WINNER: Lee McKinnell was awarded the victory in the opening round of the Mr Modified Series at Castrol Edge Lismore Speedway
WINNER: Lee McKinnell was awarded the victory in the opening round of the Mr Modified Series at Castrol Edge Lismore Speedway Tony Powell

Winning driver disqualified at Lismore speedway

CONTROVERSY surrounded the outcome of the Mr Modified Series opening round at Castrol Edge Lismore Speedway Boxing Night after a protest against race winner Tim Morse was upheld.

Morse was relegated to second position and the victory awarded to Lee McKinnell. The third placegetter in the 50-lap main event was Trent Schofield.

The Morse protest came after a mandatory pit stop on a red light midway through the event. The violation occurred after his crew adjusted the tyre pressures and Morse returned to the track in his upfront starting position.

Rules allowed for crews to only carry out refuelling and to change tyres and, in this case, were not allowed to work on cars. If any adjustments are required, the driver must go to the back of the field when the race resumes.

Morse lost the race specifically on a technicality, but a spokesman from the sanctioning national controlling body Dirt Modifieds Australia said the rules were clearly outlined to drivers and crews before the event.

Nobody likes or wants to see this happen, but everyone was told during a drivers' meeting prior to racing the pit stop procedures. Morse and car owner Andrew Shilleto were disappointed with the outcome after Morse was once again a stand-out performer.

A big crowd was on hand for the annual opening round of the Mr Modified Series and the main event was in keeping with some of the exciting races of the past.

It was a story of fluctuating fortunes and initially it was Andrew Pezzutti who led early and opened a big gap on Morse. Former national titleholder Scott Cannon ran strongly while Kevin Britten also was in contention.

In fact Britten made his claim for victory and looked the likely winner before he withdrew from the event with a flat right rear tyre with 11 laps remaining.

Morse then moved into the top spot and ran out the final laps in the premier position and was initially declared the winner prior to the protest lodged by another team.

Morse set the scene earlier in the night following a heat race victory, while other heat winners were: Cannon, Brent Hall, Morse and Sam Bruggy.

Pezzutti won the Dash event and Gary Wathen took out the B-Main race.

It was a tough night for Brent Hall whose car caught fire 25 laps into the main event.

Other feature race winners in the support categories were: Luke Gray (Street Stocks), Jack Kay (Four Cylinder Sedans), David Eggins (Wingless Sprints), Sam Weir (Junior Sedans), David Jacobi (Modified Sedans), Ryan Green (Production Sedans).



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