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WORLD FINALS III
By Damian Hall

South Pacific Monster Truck World Finals Brisbane Australia South Pacific Monster Truck World Finals Brisbane Australia

South Pacific Monster Truck World Finals Brisbane Australia

It was to be a night of upsets, hard fought victories and surprises, but at the end of it all, when all the dust had settled - it was Dan Patrick in Samson USA making it a three-peat in the Racing Championship and Jim Koehler with Avenger becoming 2 time Freestyle champion.

Whilst the weather was beautiful on the day of the event, all during the week it had been raining quite heavily wreaking havoc on track preparations, and with storms forecast for that evening, it perhaps played a hand in keeping crowd numbers reasonably average.

South Pacific Monster Truck World Finals Brisbane Australia

The final driver and truck
lineup was as follows:

Samson USA - Dan Patrick
Freakshow Australia - Gordon Buscall
Outback Thunda 4 - Clive Featherby
Outback Thunda 1 - Peter Duffy
Extreme - Kreg Christensen
Scooby Doo - Hayden McLeary
Raptors Rampage - Corey Clark
Avenger - Jim Koehler
Taz - Jaye Featherby
Team Fuchs Oils - David Brown
Monster Patrol - Paul Shafer
Batman - Barry Gaunt

South Pacific Monster Truck World Finals Brisbane Australia

The show kicked off with the customary grand parade, and with 18,000HP circulating around the track at once, it was certainly a sight to behold. The Hon. Phil Reeves MP, Minister for Sport and Child Safety formally opened the event and it was straight into the racing program on the unique oval course.

South Pacific Monster Truck World Finals Brisbane Australia

The track itself was a design not seen anywhere else in the world before. Whilst the trucks would be racing in a standard Chicago style (oval) configuration, the corners of the track had in fact been built up, and had a banking on them to mimic the speedway circuit. This track certainly proved to be very fast and very tricky, catching out a few of the fancied competitors. All of the USA drivers were heard to comment on how unique the track was and how much they enjoyed driving on it, they really loved the track.

First round:

There was no qualifying time trials, with the racing brackets being determined by lottery. The first round consisted of:

Samson vs Freakshow
Outback Thunda 1 vs Outback Thunda 4
Extreme vs Scooby Doo
Raptors Rampage vs Avenger
Taz vs Team Fuchs Oils
Monster Patrol vs Batman

The first race saw Samson easily dispose of Freakshow. With Freakshow being a truck designed purely for attempting backflips and Samson a truck built for speed in racing, the result was never in any doubt.

Next up saw the two Thundas pitted against each other, with the legend Thunda 1 against the newer, leaner, stronger Thunda 4. Clive got off to a great start in Thunda 4, and approached the first turn at full speed. As he started to round the banking, the front end of the truck pushed up towards the high side of the banking and the right front tyre dropped off the side. Thunda 4 was left half-on and half-off the track, stuffed into the front of the bus. This gave Thunda 1 the chance it needed to catch up and took a lead. It seemed Clive's race was over, but he pushed his foot flat to the floor, and climbed up and OVER the front of the bus, back onto the track almost tipping over in the process. Thunda 1 had a handy lead, but was suffering it's own problems heading into the final turn. Thunda 4 jumped the cars, and headed into the final turn at breakneck speed, leaping across the final carstack and the finish line half a truck length in front of Thunda 1.

It was youth vs experience in the next race, with Extreme vs Scooby Doo. In the end it was experience that paid off, with Extreme taking the win over Scooby Doo, when young Hayden hit a couple of the inside tyre markers making the truck jump off course a couple of times.

Raptors Rampage was against Avenger in it's first round pairing and was another one to be caught out by the track. Hitting the tyres on the inside of the course and spinning out mid-corner, gave Avenger a fairly easy victory.

Taz vs Team Fuchs Oils was up next, and Team Fuchs Oils advanced into the second round with a solid victory over Taz.

It was veteran vs veteran in the last first round race with Barry Gaunt in Batman and Paul Shafer in Monster Patrol, but Monster Patrol came out on top in this matchup, winning by a large margin.

Second round:

Monster Patrol def. Samson USA

Both trucks got off to flying starts, both drivers now with a feel of the track. It was close with Samson USA pulling out a slight lead halfway through the lap, but it was in the final turn where Shafer made his move and absolutely nailed the corner and powered down the straight and over the cars to knock out Samson by a truck length. It was the upset of the night, and an absolutely fantastic race.

Team Fuchs Oils bye run

After Thunda 4 failed to make the call due to not being able to be fired, David Brown had a bye run into the semi-finals.

Extreme def. Avenger

Kreg in Extreme was able to take down Avenger in another close race.

Semi-finals:

Extreme def. Thunda 1

Thunda 1 was given the call-up after Monster Patrol made the start line but wouldn't refire after shutdown. This was a shock as Paul in Monster Patrol was proving to be the man to beat and was setting the fastest time in each round. He certainly hasn't lost his touch, and he definately would be a force to be reckoned with should he return full-time to driving Monster trucks. In the race, Extreme progressed to the final round with the victory over an ailing Thunda 1 whose night was run when the motor let go.

