Three times Australian V8 modified champion Mark Robinson played a waiting game to overcome traffic difficulties in the opening heats of the national championship at Avalon Raceway last night.
Robinson, from Lismore, won the Australian title back in 2012 when the title was decided at Avalon and he showed early his intentions were all trophy driven by winning his opening heat and then coming off the backmark to finish second in his second.
For all his good luck, the same placings were not repeated by dual national titlist Andrew Pezzuti who barely made last night’s line up after wrecking his primary car on the opening night of January.
Starting on the outside of the front row in his qualifier, Pezzuti slipped wide and kissed the concrete before finishing fifth.
However, Grafton hot shot Jye Stephenson emerged from the pack through his heat and dual feature events, to top the point scorers.
Victorian driver Brett Clarke is not out of the nationals either after winning his second heat while Kevin Britten remains well in the mix, winning his second heat.
To confuse the series even further Brisbane’s defending champion David Clark came out in the last heat and blew them all away.
He travelled from Brisbane to Geelong last month for a regular meeting, claiming he was in town to “get the feel” of Avalon, and finished a close second to local ace Brett Clarke.
The championship is decided on points over four heats, spread over two heats and tonight’s 35 lap final that promises to be the fastest chess game in history.
The twin feature races resulted in an outstanding win for Jye Stephenson and Mark Robinson who beat Victorians Paul Tindal and Daryl Hickson over 15 laps.
Robinson looks razor sharp as he will need to be to out fly Jye in the final tonight.