Blake would lead every lap in the feature en route to victory after earning the right to start off the front row for the twenty-five-lap event with a win and a second place in the heats.
He would be joined by pole sitter Jamie Oldfield (Oldfield Racing), who had a faster overall time than Blake after he too recorded a win and a second place in his heats.
Other heat wins were claimed by Jay Cardy (Cardy Racing Components) and Paul Stubber.
As the race went green Blake would lead Jamie, with Stubber and Cardy fighting it out side by side for third place, while behind them brothers Jason and Warren Oldfield were also engaging in a close battle.
Stubber would dispose of Cardy on lap two and chase after Jamie Oldfield, and with five laps completed, Jamie would be running right on Blake’s tail with Stubber less than a car length behind them.
At this point, Blake was running the middle line, Jamie was slightly higher and Stubber running even higher up towards the fence, doing everything he could to make his way past. Coming into turn two with seven complete Oldfield appeared to slow, with Stubber reacting quickly and spinning the model to bring on the yellow lights. Stewards deemed it to be a racing incident and Stubber was put back into third on the restart.
Several cars came together as the race went to resume, seeing the yellows come straight back on, all cars able to right themselves and re-join.
The next attempt was much better, and the big mover was Jason Oldfield who suddenly found himself in third place.
On lap eleven Jason would use the bottom line to grab second from Jamie, and just three laps later Jamie Oldfield’s machine began emitting a huge plume of smoke which saw his race end prematurely.
The next half of the race would be nothing short of absolutely intense, with a number of battles raging through the field, a few position changes, side by side racing and an approaching curfew and a threat of rain all adding to the excitement.
Blake however remained tough throughout it all, going on to claim his third Ray Tulk Memorial race and kick starting his season in the best possible fashion with an incredibly strong performance that showed that the veteran still has it!
Jay Cardy made his way back onto the podium as he finished second while Jason Oldfield rounded out the final podium position.
Paul Stubber and Daniel Ameduri (Ameduri Motorsports) would complete the top five, with impressive rookie Rod Musarra (Rod Musarra Racing #12), Warren Oldfield, Ritchie Freeman, Damian Hudson and Ray Leonard rounding out the finishers.
It was a sensational way to start out the season and the feature race was worth the price of admission alone, so we can only imagine what awaits us as the Pro Dirt Series kicks off in less than a week!
Release by DTN Media.
Pics Courtesy Peter Roebuck.
Heat One, 10 laps: 1. 31 Paul Stubber, 2. 21 Rod Musarra, 3. 11 Jason Oldfield, 4. 83 Daniel Ameduri, 5. 426 Ray Leonard, 6. 80 Damian Hudson, 7. 2 Rob Wells (9), 8. 37 Brendan McKeagg (9). Total Time: 2.59.636. Winning Margin: 3.989. Fastest Lap: 17.642 Paul Stubber.
Heat Two, 10 laps: 1. 51 Jamie Oldfield, 2. 0 Brad Blake, 3. 15 Warren Oldfield, 4. 52 Jay Cardy, 5. 65 Peter Seaton, 6. 88 Ritchie Freeman, 7. 22 Richard Wells. Total Time: No Time. Winning Margin: 1.708. Fastest Lap: 17.535 Jamie Oldfield.
Heat Three, 10 laps: 1. 0 Brad Blake, 2. 51 Jamie Oldfield, 3. 15 Warren Oldfield, 4. 31 Paul Stubber, 5. 83 Daniel Ameduri, 6. 80 Damian Hudson. DNF: 37 Brendan McKeagg (4), 22 Richard Wells (2). Total Time: No Time. Winning Margin: Not Available. Fastest Lap: 17.818 Brad Blake.
Heat Four, 10 laps: 1. 52 Jay Cardy, 2. 11 Jason Oldfield, 3. 426 Ray Leonard, 4. 2 Rob Wells, 5. 88 Ritchie Freeman (9). DNF: 21 Rod Musarra (0). DNS: 65 Peter Seaton. Total Time: 3.06.887. Winning Margin: 4.421. Fastest Lap: 18.227 Jay Cardy.
Feature, 30 laps: 1. 0 Brad Blake, 2. 52 Jay Cardy, 3. 11 Jason Oldfield, 4. 31 Paul Stubber, 5. 83 Daniel Ameduri, 6. 21 Rod Musarra, 7. 15 Warren Oldfield, 8. 88 Ritchie Freeman, 9. 80 Damian Hudson, 10. 426 Ray Leonard. DNF: 2 Rob Wells (20), 51 Jamie Oldfield (14). DNS: Richard Wells, 37 Brendan McKeagg, 65 Peter Seaton. Total Time: No Time. Winning Margin: 2.375. Fastest Lap: 17.681 Paul Stubber.