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Nuccini Undefeated After Opening Night




Rickie Nuccini is the overnight leader in the Speedway Sedans WA, West Australian Production Sedan Title, being held at the Make Smoking History Collie Speedway.

Nuccini, racing on his home track, has not won a race all season, having dramas with his VK Commodore week in week out, but on Friday night, Nuccini could not put a foot wrong, to lead Barry Rose, Kyle Sayer and Tim Green.

Although 56 drivers started the night, many did not finish the night, with several of the favoured competitors have horror runs with mechanical issues, including Richard Nelson, Ron Belfield, Kane McDiarmid, Rod Musarra, Rick Musarra and Jake Blight.

The opening heat would see Kane McDiarmid lead by half a lap with two laps remaining, in what was a dominant performance, only to run out of gears. Rob Bawdon, who had earlier had a great battle with Drew Ogle and Wayne Leviston, would take the win.

Rod Musarra would lead all the way in winning heat two, with Peter Katona, one of the youngest drivers in the field finishing second, with Warren Flavel third.

Barry Rose and Kyle Sayer would put on a classic battle in heat three, with Sayer trying everything to pass Rose in the opening eight laps before a stoppage resulted in a two lap re-start. Sayer continued the attack and on the final lap, made a great outside move in turn one to set up a victory, with Darren Nelson finishing third.

Leon Wood and Matt Prunster would replicate what occurred in heat three, when they did battle in heat four. The pair put on a great race as they cleared away from the field, with Wood opening a small lead late in the race to defeat Prunster and Jayden McCuish, who came from the back of the field. It would see the start of mechanical woes for former State Champion, Richard Nelson, and the demise of Benny Curtin, whos Sigma blew up in spectacular fashion in the main straight.

Rickie Nuccini thrashed the opposition in heat five, and despite a stunning performance, all eyes would be on the battle for second, which was a four way battle for the last six laps, with Peter Squire, Daren Currell, Graeme Rafferty and Rick Musarra all involved. Currell and Rafferty would fill the minor placings, while Nuccini would win by the length of the straight.

The final heat of the opening round would see a win to Tim Green, with the former National Champion, winning by two seconds. Meanwhile, Paul Bennett and Ron Belfield would run side by side for the final two laps, with Bennett just edging out Belfield on the line.
Coby Stevens would lead throughout heat seven, taking a well deserved win, despite being challenged late by Frank Does and Wayne Leviston who came from the back of the field.

Heat eight had two restarts before a lap was completed and then a third when Warren Flavel and Shaun Brewer crashed, with Brewer hitting the fence hard on the back straight. Ron Belfield would issues with his diff, and would fail to have any significant part in proceedings as Jayden McCuish cruised to victory in a depleted field, downing Ryan and Brad Mitchell.

Barry Rose and Damon Gherardi would run the first two laps side by side, before Rose took control of heat nine. Gherardi would then find himself in a three way battle with defending Champion, Drew Ogle and Beau Riley for the remainder of the race, with the trio keeping close to rose throughout. Ogle would take second place, setting the quickest lap of the race, as Rose won by two car lengths, while Gherardi finished third.

Only five cars started heat ten which saw Rickie Nuccini narrowly defeat Sandy MacPherson and Matt Prunster.

Heat eleven had a big pile-up on the opening lap, with Dennis Moyle and Chas Skipworth spinning in Turn three, which saw several other drivers involved. All would restart, with Moyle deemed the cause. Leon Wood would soon after lose a wheel in turn two, with Jack McAuley coming from the back mark to take the win, passing both Jamie Graham and Rob Bawdon on consecutive laps on the outside to set up his win. Bawdon would finish second, with Graham third.

Heat twelve would have Kyle Sayer come within two seconds of the track record for ten laps, as Sayer cruised to a comfortable win. Behind Sayer, and excellent battle raged throughout, with Paul Stevens, Tim Green, Kane McDiarmid and Mike Kinnear all involved. McDiarmid would finish second, just ahead of Stevens, Green and Kinnear.

