SERIES LEADERS CLASH - TITLE GOES DOWN TO FINAL DAY
PORTERGROUP V8 series leaders Paul 'Auto' Manuell and Richard 'Danger' Moore ramped up the drama at the season climax ay Hampton Downs with a last lap clash that means the title fight goes down to the last two races of the season.
Pole position holder Moore had led throughout in his Mitre 10 Trade Holden, although Manuell had sneaked past for a lap reminding the circuit expert that he wasn't going to have it all his own way. On the final lap, however, Manuell went for the inside down at the Turn 4 right hand hairpin and tagged the back of Moore on the exit, turning him round and dropping him from first to a disgruntled seventh. Manuell was able to gather it all up and recover to just the win on the road just ahead of Brett 'The Scud' Rudd but a post-race 30 second penalty for the move dropped him down the field, with a counter protest on the severity of the penalty further delaying the official result.
Andrew Porter was also in the thick of the action throughout - guesting in the Ward Demolition Holden - but a move by him on third placed Glen 'Coyote' Collinson - also at Turn 4 - spun the DNA Paints Ford FG and out of contention. Glen had made a great start and was harrying the two leaders and looked odds on for another solid top three result at least. Like Manuell, Porter also copped a 30 second penalty for his troubles.
Provisionally, the Manuell and Porter penalties put them to the back of the field and Moore back up into fifth on the road, crucially ahead of Manuell and allowing Richard to carve further into Manuell's series lead with the reverse grid race and point race still to run on Sunday.
Rudd, on his final weekend in the category - provisionally took the Race 1 win, his second of the season and one which he fought very hard for. Interestingly, the result if it stands will move him closer to both Manuell and Moore, his win significantly improving his slim chance of taking the title.
Matt 'Stinger' Spratt provisionally finished the race second behind Rudd in the KPH Transport Holden, while Geoff' SOS' Spencer had real pace in the race in his Coresteel Buildings Holden and recovered from a wild sideways moment at the downhill sweeper to take third.
Full results pending judicial enquiry to come!