Following a rain delay in Saturday night’s Queensland AMCA Nationals Title at Rockhampton’s Rocky Speedway, it was last season’s Australian Champion Matt Hardy who managed to master the tricky track conditions by claiming a hard-fought victory and a successful defence of the event.
With Mother Nature threatening to cancel this season’s running of the event, they were lucky to run their Queensland Title-deciding feature race, which saw Matt Hardy line up on pole position, despite being the second highest point scorer having scored three second-place finishes in his earlier heat races.
Despite being in prime position to take the lead, Hardy was unable to fend off highest point scorer and outside front-row starter Steve Price at the drop of the green flag, with Price going on to set the pace out front for the majority of the non-stop feature race, while a thrilling battle between the pair ensued. Weaving their way through lapped traffic, Hardy refused to let Price pull away, with Hardy eventually pulling off a superb pass around the outside of the latter to move into the top spot. This was a position he retained through to the fall of the chequered flag to take the win and collecting his second state title of the 2016-17 season, after also winning the NSW Title at Gilgandra Speedway.
After a solid drive, Price had to settle for second, leading home returning racer Nathan Durston in third. For Durston, this was the second minor podium finish in the event.
In what were strong performances, Shane Newstead (NSW) and Steve Potts came home in fourth and fifth place respectively. The remaining top-10 finishers were Matt Enders, Jason Molle, Dean Ballard, Tony Curd and Kai Simmons.
Earlier in the night, heat-race wins went the way of Lewis Gamble (NSW), Molle, Price, Newstead, Thomas Vickery, Potts, Simmons, Durston and Enders
In the B main, Zac McDonald was the best, taking the top spot ahead of Anthony Pearce, Nick Storey and Damien Groer transferring through to the feature race. Stephen Ward and Leonie Knight had a collision, which brought both of their Queensland Title feature-race qualifying chances to a premature end.
The Queensland Title concluded the major 2016-17 season blue-ribbon AMCA National events.
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