Author : Jason Crowe – SSA Media
Josh Harm has won an exciting and eventful Kurt Murdoch Classic at the Fraser Shores Maryborough Speedway on Sunday night.
The thirty five lap main event would have four leaders and only six of the twenty drivers who started the race made it to the finish.
Steve Jordan and Richard Cook qualified for the front row after twenty qualifying heats were conducted on Saturday and Sunday evenings, with Rory Evans and Sarah Franz starting from row two.
New South Wales Champion, Steve Jordan got the best of the start, taking the lead from Cook and Franz in the early laps, while Evans dropped to seventh in a highly competitive start to the race, but fought back to third by lap seven.
Evans and Cook would have a great battle behind Jordan, swapping second place several times, before Cook took the lead from Jordan on lap thirteen. A lap later Malcolm Kernke joined the battle and moved to second place, while on lap fifteen, both Cook and Kernke crossed the line together, setting the same total elapsed time. Evans would take third place as Jordan, who had been quick all weekend retired from the race.
Josh Arthur systematically made his way through the field and joined the battle at the front of the field, taking third place on lap seventeen. A spate of stoppages occurred in the middle stages of the race, with no less than eight stoppages between lap fifteen and twenty seven, as many drivers fell by the wayside.
The race was a thriller between the leading drivers with just 0.828 separating Richard Cook, Malcolm Kernke, Josh Arthur, Rory Evans and Daniel Henshaw with fourteen laps to go.
Cook lost the lead to Kernke with ten laps remaining, but it was short lived as both Kernke and Arthur retired with nine laps remaining.
Josh Harm then found himself in front while Travis Hutchison, who started well down the field had moved to second and most of the leading pack for the majority of the race, found themselves on the infield.
Harm held a few car lengths lead over Hutchison, and found themselves well clear of the remaining drivers, with Richard Cook holding off Nick Cook who started on the seventh row. Sarah Franz who started on the second row, dropped as low as eleventh, recovered to finish fifth with Mitchell Bleys who started from position seventeen, was the only other driver to complete the race.
A Main, 35 Laps: 1. SB88 Josh Harm, 2. M18 Travis Hutchison, 3. GL15 Richard Cook, 4. GL05 Nick Cook, 5. SC36 Sarah Franz, 6. SB44 Mitchell Bleys, 7. G4 Malcolm Kernke (26 laps), 8. M15 Josh Arthur (26), 9. G97 Rory Evans (25), 10. SC61 Brendan Cowley (25), 11. G10 Daniel Henshaw (24), 12. RK2 Michael Johnson (23), 13. SB23 Aaron Bleys (23), 14. G2 Chris Pagel (20), 15. B7 Steve Jordan (18), 16. RK7 Tony Owen (15), 17. N71 Mark Quirk (8), 18. CR9 Ash McKellar (5), 19. G17 Neil Keldoulis (2), 20. M9 Joel Berkley (1). Time: No Time, Winning Margin: 1.215, Fastest Lap: 16.422 G2 Chris Pagel
Photo courtesy of 44Photography