Author : Jason Crowe – SSA Media
Matt Pascoe has won a thrilling Super Sedan Grand Prix at the Gulf Western & Independent Oils Raceway Latrobe on Saturday night, with the lead changing eight times across the fifty laps.
Callum Harper elected to start on the outside as the highest qualifier of Steve Jordan, and would get the best of the start as the fifty lap decider got underway.
The race would be three laps old when the first caution would occur for Lucas Dillon who spun. The subsequent restart would see Lucas Dillon suffer front end damage resulting in a further stoppage.
Harper continued to lead Jordan, Kane and Ryan Alexander and Harper, the defending Champion opened a 0.945 second lead.
That lead was eroded as Harper started to encounter lapped traffic, with the quartet then only separated by 0.908 on lap eight.
Lap nine would see the demise of Ryan Alexander who went to the outside of Darren Kane, but in the process would hit the fence bringing the yellow lights on for the third time.
Cautions can breed cautions, and the fourth would occur on the same lap when Mick Nicola Jnr stopped on the front straight, while Lachlan Onley would hit the fence in a separate incident.
Harper continued to lead, but Jordan didn�t allow Harper to get away, while Darren Kane was hounding Jordan in a great battle for the lead.
Darren Kane made his move on lap fourteen, moving to second place as Harper again encountered lapped traffic. Harper was able to put two lapped cars between himself and Kane, but the National Champion soon disposed of the lapped traffic, closing the lead held by Harper to 0.777 on lap seventeen.
A lap later the lead was a car length as Kane looked to the inside of Harper on lap twenty, with Jordan, Pascoe and Dave Gartner following closely behind.
Lap twenty two saw the fifth caution when Robert Bird spun in turn three, bunching the field nearing the half way mark, with still nineteen cars still on track, with Bird able to continue despite the front end being damaged.
Matt Pascoe moved to third on lap twenty three with a great move on the outside of Steve Jordan, and then narrowed the gap on Harper and Kane to 0.898.
A lap later the sixth stoppage occurred when Robert Bird and Darren Anning were involved in an incident in the main straight, eliminating both cars.
The race resumed with light rain falling at the Latrobe venue, Harper continued to lead Kane, Pascoe and Mick Nicola Snr and Steve Jordan.
Kane tried to pass Harper on lap twenty eight which bunched the field up, in what was becoming a thrilling battle for the lead. Pascoe was all over the back of Kane who in-turn was all over the back of Harper, with two car lengths separating the trio.
Pascoes move through the field continued on lap thirty three when he passed Darren Kane to move into second, and immediately started to challenge Harper for the lead. Kane, Nicola Snr, Jordan and Dave Gartner were in close proximity, as Harper and Pascoe moved away from the remainder of the field.
With ten laps remaining, Pascoes ascendancy to the lead was complete, when he passed Harper to take the race lead, but unfortunately for the Queensland Champion, a four car crash involving Dave Gartner, Darren Kane, Wayne Dillon and Corey Smith, would see Harper resume the lead entering the final stanza of the race.
Stoppage number eight occurred immediately upon the resumption with Anthony Manion, South Australian Kym Jury and Joe Breitkopf spinning in turn four, bunching the field yet again.
A lap later Matt Pascoe took the lead for a second time, only to have the yellows brought on again for the ninth time as Anthony Manion stopped on the main straight, and would then retire from the race.
Pascoe would take the lead for the third time on lap forty two, but would lose the lead again, this time not to a yellow light, but to Harper, who immediately fought back in a thrilling finish, to an incident packed event.
A lap later Pascoe took the lead for a fourth time, and despite the challenges of Harper, lap after lap, Matt Pascoe was able to hold the lead to the chequered flag, taking his amazing run of victories to nine, and five in succession.
A Main, 50 Laps: 1. Q1 Matt Pascoe, 2. T22 Callum Harper, 3. V3 Mick Nicola Snr, 4. Q10 Steve Jordan, 5. T16 Corey Smith, 6. S8 Dave Gartner, 7. V23 Mick Nicola Jnr, 8. S93 Kym Jury (49 laps), 9. T25 Joe Breitkopf (46), 10. T47 Lucas Dillon (43). DNF: 11. T8 Steve Latham (46), 12. A1 Darren Kane (39), 13. Q26 Sean Black (39), 14. V2 Peter Nicola (39), 15. T48 Wayne Dillon (38), 16. T24 Anthony Manion (38), 17. V0 Lucas Roberts (33), 18. T71 Robert Bird (23), 19. N21 Darren Anning (23), 20. S47 Ryan Alexander (9), 21. N17 Lachlan Onley (9), 22. N23 Andrew White (2). Time: No Time, Winning Margin: 0.381, Fastest Lap: 14.474 S47 Ryan Alexander
The winning move with seven laps remaining. Photo courtesy of Angryman Photography