A heartfelt kiss on the roof of his car to his late grandfather was how Brent Vosbergen celebrated his victory in the 2023 Belkblast Protective Coatings Australian Late Model Championship at Sungold Stadium Premier Speedway on Saturday night.
The two-time Western Australian champion worked steadily from his start position of tenth to win the 40-lap final from early race leader Daniel Cassidy and Callum Harper.
Vosbergen went one place better than his father Craig and grandfather, Bert, who both finished runner-up in past Late Model national titles on four occasions between them.
Going into the second night of racing, Vosbergen and Cassidy were tied on 58 points each, with Fenech on 57, then followed by Harper (56), Jason Oldfield (52) and Todd Bayley 51.
For the first time in three years the thunderous roar of the ground-pounding Late Models title was held since the Covid-19 pandemic, and Vosbergen’s win was the 14th by a WA driver in the 20-year history of the event.
Vosbergen showed strong form from the moment he arrived at Premier Speedway for the championship chase, consistently recording fast lap times in the top five of the official practice session on Thursday and then won his opening night preliminary feature.
The early part of the title race was all Cassidy’s who started on the front row for the final alongside polesitter Ryan Fenech who won the pole shuffle.
Cassidy quickly opened up a comfortable lead from Fenech, Jason Oldfield, Harper, Jamie Oldfield, Chevy Edwards and Vosbergen.
The race changed dramatically on lap 15 when Cassidy spun between turns three and four and would be sent to the back of the field for causing the stoppage.
Jason Oldfield would assume the lead from Harper and Vosbergen at the restart and took a handy lead.
Vosbergen was the car on the move and chased the leader hard and was now second and took the lead with four laps to run as Oldfield was forced out with a flat left front tyre.
In the race to the chequered flags it was Vosbergen and incredibly Cassidy who had powered back through the field to second and then followed Harper who just missed emulating his 2017 feats at Premier Speedway when he won. Fenech was fourth and Warren Oldfield who came from grid position 21 fifth and won the Hard Charger Award for most positions passed.
Vosbergen did a celebratory reverse lap waving to the crowd before breaking into a series of donuts on the infield before being hugged in his car by his father and crew members.
“I’m really blown away by this win to be honest,” Vosbergen said.
“I just don’t know what to say right now, but I am rapt to have won this race. I certainly dedicate it to my Pop and my dad as they tried a lot to win it.”
Final placings: 1. Brent Vosbergen, 2. Daniel Cassidy, 3. Callum Harper, 4. Ryan Fenech, 5. Jamie Oldfield, 6. Warren Oldfield, 7. Chevy Edwards, 8. Ben Nicastri, 9. Veronica McCann, 10, Lachlan Onley, 11. Carter Armstrong, 12. Mick Nicola, 13. Freddy Kinsella, 14. Jay Cardy, 15. Damian Hudson, 16. Ash Cleary 17. Kurt Millwood, 18. Tim McPherson, 19. Jason Oldfield, 20. Cody Gay, 21. Brendan Hucker, 22. Darryl Grimson, 23. Joe Chalmers, 24. Michael Holmes.
Earlier in the evening Jordan Rae led every lap to win round three of the C&H Trucking Pro Sprint Series from Paul Solomon and the fast Daniel Storer.