Who’s this Simon Backman? That’s the question everyone in the pits at Nowra Speedway were asking last night after the Rookie Compact Speedcar driver embarrassed his more experienced rivals by winning the fifteen lap feature race by a comfortable margin.
In only his second race meeting Backman started from the outside of the front row aboard his Murphy/Kawasaki Compact with fellow rookie, Adam Henry alongside in position one driving his Breka/Suzuki GSXR. At the rear were Alan Day, who had made a late dash down to Nowra after the meeting at Sydney Speedway was called off and Craig Hickey.
Adam Henry led away at the drop of the green with a freight train of Compacts in hot pursuit. Backman made a dive for the lead on the second lap and assumed the front running. The track was black slick which made passing opportunities sparse. The back markers were struggling to make their way forward with nothing separating the whole field with bumper to bumper racing. With the laps winding down Adam Henry found himself a little wide and that was all that Tony Aulsebrook (Hombre/Suzuki GSXR) needed to take over second. Shortly after Rob Eyeington (Stealth/Suzuki GSXR) also got by Henry to move up to third.
At the fall of the checkers it was Simon Backman victorious in one of the most impressive drives by a Rookie in recent memory. Tony Aulsebrook drove a great race to finish second with Rob Eyeington back in his own car coming in third. Craig Hickey (Alach/Yamaha R1) made up plenty of places in the closing stages to be on the tail of Eyeington for fourth with Adam Henry fading back to finish fifth.
Steven Hawksworth (KHP/Yamaha FZR) was as high as third in the opening stages before the back markers made their charge, he finish just outside the top five in sixth. Carl Yenne (Breka/Suzuki GSXR) was next with Lee Stokes (Infinity/Suzuki GSXR) and Alan Day (XXX/Suzuki GSXR. Tony Abson (Henchcraft/Kawasaki) retired to the infield with electrical issues.
The earlier heat race action was as intense as the feature with all drivers giving their all. Heat 1 saw Tony Abson charge from the third row to take a convincing win over Rob Eyeington who came from the back row to place second with Craig Hickey also from the back row placing third. Steven Hawksworth held out Tony Aulsebrook for fourth.
Heat 2 was an all the way win for Lee Stokes who was never headed in a very good win. Rob Eyeington drove around Carl Yenne and Steven Hawksworth on the last corner to take second by the narrowest of margins. Tony Aulsebrook completed the top five.
The final heat had Tony Abson retiring to the infield with that electrical problem that plagued him most of the night. Craig Hickey continued his good form to take the final heat win after starting from position six. Steven Hawksworth overcame the fuel problems that ruined his night last weekend at Goulburn to place a very impressive second. Lee Stokes had a battle holding out Carl Yenne and Simon Backman for third.
The Compacts continue to provide some sensational racing at the South Coast venue, so make sure your their next time and be a part of the action.