by | Apr 26, 2024 | SSA Production Sedans, VIC

Official Release Friday 26th April 2024.

After the opening night of the Sinopec Lubricants SSA Production Sedan National Title at the B&S Earthworks Timmis Speedway it is Queenslander Joel Berkley and New South Welshman Jaiden Healey who lead the points, having gone through the night one heat races undefeated!

Berkley leads courtesy of his fastest lap time of 17.097, with Healey’s 17.366 slotting him into second, while Chris Pagel, Nathan Thorne and defending champion Kyle Sayer round out the top five in points after the night one results were tallied.

Heat One saw Zak Calderwood hit the wall in turn three early on, but it all came undone in a separate incident with Chris Blyton ending up in the front straight wall, heavy damage to his once pristine #91 machine. A complete restart was called with Bryan Galley sent to the rear, and Matt Nelson took advantage, leading the race from go to whoa and defeating Wayne Bourke and Trevor Mills.

Defending champion Kyle Sayer would lead the way in heat two but the race quickly came under caution with Anthony Hanson coming to a stop on the back straight. Jack Littlehales would join Hanson on the infield before the race got back underway, but again Sayer would break away and take the lead. He would be well ahead of second-placed Craig McAllister, who was passed by Aidan Rigby for second with only a few laps remaining, Sayer into lapped traffic and winning by over seven seconds from Rigby and Richard Cook who also got by McAllister.

Matthew Hutchison grabbed the lead quickly in heat three, cars going four wide on the opening lap as they fought for position. Shane Hammond raced into second but behind there was a calamity, Steven Aldridge and Billy Macdonald coming together, Macdonald out of the race and Aldridge sent to the rear. Chris Pagel was on the move on the restart, moving from fourth to second on the outside and locking onto the bumper of Hutchison, eventually diving underneath him down the back straight on lap six to take the lead. He would go on to defeat Hutchison and Morris Ahearn.

Steven Watts was the early leader in heat four, Neil Keldoulis and Joel Berkley chasing hard. Berkley got by Keldoulis on lap six and set out after Watts, the top three clear of the rest of the battling pack. Berkley then drew alongside Watts at the completion of lap eight, used lapped traffic to his advantage to take the lead on lap nine, and would go on to take the win from Watts and Keldoulis.

Wayne O’Keefe led early in heat five, but it took only two laps for Raymond Ussher to take the lead, a massive seven-car battle happening in the lead pack. Cars were fighting tooth and nail and it eventually came undone with Brett Barron coming to a stop facing the wrong way at the entry to turn three, while O’Keefe was sent to the rear for his part in the incident. Ussher maintained his lead while Benny Aworth was running second until a flat tyre put paid to that, Nathan Thorne the one to race into second ahead of Johnny Ralph by the time the chequers flew.

The final heat of round one saw Jaiden Healey into the lead ahead of Scott Hawkins and Selina Jennings, but the battle for the minors would become epic, several drivers finding their place in the top three before ultimately Healey would go on to defeat Hawkins and Hayden Thomas.

Round two kicked off with Bryan Galley leading the field, Billy Macdonald making up for a disappointing DNF in the opening heat to run second. The yellows came out around mid-distance as Benny Aworth headed infield with a flat tyre, but Galley held strong on the restart, defeating Macdonald and Zak Calderwood.

Best Presented winner Brett Barron cruised into the lead in heat eight, with Craig McAlister settling in behind him as several cars fought for third place. Barron would race away unchallenged, Jack Murphy getting underneath McAllister in a final corner move for third.

Heat nine saw the yellows on early as Sheree Barron spun to a stop in turn one. Hayden Thomas would lead the field away, but it wouldn’t last long as Steven Alrdidge made contact with the back of the Trevor Mills car, seeing Mills spin and Tom Barnard left with nowhere to go. Thomas would continue to lead while Dale Corbett would come under pressure from Gemma Laidlaw for second. Unfortunately, the yellows would come on at the halfway point as Matthew Hutchison spun on the front straight and backed into the sponsor signs. Laidlaw got under Corbett for second on the restart, but Corbett fought back to retake the position a lap later, the order remaining unchanged from here as Thomas defeated Laidlaw who lunged past Corbett by 0.005 seconds on the line for second.

Cars went four wide into turn one in the battle for the lead to begin

heat ten, with Chris Pagel just nosing ahead of Nathan Thorne to lead lap one. The top two would pull away from the rest of the field led by Shane Hammond, and despite multiple attempts Thorne was unable to get the job done, Pagel surviving multiple restarts, one of which saw the restart cone obliterated, to claim the win from Thorne and Hammond.

Similar to the last heat, cars went three wide into turn one of heat eleven, with Joel Berkley getting through to the lead quickly followed by Dehne Sparrow and Zak Swanson, who was quickly overtaken by Dylan Barrow. After a yellow light stoppage for Alex Cheney, Berkley would continue to lead away a battling pack, Barrow coming under pressure from Kyle Sayer. Sayer grabbed second on lap six but by this time Berkley was too far out in front, going on to claim the win.

The final heat of round two saw cars locked together for the first two laps, no clear leader emerging until Jaiden Healey took over the lead and began to race away from Wesly Barnes and Morris Ahearn who got by Jack Bear on lap four. This would be the order they crossed the line.

