Although Darren Kane and Michael Holmes won the preliminary features tonight at the Perth Motorplex in night one of the Di Candilo Steel City Australian Late Model Championships, it is Jay Cardy who is currently leading the point standings after night one.
Cardy had a perfect night prior to the features, recording two heat wins to be undefeated and alone on top points. Kodee Brown and Ryan Halliday are next best with 85 points apiece, while defending Australian champion Darren Kane is fourth on 84 points. Former Australian Champions Marc Giancola and Brad Blake are next with youngsters Kye Blight, Jarrin Bielby and Paul Joss, while Craig Vosbergen rounds out the top ten.
The first preliminary feature saw a depleted field of thirteen starters from a possible twenty two, with many choosing not to start as there were no points on the preliminaries.
Jay Cardy lead from the front ahead of Ryan Halliday in the first stanza, which came to an end after only two laps when the yellows came on for a spun car.
Cardy led away at the restart with Halliday in second but it was a matter of laps before Michael Holmes moved into second while Warren Oldfield made his presence felt as he moved into third.
At the end of lap eleven Holmes was able to grab the lead from Cardy, but one lap later Cardy was back in the lead, the top four fighting a close battle.
All of a sudden Paul Stubber made his presence felt, making it a five way battle. Holmes began to race away while Warren Oldfield moved into second, Cardy relegated into third spot as the race continued with just five laps to go.
Halliday pulled infield with four to go, while lapped traffic bunched the rest of the leading pack up, allowing Jay Cardy to get past Oldfield right on the line, Holmes officially defeating Cardy and Warren Oldfield.
The second prelim saw Kodee Brown opening up a massive lead very quickly, over five seconds ahead in the first four laps. Craig Vosbergen sat in second while Kye Blight was in third. Even in lapped traffic Brown was still able to maintain a solid lead, his lead well over 4.7 seconds until disaster struck.
Brown had lapped up to eighth place and was catching the next pack of cars when he went a little wide and crunched the turn four wall, ending his race and bringing out the yellow lights. This set off a chain reaction with second placed Craig Vosbergen also heading infield, while fifth place Jarrin Bielby also pulled infield.
This meant that Kye Blight would lead away Darren Kane and Jamie Oldfield for the remaining seven lap restart. Blight, Kane and Oldfield didn’t seem to care it was only a preliminary feature, with the leading trio fighting tooth and nail to get to the front spot. Kane went outside Blight to grab the lead with three to go, but Blight fought back, the duo side by side with Oldfield right on their tail.
With two to go they were just 0.047 seconds apart, stuck together for the entire lap and separated by just 0.132 with one lap to go. Kane made one last lunge at the lead on the final corner, with Kane and Blight making contact, Blight spinning across the line. Kane grabbed the win while Oldfield was able to grab second while Blight went backwards across the line for third in another spectacular finish.
Earlier in the evening, Ben Nicastri kicked off his Australian Title campaign in the best possible way, setting QuickTime in what was a brand new track record for one lap in qualifying. The old record was a 16.47 second lap, set some fifteen years ago almost to the day by Ben Ludlow, with eight drivers going under the old record; Nicastri stopping the clock with a 15.978, the only driver to do a sub sixteen second lap.
Heat one saw Jay Cardy lead early, with defending champion Darren Kane closing on him in the latter stages. Unfortunately for Kane he didn’t have enough to pass Cardy for the win.
The second heat saw Ryan Halliday leading, but the real battle was between Kye Blight and Craig Vosbergen as they fought for second place. The duo fought hard, moving very close to the fence on a number of occasions. In the closing laps the leading trio closed in on each other and with one to go there was just 0.4 seconds between them all. Blight made his move in turn three but it didn’t quite come off, resulting in Halliday defeating Vosbergen, while Blight settled for third.
Heat three saw a controversial start with Jamie Oldfield and Paul Stubber making contact, seeing the first yellow light of the night. The second start was much better, with Oldfield leading Stubber in the opening turns. On lap two though it all came undone as Jamie began to slow, handing Stubber the lead, while Jarrin Bielby was the surprise in second place. As the laps wound down Brad Blake began to close on Bielby, but he was able to hold strong, Stubber defeating Bielby and Blake.
The final heat of the opening round saw Kodee Brown leading from the front, with Warren Oldfield quickly into second. Lap three saw Warren Oldfield grab the lead, but again it fell apart for the Oldfield family for the second time in as many races, as he suddenly slowed, handing Brown back the lead. Brother Jason Oldfield was baulked as Warren slowed, but he was able to make his way past without losing a position and chase after Brown. However, it didn’t make a difference as Brown defeated Jason Oldfield, with Morgan Melvin coming home third.
Heat five was the opener of the second round, with Jay Cardy coming straight from position five to be leading after just one lap. Darren Kane, came from third to settle into second, while visiting Victorian Cameron Pearson settled into third. The yellows came on after two laps with Jai Mazzini spinning in turn two, closing the gap between Cardy and Kane for the restart. It didn’t faze Cardy though as he again raced away with the lead. Kane however wasn’t giving up easy and began to close the gap until the yellows came on once again for Mazzini. Again Cardy pulled away, with Kane crossing the line behind him as the chequers fell while Michael Holmes was third.
