New South Wales driver Mark Robinson won the emotion charged Australian V8 Dirt Modified Championship at Geelong’s Avalon Raceway on Saturday night. Robinson led home three times and defending titleholder Peter Britten while Queensland veteran Ray Klarich finished third ahead of Victoria’s Steve Milthorpe.
Robinson started on the pole from Britten and the pair duly sped away from Klarich and a fast moving Milthorpe while a number of cautions littered the first handful of laps. When the race finally settled down it was left to Robinson to master the traffic and keep enough distance between himself and the chasing Britten.
“I just can’t believe it,” boomed Robinson as he vacated his immaculate Castrol Edge #9.
“After everything that has happened I didn’t know if we should have been here but Chloe (Mark’s wife) talked about it and we made the decision to come and I just don’t know what to say.”
Only days out from prestigious event Robinson and his family found out their five year old daughter Allie was diagnosed with Leukemia and the family have spent much of their time since Christmas in hospital. Robinson was due to fly back to Lismore in New South Wales first thing Sunday morning to be by his daughter’s bedside.
Robinson adds to his 2005 championship win in Brisbane where he won his first title. Between his famous father Steve and now Mark, the Robinson father and son combination have won an impressive total of six national titles in the class.
Runner up Peter Britten was full of praise for the driver who snapped his title winning streak at three and as always Britten was true professional even after defeat.
“I have always said that I want to win but even when we get beaten I want to be the best loser I can and I have to say that tonight Mark was the quicker car and even the better driver,” explained Britten.
Despite the car ‘going off’, Ray Klarich fended off the advances of Milthorpe to come home third ahead of Milthorpe with young Queenslander David Clarke home in fifth after charging from 13th on the grid. Matt Ferry and Trevor Perry were next in line with Mick Sauer, Mick Kiraly and Bryn Lake rounding out the top 10. Rounding out the finishers were Dave May and Ryan Collier while Jai Stephenson, Scott Ellis, Daryl Hickson, Lloyd Hobson, Kevin Britten, Aaron Trotter, Rob Hamilton and Scott Cannon all failed to finish.
Trotter won the last chance B-main ahead of Hamilton, Cannon and Collier while heat race wins went to Jai Stephenson, Peter Britten, Sauer, Hobson, Klarich and Daryl Hickson.
The night featured plenty of fan fair for past national champions in the class including Grand Marshall for the event Stuart Herne. The five time national titleholder was joined by fellow five time winner Tim Morse as four time winner Steve Robinson was also present. Andrew Pezzutti was also recognised as was Mark Robinson, Scott Cannon and of course triple national champion Peter Britten.
Avalon Raceway now turns it’s attention to Wednesday night when the 31st Essendon Ford Sprintcar President’s Cup will be staged with over 40 Sprintcars nominated including a stunning 10 American drivers.
For more info contact Jeff Drew 0418 160 985 / Gavin White email firstname.lastname@example.org