Photos by SWB Photography
After more than 30 years of trying, Gary “Dusty” Higgs has finally won the SSA Super Sedans WA State Title before a big crowd on Saturday Night at the season opening race meeting for the Attwell Park Speedway in Albany.
Higgs took the lead on the final lap from Damon Trouchet after the pair had raced side by side in the race to the finish in the forty lap finale with Mount Barker’s Rob Knox officially third.
The A Main was a dramatic affair with just the nine cars greeting the chequered flag after a night of high drama.
Twenty One SSA Super Sedans started the night with the W38 Sweet of Adrian Geary adjudged the Ian Beard Best Presented Car in the Event.
Geary’s night unfortunately was over as racing was due to begin with engine issues preventing the highly professional driver from contesting the State Title.
Damon Trouchet won the opening heat race of the night comfortably from Tristan Green and Gary Higgs who had a great battle for second in the concluding stages with Green narrowly holding on.
Two Time Western Australian Champion Warren Minshull from Broome held off Busselton’s Kevin Bell in heat two with Kyle Larson a distant third.
Defending Champion Chris Pavlovich dominated heat three as Jason Batchelor drove a great race to move into second by the end of the ten laps with Lee Aylett third.
Jason Batchelor had the local crowd on their feet as he won heat four after Rob Knox suffered a flat right rear tyre while leading with Lee Aylett also damaging the rear end of his W4 in the final circulations.
The W10 Predator Chassis of Kyle Larson was the class of the field in heat five leading home Kemble Aylett and Darren Larson.
Heat Six proved to be one of the races of the night as Gary Higgs, Damon Trouchet and Chris Pavlovich raced three wide at times with Higgs collecting the thirty six points.
Warren Minshull became the first time multiple heat race winner after inheriting the lead on the final lap of heat seven from Gary Higgs who suffered a flat right front tyre.
The biggest incident of the night occurred in heat eight when veteran competitor Terry Green hit the wall heavily in the front straight after contact with another car.
Green would take no further part in the race meeting with Damon Trouchet getting the better of Jason Batchelor with Pavlovich officially third.
Kevin Bell drove around the outside of Kemble Aylett in the final heat with second generation driver Zac Minshull third by race end.
Seventeen SSA Super Sedans took the green flag in the forty lap main event with surprise packets Trouchet and Batchelor sharing the front row.
Warren Minshull’s race would be over on the opening lap when he hit the wall heavily while in fourth place in turn four.
Kyle Larson and Steve Schofield would be innocently caught up in the incident with all three out of the race.
After a number of attempts to get the race going the battle for the lead was worth the price of admission as Trouchet, Batchelor, Higgs, Pavlovich and Bell all had turns at the front of the field.
Pavlovich and Bell came together while battling for second place with the defending champion sent to the rear of the field.
Bell then overlapped at the restart on the leader Trouchet as Higgs began to try and find a way past both Batchelor and Trouchet.
Tristan Green would hit the wall heavily in turn one as the yellow lights came on again once again.
It then became a race between the top four after Bell was sent to the rear during the stoppage as Higgs, Trouchet, Batchelor and a fast closing Zac Minshull staged a dramatic struggle for supremacy.
Zac Minshull would then bring on the yellow lights after sitting in third place with a flat right rear tyre after Batchelor rode over the side of the W47 Dominator.
Trouchet lead away at the restart from Higgs and Batchelor as the three again pulled away from the field as Pavlovich began to work his way back through the field.
Before long Rob Knox, Pavlovich and Kevin Bell were soon in contention for a podium spot as Batchelor continued to work the outside of the race track on his quest to try and take the lead from Higgs and Trouchet.
Kevin Bell brought the race to a stop on lap twenty three when he ran out of noise aboard the W5 after briefly moving into third place.
The race to the finish was a thriller as Trouchet, Higgs and Batchelor at times raced three wide.
Within sight of the finish Batchelor’s race would be over with a flat right rear tyre after momentarily hitting the front.
Trouchet was holding off the advances of Higgs as the pair passed the white flag side by side with Higgs hitting the lead on the final circulation.
In what was a historic moment for Speedway Sedan Racing in Western Australia, Gary Higgs finally tasted success in the SSA Super Sedans WA State Title defeating Damon Trouchet by 0.442 of a second with Rob Knox putting in a solid performance to finish third.
Chris Pavlovich brought home a damaged race car to cross the line fourth with local Albany driver Adam Campbell rounding out the top five.
In victory lane Gary Higgs was an extremely relieved man to finally win the event after having finished on the podium on nine previous occasions.
The 2020/2021 SSA Super Sedans WA State Title will be held at the Make Smoking History Bunbury Speedway on Saturday 20th March 2021.
A Main, 40 Laps: 1. W81 Gary Higgs, 2. W3 Damon Trouchet, 3. W68 Rob Knox, 4. W1 Chris Pavlovich, 5. W71 Adam Campbell, 6. W85 Mathew McMahon, 7. W9 Kemble Aylett, 8. W96 Stephen Larson (39), 9. W63 Tony St Jack (37), DNF W53 Jason Batchelor (38), W5 Kevin Bell (23), W47 Zac Minshull (8), W6 Tristan Green (5), W91 Darren Larson (5), W7 Warren Minshull (0), W22 Steve Schofield (0), W10 Kyle Larson (0)