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Kicking Up The Dirt – East Coast Logistics Series Round 1
Sprintcars Queensland were finally back in action at AusDeck Patios and Roofing Archerfield Speedway last night, kicking off our 2017-2018 Race Season with Round 1 of the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Series. We had an impressive field of twenty-nine cars turn up for the first night of the new season, a field rich in talent, ambition and passion, and what an incredible show they put on for race fans. With championships in South-East Queensland often coming down to the very last race of the season, the championship chase was on from the very first fall of the green flag. Luke Oldfield, defending series champion, was the man to beat all night and led the field to the start of the A-Main, but Andrew Scheuerle was truly magnificent in the immaculately presented Q25 racer and quickly took control of the race once the lights went green. Scheuerle led the first third of the A-Main before Lachlan McHugh, who had displaced Oldfield in the opening few laps, stormed though to steal the lead. McHugh and Scheuerle traded positions five times in a lap and a half, captivating the crowd and putting on a completely mesmerising display for race fans. McHugh eventually secured the lead and began pulling ahead of Scheuerle, the pair weaving their way through lapped traffic as the laps wore on. Unfortunately for McHugh he cut down a left rear tyre with seven laps left to run and was forced to retire to the infield for the final laps of the race. Scheuerle inherited the race lead and despite Oldfield closing in over the final few laps of the race, it was Andrew Scheuerle who took a hard fought and well-deserved win. Luke Oldfield crossed the line in second while Mitchell Gee had a brilliant run in the Q36 racer to come home in third and round out the night one podium. Peter Lack and Callum Walker completed the top five.
The night started with qualifying and while the early benchmark was set by Paul Rooks, stopping the clock at a quick 12. 107 seconds during the first time trialling session of the season, Rooks would eventually fade to fifth quickest by the time the entire field had taken to the track. Luke Oldfield secured his first Quick Time of the season, recording an 11.916 lap and was the only driver able to break into the 11-second bracket. Callum Walker was exceptionally quick in the Q33 racer, locking in second quickest with a beautiful 12.024 second lap, while Mitchell Gee, back in the seat after an off-track injury last season saw his off-season start a lot earlier than planned, was third quickest in qualifying, stopping the clock at 12.069 seconds. Andrew Scheuerle was just one thousandth of a second quicker than Paul Rooks to lock into fourth quick, with Rooks rounding out the fastest five. Dan Murray beat Peter Lack by four thousandths of a second, the pair qualifying in positions six and seven respectively, while Mark Pholi, Lachlan McHugh and Brad Ayers rounded out the top ten. A fraction outside the top ten Brock Dean beat Mitch Gowland by just 0.002 seconds, while Brett Minett and Ben Hilder both stopped the clock at exactly 12.409 seconds. The top twenty-six cars were separated by less than one second, setting us up for a thrilling night of close competition as our stars entertained the large crowd in attendance.
Heat one started with Andrew Liebke and Glen Sutherland from the front row but it was Liebke, in the immaculately presented and new-look Q47 racer, who got the jump when the green flag flew. Liebke immediately began opening a small lead over his rivals, while Sutherland and Ben Hilder gave chase, but the race was promptly brought to a stop when race leader Liebke collided hard with the turn three wall and inverted the car. Liebke walked away from the crash uninjured but did not make it back trackside for the rest of the night. A full restart followed, with Ben Hilder now from pole position alongside Glen Sutherland. Hilder got a brilliant start and had secured the lead by the time they hit turn one, already starting to open a sizable lead over the rest of the field. Sutherland held down second but immediately came under pressure from Brock Dean on the low side, while Peter Lack tried to make a move on the highline. Lack soon made his way around Dean before switching to the low side and looking underneath Sutherland half a lap later. Sutherland managed to stay ahead of Lack for a couple of laps but Lack was smooth and fast on the bottom and soon slipped underneath the S20 racer to steal second. Luke Oldfield was coming on strong, closing in on the back of Dean and challenging on the highline for track position, but the race was again brought to a stop when Andrew Corbet collected the turn three wall. Corbet was able to keep the car moving and pulled safely off the track but the caution lights had already been thrown. Hilder led the restart from Lack and Sutherland with six laps left to run. Oldfield again took to the high side and, in just half a lap, raced around the top side of Dean before turning his attention to Sutherland. Ben Hilder was virtually untouchable out in front though and went on to take the win ahead of Peter Lack and Glen Sutherland. Luke Oldfield crossed the line in fourth and led Brock Dean, Dan Murray and Mitch Gowland across the line. Andrew Corbet and Andrew Liebke both failed to finish the event.
