Story and Photos by Ken Keating (Illusion Photography)
March 18, 2013, Langford, BC (ISN) – Fourteen cars, led by Sam Lagan and Cory Mulholland, made up the field for the final Enduro race of the Steve Copp Construction sponsored winter Hornet Series for 2012 / 2013 held at Western Speedway Sunday afternoon.
Hornets race through front stretch chicanes to start Enduro – Photo by Ken Keating (Illusion Photography)
Sam led for the first five laps until the elder Lagan, Phil, grabbed the lead on lap five while Darren Yates moved up to run second. He quickly backed off the pace as his car began to overheat. Darren did remain on the track and as soon as his car cooled began to make his way forward again. Meanwhile up front, Phil, Sam, Alex Atkinson, and Blair Davis ran one through five.
Phil Lagan #59 races with Darren Yates #91 – Photo by Ken Keating (Illusion Photography)
On lap thirteen, Sam entered the pits as he surrendered the second position to Davis followed closely by Jamie Rand and Corey Meeres. On lap nineteen, Rand took the second position and Meeres followed into third two laps later dropping Davis back to fourth. On lap twenty-nine, Yates was back in contention as he moved into the top five. On lap thirty-seven, Yates took over the second spot followed by Rand, Meeres, and Davis as Phil remained in the lead.
Hornets chase through back stretch chicane – Photo by Ken Keating (Illusion Photography)
The race was stopped on lap sixty-seven for the half way marker and when the field returned to green flag racing Brenda Leslie jumped quickly to run in the fifth position while the battle upfront was intense between Yates trying to wrestle the lead away from Phil Lagan. On lap seventy-five, Yates was able to get by and into the lead while Phil remained in contention running second and holding off the other competitors. On lap eighty-seven, Phil entered the pits and his run was over with Rand, Davis, Leslie, and Meeres running one through five.
Blair Davis leads this group through chicanes – Photo by Ken Keating (Illusion Photography)
Yates continued to have over heating problems but not enough to put him out of the race. As the laps ran out he had a large enough lead to keep him at the front and came home with a convincing win followed by Rand, Davis, Alex Atkinson, and Brenda Leslie rounding out the top five positions.
Yates #91 goes inside through turn two – Photo by Ken Keating (Illusion Photography)
Rockell Kroppmans presented trophies to the top three drivers as she congratulated each at Victory Square. The only blemish to a remarkable run through the winter was race #2 when Phil Lagan dominated the field for the win and Yates experienced a mechanical breakdown.
Brenda Leslie #90 races with Corey Meeres – Photo by Ken Keating (Illusion Photography)
With the victory today, Yates secured his second consecutive Enduro Championship. Regular Saturday night racing begins on April 27th with the Lordco Auto Parts Demo Series to open the 2013 season. The Hornets will be back again on May 4th as part of the WilRoc non winged Sprints, Stock Cars, Mini Stocks, and Dwarf Cars opening their season and using the big oval which is always exciting and competitive.
Darren Yates wins final Enduro – Photo by Ken Keating (Illusion Photography)
Jamie Rand places 2nd in final enduro – Photo by Ken Keating (Illusion Photography)
Blair Davis places 3rd in final Enduro – Photo by Ken Keating (Illusion Photography)