November the 17th saw Modlites from Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia converge into Portland Victoria for the inaugural Victorian State Title. Southern 500 speedway opened there season with the Modlites headlining the event. Southern 500 speedway presented a well prepared facility and race track, the staff and officials were excellent.
Practice and hot laps were completed and it was obvious the Queenslanders were “hot to trot” and keen to take the title back to Queensland.
Heat one was run and Klinton Hancey stamped his Authority straightaway. Will Butler set the early pace and looked like a winner however he glanced the wall which set him back into the field. Hancey stormed to the front from starting position 3 to take a commanding lead. Rob Hardy (Modlites Australia President) took second from a fast finishing Neil Gregson who took third .
Heat two saw Hancey starting from the outside front row, Sam Gollschewsky from pole and Neil Greigson from four. Klinton and Sam got a great start and headed off setting a fast pace. Neil after a bad start got thru the pack to third when a red light came on as a result of a lost wheel by Graham Knuckey. That brought Klinton back to the pack and the let Sam and Neil have a last ditch crack. The race for the minor places and valuable points was fierce between Rob Hardy, Danny Prade and Michael Cowland.
Heat Three saw an unfortunate first corner incident between Michael Cowland and Trent Maclean. Both cars were not able to restart. The race restarted with Graham Knuckey leading, Neil Gregson in second and Will butler in third. While running a strong fourth place and just making the pass for third place Chris Ferguson and Klinton Hancey came together. Unfortunately Chris ended up on his roof and that was the end of the night for him. The race restarted and the finishers were Neil Gregson from Graham Knuckey and Klinton Hancey.
Heat four only saw four starters however the pace was certainly on from the start. Will Butler took the honours from Danny Prade Graham Knuckey and Sam Gollschewsky.
Victorian State Title Feature – Klinton Hancey lined up on pole with Neil Gregson on the front row. From the outset it was clear both of these guys were in it for the win. The front pack set off and got a gap from the rest of the field. Klinton in first followed by Neil, Sam, Will and Graham. You could see Neil was getting some pace up and tried to open a high line until Graham gassed it up too much trying to make a move on Will which resulted in a spin spun and brought out the yellows. The race restarted and the race was now on. Neil trying very hard to open the outside line. Well it did not quite work out for Neil who reached the point of no return going around Klinton in turns three and four. Got to give Neil full points for effort and bravery but just could not make it stick which resulted in smacking the wall side on. The restart took place with Klinton from Will, Sam, Graham, Danny and Rob Hardy to go thru to the checker. Sam made a few lunges on Will for second place but Will was committed to the highline and held Sam at bay. The race finished with Klinton a commanding first place, Will Butler in second and Sam Gollschewsky in third. Good job by the remaining finishers Graham Knuckey, Danny Prade and Rob Hardy.