Sea­son off to bright start

Pilbara News - - Pilbara Sport - Tom Zaun­mayr

Alan Couper has started off the 2016 Pil­bara speed­way sea­son with a win af­ter fend­ing off cham­pion stock car driver Matt Herbert in front of a packed house at the Nickol Bay Speed­way.

Start­ing on pole af­ter pip­ping Marty Coutts at the fin­ish in heat 4, Couper fought hard to keep Herbert off his tail for sev­eral laps in the fea­ture race.

Herbert man­aged to get an inside line on Couper on turn 1 with a few laps to go, but me­chan­i­cal dif­fi­cul­ties just af­ter inch­ing his nose in front forced him out of the race, hand­ing the win in the valu­able dou­ble points round to Couper.

In the win­g­less rac­ing, Troy O’Keefe picked up where he left off last sea­son, clean­ing up the No. 1 po­si­tion in ev­ery heat and cruis­ing to vic­tory in the fea­ture race de­spite start­ing half a lap be­hind.

Chantelle Magerl pro­vided re­sis­tance with some good de­fen­sive driv­ing in the fi­nal but O’Keefe rose to the chal­lenge.

The ju­niors com­pe­ti­tion looks like one to watch this year with sev­eral new cars on the track and some tight rac­ing.

Kur­tis Black­burn had the wood on Matt Magerl in the heats, but Magerl stepped up a gear to take out the fea­ture race.

Jared Coutts came in third ahead of Shakira Moss, who shook off a heavy bump in an ear­lier heat to get out for the fi­nal race.

The night also in­cluded what the club hopes to be a reg­u­lar fea­ture, with four rid­ers from the Kar­ratha En­duro and Mo­tocross Club tak­ing their bikes out for some flat-track rac­ing. Burnout cars also re­turned to the track af­ter a dis­ap­point­ing 2015, with the pub­lic burnout car get­ting its first test run be­fore the keys are handed over to who­ever wants to have a go.

When it came to bloop­ers, Steve Griffo was the first one on the track this sea­son, tak­ing his stock car through the dirt on turn 4.

He was out­done, how­ever, by Matt Robbo who hit the wall at the same turn, re­sult­ing in his car be­ing the first to be towed off this sea­son.

Pic­tures: Tom Zaun­mayr

Kar­ratha Mo­tocross rid­ers on the speed­way track.

Chris Wilkins, Har­ley Jones and Alex Rudda on the burnout pad.

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