Rob Hamilton and Stewart Craig led the field to the green in heat two, with Craig getting the initial jump and settling into the race lead. Hamilton settled into second but immediately came under pressure from Dave Whell, while Brent Kratzmann took to the high line to race around Brett Minett. Minett looped the Q94 racer in turn four but was able to keep the car moving, while Phill Foster spun in turn three and was collected by Andrew Marks. Stewart Craig led the restart from Whell and Hamilton, with Hamilton immediately forced to try and defend his position from a very hard-charging Kratzmann. Callum Walker began searching for a way past Mark Pholi, as Pholi edged ever closer to Hamilton, who had relinquished his position to Kratzmann. Kratzmann set his sights on Whell and closing the gap, and had a massive look on the inside, only for Whell to fight back on the top side to maintain his advantage. Paul Rooks joined the battle between Hamilton and Walker, while Kratzmann ran wide in turn four and surrendered a position to Pholi. Stewart Craig took the win, an impressive effort in his first Sprintcar race for a number of years, with Dave Whell across the line in second. Mark Pholi secured third and led Brent Kratzmann, Rob Hamilton, Paul Rooks, Callum Walker, Brett Minett, Phill Foster and Andrew Marks home.
Karl Hoffmans and Michael Saller led the field to the green in heat three, with Saller taking the lead in turn one. Hoffmans held down second for half a lap until Allan Woods powered around the high side and into second while behind them Lachlan McHugh, Andrew Scheuerle and Mitchell Gee were all trying to make their way past Brad Ayers and Nelson Reddacliff. McHugh led the charge, slipping underneath Reddacliff, with both Scheuerle and Gee following a lap later. McHugh swiftly made his way ahead of Ayers and Hoffmans, and began chasing after Woods, while Scheuerle searched high and low for a way past Ayers and Hoffmans, using years of experience to make his way underneath the pair as the laps wore away. Michael Saller went on to take the win ahead of Allan Woods and Lachlan McHugh, with Andrew Scheuerle fourth past the chequered flag. Mitchell Gee came home in fifth and led Brad Ayers, Nelson Reddacliff, Karl Hoffmans, Kevin Hill and Bryan Zelinski across the line.
Andrew Marks started heat four from pole position with Glen Sutherland alongside. Marks got a brilliant start and quickly secured the lead when the lights went green, while Allan Woods raced around the outside of Sutherland and into second. Unfortunately though Mark Pholi and Mitch Gowland came together in turn two, leaving Paul Rooks with nowhere to go and the race was brought under caution. Gowland and Rooks took to the restart but Pholi had front end damage that prematurely ended his race. A full restart followed and once again it was Marks who took control when the race resumed. Woods again swiftly raced around the outside of Gowland and Sutherland before turning his focus to Marks. Woods chased Marks for several laps, searching for a way through and waiting for the right opportunity, while behind them Luke Oldfield was weaving his way through the field and was quickly closing in on the leaders. Woods raced around the top side of Marks, only for Marks to try and fight back hard on the bottom, the pair racing side-by-side for a lap and a half before Woods finally took control. Oldfield quickly made his way underneath Marks before stealing the lead from Woods just one lap later and immediately began opening a comfortable margin over his rivals. Luke Oldfield went on to take the win with Allan Woods home in second. Andrew Marks did an incredible job to cross the line in third, withstanding a late race charge from Glen Sutherland, who ultimately finished fourth. Mitch Gowland, Brad Ayers, Paul Rooks and Kevin Hill rounded out the finishers while Mark Pholi did not complete the ten lap journey.
Heat five started with Karl Hoffmans and Nelson Reddacliff from the front row, with Hoffmans getting the jump when the green flag flew. Unfortunately Hoffmans spun the Q3 racer in turn, with the entire field doing a magnificent job to avoid contact. Saller joined Reddacliff on the front row for the restart and quickly secured the lead when the race resumed. Reddacliff settled into second but inherited the race lead when Saller spun in turn two with just one lap completed. Reddacliff led the restart from Dave Whell and Brock Dean, while behind them Callum Walker and Mitchell Gee argued over the minor positions as they closed in on Dean, while Dean caught the tail of Whell and raced up the inside of the Q4 racer to steal second. Whell soon came under pressure from both Gee and Walker, with Gee getting by on the low line, while Walker spent a couple of laps searching the top before bringing the race under caution when he spun in turn two. Reddacliff led the restart from Dean and Gee but contact between Dan Murray, Andrew Corbet and Michael Saller before they took the green brought the race back under caution. When the race resumed it was Reddacliff again who controlled the start, but a couple of laps into the restart and Dean and Gee both capitalised on a small mistake from Reddacliff and quickly raced through on the inside. Whell soon got the better of Reddacliff but it was Brock Dean who went on to take the win ahead of Mitchell Gee and Dave Whell with Nelson Reddacliff fading to fourth by the fall of the chequered flag. Dan Murray finished fifth and led Callum Walker, Karl Hoffmans, Michael Saller, Bryan Zelinski and Andrew Corbet across the line.
