Skip Jackson scored a very deserving and popular win in the 40 lap Australian Sprintcar Championship at Brisbane International Speedway on February 10, holding off numerous charges by defending Champion Garry Brazier late in the race to ...
Skip Jackson scored a very deserving and popular win in the 40 lap Australian Sprintcar Championship at Brisbane International Speedway on February 10, holding off numerous charges by defending Champion Garry Brazier late in the race to finally secure his first National. sprintcar crown The main event was a race worthy of it's stature. It had it all. A runaway leader being persued by the greats of the modern era, drama and tension as tempers flared following on-track. incidents as competitors were eliminated while running strong, the incredible exit of one of the favourites while in a podium position and the subsequent penalty handed down to the alledged villian, and the unbelievable scenes following the chequered as two rivals clashed over inexcusable driving tactics as the money laps came into view. But above it all stood the quiet man of sprintcar racing, Skip Jackson, who drove his Krikke Jackson Motorsports entry into the record books with a display that ensured the sellout crowd on hand knew they had just witnessed something special.
The eight man pole shuffle had set the tone for the big race to come when Qld driver Darren Jensen and Garry Brazier played the mind games on the form up lap and then had the crowd on their feet as they battled high and low through turns one and two, jumping the cars over the cushion and looking for that inside run back off the turn, the cars wheelstanding as they stood hard on the gas down the back straight. When Brazier lined up against Brooke Tatnell for a spot on the front row of the A-Main, you knew neither was prepared to give an inch. Brooke defeated the defending Champ but was no match for Jackson in the final run-off, Jackson driving around the outside of Tatnell in the first turn and taking the win and coveted pole position for the final.
With the driver introductions and the traditional four-wide salute completed, the stage was set for the running of the 39th Annual Australian Sprintcar Championship. From the green, Skip jumped to an early lead over Tatnell, Brazier, Todd Wanless and Stephen Bell and began to pull away, catching the backmarkers as early as lap seven before the first caution flew for Darren Jensen who had spun in turn four on lap twelve while running in tenth position. Jackson had quickly re-opened a sizeable lead over Tatnell on the restart when on lap fifteen Stephen Bell and Kerry Madsen clashed down the back straight with Bell's Speedflow Maxim #6 flipping into turn three and bringing out the red flag. Bell, highest points scorer from night one, had to be restrained by officials and crew as he approached Madsen's car, his displeasure and view of blame obvious and shared by many on the hill. Madsen resumed the race in fifth position when the green came back out with twenty-five laps remaining.
With Jackson dictating the race from the front, disposing of lapped traffic quickly and maintaining his lead, the race was now on for the minor placings and it was Brazier who took the fight back up to Jackson after relegating Tatnell to third. Wanless, the 1996/97 Champion who won his National crown at this venue, was driving a fine race and holding down fourth place despite not being fancied for repeat honours by most punters, when Drew Kruck attempted a pass entering turn three on lap thirty five, sending his own black Eagle #36 and Wanless' 2M Maxim into the wall and bringing out the second red flag. With both drivers out of the race, tempers once again boiled over with both questioning the other's actions, highlighting the importance drivers place on this event. Brazier had shown Jackson his front wheels entering turn one and had momentarily taken the lead when the red came out and would be relegated back to second for the restart. As the crews prepared the cars for the green again, coolant flowed from Tatnell's Shell Helix Avenger raising the question of whether the car could go the remaining race distance. But the question would remain unanswered when Tatnell came under pressure from Madsen in turn three, jumped the cushion and flipped, once again ending his chances of winning an Australian Title. Tatnell held Madsen responsible despite what looked like a mistake on his own part and the officials put Madsen to the rear, a penalty he should probably have received following the crash with Bell earlier.
With Wanless and Kruck out, and Madsen to the rear, Max Dumesny had moved into a podium position and was staring at an opportunity to win his third National crown. This ensured the remaining five laps would keep the crowd on their feet as the script had been written for a classic run to the flag with three of the biggest names in sprintcar racing going head to head and a chance to go into the history books. B-Main winner Darrell Hodges had also moved by Trevor Green and Robbie Farr for fourth after starting from position fifteen in a great drive that would win him applause and admiration from the crowd and around the pits. When Jackson headed into turn one still in the lead, Brazier had to go for broke in a now or never situation and chased hard, leaving the door open for Max on the inside. Brazier slammed the door shut on Dumesny in a move that would come under criticism from many and infuriating Dumesny. To his credit Dumesny raced cleanly with Brazier to the flag but advised Brazier of his opinion after the race by driving his Maxim racer into the side of Brazier in turn three on the rolldown lap and the two continued the dispute after the cars had stopped on the front stretch and distanced themselves during the presentation ceremonies.
Skip Jackson, the 2000/2001 Australian Sprintcar Champion, an honour that sits nicely on the quiet man's resume and a very popular winner. The Title event, played out in front of large crowds and hosted by the Brisbane International Speedway promotional team headed by former Qld Champion John Kelly, will be an event well remembered by all who were fortunate enough to attend and who witnessed some great racing and a fitting forty lap finale.
2000/2001 Australian Sprintcar Title Results. Skip Jackson, Garry Brazier, Max Dumesny, Darrell Hodges, Trevor Green, Robbie Farr, Kerry Madsen, Darren Jensen, Mick Turner, Daryn Maggs, Jamie Maiolo. (Non-Finishers) - Andrew Scheuerle, Brooke Tatnell, Todd Wanless, Drew Kruck, Stephen Bell.
-Qld Sprintcar racing