergen who also drove a great race.
The night didn’t start well for Vosbergen, losing power to the car when the lights went green in the opening heat of the night, resulting in a three car pile-up. Ken Reid would also suffer steering issues, leaving Minshull to take the win after making a mistake on the opening lap which sent him to fifth after the opening lap.
Heat two would see several stoppages, with the most serious being for Tristan Green who hit the fence. Phil Barton would take the win.
Dave Gartner led all the way in heat three, easily accounting for the opposition which also included Kodee Brown.
A great battle between Chris Pavlovich and Kevin Bell raged throughout heat four with Pavlovich coming out the victor.
After Warren Minshull accounted for Dave Gartner in heat five, the best of the night, Kodee Brown would easily win heat six.
Brown turned the tables on Minshull in winning heat seven, while heat eight had more drama than you could poke a stick at. Phil Barton’s car went up in massive ball of smoke before a serious fire took hold. Remarkably as it did, he set the quickest lap of the race. It was later revealed a $3.00 part caused the fire which melted several components of the car, ending Barton’s title. On the restart, Adyme Harvey lost a wheel which hit two other drivers. Eventually Chris Pavlovich claimed a good win.
The final heat saw an easy victory to Dave Gartner, but his final lap, resulted in the quickest lap of all qualifying heats, and with four drivers tied on points, set up the South Australian’s pole position for the A Main.
For Minshull, it was his first State Title win and naturally he was very happy. “You dream about these things happening”, said Minshull during his victory speech.