Joel Berkley has won the MIXXFM National Production Sedan Title at the Western Speedway in Hamilton, in what was a thrilling race, which had multiple lead changes and also a spectacular rollover.
The race started with a barrage of fireworks, as Joel Berkley led Richard Cook in to the first turn.
Behind the pair, Beau Riley and Justin Hawkins were continually swapping positions, with Craig McAlister also getting a good start, making up two positions in the opening laps.
After four spectacular laps, with numerous positional changes as the field raced two and three wide, Ben Barker spun with Trevor Mills deemed to be the primary cause, sending the National Title holder to the rear of the field.
The next eleven laps would be frantic to say the least, with Joel Berkley continuing to lead as Dehne Sparrow started to make great moves on the outside, to the delight of the local fans. Sparrow, who started from position five, was shuffled back in the opening stages to eighth place, but then started to claw back positions on the outside.
By lap eleven Sparrow had moved to fourth, and in a great move on the outside passed both Riley and Cook to take second just before a crucial stoppage.
A massive rollover on lap fifteen saw the demise of Jake Blight, which would also see Jayden Edwards retire with a flat tyre along with James Hodak.
Soon after the Western Speedway erupted as Dehne Sparrow took the lead on lap eighteen, as Richard Cook, Beau Riley and Justin Hawkins chased Sparrow and Berkley.
The field was bunched again with twelve laps remaining after Matt Hutchison spun on Turn two as Berkley regained the lead soon after the stoppage, as the battle for second place intensified with Sparrow, Riley, Cook and Hawkins swapping placings continually as Berkley drove away to a brilliant win.
In a desperate last lap, Sparrow held off Justin Hawkins, Beau Riley and Richard Cook in a blanket finish.
Berkley becomes the second youngest competitor to win the National Production Sedan Title, behind Jacob Mills, and thoroughly deserved his win.
I can not believe it, I guess it will sink in soon I guess, Berkley said after the race.
Dehne Sparrow, the Club President of the Western Speedway, did a magnificent job on and off the track, and thanked all of the Club Volunteers and dedicated his place on the podium to them.
Third placed Justin Hawkins was in the thick of the action all weekend, and was a deserving placegetter in a frantic finish, while Beau Riley from Western Australia, capped off his Victorian Title victory a fortnight before with a strong fourth placing, and was consistently fast all weekend, as was fifth placed Richard Cook, who like all the other placegetters, thoroughly deserved his position with a classy drive in the forty lap main event.
A Main, 40 Laps: 1. Q59 Joel Berkley, 2. Q15 Richard Cook, 3. N56 Justin Hawkins, 4. W4 Beau Riley, 5. V91 Dehne Sparrow, 6. V9 Shona Bent, 7. ACT32 Craig McAlister, 8. W22 Rick Musarra, 9. ACT23 Damien McAlister, 10. W31 Kane McDiarmid, 11. V13 Ben Barker, 12. W61 Jake Blight, 13. W95 Kyle Sayer, 14, S87 Jayden Edwards, 15. V34 Adam Wilson, 16. V98 Ray Ussher, 17. ACT24 James Hodak, 18. W12 Rod Musarra, 19. V5 Jack Milthorpe, 20. N14 Matt Hutchison, 21. A1 Trevor Mills
1. Q59 Joel Berkley, 2. V91 Dehne Sparrow, 3. N56 Justin Hawkins, 4. W4 Beau Riley, 5. Q15 Richard Cook, 6. ACT32 Craig McAlister, 7. W22 Rick Musarra, 8. ACT23 Damien McAlister, 9. V9 Shona Bent, 10. A1 Trevor Mills, 11. V13 Ben Barker, 12. V5 Jack Milthorpe, 13. V98 Ray Ussher (38), 14. N14 Matt Hutchison (34), 15. V34 Adam Wilson (30), 16. W95 Kyle Sayer (22), 17. W12 Rod Musarra (20), 18. W31 Kane McDiarmid (16), 19. ACT24 James Hodak (15), 20. S87 Jayden Edwards (15), 21. W61 Jake Blight (15). Time: No Time, Winning Margin: 2.744, Fastest Lap: 18.310 V91 Dehne SparrowJoel Berkley, our new National Production Sedan ChampionNational Title Podium, photo courtesy of Hannah Eastwood