The sixth and final heat of the night saw Rob Hamilton and Brett Minett share the front row for the start, with Hamilton taking the lead early, only for Minett to challenge on the high side before switching to the bottom to get the job done. Minett stole the lead while further back in the field Peter Lack raced underneath Lachlan McHugh and Ben Hilder before turning his attention to Brent Kratzmann, while Andrew Scheuerle raced underneath Hilder just as McHugh was attempting to go around the high side. Kratzmann had a look around the top side of Stewart Craig, but opened the door on the bottom for Lack to slip through. Kratzmann fought back and used the bottom to regain his position from Lack half a lap later, before getting past Craig on the following lap. Lack made his way around Craig with Scheuerle and McHugh close behind, and while Scheuerle tried to race around his team-mate Craig, McHugh began challenging on the bottom, the trio going three wide through turn four with McHugh leading them into turn one. Meanwhile Lack had caught Kratzmann and Hamilton and systematically made his way past both, with Kratzmann slipping underneath Hamilton moments later. Hamilton soon came under pressure from a very hard-charging McHugh with only half a lap left to run. Kratzmann got wide in turn four and drag-raced Hamilton towards the chequered flag. Contact between the pair moments before they crossed the line could have easily ended in disaster for both drivers when the right rear of the Q11 car of Hamilton climbed over the left front of the Q2 of Kratzmann. Scheuerle and McHugh were right on their tail, the pair splitting to go either side of Kratzmann and avoid contact. Brett Minett had secured the win ahead of Peter Lack, and, after officials reviewed the last lap incident, Rob Hamilton was credited with third. Andrew Scheuerle finished fourth ahead of Lachlan McHugh and Brent Kratzmann, with Ben Hilder, Stewart Craig and Phill Foster rounding out the finishers.
Luke Oldfield and Andrew Scheuerle lined up alongside each other on the front row for the start of the Dash event. They raced wheel-to-wheel into the first corner but it was Oldfield who secured the lead. Scheuerle stayed with him while behind them Callum Walker and Mitchell Gee fought over third and fourth and Lachlan McHugh and Peter Lack tried to make their way forward. Walker raced underneath Gee only for Gee to come back on the high side half a lap later while McHugh quickly closed the gap and raced around Walker. Brock Dean had a brief look underneath Lack, as Lack began challenging Walker for position, but there was no stopping Luke Oldfield out in front with Oldfield going on to take the win and earn pole position for the first A-Main of the season. Andrew Scheuerle crossed the line in second and would share the front row with Oldfield for the feature event, while Mitchell Gee and Lachlan McHugh finished third and fourth respectively. Callum Walker was fifth across the line ahead of Peter Lack, Brock Dean and a very impressive Dan Murray.
Thirteen cars lined up for the fifteen-lap B-main event, with Mitch Gowland and Brett Minett to lead them away. Minett got a brilliant start and quickly settled into the race lead, but it was only a couple of laps before Mitch Gowland took control and forced Minett to settle for second. Behind them though Ben Hilder was all over the back of Glen Sutherland, the pair putting on a spectacular show as they fought over third and fourth, while behind them Nelson Reddacliff and Michael Saller searched for a way past Stewart Craig. Rob Hamilton, Andrew Marks and Andrew Corbet battled over minor positions deep in the field but there was no stopping Mitch Gowland out in front as he raced to victory and secured the first of four transfers to the A-Main event. Brett Minett crossed the line in second, with Ben Hilder third ahead of Glen Sutherland in fourth, all four drivers earning a position at the tail of the A-Main field. Michael Saller finished fifth and only narrowly missed a transfer to the main race, while Stewart Craig crossed the line in sixth, a tremendous effort for his first night back in competition. Nelson Reddacliff finished seventh and led Rob Hamilton, Kevin Hill, Karl Hoffmans and Bryan Zelinski across the line. Andrew Corbet and Andrew Marks tangled in turn one on the final lap and failed to finish the event.
