Dad helps Ipswich racer survive bingle battle
GAINING extra motivation from his dad on the hill, Ipswich speedway racer Mat Pascoe has achieved another memorable feat in his successful career.
The Willowbank motorsport fanatic won his fourth Queensland Super Sedan title on Saturday night, surviving a series of crashes on the testing Mothar Mountain Speedway circuit at Gympie.
The 40-lap final that normally takes quarter of an hour lasted 50 minutes due to a series of mishaps, causing multiple yellow flag appearances.
Pascoe emerged victorious after being the highest point scorer from the three rounds of heats and starting on pole position.
But he didn't have it all his way.
Major challengers Sean Black and another experienced Ipswich racer Darren Kane were on Pascoe's tail with Black leading on the last lap.
Pascoe finally regained the advantage to savour a special victory.
The well-travelled speedway ace appreciated having his unwell father Graham watching him win.
"He normally used to be in the crew,'' Mat said of his dad.
"He's not doing too good.
"He hasn't really been (to races) this year and he come and sat up on the hill.
"He inspired me. That's what we're doing it for.''
Winning at Gympie was another reason Pascoe enjoyed back-to-back Queensland titles after previous successes in 2011 and 2015.
The Gympie circuit is on a hill, providing plenty of challenges for the 22 competitors.
Only 10 drivers finished the final on Saturday night.
The first of many restarts came on the first lap due to the enthusiasm of racers to secure a prime position.
Multiple bingles followed.
With only three laps to go and Pascoe leading Black and eventual third placegetter Kane, another stoppage added to the high drama.
A restart brought the field closer to Pascoe, setting up Black's opportunity to lead on the last lap.
Pascoe held his nerve to re-establish his authority and successfully defend his title won in Toowoomba last year.
"It took 50 minutes to do the final while all the other guys down the back were doing all the crashing,'' Pascoe said.
"Even in the heats, they were racing for sheep stations.
"It was non-stop. It took about 15 minutes just to get the first lap done with all the crashing.''
Pascoe said winning on the state's most challenging speedway circuit made his latest victory more enjoyable.
"It's just satisfying because it's a different track,'' he said, having previously clinched Queensland titles in Toowoomba and Maryborough.
"To win the Queensland title at Gympie is good, rather than winning all at the same track.
"It's on a hill. It's got a hairpin. It's not the average speedway. It's a unique one.''
Pascoe, 40, has won five Australian titles, finishing second in this year's championships in Parramatta.
Apart from winning the latest Queensland title, Pascoe leads the 16 round state series by 400 points with two races to go.
He'll miss the next round in Bundaberg while contesting the NSW titles in Dubbo, before returning for the final state event in Gympie.
He hopes to have enough points to add the Queensland series to his list of successes.
"It's the best season I've ever had,'' the Sweet Chassis company owner and single operator said.
"Everything seems to be falling into place and the car is working good.
"I pretty much put the same set-up in all the time and it seems to handle all conditions.''
Pascoe hopes to continue his tremendous run this weekend.
He heads interstate tonight to prepare for the South Australian title at Mt Gambier on Friday night, before a round of the Victorian series at Warrnambool on Saturday.
Terrific duel built in Ipswich
HIGHLY regarded Ipswich driver Mat Pascoe has built 49 race cars since 2008.
His current super sedan, owned by Vic Bugler, is number 33 on the Pascoe build and maintain list.
It remains a Pascoe favourite having carried him to 12 feature successes and three seconds.
Saturday night state title rival Sean Black, who finished second, is another of Pascoe's Sweet Chassis customers.
The Ipswich racer thrived on that duel. "He was on the outside of me starting off two and he got me on the second restart and luckily enough I got him back again,'' Pascoe said.
"He got past me on the last lap and I got him back.''