Payne scores first win, takes points lead

  • Dunlop Super2 Series
  • |
  • 30/04/2022
  • By James Pavey

Matt Payne has converted pole to a maiden Super2 victory in Perth.

The Grove junior took the series lead after erstwhile leader Zak Best failed to finish.

Payne crossed the line a second to the good ahead of Cameron Hill, with Tyler Everingham third.

The race featured a Safety Car after Best tripped over a Super3 runner midway through.

Jaylyn Robotham ran with Payne to Turn 1 off the line, with the pole man holding firm.

Matt McLean demoted an ailing Robotham to third at Turn 7, with Hill moving past on the following lap.

Robotham’s tumble down the field was compounded by a slide for Aaron Seton at Turn 7.

McLean locked up and gave second place to Hill, with Seton suffering a slide of his own.

The sliding Seton was turned towards pit entry by Robotham, who received a 15-second penalty for his troubles.

Declan Fraser, keen to keep in touch with teammate Hill, muscled past Thomas Maxwell at Turn 4.

By lap 12, Hill had closed to within 1.3s of Payne, with McLean demoted to fourth by Everingham.

Two laps later, an attempt to clean Super3 runner Steven Page ended in disaster for Best.

Best drew alongside Page through Turn 5; front-left to left-rear contact sent Best gently into the outside wall.

The stranded Falcon triggered the Safety Car, wiping away Payne’s advantage.

The race restarted on lap 20, and Payne kept Hill at bay. Behind them, the battle for the minors heated up.

It came to a head when Nash Morris was turned into the Turn 6 sand by Brad Vaughan.

Vaughan, who started from pit lane after a testing breach, copped a 15-second penalty over the incident.

McLean came home fourth ahead of Angelo Mouzouris, with Fraser leading Robotham across the line.

Robotham was classified 18th after penalties were applied, lifting Maxwell to seventh.

Kai Allen crossed the line 12th and was highest-placed in the Super3 class, two positions ahead of Blake Fardell.

Payne will carry a 63-point lead over Maxwell into Sunday's second race; Best is now eighth, 120 points behind.

Cars will return to the track for qualifying on Sunday at 8:40am local time.

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