Lucky Newell breaks motorkhana victory drought

Tuesday 01 September, 2020
Photos: Mini Car Club of WA
WA motorkhana veteran Jim Newell has pulled off an unlikely victory in the Motorsport Australia WA State Motorkhana’s second round, edging out reigning champion Scott Bennett. 
With 43 drivers taking part in the state event hosted by the Mini Car Club of WA, it was Newell and Bennett who would end up fighting it out over the 12 tests, as Newell saluted with a five-second victory. 
Things could have looked a lot different had Bennett, a multiple Motorsport Australia Motorkhana Champion, not suffered a mechanical failure in the event’s fourth test. 

Bennett began the Championship’s second round as he had ended the first, with three straight test wins over Newell, before disaster struck on the next test and Bennett was given a time 18 seconds slower than Newell.  

For the remaining eight tests, Bennett was forced to play catch up and ended up being faster on seven occasions, however it wasn’t enough as Newell’s consistency saw him secure his first event win in some time.

Despite claiming the long awaited victory, Newell admitted he was fortunate due to the reigning champion’s circumstances. 
“If you consider it still a win even when the bloke that should have won broke down, then sure it was a nice win,” Newell said. 
“It was a good fun day though. Not basing anything on my performance, I really enjoyed the day and the win was a bonus. It’s been a while since I’ve won something because Scott is just too good.  
“Even after he had the breakdown, he continued using my car, which you would think would give me the advantage, but he still managed to beat me in many tests. I suppose the only reason I won was that fourth test. 
“I didn’t even look at the results during the day as I had my own issues. I was very surprised to have won. 
“We will rub it in for as long as we can before we get cleaned up again by Scott in two weeks.” 
Remarkably, Bennett wasn’t the only driver to use Newell’s car over the course of the day with a further four drivers requiring his car after having separate issues of their own. 

One of those drivers run in Newell’s car at one point was William Bennett who would go on to finish the event in third place, who like Scott, had to give up the luxury of driving his own car.

With Class F drivers making up the top five, the best non-special car was Peter Bergman in sixth, with the Mazda MX5 driver also claiming the Class B win. 

Eighth placed Blake Laidler was another standout performer during the day with the Class C winner steering his Nissan N13 Pulsar to the fastest outright time on the ninth test, which with production car winners very rare at WA motorkhana state level, was an impressive feat. 

Although the mechanical failure prevented him from winning the round, Scott Bennett remains as the championship leader after a first round victory, while William Bennett and Newell sit equal second.
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