Bourke Motorsport travelled to Alexandra Speedway for a run at the home of Sports Sedan racing, where the toughest through the field competition is available at each and every race meeting, and driver Leigh Bourke left on a high, setting a new fifteen lap track record on his way to a win ahead of the fancied Andrew Jordan and Luke Fallon.
Three heat races determined where Bourke would qualify for the feature event later in the evening. The night wasn’t without a little drama, however, Bourke began the first from sixth position on the grid before finishing third to the racing brothers in law, Steve Kershaw and Steve Akil.
Bourke passed by Nathan Fawns and fast local Peter Eastham, moving from sixth to fourth on lap one and then to third as he passed, recent Drouin Speedway feature winner Metcher on lap five. Bourke finished ahead also of the likes of Lucas Conder and Jackson Barneveld fresh off a podium feature result at Wahgunyah and Drouin in recent weeks.
After the first heat Bourke informed media of an issue he had during the race. “The squirters in the carburettor come out due to a stripped thread. What this meant for us was our car was sluggish out of the corners and we lost power due to excessive fuelling. We have pulled the carby off the engine and rebuilt one out of bits and pieces I have from the original carburettor. We are ready to go for heat two.” Shared Bourke at the time.
Into the second heat with some lowered tyre pressures, Bourke set down a one lap time of 21.188, the fastest of the race as he went on to defeat Jordan and Fallon for his only heat win of the evening. Bourke lead every lap along the way whilst Fallon moved from second last to third, trying to chase down the lead two cars.
Before starting the final qualifier, Bourke filled his fuel tank to the top to give the car an extra twenty kilograms of weight over the rear wheels to help give the car some drive, this paid off. Bourke got around slightly faster than he was moving in the previous heat when he finished second to Fallon at the finish line in a race he nearly won.
From third place on the start line Bourke passed Kershaw on lap two and chased and looked for a way underneath Fallon, most of the way, before succeeding on lap seven only to have Fallon snatch the lead back on the final lap and go on to win the qualifier.
Having tried the fuel tank trick for heat three, Bourke did exactly the same for the feature event to keep that drive in the rear of the car and took some stagger off, lowered the rear tyre pressures and changed to a softer compound left rear tyre chasing some grip of the track surface.
The qualifying results meant that Bourke had done enough to begin in fourth behind Fallon, Kershaw and Jordan in the fifteen lap final. On lap one Ricky Cornwall from fifth moved ahead of Bourke putting the Cortina down a place early.
Over the next two laps Bourke moved from fifth back ahead of Cornwall and Kershaw into third behind the leader Jordan and Fallon. Four laps later Bourke got passed Fallon and looked on for the win.
It took the next seven laps before Bourke was able to round up Jordan and take the lead on lap fourteen with one to go. By the barest of margins at .610 Bourke would go on to win and take a new fifteen lap race record at 5 minutes 30.871 as he led Jordan, Fallon, Akil, Kershaw, Jack Van Bremen, Cornwall, Lee Beach, Warrick Howie and Peter Eastham to the finish line.
After the race media caught up with Bourke. “I am really pleased with the result. Winning is always good, however I learnt a few tricks that I can write in our little black book about Alexandra and puts us in a good position coming up to events like the Alexandra Dog Leg races, in particular the 100 Lap Derby. Setting a new fifteen lap track record is very satisfying.” A happy Bourke shared.
DMT Sports Media For Bourke Motorsport