Melbourne based AMCA team Mills Brothers Racing has scored a double podium finish at the third round of the AMCA Action Series held at Redline Raceway on January 18th. This feat is a first for the team as well as being the first podium finish for both MBR drivers in the team’s rookie season.
The heats for the AMCA Nationals were split into two groups due to the high number of nominations. MBR's first entry of Mathew Mills in the v20 car was in group A and started from pole position in his first heat. Matt lost out on the start, not quite getting the desired traction off the greasy pole line in the drag race to turn one, slipping to 3rd place where he stayed for the remainder of the race, hot on the heels of multiple state champion Tim Reidy.
In group B with MBR's second entry, Matt’s younger brother Jamie Mills took on his first heat for the night in the v91 hot rod, which saw him start from the rear in position nine. Jamie managed to make the most of his car speed, moving up to 3rd place and banking valuable points, finishing close behind the leaders.
In the second round of heats, which saw a reverse grid draw from the first heat, had Matt start the v20 from the rear in 9th position and make his way up to 6th. Jamie started pole position for his second heat, leading from start to finish to take a commanding heat win, the first of his speedway career so far in just his seventh show.
The third round of heats, of which is also split into two groups, sees the highest point holders from the previous two rounds of heats starting from the rear of the field. Mathew started off 7th in group A while Jamie started off the rear again, this time joining his team-mate in the first group. Both Mills brothers got a clean start and slowly worked their way up the order with Mathew finishing 4th right behind the 2nd and 3rd placegetters, while Jamie finished 5th, also on the tail of his older brother.
For the feature race, through some solid heat racing including the win in heat 2B, Jamie earned his and the team’s first feature race pole position, while Mathew started directly behind him from 3rd place in the 18-car AMCA field.
The 20 lap A-Main event started with v28 Paul Sullivan edging the start from the slick outside lane, taking the lead from Jamie on the run into turn one, while Mathew held onto 3rd place. Triple state champion Jamie Collins in the v1 entry moved up the field and eventually got through on Matt, then had a great battle with our v91 entry of Jamie which saw Collins taking over 2nd place into turn one before the younger Mills brother crossed back underneath him to take claim his place back coming out of turn two. Collins then spun on the next lap, elevating Matt back up to 3rd place. There were multiple yellow flag caution periods throughout the feature race due to incidents further back in the field. With each restart bunching the field back up, it provided Jamie with the opportunity to try and take the lead of the feature race, but off each restart he was unable to get as much drive as the leader off turn four, allowing Sullivan to open up a small gap to the v91 pilot which stayed much the same for the remainder of the race. Mathew followed close behind his younger brother until they greeted the chequered flag to take out an amazing double podium finish for the team as well as bringing in a great haul of points towards the AMCA Action Series and the Rookie of the Year points tallies for both drivers.
When being interviewed on track after the race Jamie said “It was a bit of a dream night for us really, I got my first heat win, my first feature pole position, plus Mathew and I both not only scored our own first feature podium finishes but the team’s first double podium finish too, which definitely makes it a special night for us in only our seventh event in our rookie season. On behalf of Matt and I, we’d like to thank our Crew Chief and father Wayne Mills for all his input. Not only did he get the cars running great here tonight, he has put in a lot of hours and effort behind the scenes over the past few months. We’d also like to thank our sponsor Phil Munday’s Repair Management for having faith in us in our maiden season and supporting us. Hopefully tonight's results are a sign of things to come.”
Mills Brothers Racing’s next event is the fifth round of the AMCA Country Cup at Wangaratta City Speedway on February 22nd before they contest the Victorian AMCA Title the following week on the 1st of March at Rosedale International Speedway.
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