Samson (fastest loser) def. Batman

South Pacific Monster Truck World Finals Brisbane Australia
With Team Fuchs having electrical issues and not making the call, Batman made the line after having had set the next fastest time. For the third straight year, Dan Patrick moved into the final round easily beating Batman.

FINAL ROUND (2 laps):
Samson defeats Extreme

South Pacific Monster Truck World Finals Brisbane Australia
Dan, the 2010 South Pacific World Finals III Racing Champion  & Jim Koehler, the 2010 South Pacific World Finals III Free Style Champion.

Dan Patrick - South Pacific Monster Truck World Finals Brisbane Australia
Dan the man got 'er done with
the Samson Monster Truck!!

In a repeat of last years final, it was Dan Patrick vs. Kreg Christensen. The final was run over 2 laps, and there was no clear advantage to either of the drivers. The lead changed on just about every corner, coming into the final turn Samson was ahead by 2 truck lengths, but Kreg, not one to ever give up, buried the throttle in Extreme and accelerated hard over the cars for the final time. It was a difficult result to call, with the victory given to Dan Patrick in Samson USA by the narrowest of margins.

Dan Patrick, Chris Patrick - Samson Monster Truck
Natalie & Chris Patrick proudly pose with "their" award winning driver, Dan Patrick!

Freestyle:

Raptors Rampage: Corey came out ready to put on a show. Unfortunately it wasn't to be his night, as he jumped over the back of the banked turns, the truck shut off on landing, and wouldn't refire. The issue was later traced to a problem with the coil.
Score: 3

Batman: The Bazman Barry Gaunt was out to prove a point that age was no barrier when it came to monster trucks and he proved that point in spectacular fashion getting some good air over the back of the banked turn. He then headed for the car stack which had had the dirt racing ramps dug out and got the track almost vertical in the air, almost clearing the entire stack, before landing on its rear wheels, and bouncing off the cars looking like it was going to roll over frontwards, but Barry hit the throttle and brought it back down on all fours. Next he headed for the double stack of cars and as he jumped the truck turned slightly landing him a little off centre and the truck slid off the cars and almost rolling over sideways, but again he was able to drive the truck back onto its wheels. The rear driveline had broken at this stage, leaving him with only front wheel drive. He attempted to jump the boat, but ended up, getting stuck on top of it. A great run from Barry.
Score: 20

Scooby Doo: Young Hayden McLeary proved to be a driver to watch out for in the future as he brought Scooby out and started by getting some big air off the cars behind the banking. Some more big air and great sky wheelies off the car stack and boat mound. Hayden attempted some donuts on the burnout pad, but Scooby didn't want to play ball. A great run from Hayden saw him take the lead.
Score: 21

Team Fuchs Oils: David was able to get the truck started for Freestyle and came out, again getting some good air off the banking. David attacked the double car stack and landed it perfectly not once but twice. Also getting some good sky wheelies as well. Another solid run tied him for the lead.
Score: 21

Monster Patrol: Paul was keen to make up for not being able to continue with the racing and started out like most, with some good air off the banking, an attempted slap wheelie and hitting the double car stack, before transmission problems surfaced, with the truck losing all forward drive.
Score: 15

Outback Thunda 4: Clive had made it known he was on a mission to take out freestyle. There was huge air everywhere off almost everything, with Clive getting the best air off the single stack than anybody previously. Clive kept up a frenetic pace, never slowing down even getting a big jump off the ramp where the boat had been. Another huge sky-wheelie from the single car stack and Thunda 4 headed back over the top of the banking, coming back over very fast, and without lifting headed for the double stack of cars. The truck launched into the air, with people in the corporate boxes high above the track, being able to see eye-level with Clive. It looked as though he was going to clear the entire car stack, but the truck came back down on the last car, and twisted sideways, causing Thunda 4 to crash down heavily onto its side. The crowd erupted as Clive climbed out of the truck. Certainly the biggest air of the night, and had there been an award for biggest air, he would have taken home the trophy.
Score: 26

Avenger: As last years champion, Avenger was out last, and Jim had already pulled into the staging area to watch Thunda 4's run. With an idea of what he had to do, Jim set out in trademark Avenger style. He hit everything and anything that was in his path, getting some great air off the smaller obstacles. No-one had yet to attempt the bus, but this didn't stop Jim driving up from the steepest side getting some huge air. The truck was starting to falter and Jim was down on power, but he kept on going. Back over the bus again, and then from the other side getting a long jump off it. He attempted some donuts, but the power just wasn't there. It was non-stop, and after a full 2 minute run he pulled in front of the main grandstand with the crowd cheering. The scores came in and he had just beaten Clive for the Freestyle championship once more.
Score: 28

Unfortunately several of the other trucks had suffered mechanical issues which ended their nights early. These were Samson (electrical), Taz (no oil pressure), Thunda 1 (blown engine), and Extreme (gearbox).

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