Brad Blake last night showed why he is still one to contend with as he raced his way to a big victory in what was a time shortened, and at times controversial, opening feature race for the XLI Pro Dirt Series.
The 0 Show was in great form, grabbing a heat win which helped set him up for a front row start for the all-important 30 lap feature alongside Pancho’s Pole Sitter Jay Cardy.
As the race went green for the first time it looked like it would be an epic battle, with Blake leading Cardy early followed by Matt Goodlad, Warren Oldfield and Michael Holmes who were locked together behind the leading duo.
Cardy put pressure on Blake early for the top spot, but Blake was having none of it as he began to pull away.
With three laps complete the first caution of the race came out for David Nylander who came to a stop in turn one facing the wall.
Once his car was towed from the circuit the race only restarted for one more lap before Ken Melvin also came to a stop in turn one to bring out the yellows once again.
Drivers continued to battle it out on a tough track on the restart, with Blake continuing to be the best as he held off Cardy, while Goodlad and Oldfield continued their fight for third.
The yellows came out once again with eight complete for a James Batley spin in turn two and it was here that chaos began to break out.
On the restart Oldfield ducked straight underneath Goodlad and grabbed third, then set out after Cardy. A lap later, Oldfield drew exactly level with Cardy, the two side by side going into turn three when all of a sudden Cardy was left facing the wrong way to bring out the yellows with ten complete.
As the field attempted to line up for a restart, Oldfield, Cardy and Goodlad all fought it out for a number of laps as to who was to start where. Several times the field looked to be about to go green when cars were still out of order, extending the pressure on the race which was already under threat from the track curfew.
Eventually the field got going as they were, but it all amounted to null as Michael Comley and Jayden Meckenstock became embroiled in a turn three incident, with Willy Powell and Rob Wells also spinning to avoid.
With the time pressure now at its maximum, stewards were forced to declare the race on the last completed lap, the dominant Blake being awarded the win in the Ray Tulk Memorial ahead of Cardy and Oldfield.
Blake was thrilled with his feature win and of course, this sets him in good stead for the rest of the XLI Pro Dirt Series. With heat points and feature points counting, it is going to be a huge series, with Cardy, Goodlad, Blake and impressive rookie Daniel Ameduri all claiming heat wins earlier in the day and bagging some valuable points.
Round Two of the XLI Pro Dirt Series will be held in just under three weeks’ time at the Perth Motorplex.