Talented youngster claims maiden series win

Tuesday 15 December, 2020
Photos: Bob Taylor
Blake Purdie has enjoyed a memorable end to 2020 with a title win after more strong results during the Sports Invitational Track Sport Series’ season finale.
 
Taking place at The Bend Motorsport Park, the South Australian based teenager was unable to win either one of the round's two one-hour races but secured two podiums, which proved to be enough for the outright series win.  
 
With 14 drivers featured in the mini series’ final round, it was the experienced head of Yasser Shahin who ended up taking out top honours ahead of Purdie after winning both races.
 
Despite not grabbing a victory himself, it was still a very impressive showing from Purdie as he grabbed pole and led race one until he dropped to the back of the field due to the compulsory balanced pitstop.
 

It didn’t deter the Aussie Racing Cars regular though, who worked his way back up the order to finish the race in third behind Shahin and Victorian Zig Fuhrmeister.

In the round’s second outing, it was a similar story as Purdie started from third and piled the pressure on Shahin early, before he was forced to the back again after his pitstop, only this time Purdie managed to go one better and claim a runner-up finish, with Glen Stallbaum in third.

 
It was a solid way to finish the season for the 16-year-old, who will be hoping to take in the momentum of this year to the Australian Prototype Series (APS) in 2021.

“It feels great to win the series because I was with such a good team for all three rounds and they were awesome, especially Clyde my engineer, who made sure I was running strong all the time,” Purdie said.
 
“I qualified on pole and I led at the start of race one, but the pit stop put me back down the order so I worked hard to get third. I’m happy with both results because I was required to fight my way through to the field, which was challenging.
 
“To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect going into the series but after having such success I feel like I am ready to tackle the Australian Prototype Series. I also have a bit of confidence because I did well against a lot of competitors who compete in the APS. 
 

“A big thank you to my main sponsor Nippys, Aaron Steer from Jam Motorsport, Garnet Patterson who was helping out the drivers with technique and my family for their support.”

As a result of his round win, Shahin finished the season in second place behind Purdie, while Mark Laucke rounded out the podium.

 
Also taking place at The Bend on the weekend was the Circuit Excels, with the category having 42 drivers in 21 cars complete more than 30 laps in each race.
 

Taking out the provisional victory at the conclusion of the meeting were Shaun Pannowitch and category star Asher Johnston, with the duo picking up a race win and a second place.

 
Finishing the round just behind the winners after losing by the smallest of margins were race one winners Aaron Oliver and Joel Johnson.
 
In unfortunate circumstances, the duo had led the second race at the halfway point and were on track for round honours before losing the lead to a successful undercut from Johnston and Pannowitch. They then dropped to third when Lee and Gary Stibbs also passed them following a pitstop.
 
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