GEOFF Phillips stole a march on his rivals and took out the V8 Dirt Modified Lord Mayor's Cup at Lucas Oil Lismore Speedway on Saturday night.
Phillips never put a wheel out of place as he raced to the chequered flag ahead of minor placegetters Ray Klarich and Matt Ferry.
It was also a one-two result for the American factory-built Troyer race car, while Ferry was aboard a US-produced Bicknell chassis car.
As the race unfolded, Phillips, who started out of position one, held command, as some of his more-fancied rivals struck problems.
Defending titleholder Andrew Pezzutti made a run through the field after he started well back in the pack. With 11 laps completed, Pezzutti's victory chances virtually ended after he spun out of contention and was forced to the rear.
Meanwhile, two-times Lord Mayor's Cup winner, national champion Mark Robinson, had an engine drama in his first heat and was not seen for the rest of the night.
Second generation driver Mitchell Gee ran as high as third and with five laps remaining looked set for a podium finish. However, he and Travis Kennedy banged wheels in a touch contest before both were shown the black flag by race officials.
It was a highly charged night for Litre Sprint driver Tony Brearley, 52, who officially announced his retirement.
He was given a huge farewell on the parade lap prior and prior to the start of the main event. Tony was accorded a lap of honour with his fellow competitors trackside in acknowledgment of his great career. Brearley did not let the emotion of the occasion stand in the way of a strong race performance for his swansong.
He broke Kurt Wilson's eight-lap record in his first heat win of the night. Even though Wilson later regained the mark for the distance, there are not too many drivers on their retirement night who are still capable of setting a track record.
Unfortunately, it was not a fairytale ending as he was beaten into fourth placing in the feature event, won by DJ Raw. However, Brearley has made a magnificent contribution to the sport. Shane Newstead was the star of the AMCA sedan category with two heat wins and honours in the main event. Junior sedan racing was dominated by Chris Corbett who was unbeaten in heat and feature race competition.
Nic Preston won the Wingless Sprintcar feature and Lindsay Clapham was the Street Stock main event winner.
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