Hot on his tail throughout
LISMORE’S Craig Smith chased defending champion Danny Stainer to the flag to finish second in the 2Australian 1Compact Speedcar Championship at Maryborough in Queensland last Sunday night.
Smith drove a great race to shadow Stainer throughout.
Although he was able to put pressure on the defending Australian champion, he was unable to prevent the Victorian from taking consecutive titles.
Another Victorian, Peter Robothom, finished third and Brisbane’s Wayne Corbett fourth.
Three Lismore cars qualified in the top 10: Tony Brearley with three heat wins started from position two; Smith from position three; and Richard Mules from position eight.
Stainer jumped to the lead from pole with Smith, Robothom and Brearley close behind.
Ten laps in, Brearley clashed wheels with Robothom, rolling his car several times, and was out of the event.
At the restart, Smith continued to pressure Stainer as Robothom, Corbett and Mules battled further back.
Two more stoppages ensued, the final one with two laps to go when Mules came to a stop on the third turn with engine problems.
Mules had moved into third and was disappointed to have his run end so close to the chequered flag.
With a two-lap dash to the finish, Smith threw everything at Stainer but the Victorian took a well-deserved victory.
“The car was really fast but I just couldn’t chase Danny down,” Smith said at the presentation, where he also thanked his family and crew for their work over the three nights of practice and racing.
Seven local cars made the trek north to the titles. Ballina’s Mark Stanger captured a heat win among his results to start from position 15 and Lismore’s Warren King started from position 18. Both drivers finished the championship final mid-field.
Alstonville’s Mark Linder qualified in 26th position after finishing fourth in the last-chance B main qualifier but went out with a flat tyre on the 10th lap.
Lennox Head rookie Bryce Kennedy looked set to qualify for the feature while running second in the B main until his car’s differential failed with two laps to go.