MARK “Mad Dog” Brown wrote his name large in the speedway record books last night, winning his third Australian Speedcar Grand Prix in a row at Falcones Bread Nowra Speedway.
In a crushing performance, Brown never allowed his pre-eminence to slip, being cautious when he needed to be and ruthless when he had to be, running out an easy winner in the 30 lap feature race.
Earlier Brown had cruised through the heats, picking up a win and a second place and ensuring he was able to participate in the pole shuffle.
Nearing the end of the shuffle, Brown’s turn came and he disposed of all the remaining challengers with ease, ensuring pole position for the big race.
At the show of the green, Brown immediately bounced to the lead and set out building a lead.
He was accompanied by the Canberra pairing of Michael Stewart and Matt Hinton with Sydney’s Bob Jackson and Brisbane’s Brett Thomas fighting over the first off-podium positions.
Thomas had benefitted from a gracious decision by the officials to delay the start of the big race while he and his crew rushed to fit a new diff to the number 69 car after he had hit the wall hard during the pole shuffle.
The battles down in the pack were intense with South Australia’s Adam Wallis (second place in the final in 2013), struggling to escape for a lowly starting position.
As the laps ticked away the pattern was familiar, Brown in control and Stewart and Hinton in holding station, both drivers knowing that Brown was uncatchable barring bad luck.
Then, in the shadow of the chequered flag, as is so often the case, drama hit with Stewart coasting to a stop along the main straight, his right rear tyre shredded. This moved Hinton to second and brought Thomas up to the last podium position.
It looked like that was the way it would stay, Brown easing up and Hinton, nursing a badly hurt motor, driving the defensive drive of his life so far, trying to maintain his podium position.
This packed up the traffic behind him and made for a thrilling last couple of laps.
To his great credit Hinton, a novice in speedway terms, kept his cool and snatched the second spot but all hell broke loose behind him as the snarling pack fought over the last bone on offer.
It was Wallis who came from deep in the pack to round up Thomas and Jackson and snatch the third spot on the very last lap.
Brown hammered a quality pack into submission and cruised to his third win on the trot.
The other divisions to run overnight were the Dwarf Cars and Robbie Swain won from Gabi Yamouni and Mark Towers.
The best field of Speedway Karts for years were on hand on Saturday and the racing was fast and thrilling with none of the usual mechanical issues that seem to plague these little two-stroke engine buzz boxes.
Dylan Goodger won from Ian Roxbrough and Brandon Corish.
Formula 500s were fast and spectacular as usual and ex-pat New Zealander, Paul Grey won from Graham Daniels and the rookie, Kale Johnson, scored his first ever podium much to his delight and the delight of his dad Murray, who finished in fourth.
Modified Production Sedans were the other division on the card and the Canberra pairing of Freddie Murphy and Wayne Olive staged a brutal struggle for the feature race, Murphy came out on top over Olive with Moruya driver Adam Lloyd filling the final podium position.
The next meeting at Falcones Bread Nowra Speedway is this Saturday night and will headline the AMCA V8s as well as a full supporting card.
Gates open at 2pm and racing starts at 6pm.