Brown wins second Victorian formula 500 title by chasing down leader at Simpson 

HE finished on top of the Speedweek standings and now Charlie Brown can call himself a two-time Victorian formula 500 champion.

Brown capped off a near-perfect month in Victoria by taking the 20-lap Victorian title at Simpson Speedway on Saturday night — in record time.

The Brisbane driver, 21, finished in five minutes, 2.722 seconds and defeated Nathan Pronger in a one-two finish for Queenslanders.

Scotts Creek teen Matt Symons ran third on his home track, continuing an impressive set of results since entering the class last season.

Brown, who also won the 2011 Victorian title at Laang, said he was rapt to win after a disappointing result at Simpson during Speedweek.

He scored a win and a second in his two heats, which gave him enough points to start out of position two, behind Pronger on pole.

“Nathan was quick from the word go, he led for the majority of the race,” Brown said.

“It was nine laps to go and we started to get lap traffic. 

‘‘I was running high the whole race and he was running mid-track.

“I thought I had to do something and came down low and found some speed. I got past him and put a gap on him.”

Shane Van Duynhoven suffered a chain issue on the last lap which brought out the yellow flags just as Brown was about to cross the line.

But stewards opted to declare the race. Warrnambool driver Jye O’Keeffe was fourth and Geelong rookie Josh Buckingham was fifth.

“I think I might have to come down there more often,” Brown said of Victoria.

The Simpson meeting also welcomed 360 sprintcars for the $5000-to-win All Stars Challenge, which doubled as round seven of the All Stars series.

American Kyle Hirst held off countryman David Gravel and series leader Chad Ely over 30 laps.

Hirst, Gravel and Geoff Ensign, another American who was also among the field, will contest the 42nd Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic this weekend.

A small field of super rods completed the night, with Shaun Walsh beating home Alan Pitcher and Dale Walsh for the top honour.

Simpson Car Club president Alan Symons said the meeting was the biggest the track had hosted.

“We don’t know (the crowd) yet until we count the dough but we filled the car park,” he said.

“We went to a neighbour before the event, we thought we might’ve needed extra space and we half-filled a paddock of his as well.

“We extended the spectator bank two or three seasons ago and we know from the line on the ground where the old fence was.

“If that fence had have been there, we wouldn’t have fitted everyone in.”

Symons said the crowd justified a move to work with All Stars series officials to have 360 sprintcars race at Simpson twice in January.

“Getting the calibre of drivers there with the Americans made for a good night,” he said. 

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