The sixth heat saw Bryn Haythornthwaite go high in the opening lap and end up being spat out the back after starting on the front row, while Paul Joss was the man who took the lead. Ryan Halliday, Kye Blight and Craig Vosbergen were having a ding dong battle in the middle of the field, then closed on David Nylander in second and began to swamp him. The trio continued to exchange positions corner after corner, lap after lap, but in the end Joss’ lead was too much as he defeated Blight, Halliday and Vosbergen in a great race.
The penultimate heat of the night took a long time to get underway, with the field pulled back twice before another yellow after Stuey Hill spun in front of the pack, leaving Veronica McCann and Mick Clune nowhere to go. The restart saw Chris Pavlovich lead away while Brad Blake and Jarrin Bielby again picked up their battle for second. Quickly Jamie Oldfield arrived at the party and moved into second as Blake took the lead, while Bielby also passed Pavlovich for third and from here the order remained unchanged until Oldfield stormed around Blake to grab the win on the final lap.
The final heat of the night saw the first start called back after one car failed to go. The second start saw Morgan Melvin get a huge run on the outside before touching the rear of another car and spinning infield, somehow the rest of the field missing him. Marc Giancola quickly made his way into the lead and raced away until a restart for a spun car bunched the field up again. The restart saw the top three cars of Giancola, Oldfield and Brown battling in close proximity, but it was Giancola who held on for the win over Oldfield and Brown.
With the opening night of proceedings now complete, all that is left is one more round of heats before the feature events tomorrow night. Stay tuned tomorrow as the final grids are released and all the information is released as it happens.
Who will become A1? Be at the Perth Motorplex tomorrow night to find out!
Release by DTN Media.
Qualifying – 1. Ben Nicastri 15.978, 2. Craig Vosbergen 16.001, 3. Jamie Oldfield 16.011, 4. Jason Oldfield 16.020, 5. Kodee Brown 16.228, 6. Paul Stubber 16.378, 7. Ryan Halliday 16.403, 8. Jay Cardy 16.445, 9. Matt Goodlad 16.655, 10. Kye Blight 16.657, 11. Brad Blake 16.722, 12. Morgan Melvin 16.752, 13. Warren Oldfield 16.757, 14. Jarrin Bielby 16.795, 15. Lee Watt 16.821, 16. Darren Kane 16.823, 17. Michael Holmes 16.871, 18. Alec Melvin 16.933, 19. Ryan Ludlow 16.994, 20. Marc Giancola 17.022, 21. Brad Ludlow 17.038, 22. Veronica McCann 17.056, 23. Mark Webster 17.189, 24. Justin Pearson 17.200, 25. Bruce MacKenzie 17.214, 26. Ken MacPherson 17.222, 27. David Doherty 17.247, 28. Dean King 17.248, 29. Rob Galloway 17.373, 30. Stuey Hill 17.526, 31. Matt Nylander 17.555, 32. Cameron Pearson 17.804, 33. Lionel Kirkby 17.928, 34. Paul Joss 17.952, 35. Hayden Norman 18.090, 36. Ben Ludlow 18.188, 37. Simon McNab 18.595, 38. Mick Clune 18.838, 39. David Nylander 18.985, 40. Dale Clark 19.140, 41. Jai Mazzini 19.355, 42. Bryn Haythornthwaite 19.396, 43. Chris Pavlovich 19.513, 44. Jed Rogers 20.479, 45. Jayden Meckenstock 20.583, 46. Jamie Moon 20.992.
Heat One – 10 laps: 1. Jay Cardy, 2. Darren Kane, 3. Ben Nicastri, 4. Michael Holmes, 5. Bruce Mackenzie, 6. Cameron Pearson. DNF: Matt Goodlad (8), Justin Pearson (8). DNS: Dale Clark, Jai Mazzini, Lionel Kirkby. Total Time: 2.47.125. Winning Margin: 0.477. Fastest Lap: 16.104 Darren Kane.
Heat Two – 10 laps: 1. Ryan Halliday, 2. Craig Vosbergen, 3. Kye Blight, 4. Ken MacPherson, 5. Paul Joss, 6. Matt Nylander, 7. David Nylander, 8. Mark Webster, 9. Bryn Haythornthwaite. DNS: Lee Watt, Alec Melvin. Total Time: 2.50.102. Winning Margin: 0.626. Fastest Lap 16.199 Craig Vosbergen.
Heat Three – 10 laps: 1. Paul Stubber, 2. Jarrin Bielby, 3. Brad Blake, 4. David Doherty, 5. Stuey Hill, 6. Chris Pavlovich, 7. Hayden Norman, 8. Mick Clune. DNF: Veronica McCan (6), Jamie Oldfield (3). DNS: Ryan Ludlow, Jamie Moon. Total Time: No Time. Winning Margin: 0.423. Fastest Lap 16.948 Brad Blake.
