Brisbane International Speedway
Saturday, March 31, 2012
Britten Races to Crossley Series Win in Brisbane
by Ben Graham
Peter Britten raced to an emotional victory in the Crossley Racing Engines V8 Dirt Modified Series round at the Supercheap Auto Archerfield Speedway on Saturday night (Mar 31), beating home Kelvin Hamilton and David Clark in the 25-lap main event.
The victory was Britten's first since the recent passing of his father Paul, and came just 48 hours before he returns to America to contest the 2012 season.
" I don't think I have ever screamed at myself during the race to get it going but I did tonight" said Britten, " I really wanted to get that one and we got it so its a pretty good feeling"
It was Hamilton who had the fields measure for much of the race, powering his Hy-Performance Fluid Power Teo past pole-sitter Keith Muller on the opening lap and holding out a determined pack for the first twenty laps.
Britten, who started from the third row, stalked Hamilton through heavy lapped traffic and with just a handful of laps remaining executed a daring outside pass on the to take the race lead, going on to record a popular victory.
" I was waiting for a mistake" admitted Britten post-race. " I kept looking at the lap board coming down the back straight and counting down the laps thinking come on, I've got to get something happening here soon. I really thought he (Hamilton) would have slipped up a little more than he did. But he drove a really good race, and he defiantly made me work for it. My game plan was to try and wait for him to push up and sneak under him but it didn't seem like that was going to happen so I just stuck it in there as hard as I could and I got around him. I wish I had got up there about 15 laps earlier! "
It was a case of close but not close enough for Hamilton, who is threatening for his maiden V8 Dirt Modified victory.
" We changed alot of things throughout the night" offered Hamilton, " With thanks to Glen (Seaton), he's here helping us on the car and every time he comes here we just go ahead to another level. We did have a little problem with the car and we just chipped away at it. We got it better for the feature but it wasn't perfect and I wouldn't say it was good enough to win, but it was going alright there for a while. I knew peter would probably show that top line sooner or later, I was a bit reluctant to go up there and he showed me and then he just cleared out. We are just trying to win one of these bloody things, but we just keep coming up short. Sooner or later it will happen and we will get on the top step"
Clark's third place finish came after a scare in the dash, where contact with Kevin Britten saw the pair spear off the racetrack. Despite closing on the leading pair over the closing laps, he was outside of striking distance and would have to be content with the final podium position.
" Having that altercation in the dash and coming out of six made it a bit harder tonight" offered Clark. " The track was good in the sense that it had 2 lanes, I was around the outside, which helped me get on the back of the pack a bit quicker cause the guys out front were running down low. It definitely seemed to be quicker through turns one and two, gave us plenty of opportunities to pass the lapped cars and the cars coming through. They (Britten & Hamilton) defiantly had a fairly good gap on me. I pulled it in a bit in lapped traffic, but I didn't really have much for them"
Keith Muller and Gary Wathen rounded out the top five.
Top qualifier Kevin Britten endured a horror run in the feature, retiring with a flat left-rear tyre after just a handful of laps. Brian Scott and Ray Klarich were also forced to retire from the event. A tough night also for Phil McNamara, who after rolling his car the week prior in Lismore, damaged an engine early in the night and was unable to make the main event.
Earlier in the night heat race wins went to Kevin Britten (2), Daniel Rowlands and Kelvin Hamilton, with Keith Muller earning pole position in the Feature courtesy of his win in the dash.
The next Queensland outing for V8 Dirt Modifieds is the Queensland Championship at the Kingaroy Speedway on April 14.
Crossley Racing Engines Series
Feature Race (25-laps) 1st Peter Britten, 2nd Kelvin Hamilton, 3rd David Clark, 4th Keith Muller, 5th Gary Wathen, 6th Mark Robinson, 7th Mick Sauer, 8th Scott Foy, 9th Matt Ingrey, 10th Paul Booker, 11th Daniel Rowlands, DNF: Brian Scott, Ray Klarich, Kevin Britten.