Former champ takes out Masters
FORMER Australian champion Andrew Pezzutti took out the V8 Dirt Modified Masters at Castrol Edge Lismore Speedway on Sunday night.
He figured in an exciting battle with ultimate runner-up Scott Cannon, while Toowoomba's Ray Klarich made a welcome return to form and finished third in the 30-lap main event.
Pezzutti made light work of his position eight starting spot as he raced to an impressive victory.
The Masters fixture was originally set down as a two-day event, however rain washed out the Saturday schedule.
Pezzutti was the fast mover right from the outset and topped the qualifying heat points with a score of 147.
Next was Klarich (144) while Brent Hall and Cannon finished equal third in the standings with 141 points.
The 30-lap feature race progressed no further than the first lap after a huge crash brought on the red lights.
Anthony Ashen tangled with Andrew Firth who spun and then faced the oncoming traffic as cars went in all directions.
Josh Rose collided with Firth's car as the mayhem continued.
Firth, Rose and Ashen were all sidelined from the event with damaged cars.
Paul Booker and Murray Flay led at the complete restart after starting off the front row with Klarich and Hall on the second row and Cannon back in the fourth row.
Pezzutti was the big mover with his amazing ability to drive the high line around the Lismore Showground main arena.
He commanded the front running from his position eight starting spot after just eight laps.
Cannon virtually followed Pezzutti toward the front of the field and settled into second position on lap 10.
Klarich moved into third position on lap 16, then with 12 laps remaining, Booker lost a wheel and brought on the red lights. The restart was Pezzutti, Cannon and Klarich - the top three.
Cannon's second place finish sees him leading the points in the V8 Dirt Modified Driver to America series.
He enjoys a three-point margin over Jai Stephenson (six points), then Chris Corbett (five), Brent Hall (five), and Andrew Firth, Pezzutti, Phil McNamara and Tim Luscombe all on three points.
A couple of the big names were missing from the Masters, including reigning Australian champion Kevin Britten and Stephenson who were both sidelined with hand and arm injuries.
The Legend Cars' Classic was taken out by Wollongong driver Hayden Pascoe who led every lap to claim his first feature race win. Scott Sullivan was second and Ian Jones third.
Other feature race winners were Luke Gray (street stocks) and Sam Weir (junior sedans).
The action continues this weekend at Lismore with another two-night fixture featuring some of the best midget-speedcar drivers from America and New Zealand against top Australian competitors.
Qualifying heats will run Friday night, while the final in a round of the World Midget Championship will be held Saturday night.