Gange Takes Trevor Podger Memorial Win
Colac’s Neville Gange secured victory in the 44th running of the prestigious Trevor Podger Memorial on Saturday 20th of February at Heytesbury Stockfeed’s Simpson Speedway. Gange had to charge from the back after a disastrous run in the heats including a rollover. Peterborough’s Ewan McKenzie finished in second ahead of Hopper’s Crossing’s Jamie May.
In the first heat of the night, it was Ewan McKenzie who claimed a green to checker win ahead of Michael Coad and Billy Grist. In heat two it was a SDAV Hotrod 1-2 finish with Stan Marco Snr taking the win ahead of Stan Marco Jr and Dane Court. This heat was marred when Gange rolled in lap five.
Heat three saw Paul Verhoeven first over the line ahead of George Woolstencroft and Coad. The fourth heat went to Stan Marco Snr with an all the ways win ahead of May and Court.
McKenzie secured the win in the fifth heat followed closely by Coad with Woolstencroft home in third. Stan Marco Snr completed the hat trick in the final heat of the night leading hone May and Stan Marco Jnr.
The lineup for the final saw highest point scorer Stan Marco Snr starting from position one with Coad on his outside, they were followed by May, McKenzie, Verhoeven, Stan Marco Jr, Court, Woolstencroft, SDAV’s Allan Pitcher, Grist, Jacob Pitcher, Rod Smith, SDAV pair Thomas Marco and Daniel Mills with Gange starting from the rear.
From the fall of the green, it was Stan Marco Snr who led the way from McKenzie, Coad and May, with the race coming to caution when the back of the pack became untidy resulting in Allan Pitcher spinning. From the restart Marco Snr continued to lead the way with Coad and McKenzie locked in a tight battle for the minors, before the car of Coad came to a smoking halt as his engine detonated in lap nine.
Marco Snr continued to set the pace at the restart with McKenzie and May in pursuit Gange able to pass May and elevate himself into third position in lap 10. The race again came to a yellow with 15 laps remaining when the car of Jacob Pitcher rolled to a stop, seeing the field once again regrouped.
Gange used the restart to his advantage and while the two leaders were dueling, he dived under McKenzie before accounting for Marco Snr the following lap. With ten laps remaining something in the front end of Marco Snr’s car failed and saw the race again stalled.
As the race recommenced it was Gange who set the pace with McKenzie trying everything in his repertoire to successfully move into the lead, however this was short lived when the car of Grist spun seeing the race revert to the previous lap.
With six laps remaining it was Gange with a dogged McKenzie nipping at his heels with McKenzie hitting the lead with four laps remaining with Gange again in front the following lap in some close and exciting racing. However, Gange could not be headed and went on to take his Maiden Trevor Podger Memorial victory ahead of McKenzie and May, they were followed by Verhoeven, Allan Pitcher, Stan Marco Jr, Court, Woolstencroft, Grist, Smith and Daniel Mills.
At the presentations Gange was awarded the Trevor Podger Memorial perpetual shield by the Podger Family and thanked his Sponsors, family and crew. The next meeting for Super Rods will be on Saturday the 27th of February at Warrnambool’s Sungold Stadium Premier Speedway where they will contest the Super Rod Cup.
Photo: Aidan Freeman - Winner Neville Gange, second Ewan McKenzie, Third Jamie May with the Podger Family.