LAST weekend at the rural South Australian city of Murray Bridge, Orange speedway gun Lachlan Onley created Australian Super Sedan Titles history.
Backing up from back-to-back second places in 2012 and 2013, Onley again found himself on the podium following 40 scintillating laps of the national final after he steered his Sweet Chassis Mustang to second at the 2014 championship.
In doing so, Onley became the first person to finish with silver in three consecutive national titles campaigns.
Philosophical about the record, Onley says he’d rather finish second than battle it out at the back of a bumper field.
“There was 53 cars in the race so second is still better than 51st. There were plenty of good cars that finished behind us,” the Orange-based speedway champ said.
Kodee Brown, 26, won the final, surviving a two lap restart to claim the title.
Made to work for the win, Brown reclaimed the lead with just three laps to go and, in a running battle with Peter Nicola throughout the entire 40 laps, was given a reprieve late in the final following Nicola’s collision with the wall.
The impact launched the Victorian Champion into the air, above fence level, ultimately ending the challenge from Nicola.
A two lap, green, white, chequered flag finish was to be the result.
And with the retirement of Nicola, Onley shot up to second.
Brown held his nerve to fend off a late challenge from Onley in the final two laps to take the title, becoming the first West Australian since John Singleton in 1989 to win the event while Onley finished second for the third consecutive year.
“We sort of had nothing for him,” Onley said looking back at his final few laps in pursuit of Brown.
“He wasn’t really pulling away, but we didn’t have anything left either.”
Onley said the secret behind his extremely consistent national titles campaigns was based on hard work.
“And getting the car set up properly,” he added.
Onley’s 2013-14 season is all but over, with the Orange-based driver still weighing up whether or not to go to the next meeting at Dubbo in May.
It’s been a stellar season for Onley, with the Ford driver’s second place at this year’s nationals adding to his break-through win at the Grand Prix in Latrobe, Tasmania.
Next year’s Australian Super Sedan Titles will also be in Latrobe and if Onley is to break through for that elusive Australian championship win, it could well be at the Tasmanian track he’s already tasted success on.
“We’ll go down there and give it another crack. That’s all we can do,” he said.