For the first time in history, Sydney’s Valvoline Raceway hosted the New South Wales Modlites Title on Saturday night, and it was the unheralded Klinton Hancey, who claimed top honours, scoring a convincing win.
The Brisbane, Queensland-based racer was too good throughout the 20-lap feature race, going flag to flag to take a dominant victory, after starting from pole position, by virtue of a win and a third-place finish in his heat races. Throwing everything he had at the race leader but unable to overthrow him, Chris Ruane (Qld) was forced to settle for the runner-up spot, with current Queensland and South Australian Champion Terry Leerentveld improving on his seventh-place starting position to complete the podium in third.Nathan Politch (Qld) also impressed, powering forward from his 10th-place starting position to finish just off the podium in fourth, ahead of Wayne Donaldson (Qld) in fifth. Troy Evans (Qld), Chris Crowe (Qld), Glenn Mitchell (NSW), Scott Webb (SA) and Janelle Saville (NSW) rounded out the top 10, ahead of remaining finishers Glen Hoogwaerts (NSW) and Carlo Moiola (Qld).
After qualifying on the front row for the feature race, Will Butler’s night ended in disappointing fashion, with the Queensland-based racer and former Queensland Title winner retiring to the infield in the middle stages of the race due to mechanical issues. Also joining him on the infield were Graham Knuckey (SA), Ben Walker (Qld), Richard Mapp (Qld), Trent Mclean (NSW), Sean Butcher (Qld) and Robert Hardy (Qld), while newly-crowned Australian Champion Aaron Prosser (Qld) was unable to make it out for the feature race, suffering from an engine failure which resulted in DNFs in both of his heat races.
Earlier in the night, the heat-race action saw wins shared between Butcher, Ruane, Knuckey and Hancey, while Butler was a model of consistency with two second-place finishes.
The next state title for Modlites will be the Queensland Title, which is set to be held at Toowoomba’s Hi-Tec Oils Speedway on the Saturday night of March 25, and Hancey will no doubt be one to watch, as he will attempt to continue his winning form in his home state.