Pronger the man to beat

QUEENSLANDER Nathan Pronger is the man to catch in formula 500 racing’s Speedweek.

Pronger entered last night’s round four at Laang with three wins from three starts after staging a stunning come-from-behind win in round three at Premier Speedway.

The interstate raider trailed Cobden’s Jess Moulden for most of the rain-shortened 15-lap feature on Tuesday night.

But he accelerated through turns one and two on the last lap and snatched the lead on turn four in what was the closest finish of the night.

Rookie Purnim driver Chris Bellman placed third as his better-than-expected campaign delivered another highlight with just 0.259 seconds separating the top three.

“It’s been tough,” Pronger said at presentations. “We were able to get to the side of her (Moulden) and the light came on and I thought we had to stop and the chequered flag was out.”

Pronger said he had “no idea what to do with the car” when rain started to fall at the Allansford track before the A main.

“We thought we’d wing it and leave it the way it was and it worked out,” he said.

The runner-up finish was a bitter pill for Moulden who battled a chain issue in round one at Mount Gambier and engine problems in round two at Hamilton.

She was near-flawless throughout the night but was pipped at the post when it mattered. “Everyone has to deal with lap cars when you race and that’s the disappointing part,” she said.

Bellman was all smiles after backing up his second and fifth-place finishes from the first two rounds with a third. He challenged Pronger and Moulden down the back straight but opted to settle for third as the three came close to crashing in the final turn.

Pronger had 509 points ahead of Bellman, 466 and Warrnambool’s Grant Stansfield, 416, before the Laang round.

afawkes@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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