DEAN Fiore may have only led for a handful of seconds in Saturday’s Dunlop Super2 Series race at Bathurst, but those were seconds that counted.
Fiore looked set to place third heading into the final lap, but an incident involving race leader Macauley Jones and Garry Jacobson at The Chase gifted him the lead.
Fiore went on take a dramatic win 1.05 seconds ahead of Alex Rullo, with Chris Pither third.
“It’s unbelievable, last time I was on the podium was here in 2008 in Carrera Cup. So yeah, great feeling, it’s an awesome place to do it around,” Fiore said.
“To cross the line first was a bit little surreal … I didn’t know how many laps we were going to do, because it was a one lap dash and seeing that chequered [flag] after being in the lead for only one corner, I was rapt.”
Fiore had enjoyed good pace throughout from his MW Motorsport Nissan Altima, but he looked set for a battle for third until the dramatic finale.
Following a late safety car period, the race was cut short and came down to a one-lap dash with Jones leading the way.
But when Jacobson locked up and tagged Jones, it left Jones bogged in the gravel trap at the end of The Chase. While Jacobson rejoined, he dropped back to fourth.
“Honestly, it sounds stupid, but I had that exact scenario play out in my head under safety car. I thought ‘Something is going to happen at The Chase, there’s stuff all over the track’,” Fiore said.
“I didn’t see what happened to Macca. I saw Garry lock his right front and thought he might actually make the corner.
“But he didn’t, ran wide, and I was able to take it from there and did the Bradbury. I ducked through and took the win.”
READ ALSO: Gulson earns a home track podium
READ ALSO: Harris dominates SuperUtes round
SEE ALSO: Day three photos from Mount Panorama
The surprise win to Fiore was not the only drama in the Super2 enduro race. It was action packed from the green flag.
On lap four then Super2 series leader Paul Dumbrell – Pither having replaced him thanks to his podium finish – was tagged by Fiore as they raced through The Cutting.
While Dumbrell somehow avoided slamming into the wall in his fishtailing Eggleston Motorsport Commodore, the rear damage saw him have to limp back to the pits. He took no further part in the race.
That did not cause a yellow flag, but when Bryce Fullwood had an incident at The Chase seconds later which left his Commodore stranded on the side of the track, the safety car was required.
When racing resumed it did not last long as on lap nine Jake Kostecki and his brother Kurt made contact which saw the latter slam into the wall at Hell Corner
As those still on the track cycled through their compulsory pit stops, tactics came into play.
Following lap 22 Jacobson made his second stop, his lead at that stage just over a second over Fiore.
Fiore followed and undercut Jacobson, but Jones then undercut both as he hunted for his second Super2 victory at Bathurst.
The heavy attrition rate continued as the race drew to its conclusion with Jordan Boys spearing off track after a tyre failure and Brodie Kostecki making contact with Shae Davies at The Chase.
Both incidents happened on lap 34 which triggered another safety car period and set up the dramatic finale as the initially planned 250 kilometres were cut short.
Keep up to date with all the Bathurst 1000 news by clicking here