Holmes Wins Red Dirt Rumble!

Last weekend marked the last Late Model feature race of the 2023/24 season, with Kalgoorlie International Speedway hosting the fourth annual Red Dirt Rumble.
 
When the final chequered flag flew it would be Michael Holmes (Michael Holmes Racing) who claimed the feature race win, completing what was nearly the perfect night.
 
Local driver Damian Hudson (Hudson Racing Team) would set quick time in qualifying, knocking newly crowned Australian champion Joe Chalmers (Team BCM Motorsport:) off by just 0.016 seconds, while Holmes, Rod Musarra (Team Rocket) and Abbey Pickering (All About Racing) rounded out the top five.
 
Holmes would then go on to claim both of his heat race wins, while Jeff Pahl (Pahly Racing) and Musarra also claimed preliminary wins. There was a few issues that prevented some of the front runners from finishing their heat races but the biggest casualties would be Matt Nylander (Nylander Motorsport) and Greg Horan (CPR – Chopper Pop Racing) after heat racing was completed, leaving fourteen cars to start the feature race.
 
Holmes would get the jump on Pahl heading into the first corner as the thirty-lap feature race went green for the first time, but the race didn’t last long, coming under yellow flag conditions after Pahl spun to a stop in turn one after contact from behind.
 
The complete restart saw Pickering sent to the rear, while up front Holmes repeated his earlier efforts, racing into the lead as Pahl locked back into second and Nathan Richards and Sean Barrett (Beaumont Motorsports) fought for third. Unfortunately the latter duo hooked up, Barrett having a half spin in turn four and losing a heap of positions but the race stayed under green flag conditions.
 
Holmes was out to a big lead by this point, Pahl second with Hudson running the highline alongside Musarra in the battle for third while behind them was another pack of cars fighting it out for fourth.
 
These cars included Mat Robbins (@Robbins Motorsport), Richards, Pickering (who had fought her way back through the field), and Chalmers, who had come from the rear after heat race results didn’t go his way.
 
Unfortunately this battle came to an abrupt end when Hudson went high, clouting the wall through turns three and four and slowing.
 
Hudson would then come off the wall exiting turn four just as Richards and the rest of the pack ducked underneath, the duo making contact and a number of cars being bought undone as part of the incident including Robbins and Pickering who both piled in hard.
 
This would mark the end of the race for Pickering, Robbins, and Richards, leaving eleven cars for the resumption.
Holmes led away Pahl, Musarra, Chalmers, and Ben Strautins (BAS Racing), Musarra making short work of Pahl to race into second and setting out after Holmes who had already built up a significant gap.
 
Chalmers would move past Pahl for third a few laps later while Barrett would also get by Strautins to move into fifth.
 
Lapped traffic would prove no trouble for Holmes in the early going, though as the laps wound down and the traffic became thicker, Musarra was able to close the gap, the top two at least a third of a lap ahead of third placed Chalmers.
 
Musarra chased down Holmes and moved by him on the outside of turn four to grab the lead on lap twenty-one, but going through turns three and four the next lap Musarra went wide, allowing Holmes to get back by.
 
Try as he might Musarra could not make another move on Holmes, the gap widening as the laps wound down. That lead however would be neutralised when the yellows came on with only a few laps remaining, Barrett facing the wrong way in the entrance to turn
three after cars went three wide down the back straight.
 
After a bit of a delay to get everyone back into positions on the restart, Holmes would lead away Musarra and Chalmers, with Hudson getting past Pahl, though being a lap down the pass wouldn’t count for anything as Pahl was still the last car on the lead lap.
Holmes would go on to claim the win in what was a convincing performance, officially defeating Musarra and Chalmers, with Pahl coming fourth as the last car on the lead lap.
 
Release by DTN Media.
 
Pics Courtesy Michael Holmes Racing.
 
Official Results
 
Qualifying, 2 laps: 1. 80 Damian Hudson 15.435, 2. A1 Joe Chalmers 15.451, 3. 91 Michael Holmes 15.517, 4. 21 Rod Musarra 15.612, 5. 95 Abbey Pickering 15.637, 6. 34 Matt Nylander 15.648, 7. 57 Mat Robbins 16.175, 8. 24 Jeff Pahl 16.386, 9. 74 Nathan Richards 16.465, 10. 49 Sean Barrett 16.506, 11. 7 Shaun Cubbage 16.566, 12. 76 Ben Strautins 16.606, 13. 39 Chris Barrow 16.920, 14. 333 Aaron Liddell 17.394, 15. 04 Greg Horan 17.480, 16. 58 Lionel Kirkby 24.929.
 
Heat One, 12 laps: 1. 91 Michael Holmes, 2. 80 Damian Hudson, 3. 95 Abbey Pickering, 4. 57 Mat Robbins, 5. 7 Shaun Cubbage, 6. 74 Nathan Richards, 7. 39 Chris Barrow (11), 8. 04 Greg Horan (11). Total Time: 3.18.993. Winning Margin: 0.690. Fastest Lap: 15.570 Abbey Pickering.
 
Heat Two, 12 laps: 1. 24 Jeff Pahl, 2. 49 Sean Barrett, 3. 76 Ben Strautins, 4. 333 Aaron Liddell (11), 5. 58 Lionel Kirkby (11). DNF: A1 Joe Chalmers (11), 21 Rod Musarra (5), 34 Matt Nylander (5). Total Time: No Time. Winning Margin: 0.844. Fastest Lap: 15.770 Rod Musarra.
 
Heat Three, 12 laps: 1. 21 Rod Musarra, 2. 24 Jeff Pahl, 3. 95 Abbey Pickering, 4. 74 Nathan Richards, 5. 39 Chris Barrow, 6. 76 Ben Strautins, 7. 58 Lionel Kirkby (11). DNF: 80 Damian Hudson (😎. Total Time: No Time. Winning Margin: 7.487. Fastest Lap: 15.738 Rod Musarra.
 
Heat Four, 12 laps: 1. 91 Michael Holmes, 2. 04 Greg Horan, 3. 49 Sean Barrett, 4. 57 Mat Robbins, 5. 7 Shaun Cubbage, 6. 333 Aaron Liddell. DNS: A1 Joe Chalmers, 34 Matt Nylander. Total Time: 3.29.838. Winning Margin: 1.454. Fastest Lap: 16.301 Michael Holmes.
 
Feature, 30 laps: 1. 91 Michael Holmes, 2. 21 Rod Musarra, 3. A1 Joe Chalmers, 4. 24 Jeff Pahl, 5. 80 Damian Hudson (29), 6. 49 Sean Barrett (29), 7. 39 Chris Barrow (28), 8. 76 Ben Strautins (28), 9. 333 Aaron Liddell (28), 10. 58 Lionel Kirkby (27). DNF: 7 Shaun Cubbage (16), 74 Nathan Richards (3), 57 Mat Robbins (3), 95 Abbey Pickering (3). DNS: 04 Greg Horan, 34 Matt Nylander. Total Time: No Time. Winning Margin: 1.459. Fastest Lap: 16.037 Joe Chalmers.
*Note: Feature result is not yet official.