Success over sibling ends drought for Noakes
Margaret River’s Clint Noakes ended a State title drought at Mt Barker’s Les Gorman Park lastSaturday, breaking through in the 2016-17 WA Modified Sedan Title, where he defeated his brother and defending champion Matt Noakes in the 35-lap final.
After finishing on the podium in 2004-05 in Margaret River and at Ellenbrook in 2014-15, the one-day edition of the title at the daylight venue proved the perfect tonic for Clint Noakes as he won two of his three preliminary heat races to start on the front of the grid.
Matt Noakes started alongside him on the front row courtesy of his two heat wins, but it was Clint Noakes who launched to the lead and quickly opened up a sizeable advantage when the final began.
Matt Noakes withstood plenty of pressure from Albany’s Nathan Penn and Calon Ball to hold onto second place, but there was no catching the race leader.
After 30 frenetic laps, the race stopped when Blake Watson was spun in turn two and the re-start caused all sorts of drama as cars crashed into the back of each other, wiping out Blake Jackson, Mike Kinnear and Watson as a result.
The second re-start attempt was successful but Clint Noakes was simply supreme as he coasted to a comfortable win by 1.156 seconds over Matt Noakes.
It was a satisfying win for Clint Noakes, who said he had spent many years chasing this success.
“I don’t think it has sunk in yet,” he said after the race.
“I’ve raced for 23-24 years and spent most of my time finishing behind (Matt) or watching him or someone else win these, and I’ve been in good spots to win before.
“It’s been a long time coming and I think racing over east has helped.”
Penn was gallant throughout the race to claim third place and Ball also finished on the podium after crossing the line fourth. That pair finished on the podium at the WA Junior Sedan State Title at the same venue back in 2008-09.
Eight of the 12 cars that started the A-main completed all 35 laps but former champion Aydan Trewern, from Albany, didn’t make it past his first heat race with a blown engine.
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