Kane storms to third na­tional ti­tle

Great Southern Herald - - Sport - Cameron New­bold

Queens­lan­der Darren Kane blasted his way to a dom­i­nant vic­tory in the 40-lap fi­nal of the 2016-17 SSA Na­tional Su­per Sedan Ti­tle at Al­bany’s At­twell Park Speedway last week­end to win a third na­tional crown.

Kane’s hopes of a third na­tional ti­tle to go with his suc­cesses in 2012-13 (Perth Mo­tor­plex) and 2014-15 (La­trobe) al­most ended with a sig­nif­i­cant crash in his open­ing qual­i­fy­ing heat on Satur­day evening.

His ma­chine was heav­ily dam­aged, need­ing a new oil tank to con­tinue, and he was forced to use Terry Green’s car as a sub­sti­tute car in his sec­ond heat.

Af­ter help from his fel­low com­peti­tors, Kane re­turned to his own car in the third round of heats and then again in the fourth round, which he was able to win on Sun­day night.

Start­ing from po­si­tion nine on the grid in the cham­pi­onships de­cider, Kane bril­liantly made his way through the field, pass­ing Matt Pas­coe and Phil Bar­ton on lap 20 to take sec­ond and then dis­pos­ing of leader Ryan Alexan­der on lap 23.

As Kane and Alexan­der came up on more lap traf­fic, the new leader was able to get past Chris Pavlovich and Dean Shore but that pair spun in front of Alexan­der, leav­ing the South Aus­tralian young­ster nowhere to go as his ti­tle ended in tat­ters.

Kane sim­ply pow­ered away from his ri­vals in the con­clud­ing stages, open­ing up a sig­nif­i­cant ad­van­tage on the re­main­der of the field as the bat­tle was on for the mi­nor plac­ings.

He even­tu­ally crossed the line 5.117 sec­onds ahead of South Aus­tralian Dave Gart­ner, who mus­cled his way into sec­ond place late in the race while Pas­coe held on to third over Broome’s Bar­ton.

“To come from where we have, so many peo­ple have helped us,” Kane said.

“To get the re­sult we have got, I think it’s pretty well de­served.

“I didn’t think any­one would have a spare oil tank. The car had a lot of speed and I knew we could win it once we got to the front be­cause the car is so quick in clean air.

“I can’t be­lieve how good the track was; it’s one of the best tracks I’ve raced a na­tional ti­tle on.”

Vic­to­rian Mick Ni­cola fin­ished fifth at the venue he pre­vi­ously won a na­tional ti­tle at while War­ren Min­shull, Lach­lan On­ley, Gary Higgs, Cal­lum Harper and Dustin Higgs rounded out the top 10.

De­fend­ing cham­pion Harper had a for­get­ful open­ing night of the ti­tle, fail­ing to fin­ish his first heat and never re­ally re­cov­ered as he failed to make any real progress in the A-main.

Michael Miller started on the front row of the grid along­side team­mate Alexan­der but Miller al­most rolled his car af­ter a lap and re­tired with a back in­jury.

Pic­tures: Jody Shan­hun

Darren Kane cel­e­brates his Aus­tralian ti­tle win in Al­bany.

The podium in the 2016-17 SSA Na­tional Su­per Sedan Ti­tle.

Kane with his na­tional cham­pion medal.

South Aus­tralian young gun Ryan Alexan­der.

Lu­cas Roberts and Dean Shore bat­tle for po­si­tion.

Darren Kane blasts his way around At­twell Park Speedway.

De­fend­ing na­tional cham­pion Cal­lum Harper in ac­tion.

Phil Bar­ton gets some air as he passes Chris Pavlovich.

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