Higgs wins elusive Bill Gibbings Memorial
Gary Higgs has prevailed in a thrilling edition of the Bill Gibbings Memorial after victory in the 50-lap super sedan final helped him claim his first victory in the blue ribbon event at Albany’s Attwell Park Speedway on Sunday night.
The memorial title, awarded to the highest point scorer in the super sedan division across the two-night Easter show, has eluded Higgs for several seasons and it appeared it might again when he dropped a heat race on Saturday night with ignition failure.
However, Higgs recovered from his drama on night one to bounce back and win both his heat races on Sunday night and then proved too strong in the gruelling feature race on his way to a maiden memorial.
Going into the final, Higgs led the standings by a single point over Mt Barker’s Chris Pavlovich, while New Zealand driver Mark Osborne was 12 behind the leader.
Osborne had set Attwell Park Speedway alight on Saturday after jumping in to drive Adrian Geary’s car at the event, but with a tantalising final to come, news broke that a damaged engine would prevent the visitor from taking his place in the 50-lap race.
That came after it was learnt youngster Lee Aylett, the equal leader on points with Osborne early on night two, also would not start the final with motor troubles.
With the battle for the memorial down to Higgs and Pavlovich, the final began but just a lap in, a mistake from Pavlovich saw him spin in turn one by himself and sent to the rear of the field at the restart.
Higgs took control of the race as he led the field away and opened a big advantage on his rivals until drama struck with 16 laps to go.
Peter Wallinger spun back in the field and Higgs, passing slower cars, was caught up in the crash, making contact and damaging the front of his car.
Higgs, however, was able to restart and sailed through the 16 laps on his way to a commanding victory by 8.612 seconds.
The win sealed the memorial win as well, as Higgs finished with 188 points, downing Pavlovich (154 points) and Osborne (140).
In the final, Damon Trouchet fought his way to second place and Dean Shore crossed the line in third spot, with only six cars taking the chequered flag.
Meanwhile, Tim Coxall claimed back-to-back Street Stock Rumble titles after winning the 25-lap final on Sunday night.
Coxall won three heat races across the weekend and Saturday’s preliminary final to start from the front row in the feature.
He held off an early challenge from Paul Bowman and then had to withstand a late charge from Luke Fraser to win by 1.655 seconds on the line.
Luke Fraser was second ahead of Branden Fraser, while Paul Bowman, who began on the front row, managed fourth place.
In the support divisions Blake Fletcher went undefeated in the junior sedans and Ron Belfield won the production sedans.
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