2016 - 2017
BK PRO DIRT SERIES
Saturday 5 November 2016
Baypark Family Speedway
Round One Review
By Stuart Whittaker
There were extremes of luck for two drivers in the feature race of the opening round of the BK Pro Dirt Super Saloon series at Baypark Family speedway.
With 10 laps to go, pole shuffle winner Ben Harding had built up a comfortable lead and was looking odds on to take the first round win.
But then bad luck hit and a broken drive shaft saw him pull onto the infield where he cut a forlorn figure for the rest of the race.
Mark Osborne inherited the lead, and had luck of the good kind as he took the chequered flag.
"I broke a torsion arm on the cool down lap, so I was lucky," he said.
Osborne felt he was closing the gap on Harding before the 24A car pulled out.
"I was slowly reeling him in and he was losing a bit of drive, but it would have been tight," said Osborne.
In the opening heat of the night, Osborne was one of many drivers to struggle.
"I not so much missed the set up as the track was a bit wet. The car actually felt good apart from those few wet spots and I had to keep the throttle open to get it out."
Osborne said it felt awesome to win the opening round of the series.
"It's a long series and you've got to try and finish at the pointy end each round," he said.
Baypark driver Mark Hutchins (who had started on the front row alongside Harding), finished second in the feature with Auckland's Lance Jennings coming through to third after ending up at the rear of the field when he half spun on the initial start.
The opening heat of the night was won by defending champion Chris Cowling, with Osborne taking the second. Sam Waddell pushed Harding hard in the third, with Harding just pulling away in the final stages. When Cowling spun between turns three and four, the ensuing melee took him out along with Russell Donovan and Steve Flynn.
Harding was the big mover in the pole shuffle, beating Mark Pitcher, Waddell, Osborne and Hutchins on his way to putting himself on the front row.
After the first round Osborne leads the standings with 250 points, with Hutchins second on 247.
Jennings is third on 230 followed by Dan Corrin (214), Grant Flynn and Sam Waddell on 208, Chris Cowling on 202 and Mark Pitcher on 198. Craig Cardwell is on 189 with Harding rounding out the top 10 on 180 points.
For the second round, the series moves to the South Island, Woodford Glen being the venue, on November 18.
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