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2011 Vice Rockingham Oval Champion - 02/10/11

Neil and the Relssert Racing Team head back to Rockingham Motor Speedway with the 37 Pickup Truck this Saturday for the final rounds in the 2011 Rockingham Oval Championship, and with Neil currently 2nd place and with the twist of qualifying plus 3 races all in the same day (2 races of which were back to back) it proved to be a hectic day. After a free practice, qualifying got underway at 9:15am. Neil qualified 9th in session 1 putting him on the front row of the grid for race 1, and 8th in session 2 placing him on the second row of the grid for race 2. The first race of 20 Laps took place at 12:00pm, and as the race got underway Neil got to a great start. But with some of the trucks taking advantage of their inside grid positions they managed to squeeze past during the first lap putting Neil into 5th, however Neil fought back on lap 2 overtaking David O’Regan #8 moving him up into 4th place with Steve Dance #16 just behind (current leader of the Rockingham Championship.) Neil continued battling with Steve, Michael Smith #93 and Paul Tompkins #12. On lap 6 Neil then gained the fastest lap time and finished the Race 7th. During a manic 50 minute break between the first and second race, the trucks remained in Pit Lane. The team decide to change the engine oil to cool the engine down before the next race. Neil started race 2 behind Lee Rogers #69 on Pole. The race commence but prematurely got put under safety car when Tony Mumford #7 hit the wall at Turn 2. Racing continued on lap 11 but as the trucks got to the start line to go green the back three quarters of the grid including Neil were backed up, allowing the front four pickups to get away. Neil finished the race 8th. Going into the final race of the day Neil was still 2nd in the Rockingham Championship, with Steve Dance #16 leading. Carl Broadley #41 had also moved to third after Charlie Weavers #20 misfortune in qualifying (when his oil pipe spilt, not knowing if this would have damaged his engine, Charlie elected not to race.) The team had also worked out that if Neil finished the last race within 5 trucks of Carl we would seal 2nd place. Neil started the final race of the day on row 2, on the outside. He had the fastest lap time on lap 3 and had an exact match to Nic Grindrod #22 lap time on lap 11, of 41.477 seconds. All Neil had to do was pass Michael Smith #93 and Paul Tompkins #12 and he would finish within 5 places of Boardley. Neil continued to battle with the pair, overtaking Michael on lap 21 and the Paul on lap 23. Neil finished the race 6th, 4 places behind Carl Boardley #41, officially making us 2nd Place in the Rockingham Oval Championship 2011.

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