British under 21 champion Robert Branford capped what has been an impressive season at his Australian home track of Gillman with victory in the Jack Young Cup last night.
Branford was involved in a terrific race with the Australian under 21 champion Max Fricke, and exciting Mildura youngster Jack Fallon in the final before they finished wheel-to-wheel in that order.
The final was a rerun after the first attempt continued what seems to have become a trend with major event finals in Australia this season with the race stopped because of a crash. On this occasion it by local favourite Shane Parker who had the race in the bag when he crashed into the fence at the end of lap three. Very few people saw the crash as they were watching the other three as exciting first year rider Fallon was attempting an outside pass on the two national under 21 champions Fricke and Branford through turns three and four at the time, but Parker later said he had hit a rut which caused him to clip the fence.
In the earlier qualifying heats Parker was the star rider with four wins and a safe second to Branford in his last ride. Max Fricke was next best with 13, beaten by Parker and Branford, while Branford was the other direct qualifier with 11 points from his last four rides after his bike broke down while a clear leader in his first ride.
Branford’s only loss on the night was to Nigel Sadler who was making his first appearance in several seasons and who did well to qualify for the semi-final with 10 points along with Jack Fallon (11), Robert Medson (10) and Matt Day (10). They finished well clear of the next best riders who were Hunter Anderson with 8 and Arlo Bugeja and Tyson Snow on 7.
Fallon led all the way in the semi-final to win from Medson, Sadler and Day.
In the support races Mark Mitchell/Tom Golding won the Sidecar final ahead of Arron Hartwig/Teagan Hartwig and Ron Parker/Derick Thomas with Daniel Puddy/Luke Puddy excluded for going infield.