The A-Main field rolled onto the track, eighteen cars set for a thrilling 30-lap affair with Luke Oldfield and Andrew Scheuerle to lead them to the green. Scheuerle secured the lead when the lights went green but the race was brought under caution when Mitch Gowland spun to a stop in turn one. Second time around it was again Scheuerle on the high line who managed to take control of the race when the green flag flew, leaving Oldfield to settle into second, Mitchell Gee, Lachlan McHugh and Peter Lack were right on the tail of Oldfield while deeper in the field Allan Woods made his way underneath Dan Murray and set out after Brock Dean. Dave Whell and Brent Kratzmann were both looking to follow Woods, with Kratzmann working the top to get around Murray just as Whell challenged on the bottom. The trio were three wide coming out of turn four, with Brett Minett on the high side right behind Kratzmann, but it was Kratzmann who led them all into turn one. Whell fought back on the bottom, while Minett continued to run the top side until he slammed the wall coming out of turn two and inverted the Q94 racer bringing the race to a stop. Minett walked away from the wreck but was unable to restart the race.
Andrew Scheuerle led the restart from Luke Oldfield, Lachlan McHugh, Mitchell Gee and Peter Lack with twenty-eight laps left to run. Less than a lap into the restart McHugh slide underneath Oldfield as they rounded turn three to steal second and set out after Scheuerle and the race lead. Lack was all over the back of Gee, who in turn was challenging Oldfield for third, while Kratzmann and Whell resumed their battle and exchanged positions several times with Kratzmann eventually securing the advantage. McHugh spent several laps trying to close the gap to Scheuerle, edging closer still as lapped traffic came into play, but things really started to heat up once McHugh had caught the tail of the Q25 racer. McHugh swiftly slide underneath Scheuerle as they rounded turn three, only for Scheuerle to return the favour half a lap later in turn one. McHugh once again ducked back underneath Scheuerle through turn two, with Scheuerle again returning serve as they made their way through turn four. The racing was fast, clean and captivated the crowd as the pair fought over the lead, with McHugh then powering through underneath Scheuerle once more, the fifth lead change in just two laps, and this time making it stick. Scheuerle tried to fight back but McHugh started to pull away and gained ground once he was able to get a lapped car or two between himself and Scheuerle. Mitchell Gee was all over the back of Luke Oldfield, while Peter Lack soon found Callum Walker on his tail. With half a dozen or so laps left to run disaster struck for race leader McHugh when his left rear tyre let go and he was forced to the infield, handing the lead to Scheuerle. Deeper in the field Lack and Walker were embroiled in their own intense battle, the pair trading places several times as they raced for a top five finish. Whilst Oldfield began closing in on Scheuerle in the last few laps of the race, it was Andrew Scheuerle who took the win with Luke Oldfield forced to settle for second. Mitchell Gee crossed the line an impressive third while Peter Lack secured fourth ahead of Callum Walker. Allan Woods finished sixth and led Brent Kratzmann, Brock Dean, Dave Whell, Glen Sutherland, Mark Pholi, Brad Ayers, Ben Hilder and Dan Murray across the line. Lachlan McHugh, Paul Rooks, Mitch Gowland and Brett Minett all failed to finish the event.
If last night is anything to go by we are in for a truly MASSIVE season. These drivers really know how to put on a show and they don’t come much better than what we were privileged to see last night. But this is only the beginning of the season and there is plenty more thrilling racing action to come – you do not want to miss a moment of the show. It all continues next Saturday night, 23 September 2017, at Hi-Tec Oils Speedway in Toowoomba. Come along and cheer on your favourite – we hope you see you there!
Kicking Up the Dirt – Sprintcar Track Championship Round Four
Sprintcars Queensland started the season with a massive five consecutive weekends of racing before taking last weekend off, giving the teams a chance to regroup and revitalise before returning to AusDeck Patios Archerfield Speedway last night for Round Four of the Sprintcar Track Championship. Twenty-eight cars hit the track to put on a show and what a show it was! Jayden Peacock and Brent Kratzmann, who had entered the night a very slender one point lead in the series, both crashed out of the event early in separate incidents, while Lachlan McHugh, Mitchell Gee and Callum Walker all proved once again what a great depth of talent we have coming up through the ranks with some truly inspiring drives. Gee and McHugh shared the front row for the start of the A-Main with Gee quickly settling into the lead, only to come under immense pressure from McHugh who soon stole the lead. The pair were in complete control of the race and while Gee pushed hard and ran spectacularly around the top, lapped traffic saw him come unstuck in turn three, relegating him to the rear of the field with eighteen laps left to run. McHugh led for a further ten laps, with Bryan Mann, Andrew Scheuerle and Peter Lack on his tail, but with eight laps left to run he had contact with a lapped car that left him stranded on the track and relegated to the rear of the field. Bryan Mann inherited the race lead and despite mounting pressure from Lack and Scheuerle, Mann went on to take a very popular win. Peter Lack finished an impressive second while Andrew Scheuerle seemed to have banished the gremlins that have plagued him the past couple of meetings and secured a strong third to round out the podium. Callum Walker had a brilliant night and had a smooth and consistent run to come home in fourth with Steve Greer putting in a truly spectacular effort to round out the top five.
