Fardell claims maiden Super3 Series win in Townsville
BLAKE FARDELL has survived a wild sixth race of the Dunlop Super3 Series to claim his first ever race win in the category.
The Privateer Holden Commodore driver finished six seconds behind Nash Morris at the end of a combative 21-lap affair, however was promoted one position thanks to a time penalty awarded to the young Queenslander.
The result ensured he becomes the fourth different winner from six races this season and the first Holden driver to do so this year.
It also delivered him a spot on the round podium as the series races towards it’s half-way point this year, the Mr HDT Race Cars-backed driver second overall in Townsville.
Morris claimed the round while Reef McCarthy completed the podium.
The race was a wild affair with plenty of action across the 21-lap duration.
Starting from pole, Morris got the best of the field and led the opening laps while Anderson slotted into second and McCarthy, who started fifth, third.
The key moment of the race occurred on lap eight when Morris and Dunlop Super2 Series competitor Jack Sipp made contact at the high speed Turn 10.
Morris looked up the inside of the Super2 runner – driving for former Super3 title winning squad Eggleston Motorsport – however the pair made contact resulting in a high-speed spin for Sipp and a 15-second time penalty for Morris.
The Queenslander then set about building his lead, doing enough to ensure the penalty, applied post-race, only dropped him to second.
There was more action to come as Anderson was passed by McCarthy for second as the former took evasive action while dodging Sipp’s spinning Commodore.
Anderson returned serve on lap 12 when he slipped past the Image Racing Falcon, however by this point was reporting damaged steering on his Kenwood Homes Falcon.
That came to a head soon after as his left-front corner broke, running him wide at Turn 13 and essentially out of contention – the former championship leader forced to pit lane and out of the race for the first time this season.
The battle for the final step on the podium continued to wage behind Morris and Fardell, as Reef McCarthy was forced to defend his position from a fired-up Chris Smerdon late in the race.
Having already passed Jason Gomersall, Smerdon was latched to the back of the similar Falcon however contact at Turn 3, as Smerdon tried to squeeze up the inside, saw the 50-round Super3 veteran turned around on the 16th lap.
Through it all, Fardell did more than enough to ensure that the race win was his as he crossed the line six seconds behind Morris – that turning into a nine-second advantage following the application of the penalty for the latter post-race.
Morris finished second and, with Anderson a non-finisher, did enough to claim the overall victory in Townsville and the series lead in the process.
McCarthy fought through to third place while Gomersall’s promising weekend continued with fourth.
Smerdon made it home as the last classified runner while Anderson and Gary Collins failed to finish.