NEWSTEAD RETAINS ANDREW WALKER CLASSIC TROPHY
BY DENNIS NEWLYN
SHANE Newstead successfully defended the Andrew Walker Classic trophy at the final meeting of the season at Trevan Ford Grafton Speedway Good Friday night, April 14.
Newstead was never headed during the 25-lap final and raced to the chequered flag a deserving winner. Newstead, who was followed to the finish line by runner-up Daniel Brooks (Tasmania) and third-placed Lewis Gamble, now joins Stuart Hall as a two time Classic winner in consecutive years.
Newstead piloted a new car out of Lismore’s Rocket Chassis company workshop.
Newstead’s 350 Chevy V8 ran perfectly throughout the event after he started from an upfront position on the grid.
“The car was really good,” an elated Newstead said from Victory Lane.
“We just changed some shocks on it and the game plane was to get out in front and just hold it there. The lapped traffic wasn’t too bad and the race ran pretty well according to plan.”
Tasmanian Brooks made the long haul from the Apple Isle worth while. He provided some interesting final few laps as he ran up onto the tail of Newstead’s car and challenged for the lead.
Brooks a couple of times lined up Newstead for a shot at the front running and came close on one occasion, but Newstead always had command of the situation in an exciting event. Brooks impressed with his drive into a top three placing after he came from a middle-of-the-field starting spot. He took a while to clear himself of traffic as he came through the pack before finishing strongly.
Matt Hardy also looked good in the early stages after starting out of position two but later withdrew from the event.
In the early stages it was Newstead and Tony Blanch who battled for supremacy. Later in the race Blanch spun while holding down third and dropped back through the field. Peter Markulin and Anthony Joyce figured in a dice further back in the pack, while Four Cylinder Sedan driver Aaron Knox also ran competitively during the event.
Meanwhile, Gamble, Newstead, Paul Reeves and Thomas Vickery were dominant performers in the earlier qualifying heats.
Other main event winners were: Trent Dhu (Four Cylinder Sedans), Connor Reeves (Junior Sedans), Dean Eden (Litre Cars); David Putzey (Street Stocks) and Chris Polsen (LTD Sedans.)