Bryan Mann proved right from qualifying that he had the car speed to take the win at the end of the night, and started the evening by topping the qualifying order after Time Trials. Mann stopped the clock at a quick 11.795 seconds and was the only car to break into the 11-second bracket. Peter Lack secured second quickest with a 12.011 second lap, some 0.216 seconds slower than Mann, while young Ben Hilder, who himself is really starting to master the qualifying events, was just six thousandths of a second slower, stopping the clock at 12.017 seconds to lock in third quickest. Brent Kratzmann and Mitchell Gee rounded out the fastest five. Kratzmann, Gee, Andrew Scheuerle, Dan Murray, Lachlan McHugh and Scott Doyle, qualifiers four to nine, were separated by less than one tenth of a second, with the entire top twenty-four cars separated by less than one second.
James Grady and Steven Johnson shared the front row for the start of the first heat of the night, with Chris Harrison, from the Northern Territory, and Steve Greer out of the second row. Johnson got a great start and had secured the lead by the time they hit turn one but mechanical problems saw him pull to the infield in turn two, handing the lead to Grady. Grady was already under fire from a very hard charging Greer while further back in the field Jayden Peacock had raced under Murray and was searching for a way past Harrison. Andrew Scheuerle began his climb towards the front, having started from position seven, racing under Murray and setting his sights on Peacock. Peacock however was having a brilliant run and soon made his way past Harrison, with Scheuerle following a lap later. Greer had been putting all kinds of pressure on Grady as they argued over the race lead, but when Greer ran too wide in turn four Peacock didn’t hesitate to swiftly race through on the inside to steal second. Greer fought back hard on the high side but contact between the pair as they entered turn one ended with Peacock rolling end-to-end and extremely high into the turn one catch fence. It was a massive crash, and while Peacock is sore, he was able to walk away from the wreck. James Grady led the restart from Steve Greer and Andrew Scheuerle, with Scheuerle quickly stealing second just a few moments after the race resumed. Scheuerle was on a mission and with the race lead within sight there was little Grady could do and just a lap and half into the restart Scheuerle raced underneath the Q40 racer and took control of the race. As Scheuerle stole the lead from Grady, Chris Harrison slipped underneath Greer to steal third, before setting his sights on Grady. Harrison was looking for a way under Grady when Grady got just a fraction too sideways entering turn four and while Harrison did everything he could to avoid an incident, both he and Grady ended up stranded in turn four. Unfortunately this also left Steve Greer with nowhere to go and he too came to a stop, while Dan Murray spun to avoid the chaos but was able to keep the Q44 racer running. Andrew Scheuerle led the restart from Bryan Mann and Dan Murray with five laps left to run, and while Mann was all over the back of Scheuerle, Harrison searched for a way past Murray, and Grady and Greer exchanged positions several times at the rear of the field. Andrew Scheuerle went on to take the win ahead of Bryan Mann, Dan Murray, Chris Harrison, Steve Greer and James Grady. Jayden Peacock, Clem Hoffmans and Steven Johnson all failed to finish the event.
Heat two started with Kristy Bonsey and Dave Whell from the front row, with Whell getting the jump on the start and quickly securing the race lead. Bonsey, who had raced wheel-to-wheel with Whell into the first corner, settled into second but had her sights set firmly on Whell and the race lead. Behind the leading pair Brett Minett secured the advantage over Rob Hamilton, while Lachlan McHugh ran the high line, with Kevin Titman on the bottom, as they too tried to find a way past Hamilton. Hamilton however was not about to surrender his position without a fight and slid straight back underneath Minett as they rounded turns three and four to conclude the first lap. Minett immediately fired back and regained third half a lap later, the battle thrilling fans on the hill, while Kevin Titman and Peter Lack tried to make their way forward. Hamilton slid underneath Minett in turn four, just as Lack behind them was racing under Titman, and while Minett tried to fight back to regain his position from Hamilton, contact between Titman and Lack brought the race under caution. Lack pirouetted spectacularly on his right rear before the Q5 racer tipped onto its side and then returned to the upright position. Mitchell Gee had nowhere to go and, squeezed between Lack and the concrete wall, making contact with both. Lack was unscathed but was also unable to restart the event, while Gee had to take to the restart from the rear of the field. Dave Whell led the restart from Kristy Bonsey and Brett Minett, Rob Hamilton, Kevin Titman and Lachlan McHugh, with Titman having a big look around the outside of Hamilton as soon as the race resumed. McHugh had a massive look on the inside of Titman, forcing him on the defensive, but Titman had significant momentum on the high side and not only managed to stay ahead of McHugh, but half a lap later he raced around the outside of Hamilton as well. McHugh persisted with the low line, making his way under Hamilton a lap later, with Gee now right on his tail as well. Titman was now on the tail of Minett in third, and challenging the Q94 racer for position, while McHugh quickly closed in on the pair. Up the front of the field Bonsey was