Ballarat driver finishes third in opening round at Redline Raceway

BRENDAN Hucker has flown the flag for Ballarat and for Holden at the opening round of the Victorian modified production state series at Redline Raceway.

The 28-year-old finished third in his Vestas Commodore VS in the main final on Saturday night behind Ford pair Russell Bent and Mark Carlin qualifying fifth. 

It was his equal best result since crossing from 3-litre production sedans to modified production four years ago, but Hucker admits it was a fine line between a good result and disaster. 

“It is the first time out for the season so it was a pretty good result first up,” Hucker said. 

“In the second heat I was blowing quite a lot of smoke so I was very lucky to finish at all.

“It was just a loose hydraulic fitting but the car had lost a few litres of oil lost when I came in. Probably another lap and I would have had to stop. 

“There was a lot of passing going on and a few incidents during the final.

“The series is seven rounds and it’s based on total points. They don’t release the points tally until the final round but the guy who finished second in the final didn’t qualify as well, so I would probably be second in the series.”

Earlier, Hucker, the 2006 3-litre production sedan champion, won the sixth qualifying heat from Peter McCarthy and Brody Chrystie. 

His Ballarat compatriot and friend Michael Hetherington was less fortunate, plagued with mechanical woes. Hetherington did not contest the finals.

Another Redline member, Leigh Bourke managed a third in his heat in a Ford Cortina.

Prior to racing the competitors all entered the circuit with their cars before switching off engines to observe a minute’s silence for Remembrance Day.

Teenager Brooke Ferguson won the Street Stock feature after 15 laps in each direction.

Ferguson was in the mix in the lead bunch and when she got passed by Peter Bryant it was the catalyst for her to apply the blowtorch to the leader.

In traffic just before the end of the first 15 laps Ferguson snatched the lead. 

In the supporting Standard Saloon division Colin Tate was unstoppable through three heats and a feature race beating Paul Domburg while Michelle Sinclair, Dave Chivers and Chris Whatmore shared the third placings in the heats before Whatmore finished third in the final.

Racing returns to Redline on November 24 with a round of the Victorian Formula 500 series along with club divisions including the return of the Formula V8s.

gavin.mcgrath@thecourier.com.au

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