Words and Images (unless otherwise noted) by Paul Griffin
Brooke Tatnell drove the race of his life to take victory in the 30 lap Night 1 2017 Lucas Oil GAS Classic A-Main tonight (Jan 20th) – for his trouble earned a cool $10,000 winner’s cheque.
The money was good for Tatnell and the KMS Team, but the all-important points tally for winning the N1 Preliminary A-Main is probably even more important to help build a decent advantage for Sunday’s deciding night.
Tatnell started off pole and quickly shot to the lead with a very determined Brad Sweet right behind him. Going along for the ride and staying in touch with the two leaders was American Kyle Hirst and current Australian Champion Kerry Madsen.
With five laps down it seemed like it was going to be a race between these four cars as the group had opened up a 10 car lead on the rest of the field.
By lap 20 Tatnell had encountered traffic. Sweet capitalised on the fact that Tatnell was being held up slightly and closed on his tail tank.
The duo had a close battle for several laps, and as that was going on, just a short distance back, Kyle Hirst and Kerry Madsen were waging their own war with just a couple of car lengths in it.
With 13 laps down Sweet pulled a brilliant move on Tatnell down the main straight and shot to the lead. Madsen was able to get the better of Kyle Hirst and so the order at that point was U99, A2, A1 and U10.
Racing continued at a frantic pace with only two or three car lengths between each of the first four cars.
Madsen’s car was showing a good turn of speed and looked like it was coming on at mid race distance – he was slowly closing on Tatnell.
Kyle Hirst slipped back slightly and gave the ascendancy to Grant Anderson who had slipped under the radar after staring out of P9. It seemed that Ando had come from nowhere.
With four to go Brad Sweet tagged an infield tractor tyre which slowed him momentarily. This was enough for Tatnell to claw back the lead.
As they crossed the finish line to the eruption of fireworks it was Tatnell, Sweet, a fast finishing Kerry Madsen, Anderson and American Carson Macedo.
Quick Timer went to Brad Sweet with an 12.419 seconds.
Racing continues tomorrow night with Night 2 being the other half of the 110 entries.