Ipswich driver clinches rare treble
MOTORSPORT: The Sweet Chassis race car of Ipswich's Mat Pascoe will sport the number one Australian design for the next year after he claimed his third Super Sedan national title at Moama's Heartland Raceway on the weekend.
With his family and crew members assisting throughout, Pascoe blitzed the 20 car field in the 40 lap final, lapping up to the eighth placed competitor as he secured an emphatic victory.
"It feels great,” he said of achieving the rare three-peat.
"To do that against the top 20 cars in Australia was pretty special.
"And to do it with three different cars and three different teams, that's pretty good too.”
It was an outstanding performance, with Pascoe and his team managing to get the car back on the pace after starting slowly in practise.
"We thought we would try the same set-up that worked at Goulburn last weekend,” he said.
"We were okay but not as good as the top guys, so we switched to the set-up we had planned for Moama and the car was on rails all weekend.
"We could go wherever we wanted.
"We were passing cars on the top, middle and bottom.”
Sitting in 12th out of 44 after practise, Pascoe secured first, second and third in the opening heats to start the final qualifying round from sixth.
He won that race and after further fine tuning entered the final brimming with confidence.
"Finding that set-up meant we could rotate in the middle of corners and change lanes going through the corners,” he said.
After starting from third on the grid, the highly regarded Mutdapilly speed racer had moved into second by the halfway mark.
By lap 25 he had cruised into the lead which he held to take the chequered flag by a margin of two seconds.
"I was looking after the tyres,” Pascoe said.
"I probably should have gone a bit harder but we did enough to win.”
Pascoe said the Heartland Raceway was one of the best tracks he had ever driven on, comparing it to the premier circuits in the United States.
"The track was slick from top to bottom,” he said.
"There was not much grip but if you got your car right you could pass them real good.
"I loved it.
"I wish they could build a similar one in Ipswich.”
The current leader in the Queensland Championship will now turn his attention to that series which continues at Brisbane on the weekend before heading to Maryborough the following week.
He will then contest the GP53 event to be held in honour of his late father, Graham, at Archerfield on May 18.
Already 31 cars have committed for the inaugural race, which has sponsors for every lap, with the leader to receive $100 each time they cross the finishing line in front and further prizemoney should they take out the event.
"The support for dad has been unbelievable,” Pascoe said.
"The 53 laps are sold-out.
"There are 17 major sponsors, including businesses and people involved in the sport.
"They all thought the world of him as much as I do.
"Even if I don't win, I just want it to be a good race.
"As long as it is a good race I'll be happy.”
Following the GP53 Pascoe will look to ice the Queensland title at the season's final meeting at Bundaberg.