Heat Four – 10 laps: 1. Kodee Brown, 2. Jason Oldfield, 3. Morgan Melvin, 4. Marc Giancola, 5. Brad Ludlow, 6. Ben Ludlow, 7. Simon McNab (9). DNF: Jayden Meckenstock (7), Jed Rogers (4), Warren Oldfield (3), Dean King (3). Total Time: 2.49.181. Winning Margin: 1.628. Fastest Lap: 16.299 Warren Oldfield.
Heat Five – 10 laps: 1. Jay Cardy, 2. Darren Kane, 3. Michael Holmes, 4. Ben Nicastri, 5. Lionel Kirkby, 6. Bruce MacKenzie. DNF: Cameron Pearson (6). DQ: Jai Mazzini. DNS: Dale Clark, Matt Goodlad, Justin Pearson. Total Time: No Time. Winning Margin: 1.168. Fastest Lap: 16.570 Jay Cardy.
Heat Six – 10 laps: 1. Paul Joss, 2. Kye Blight, 3. Ryan Halliday, 4. Craig Vosbergen, 5. David Nylander, 6. Lee Watt, 7. Mark Webster, 8. Bryn Haythornthwaite, 9. Ken MacPherson (8). DNF: Matt Nylander (4). DNS: Alec Melvin. Total Time: No Time. Winning Margin: 2.150. Fastest Lap: 17.425 Craig Vosbergen.
Heat Seven – 10 laps: 1. Jamie Oldfield, 2. Brad Blake, 3. Jarrin Bielby, 4. David Doherty, 5. Chris Pavlovich, 6. Hayden Norman. DNF: Mick Clune (5), Veronica McCann (0), Paul Stubber, (0), Stuey Hill (0). DNS: Ryan Ludlow, Jamie Moon. Total Time: No Time. Winning Margin: 1.094. Fastest Lap: 16.688 Jamie Oldfield.
Heat Eight – 10 laps: 1. Marc Giancola, 2. Warren Oldfield, 3. Kodee Brown, 4. Dean King, 5. Jason Oldfield, 6. Simon McNab, 7. Rob Galloway, 8. Jayden Meckenstock, 9. Morgan Melvin (9). DNF: Brad Ludlow (5). DNS: Ben Ludlow, Jed Rogers. Total Time: No Time. Winning Margin: 0.222. Fastest Lap: 16.922 Marc Giancola.
Preliminary Feature #1 – 20 laps: 1. Michael Holmes, 2. Jay Cardy, 3. Warren Oldfield, 4. Paul Stubber, 5. Ben Nicastri, 6. Morgan Melvin, 7. Paul Joss, 8. Simon McNab (19). DNF: Mick Clune (18), Ryan Halliday (16), Cameron Pearson (12), Matt Nylander (7), Bruce MacKenzie (2). DNS: Brad Blake, Dale Clark, Stuey Hill, Ben Ludlow, Justin Pearson, Marc Giancola, Lionel Kirkby, Jed Rogers, Bryn Haythornthwaite. Total Time: No Time. Winning Margin: 1.364. Fastest Lap: 17.415 Jay Cardy.
Preliminary Feature #2 – 20 laps: 1. A1 Darren Kane, 2. Jamie Oldfield, 3. Kye Blight, 4. Jason Oldfield, 5. David Doherty, 6. David Nylander (19), 7. Rob Galloway (19), 8. Dean King (19), 9. Hayden Norman (19), 10. Jai Mazzini (19), 11. Chris Pavlovich (19), 12. Jayden Meckenstock (19), 13. Mark Webster (18). DNF: Craig Vosbergen (13), Jarrin Bielby (13), Kodee Brown (13), Lee Watt (8). DNS: Veronica McCann, Matt Goodlad, Ken MacPherson, Brad Ludlow. Total Time: No Time. Winning Margin: 0.902. Fastest Lap: 16.522 Kodee Brown.
Points After Night One
- Jay Cardy 90
- Kodee Brown 85
- Ryan Halliday 85
- Darren Kane 84
- Marc Giancola 83
- Kye Blight 82
- Brad Blake 82
- Jarrin Bielby 82
- Paul Joss 81
- Craig Vosbergen 80
- Ben Nicastri 78
- Jason Oldfield 78
- Michael Holmes 78
- David Doherty 76
- Paul Stubber 73
- Jamie Oldfield 71
- Bruce MacKenzie 70
- Chris Pavlovich 70
- Morgan Melvin 68
- David Nylander 68
- Warren Oldfield 66
- Ken MacPherson 66
- Cameron Pearson 66
- Hayden Norman 66
- Simon McNab 66
- Brad Ludlow 62
- Stuey Hill 62
- Rob Galloway 62
- Mick Clune 62
- Dean King 60
- Matt Nylander 60
- Veronica McCann 58
- Bryn Haythornthwaite 58
- Jayden Meckenstock 58
- Lionel Kirkby 51
- Lee Watt 49
- Ben Ludlow 39
- Matt Goodlad 47
- Justin Pearson 45
- Mark Webster 32
- Dale Clark 30
- Jai Mazzini 30
- Ryan Ludlow 30
- Alec Melvin 30
- Jamie Moon 30
- Jed Rogers 11