Ardie Jonic has defended his Victorian Junior Sedan Title at the Darlington Speedway on Sunday night, defeating South Australian duo Nathan Thorne and Brad Gartner.
Jonics win, his seventh, is the most State Titles ever won by a Junior Sedan competitor, surpassing Brock Atkins. He has now also finished on the podium more than any other Junior Sedan driver in history (12 times), a record previously held by Michael Gorman of Victoria.
The A Main was an incident packed and error riddled first nine laps which saw five stoppages, which saw Darcy Giblin, Matt Michelson, Nick Catley, Brock Pengilly and Jye Irving all fail to complete more than two laps.
Jonic led from the outset with South Australians Brad Gartner and Nathan Thorne chasing hard, followed by Ricky Cornwall.
Jonic had opened a 1.208 second advantage by lap five, but a third stoppage bunched the field again. One further racing lap was completed before the fourth stoppage.
The subsequent restart saw both Gartner and Thorne tack onto the back of Jonic, with just 0.679 separating the trio after eight laps. With the three leaders opening a gap on the opposition it looked like being a great battle, but it was thwarted by a fifth stoppage.
The final sixteen laps would go uninterrupted, with Jonic struggling to shake of the challenge of both Gartner and Thorne, with just a car length separating Jonic and Gartner with ten laps remaining. With Thorne and Gartner fighting for position, Jonic was then able to make a break, as he extended his advantage out to two seconds with five laps remaining.
Thorne passed Gartner with five laps remaining, only to have Gartner immediately pass him back with four laps to go. Thorne returned fire, moving back to second with three laps remaining, holding off Gartner in concluding stages. Ricky Cornwall was fourth throughout the entire race, while Jakobe Jetson from Tasmania, after having a great battle with Jackson Van Ginneken in the first half of the race, finished fifth.
For Jonic, not only was it his seventh State Title, it was also his thirteenth Feature Race win of the season.
UNOFFICIAL RESULTS B Main, 15 Laps: 1. S17 Sam Gartner, 2. V55 Ben Micallef, 3. V29 Darcy Giblin, 4. V15 Nick Catley, 5. V5 Darcy Wilson, 6. S54 Ryan Harry, 7. V12 Connor Donegan, 8. V85 Rhys Meakins, 9. V77 Darcy Micallef, 10. V24 Jeremy Gorski, 11. V10 Breanna Simpson, 12. V28 Ingrid Bellman, 13. V97 Sharlotte McPherson (13), 14. V18 Kasey Ferguson (13), 15. V69 Jarred Brown (13), 16. V7 Bradin Claridge (13), 17. V26 Nikita Ansell (12), 18. S88 Mac Caldecott (11), 19. V81 Jack Secombe (11). Time: No Time, Winning Margin: 1.336, Fastest Lap: 17.211 S17 Sam Gartner
A Main, 25 Laps: 1. V1 Ardie Jonic, 2. S78 Nathan Thorne, 3. S19 Brad Gartner, 4. V0 Ricky Cornwall, 5. T71 Jakobe Jetson, 6. V32 Jackson Van Ginneken, 7. V6 Todd Moule, 8. V13 Ally Morrison, 9. S112 Drew Flatman, 10. V23 Tim Gorski, 11. S17 Sam Gartner, 12. V55 Ben Micallef (24 laps), 13. V84 Courtney Meakins (24), 14. V16 Jade Moule (23), 15. V21 Jack Tanner (20), 16. V46 Jye Irving (2), 17. V22 Brock Pengilly (2), 18. V15 Nick Catley (2), 19. S37 Matt Michelson (0), 20. V29 Darcy Giblin (0). Time: No Time, Winning Margin: 1.193, Fastest Lap: 16.854 V1 Ardie Jonic
*Darrell Lockhart photo
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