having a magnificent run in the Q42 racer, putting together a series of consistent and smooth laps, and was seriously challenging Whell for control of the race. McHugh made his way past Titman, and then Minett in quick succession, while both Titman and Gee were able to get underneath Minett through turn four. Gee was all over the back of Titman, the pair keeping the racing close and exciting, while McHugh closed in on Bonsey and Whell. With the white flag in the air McHugh raced under Bonsey in turn two to steal second, with both Titman and Gee right on his heels. Contact between Bonsey and Titman as they exited turn two could have so easily ended in disaster for both, and probably Gee too due his proximity, but somehow all three managed to make their way down the back straight and around the final two corners of the race. Dave Whell took a hard fought and well-deserved win with Lachlan McHugh officially second. Kristy Bonsey had a truly marvellous race and managed to hang on to cross the line in third ahead of Kevin Titman, Mitchell Gee, Brett Minett, Rob Hamilton and Kevin Britten. Peter Lack did not finish the race.
Wayne Iacono started from pole position in heat three, with Andrew Liebke alongside and David Muir, in his first night back on track after a lengthy absence, and Dylan Menz from the second row. Liebke, in his first race this season, got a brilliant start on the high side when the green flag flew, quickly securing the race lead and opening a small margin over his rivals. Iacono settled into second ahead of Menz, while deep in the field Brent Kratzmann was on the move as he raced under Callum Walker, just as Ben Hilder was running around the high line. Hilder had the best run and came out in front of both Kratzmann and Walker and set his sights on Scott Doyle. David Muir was searching for a way past Dylan Menz, but Menz was having a great run and soon managed to put a small margin between himself and Muir as he closed the gap to Iacono. Menz had a massive look on the inside of Iacono, eventually getting the job done, while further back in the field Kratzmann slid beautifully underneath Hilder through turn three and set about closing the gap to Doyle and Iacono. Liebke was way out in front, while Menz and Muir argued over second and third. Behind them a moment between Iacono and Kratzmann brought the race under caution and left Kratzmann with a flat right rear tyre. Liebke led the restart from Menz and Muir with four laps left to run with Menz determined and putting all kinds of pressure on Liebke when the race returned to green conditions. Andrew Liebke managed to hang on to take the win ahead of Dylan Menz and David Muir, with Wayne Iacono, Callum Walker, Scott Doyle, Brock Dean, Ben Hilder, Mitch Gowland and Brent Kratzmann rounding out the finishers.
Heat four started with Steven Johnson from pole position with Rob Hamilton alongside and Chris Harrison and Steve Greer right behind. Johnson got a great start when the lights went green and quickly settled into the lead ahead of Hamilton and Harrison. Brent Kratzmann, who had started from position six, had already secured the advantage over fellow third-row starter Dylan Menz, but was determined to get to the front of the field. Kratzmann, had an absolutely beautiful run on the low line when the three in front of him were sitting mid-track and was looking to run underneath Greer, Harrison and Hamilton in one hit through turns three and four. It was breathtaking to watch but unfortunately for Kratzmann Hamilton got a little too sideways in turn four, coming down tack and leaving the luckless Kratzmann nowhere to go. The pair collided on the bottom of the track in turn four, with Kratzmann inverting the immaculately presented Q2 racer. Kratzmann was unscathed in the incident but his night of competition was over, and not only loosing any chance to extend his lead in the Track Championship race in the absence of Luke Oldfield, but handing the lead in the series to Andrew Scheuerle. A full race restart followed with Steven Johnson again from the front row but with Steve Greer now alongside in the absence of Rob Hamilton. The race was quickly brought under caution though, with Johnson deemed to have jumped the start and relegated to the second row for the next attempted restart, with Chris Harrison now from pole position. Harrison got a great start and quickly secured the lead while Johnson raced up the inside of Greer to secure second. Greer spent several laps searching for a way past Johnson, until Johnson pulled out of the race with mechanical issues once more. Bryan Mann and Ben Hilder closed in on Greer, and while Hilder had a quick look underneath Mann he couldn’t quite get the job done. Mann edged ever closer to Greer and was smooth, consistent and relentless in his efforts to find a way past, his persistence eventually paying off as he raced under Greer through turn two. Mann started to pull ahead of Greer and Hilder, leaving the pair to their own battle as he began closing the gap to Harrison. Hilder was having another solid run, searching high and low for a way past Greer, but an uncharacteristic spin in the final corner, just as Harrison greeted the chequered flag, saw him loose several positions. Chris Harrison, who has only competed a couple of shows in Brisbane but has so far struggled on the bull-ring that is Archerfield Speedway, finally seemed to have settled in and easily took a well deserved and confidence-boosting win ahead of Bryan Mann and Steve Greer, with Dylan Menz, Kevin Britten and Ben Hilder rounding out the finishers. Steven Johnson, Brent Kratzmann and Rob Hamilton all failed to finish the event.
