Herbert snares podium finish in dramatic State title

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Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser

Albany speedway competitor Peter Herbert has finished on the podium at the WA Street Stock Title for the second consecutive year after placing fourth in the gruelling 35-lap final at Ellenbrook Speedway on Sunday.

Herbert finished third in the State title at Shark Bay last season and appeared on track to be a strong contender again when he set the quickest time in official practice last Friday.

Competing against a top-quality field that included Jamie Oldfield, Robbie Faux, Anthony Beare and Todd Auton, who have all been national titleholders in the division, Herbert qualified directly into the A-main.

He sat seventh on points after day one of racing, winning two of his three heats on Saturday after failing to finish the first.

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On Sunday, in his final preliminary heat, Herbert started ninth and progressed through to fourth which left him to start from eighth on the grid in the title decider.

Racing in oppressive heat across the weekend, Herbert was stunned by a hunk of clay on the opening lap and fell back to 12th position before working his way back through the field.

About mid-race distance a spark plug lead fell off Herbert’s car and with an ailing machine, he was ready to pull off and retire from the race.

However, over his one-way communicator Herbert realised he was in fourth place and still on the lead lap and he decided to press on with a rising temperature gauge.

Herbert finished in fourth place and a deserving podium place getter, one of only four cars to go the entire 35-lap journey.

“It has only just started sinking in,” the 49-year-old said. “I was a little disappointed with my performance but it was one of the biggest State titles with all the top drivers so I shouldn’t be complaining but after setting that quick time and winning two heats I had really thought I can win this. In the final the temperature gauge was off the clock and I didn’t have the power to get past any more cars, I was going to pull off but lucky I didn’t.”

Fellow Albany driver Tracey Saunders qualified for the C-main but failed to start the event.

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