Rowbottom led all the way to take the victory ahead of Team Pyro’s Bradley Burns and Westbourne Motorsport’s Dorlin – these two promoted after MRM’s Jack Young, second on the road, received a ten-second penalty for having made a false start…
Rowbottom’s win was his third of 2018 but not enough to keep his title hopes alive going into Sunday’s season finale.
Instead only Team Pyro’s Coates, Dorlin and WDE Motorsport’s Rivett can now become Champion and this trio will go into tomorrow’s decider separated by just four points – Coates on 293, Dorlin on 290 and Rivett on 298.
This was after Rivett finished today’s race in fourth with Coates right behind him in fifth. WDE’s Dan Zelos completed the top six.
The race had needed a Safety Car period early on after dramas for several drivers at Hawthorn Bend. Matrix Motorsport’s Michael Epps and WDE’s Nathan Edwards initially survived a tangle but, behind, MRM’s Jade Edwards and WDE’s Lee Pattison were not so fortunate – their cars becoming stranded after an incident that also caused WDE’s Nicolas Hamilton to spin.
Racing resumed at full speed on lap six and a move by Dorlin to unseat Young from second backfired as he was delayed and Burns was able to squeeze by for third on the road (second with Young’s penalty).
A lap later the race was stopped short and a result declared. This was so marshals and medics could to attend to Reeve whose Specialized Motorsport car had rolled at high speed after tangling with Brett Lidsey’s spinning MRM machine at Dingle Dell.
Both drivers were able to extricate themselves, but Reeve has since been airlifted to hospital as a precaution…
Elsewhere Rowbottom was ecstatic with his win. He commented: “The title might be gone but we went down fighting. Front row for tomorrow’s race… I’m going for the double.”
Of the title contenders, there were differing thoughts going into tomorrow’s big showdown which will be shown LIVE on ITV4 at 13:30.
Coates said: “I’d much sooner have the advantage in terms of points, but sixth on the grid tomorrow and Dorlin starting from second… I need to make some moves. Let’s see.”
Dorlin added: “I went into today seven points behind Max and now it’s down to three. I know what I need to do tomorrow, I’m in a good position on the grid and the car’s feeling great.”
Rivett said: “I’ve been in this situation before – in 2011 when I came out ahead of four drivers to win my third title in the final round. I’m feeling good about it all.”