Only seven cars would start heat thirteen and only five would finish as the night took its toll. Ron Belfield almost slammed into the fence, as mechanical issues continued to dog the former National and State Champion, with Matt Prunster left to an easy win, accounting for Peter Katona and Aaron McDonnell.

Alan Harper would lead for eight and a half laps in heat fourteen, but one small mistake allowed Wayne Leviston to pass, while Drew Ogle and Kane McDiarmid were close by in a close finish.

As the heats rolled by the action continued, with Jeff Kendall making contact with Daniel Flavel in turn three, with Flavel launching into the air. It would be Kendall who would retire as Flavel continued, only to have the side of his car torn of a lap later in an eventful heat. Graeme Rafferty stayed out of the drama to defeat Flavel and Stevens.

Rickie Nuccini would complete his night with his third success, accounting for fellow Collie competitors Darren Nelson and Beau Riley in heat sixteen.

Heat seventeen would see a sickening crash when Kathryn Harper hit the fence in the back straight. The impact bounced her back across the track where she was hit at full speed by Peter Squire who had nowhere to go, resulting in a significant delay, as due care was taken to remove Harper from the wrecked car. Upon the resumption, Tim Green would claim his second win of the night, defeating Daren Currell and Kyle Sayer.

The final heat of the night would see Barry Rose record a very narrow win over Rick Musarra and Mike Kinnear, to see Rose just eight points adrift of Nuccini after the opening night of competition.

Points After Night One

1. W41 Rickie Nuccini 108
2. W181 Barry Rose 100
3. W95 Kyle Sayer 95
4. W10 Tim Green 89
5. W5 Matt Prunster 87
6. W86 Wayne Leviston 82
7. WA1 Drew Ogle 79
8. W54 Graeme Rafferty 69
9. W25 Darren Nelson 68
10. W96 Jack McAuley 66
11. W83 Daren Currell 66
12. W58 Jayden McCuish 64
13. W125 Rob Bawdon 64
14. W6 Paul Stevens 63
15. W3 Frank Does 62
16. W666 Peter Katona 62
17. W21 Rick Musarra 58
18. W53 Leon Wood 58
19. W7 Coby Stevens 57
20. W31 Kane McDiarmid 51
21. W56 Sandy MacPherson 51
22. W27 Mike Kinnear 46
23. W22 Jamie Graham 46
24. W112 Warren Flavel 46
25. W40 Beau Riley 45
26. W34 Alan Harper 45
27. W91 Damon Gherardi 44
28. W12 Rod Musarra 44
29. W61 Ron Belfield 43
30. W9 Ryan Mitchell 42
31. W43 Brad Mitchell 41
32. W44 Laura Byrnes 40
33. W63 Paul Bennett 38
34. W87 Aaron McDonell 37
35. W114 Daniel Flavel 34
36. W2 Travis Castagna 34
37. W42 Peter Squire 34
38. W14 Alex Williams 33
39. W13 Shannon Cherry 31
40. W28 Dennis Moyle 31
41. W39 Jeff Kendall 29
42. W8 Chas Skipworth 29
43. W115 Jayke Malcolm 28
44. W33 Sean Oldham 28
45. W17 Darren Johnson 27
46. W20 Graeme Riley 27
47. W113 Jordan McGinnis 26
48. W36 Joe Wilson 24
49. W16 Kathryn Harper 23
50. W15 Craig Lenane 22
51. W133 Paul Eather 20
52. W4 Richard Nelson 17
53. W26 Shaun Brewer 12
54. W71 Jake Blight 6
55. W99 Benny Curtin 5
56. W51 Dale Cockman 4



Local Collie driver, Rickie Nuccini undefeated after opening night. Photo courtesy of Blake Jones Photography




Wayne Leviston was awarded the Ian Beard Best Presented Car Award. Photo courtesy of Blake Jones Photography


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