Round three kicked off with Andrew Cunningham leading away heat thirteen, but with three laps complete a number of cars came together in turn three after Bryan Galley had a moment, Hayden Thomas in particular lucky to not go upside down and two cars unable to rejoin. The restart was just two laps old when Anthony Hanson also came to a stop on the back straight, bringing out the yellows once again. Cunningham continued to hold control on the restart though as the laps wound down Steven Watts began to make his presence felt, but it was too little too late, Cunningham the winner over Watts with Galley racing back into third on the final corner, however Cunningham was later disqualified at post race checks, seeing Watts officially the winner over Galley and Benny Ayworth.

After a rough old start to heat fourteen Stephen Laidlaw found himself out in front ahead of Zoey Salau and Billy Macdonald. After a restart for a Michael Sayers spin, Macdonald would be relegated two spots on the restart, then to the rear on the next restart after contact with Jack Bear bought the yellows out immediately after. The same would happen again on the next start, this time with Salau spinning Laidlaw out, seeing Salau sent rear on the restart and Laidlaw reinstated. Unfortunately it would happen again, this time with Marcus Hams spinning out after contact with Jaidyn Ruhs. Finally another lap would be completed, Laidlaw still leading and going on to claim the win from Hams and Bear.

The front row struggled to get off the line in heat fifteen and this gave Matt Nelson the chance he needed, diving through into second just behind Jim Cowley. Jack Murphy spun himself out of turn three to bring the cautions on with three laps complete, Aidan Rigby then using the low line to pass Nelson for second on the restart. Rigby would apply pressure to Cowley for the lead as Chris Pagel applied the blowtorch to Nelson for third, both Rigby and Pagel able to make the passes, though Cowley would get back by Rigby with one to go. Rigby however fought back once again and claimed the win coming out of the final corner from Cowley with Pagel third.

Brayden Creek led the opening lap of heat sixteen but Dylan Barrow was quick to close the gap, making the pass on lap two, followed through by Joel Berkley. Berkley would apply the pressure to Barrow for a number of laps, pulling alongside him to lead lap six by 0.024 seconds, the duo still side by side the whole next lap with Berkley still 0.048 seconds ahead when the yellows came on for a couple of cars who became stranded in turn three. Barrow had a huge moment on the restart, somehow being avoided by the rest of the field as he got crossed up in turn two, but in turn four a pile of cars came together, seeing the yellows come out anyway. Berkley led away Wesly Barnes and Matthew Hutchison, Barrow quickly moving back into third and from here the order remained unchanged.

Jaiden Healey, looking for three wins on the trot would lead away heat seventeen but Kyle Sayer would quickly race his way through the field from seventh to lock into second and pressure him for the lead. With two to go Sayer made his move, Sayer going underneath, Healey closing the door but Sayer fighting back to lead going into the final lap by 0.020 seconds, Healey able to get back by in the dying stages to claim the win, while Raymond Ussher finished third.

The final heat of the night saw Nathan Thorne race away from pole position, with only second placed Johnny Ralph able to stay with him. Ralph was able to poke the nose under a number of times but ultimately Thorne held strong to win the heat ahead of Ralph with Matt Vicary in third.

Tomorrow night will see all drivers contest one more round of heats before the all-important finals.

Overall Points After Night One

1. Q2 Joel Berkley 108

2. N29 Jaiden Healey 108

3. QA2 Chris Pagel 95

4. S52 Nathan Thorne 92

5. A1 Kyle Sayer 92

6. N0 Bryan Galley 77

7. W43 Hayden Thomas 76

8. Q19 Aidan Rigby 74

9. VA5 Steven Watts 69

10. N28 Wesly Barnes 66

11. V98 Raymond Ussher 66

12. N49 Johnny Ralph 64

13. Q99 Dylan Barrow 63

14. Q18 Brett Barron 63

15. V30 Stephen Laidlaw 61

16. N5 Scott Hawkins 61

17. Q16 Jim Cowley 58

18. N55 Jack Murphy 58

19. V61 Matt Nelson 57

20. VA4 Morris Ahearn 56

21. Q29 Billy Macdonald 50

22. Q17 Neil Keldoulis 50

23. VA34 Shane Hammond 50

24. N98 Dale Corbett 49

25. N75 Matt Vicary 46

26. N27 Wayne Bourke 46

27. N32 Craig McAlister 46

28. V65 Felicity Roycroft 44

29. W26 Gemma Laidlaw 44

30. VB19 Jack Bear 42

31. V5 Marcus Hams 40

32. N10 Trevor Mills 39

33. V52 Zoey Salau 38

34. VA19 Matthew Hutchison 37

35. V15 Zac Swanson 34

36. V66 Benny Ayworth 33

37. V14 Zac Calderwood 33

38. S25 Jaidyn Ruhs 31

39. N91 Chris Blyton 30

40. Q15 Richard Cook 28

41. V91 Dehne Sparrow 27

42. V19 Anthony Hanson 26

43. V9 Wayne O’Keefe 26

44. V17 Colby Hammond 24

45. V35 Steven Aldridge 24

46. V95 Toby Littlehales 22

47. V4 Chris Lack 22

48. N17 Rodney Anderson 22

49. Q25 Selina Jennings 20

50. V10 Dean Hughes 19

51. Q48 Sheree Barron 19

52. ACT19 Mitch Coulson 19

53. V21 Andrew Cunningham 19

54. N85 Cameron Vicary 18

55. N33 Toby Whyte 18

56. V80 Belinda Taylor 16

57. N16 Alex Cheney 16

58. V34 Brayden Creek 16

59. V96 Michael Sayers 15

60. V69 Tom Barnard 14