Nelson's 2.253s Win In Leopard Final

press release

The Budget Used Cars Toowoomba supported Doyle’s Racing Kartsport team driver, Brendan Nelson took a decisive 2.253 second win over CRG’s Rick Pringle in the Leopard Heavy Final Shootout at Port Melbourne on the first Sunday of November, leading all but 2 laps of the 18 lap Final.

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The Leopard Final Shootout was part of the Todd Road venue’s 2009 Horsepower Heaven, which saw 6 of Australia’s performance Karting classes do battle for some tremendous prizes.

In addition to Nicole Banks, previous Australian Idol Top 15 finalist, opening the show on Saturday, the event organisers had also provided for a Merchandise / Trade Alley and the Bel-Ray Promotional Hostesses.  The track was adorned with a variety of sponsors’ banners, signs and flags as the venue took on a V8 Supercar event type atmosphere.

DRK’s driver Brendan Nelson took the unusual choice of moving up and out of his favoured Leopard Light class into the Leopard Heavy ranks for the weekend.  This decision would see him being pitted against the likes of Brad Fitch, Hayden Stephenson, Matt Greenbury, Simon Roberts and Rick Pringle.

Starting out the weekend finding his way in the new class, Nelson established himself in 7th place after two sessions of qualifying around the 960m track.  His fastest lap of 42.583 on Saturday morning was nearly 3 tenths off Brad Fitch’s best lap of 42.311 seconds.

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In Heat 1 Nelson started from P7 on the Grid and worked hard during the frantic racing to maintain a 7th place finish.  In Heat 2 he began to feel more comfortable with the heavier kart set-up and banked a credible 4th place amidst some tough competition.  He was so comfortable in fact, that he achieved the 2nd fastest lap of the race on Lap 6 with a 42.678 second result.  Only Simon Roberts was quicker in Heat 2.

Although setting the weekend’s overall fastest lap (42.051s) for the Leopard Heavy class on Lap 12 of Sunday’s Pre-Final, Nelson struggled from P6 on the grid with traffic.  By the first corner he was up to 4th position and then fell back down to 9th place by the end of the first lap, after running wide hitting the marbles.  By lap 8 of the race he had regathered things and by Lap 12 he was setting the weekend’s fastest lap on his way back to 6th place.

The Final for the weekend was shaping up to be a cracker with plenty of close racing between the top 6 or 7 competitors.  With Fitch and Pringle on Pole and Greenbury and Stephenson on the second row, it was going to be a really tough challenge.  The 18 lap feature included some spectacular tussling for the lead, but it would be Nelson who would make it to the front on Lap 3 to establish an early lead.  Although Pringle was on the hunt to bring him back to the rest of the field, Nelson lead the rest of the race and crossed the line 2.253 seconds ahead of the CRG driver.  Rick was followed home closely by Simon Roberts who had just edged out Brad Fitch on Lap 14.  They were ahead of Paul Pittman, Matt Greenbury and Mitchell Cuzens.    

“It’s good to get a big race win this year,” said 18yo Nelson. “Other than the Queensland Supercheap Auto Kart Series this year, we’ve struggled a bit in comparison to our previous form.  I keep telling Craig it’s the Green in our decals and shirts this year, so I made sure that I had one of our blue PPG / Orrcon Steel Team shirts on this weekend.”

“We’re just so pleased for Brendan and his family,” said DRK Team Manager, Craig Doyle. “I see just how much time and money they invest in being competitive and travelling weekly.  Brendan’s commitment and dedication to his sport both on the track and off at Griffith University with his Sports Management degree is inspiring and we are very proud to have him under our blue and green livery. ... and yes, I’ve told him all season long that he can definitely win with green on his kart.  He’s just proved it to me again (laughing).”
Brendan collected a brand new Monaco Kart and a new X30 IAME Leopard engine for his podium win in the Leopard Heavy Final Shootout courtesy of Remo Racing and IAME.