KWINANA BEACH, Australia – James McFadden clinched his fifth QSS World Series championship with a thrilling win at Perth Motorplex Saturday, after title rival Kerry Madsen failed to finish with a broken front end.
McFadden entered the final event of the season with a 42-point lead over Madsen, expanding the gap to 64 after securing Revolution Racegear Fast Time honors and logging third- and fourth-place finishes in his heats.
However, Madsen had a nightmare start to his campaign, battling motor issues in time trials and qualifying 16th. That sparked a motor change prior to the heats, which thankfully produced a win and third that slotted Madsen 11th on the main event grid.
McFadden lost his provisional front row starting spot when Brad Maiolo and Cory Eliason raced through the Gold Shootout, but he wasted no time in assuming second behind Eliason at the start of the main event.
Taylor Milling brought out the first caution after driving over Madsen’s right rear and crunching the wall, and the contact with Madsen cast concern over the fitness of the No. W2, however the car looked fine on the restart, locking in to fourth within two laps.
However, Madsen rolled to a stop in turn three with a broken right front stub axle, seeing his pursuit of a maiden World Series championship fade away.
Ben Ellement endured a large spill shortly after the restart to bring on the third and final caution of the race, and with Madsen out of the picture, McFadden threw away any need for conservation on the restart.
He aggressively pursued Eliason, who produced another blistering launch to leave the field behind. Eliason was amazing in traffic and had fans nervously watching, as he systematically disposed of everyone in his path, with passes on any and every line of the track.
Meanwhile, McFadden watched from behind, contemplating his moves down the stretch.
Meanwhile Dave Murcott was chipping away from ninth on the grid, usurping Maiolo’s hold on third at lap 23 as Jason Kendrick was working his way forward from 12th to fifth along with Brock Hallett, who’d eventually claim the American Racer Hard Charger Award by climbing from 19th to eighth.
But McFadden was looming in the closing stages, and with three laps remaining started to hint at being within striking distance of Eliason after exploring a higher groove.
On the final lap, McFadden closed in and breathtakingly drove around the No. W26 coming through turn four to the checkered flag, claiming the win by just .097 seconds.
Brooke Tatnell finished ninth and locked in third in points behind Madsen with the Ray Scott Transport team, while Jock Goodyer took Rookie of the Year honors by three points.
James McFadden, Cory Eliason, David Murcott, Bradley Maiolo, Jason Kendrick, James Inglis, Rusty Hickman, Brock Hallett, Brooke Tatnell, Ben Van Ryt, Lucas Wolfe, Jock Goodyer, Ryan Lancaster, Jason Pryde, Tom Callaghan, Mitchell Wormall, Callum Williamson, Andrew Priolo, Adrian Haywood, Lynton Jeffrey, AJ Nash, Ben Ellement, Kerry Madsen.