Tom Payet last night became the toast of the Speedcar scene as he raced his way to a dominant victory in the feature at Perth Motorplex, completing a clean sweep of the nights racing after also claiming the two heat race events.
Payet showed exactly why he is a former WA Wingless Sprint champion and that he is definitely going to be one to watch in the Speedcar ranks with his solid performances all through the night, including the twelve lap feature event.
As soon as the green flag dropped in the feature, Payet was away, leading Travis White and the rest of the field, but it wouldn’t last for long as back in the pack Keenan Fleming and Alfonso Guadagnino had a coming together. This would see ‘Alfie’ spin and get hit by Neville Lance, which was enough to push Guadagnino upside down a couple of times. Both Neville and Alfie would be unable to restart.
Unfortunately this meant there would only be four cars to restart as the Choice Charter Services team of Nathan Chalmers and Chris Telenta suffered mechanical dramas, as did Vaughan Manders in the #9 machine, seeing all three unable to make the call for the final.
Glen Mears would lead away the second attempt at a start, but it would be the only time all race he even got a sniff of the lead as Payet used the high line to reclaim the lead and simply race away.
Behind Payet and Mears, Keenan Fleming had a close call as he tried to pass third placed Travis White, while by lap four Payet had a 2.5 second lead on the rest of the field.
Fleming would catch White again and the battle was once again on for third. All of a sudden though, second placed Mears would slow dramatically, Fleming lucky to avoid him as he went by on the inside, Mears going high to avoid Fleming and nearly collecting White who had gone high to avoid him in turn. Somehow they all got through and Mears coasted to the infield while the race continued around him.
Just three cars remained as the white flag flew and it was then that Fleming spun in turn two with a nerf bar rubbing on his left rear wheel, just as Payet took the chequers. White crossed the line 13.930 seconds behind Payet while third was not awarded, with Fleming officially a DNF.
Heat One – 10 laps: 1. 52 Tom Payet, 2. 23 Glen Mears, 3. 14 Neville Lance, 4. 16 Alfonso Guadagnino, 5. 26 Keenan Fleming, 6. 38 Travis White. DNF: 12 Chris Telenta (7), 72 Nathan Chalmers (1). DNS: 9 Vaughan Manders. Total Time: 2.47.837. Winning Margin: 1.067. Fastest Lap: 16.429 Tom Payet.
Heat Two – 10 laps: 1. 52 Tom Payet, 2. 16 Alfonso Guadagnino, 3. 23 Glen Mears, 4. 26 Keenan Fleming. DNF: 9 Vaughan Manders (2), 38 Travis White (2), 14 Neville Lance (2). DNS: 12 Chris Telenta, 72 Nathan Chalmers. Total Time: No Time. Winning Margin: 2.417. Fastest Lap: 16.292 Tom Payet.
Feature – 12 laps: 1. 52 Tom Payet, 2. 38 Travis White. DNF: 26 Keenan Fleming (11), 23 Glen Mears (7), 14 Neville Lance (0), 16 Alfonso Guadagnino (0). DNS: 9 Vaughan Manders, 12 Chris Telenta, 72 Nathan Chalmers. Total Time: 3.41.032. Winning Margin: 13.930. Fastest Lap: 17.886 Tom Payet.