Brock Dean, now driving the Q8 racer formally driven by Melissa Boyes, started heat five from pole position and led the field to the green with Wayne Iacono sharing the front row. Dean got a brilliant start when the lights went green and quickly settled into the race lead, while Iacono held down second and David Muir ran up the inside of Brett Minett to make his way into third. From deep in the field Peter Lack took to the highline and with the car perfectly set up he had plenty of speed as he tried to make his way to the front. Lack raced around the high side of Kevin Titman before going around both Brett Minett and David Muir all before the end of the first lap. By turn two of the second lap Lack had raced around the outside of Iacono and into second and was rapidly closing the gap to Dean and the race lead. Iacono got too sideways in turn two, leaving David Muir nowhere to go and while there was contact between the pair, Muir was able to keep the car moving. Iacono however ended up stranded on the track and brought the race under caution. Dean led the restart from Lack and Muir, and while Muir had a brief look for a way past Lack, Lack was focussed on finding a way past Dean and using every inch of track in his efforts to find a way through. Brett Minett had a spin in turn four and brought the race back under caution, with Dean to again lead the restart with eight laps left to run. Lack immediately committed to the high line in spectacular fashion as he made his move for the race lead. Dean, a seasoned competitor in his own right, didn’t give up without a fight and the pair raced, cleanly, wheel-to-wheel for most of a lap, each giving the other just enough racing room, before Lack powered ahead and took control of the race. Mid-field Andrew Scheuerle made his way under Kevin Titman in turn two, and was making a beeline to the front of the field. David Muir got under Brock Dean, with Andrew Scheuerle following soon after and Kevin Titman next in line. Unfortunately contract between Dean and Titman in turn four left Titman spun and stranded on the track, leaving Dan Murray nowhere to go. Neither Titman nor Murray was able to restart the event. Lack led the restart from Muir and Scheuerle for a thrilling two-lap dash to the chequered flag. Peter Lack went on to take the win ahead of David Muir, Andrew Scheuerle, Brock Dean and Mitch Gowland. Brett Minett, Kevin Titman, Dan Murray and Wayne Iacono all failed to finish the event.
The sixth and final heat of the night saw James Grady and Kristy Bonsey share the front row ahead of Andrew Liebke ad Dave Whell. Bonsey was a little too eager and jumped the first start, officials relegating her to the second row for the restart and promoting Whell to the front row. Whell got the jump on the start and quickly settled into the race lead ahead of Grady and Liebke. Callum Walker raced up the inside of Scott Doyle and Kristy Bonsey in the first half of lap one of the race, setting his sights on Andrew Liebke while Lachlan McHugh found a way around Kristy Bonsey. McHugh was now on the tail of Walker, who in turn was on the tail of Grady. Walker had a look under Grady, just as McHugh had a look under Walker, the trio almost three-wide in turn four. Walker managed to emerge in front, with McHugh then patiently searching high and low for the right way though. Before long Walker and McHugh had caught the tail tank of Liebke, and were almost instantly joined by Mitchell Gee as he too tried to make his way to the front of the field. With Walker on the top side, McHugh in the middle and Gee on the bottom the young trio ran three-wide through turn two, exciting the crowd not just for the race in front of them but for the future of Sprintcar racing. These three young men each have an immense talent and watching them learn the craft of Sprintcar racing is something special to behold. McHugh came out in front but Gee was not done and slid beautifully under Walker through turn three before having a massive look under McHugh in turn four, only for Walker to come back hard on the bottom and slip straight past Gee as they raced down the main straight. Walker then raced under McHugh as they navigated turn three, with Gee quickly following, before Gee slid under Walker as they entered turn one. McHugh returned to the high side and half a lap later raced around the outside of Walker to once again advance through the field. Dave Whell took the win ahead of Mitchell Gee and Andrew Liebke, with Lachlan McHugh, Callum Walker, Kristy Bonsey, James Grady and Scott Doyle rounding out the finishers.
