Hallett took command of the 30-lapper from Ryan Newton on lap seven and led the rest of the way, eventually taking the checkered flag 1.386 seconds ahead of runner-up Grant Anderson.
The win by Hallett Wednesday followed a runner-up finish to Aaron Reutzel in last weekend’s Grand Annual Sprint Car Classic, another of Australia’s sprint car crown jewels held yearly at Premier Speedway Warrnambool.
Newton appeared to be the favorite to win during the first half of the main event, but a muffler issue that developed on a lap-16 restart led officials to black flag the driver of the No. 66, ending his race prematurely.
That left Hallett challenged only by Anderson, who could not stay in touch with the leader following the race’s final restart with five laps remaining.
Wednesday marked Hallett’s first President’s Cup victory in the 42nd edition of the prestigious race.
Jamie Veal closed the podium ahead of Marcus Dumesny and reigning Australian champion Jock Goodyer, who had to race his way into the feature through the B-main.
A revised President’s Cup format saw drivers qualify and race in 10-lap heats that were lined up straight-up from time trials. Dumesny led flight one at 12.017 seconds, with Newton the overall fastest at 11.959 seconds in flight two of qualifying.
Dumesny, Hallett, Newton, and Anderson won their respective heat races, while Newton topped the International Dash to earn the pole for the feature before Tim Hutchins and Tate Frost won the B-mains.
With most of the American drivers who had been in Australia racing over the past several weeks returning stateside to prepare for the start of the World of Outlaws and High Limit Racing seasons, Iowa’s Riley Goodno was the only driver in the President’s Cup field representing the United States.
Goodno started his night well by timing third-fastest in flight one of qualifying, but struggled from there and ended up seventh in the first B-main, failing to advance into the 30-lap feature.
Seventy-two-year-old Leigh Gooding topped the street stock undercard that accompanied the sprint car program.
First contested in 1982, the President’s Cup was washed out on its original date, Wednesday, Jan. 17.
Strategic rescheduling allowed the event to land between the Grand Annual Sprint Car Classic and the Australian Sprint Car Championship, retaining its allure as a midweek special and creating a trifecta of major sprint car events Down Under for drivers to participate in.
Notable past winners of the Presidents Cup include two-time victor Steve Kinser, the 20-time World of Outlaws champion; Joe Saldana, father of veteran Joey Saldana; multi-time All Star Circuit of Champions titlist Chad Kemenah; Paul McMahan; three-time winner James McFadden; and Carson Macedo.
Gio Scelzi was the most recent American winner of the President’s Cup, topping the 2019 running.
1. Q5-Brock Hallett, 2. V37-Grant Anderson, 3. V35-Jamie Veal, 4. N47-Marcus Dumesny, 5. A1-Jock Goodyer, 6. W2-Kerry Madsen, 7. T62-Tate Frost, 8. W60-Kaidan Manders, 9. V72-Jacob Smith, 10. V60-Jordyn Charge, 11. N92-Sam Walsh, 12. W26-James Ingelis, 13. W8-Andrew Priolo, 14. V68-Brett Milburn, 15. N48-Jackson Delamont, 16. T45-Chad Gardner, 17. VA75-David Donegan, 18. V27-Ross Jarred, 19. T7-Tim Hutchins, 20. Q66-Ryan Newton.