JACKSON WINS DIAMOND AIR CONDITIONING SSS ROUND FOUR
BY DENNIS NEWLYN
Matt Jackson took out round four of the Diamond Air Conditioning Speedcars Super Series at Castrol Edge Lismore Speedway, Saturday night, March 3.
Jackson dominated the race after he started from an upfront position as he led recently crowned National Champion Kaidon Brown and SSS point leader Travis Mills to the chequered flag in the 30-lap main event.
Mills took a 599 point advantage over nearest rival Michael Stewart into the penultimate round and now has one hand on the trophy after he further extended the lead to 1088 points approaching the series decider at Sydney’s Valvoline Raceway on April 21.
While Stewart still has a mathematical chance of winning the championship, Mills virtually has the SSS 2017-18 season title well within his grasp.
“I just had to be smart with the points in mind and I did not want to do anything that meant us potentially sitting on the infield,” he said in relation to his Lismore third placing.
“I always drive for the win, but I had to also protect the points lead, too. As I see it, going to Sydney for the final, I think Michael would just about have to win everything to take the series and I drop a lot of points as the lead I have is close to a near-perfect round.
“If I do well in time trials and in my first heat, that will virtually get me the series win. Michael is definitely a mathematical chance of still winning, though, in Sydney.”
It has been Mills’ consistency throughout the series that has put him in the ideal position on points with one round remaining following a second at Gunnedah (round one), another runner-up result in Sydney (round two) and a win in round three at Mount Gambier.
Stewart was credited with a lowly eleventh finishing position in the Lismore main event.
In the early stages of the 30-lap feature it was a battle for second and third positions between Mills and Troy Ware after Jackson shot to the lead at the outset.
Further back, Brock Dean got under Reagan Angel as Scott Doyle and Scott Farmer ran side-by-side in the early laps
Brown also was in contention as the laps unfolded and challenged Mills while Stewart advanced a position after he overtook Reagan Angel. At almost the same time Mills had to contend with a charging Brown after both drivers passed Ware.
This was the pattern of the race as Brown moved into second and started to close in on Jackson.
With five laps remaining Andy Hassan spun. At the restart Jackson held the advantage and reeled off the remaining laps to score the main event win over Brown and Mills.
Ware clocked the fastest lap of the race with a time of 13.409 seconds and a speed of 107.391 km/h at mid-distance.
Mitch Brien was involved in a spectacular crash earlier in the night when his car overturned and pole vaulted into the concrete wall and safety catch fence.
Matt Jackson and Ware scored two heat wins, while other heats went to Bob Jackson and Brown. Approaching rain forced the cancellation of the Dash race.
Matt Hardy overcame a strong challenge from Shane Newstead in the latter stages to win the Northern Rivers AMCA Classic
Newstead actually reached the lead with only several laps remaining however at the same time there was a race stoppage. At the restart the positions went back to the last recorded lap and Hardy resumed the lead at the green and maintained his front running advantage to the chequered flag.
Tony Blanch drove a steady race and filled third position.
David Eggins took out the Wingless Sprintcar feature race while rain intervened with the running of the Junior Sedan feature race as Brock Youngberry was accorded the win.
Caption: SSS round four main event winner Matt Jackson (centre) is flanked by runner-up Kaidon Brown (left) and third-placed Travis Mills. Photo: Tony Powell.