Bryan Mann entered the Dash event as highest points scorer of the night, but a pre-dash marble draw saw him start the event from position seven. Dave Whell and Lachlan McHugh shared the front row, with Mitchell Gee and Peter Lack right behind them. Whell got a great start and quickly settled into the lead while McHugh and Gee raced side-by-side as they negotiated over who would secure second. Gee won that battle and was soon challenging Whell for the lead, while Lack and Mann argued over mid-field positions and Andrew Scheuerle tried to find his way past a very much in form Ben Hilder. Within a couple of laps Gee raced under Whell to steal the lead, and while Whell put up a great fight there was no stopping Gee on his way to the front. Whell soon came under fire from McHugh, while further back in the field Andrew Scheuerle was defending is position from a very hard charging Callum Walker, whilst still trying to find a way around Hilder. Mitchell Gee went on to take the win ahead of Lachlan McHugh while Dave Whell and Bryan Mann raced side-by-side across the line for third and fourth. Whell beat Mann to the line by just 0.047 seconds and the pair led Peter Lack, Ben Hilder, Andrew Scheuerle and Callum Walker across the line. Gee declined the Kratzmann Challenge, which, had he accepted, would have inverted the top fourteen starters for the A-main event.
Thirteen cars were scheduled to start the B-Main event but with Brent Kratzmann, Rob Hamilton and Clem Hoffmans all out of action the field was reduced to just ten cars. Race distance was reduced to twelve laps and it was Scott Doyle and Kristy Bonsey who led the field to the green. Bonsey got a brilliant start in the Q42 racer and quickly secured the race lead, while Doyle tried to fend off the advances of Kevin Titman and Brock Dean. Wayne Iacono had a look underneath James Grady but couldn’t get the job done, only for Steven White, who subbed in for Steven Johnson in an effort to try and better diagnose the mechanical problems that had plagued the team all night, to slide under the Q20 racer of Iacono in turn two and set his sights on James Grady. White chased Grady for a number of laps before Grady began to pull ahead, leaving White to try to defend his position from Iacono. White and Iacono exchanged positions several times over the course of the next few laps but when Grady looped the Q40 in turn four, even though Grady was able to keep the car moving, Iacono ended up spun as he and White took evasive action. Bonsey led the restart with three laps to run and Kevin Titman right on her tail and holding nothing back. Bonsey, with her sights set firmly on the chequered flag, had a brilliant run, and despite enormous pressure from Titman managed to hang to take the win, her first race win since upgrading from her 360ci engine. Kevin Titman crossed the line in second with Kevin Britten, in only his first night of Sprintcar competition, crossing the line in third and securing a transfer to the A-Main. Scott Doyle crossed the line fourth, joining Bonsey, Titman and Britten as the final transfer to the A-main, with James Grady, Steven White, Wayne Iacono and Mitch Gowland rounding out the finishers. Brock Dean did not finish the race.
Mitchell Gee and Lachlan McHugh shared the front row for the start of the 30-lap A-Main event with Gee getting a brilliant start and quickly settling into the lead ahead of McHugh with Bryan Mann settling into third ahead of Ben Hilder and Peter Lack. Andrew Scheuerle was starting to make his way forward, working the low line through the opening corners to advance a couple of positions, and by the time the race was just a lap and a half old Scheuerle had moved past several cars, including both Hilder and Lack and was sitting in fourth behind Mann after initially starting from position seven. Scheuerle was soon all over the back of Mann, while McHugh took to the high line in spectacular fashion as he searched a way around Gee, while Lack and Hilder raced side-by-side as they argued over position. McHugh, still committed to the high side soon managed to build enough momentum the sweep stylishly around the outside of Gee and take control of the race, while Gee tried to stay close by and Mann and Scheuerle began closing in. Dylan Menz, Steve Greer and Callum Walker were having a great battle mid-field, all three impressing as they put on a show. Lapped traffic soon came into play for the leaders, with at least the top four drivers committed to the high line and making it look easy as they simply raced around the back markers. Chris Harrison had a spin in turn four, right in front of the leaders, and while McHugh was able to get through, as everyone took evasive action Gee ended up stranded on the track as well, sadly forfeiting second place.
Lachlan McHugh led the restart from Bryan Mann, Andrew Scheuerle, Peter Lack and Ben Hilder. Mitchell Gee restarted at the rear of the field and with just eighteen laps left to run it was pretty clear he would be on a mission to get back to the front. Gee had a lot of work to do and a lot of tough cars to pass if he wanted to get back to the front, and he wasted no time at all in getting started. Elbows up and straight to the high line Gee made rapid progress, making his way past several cars a lap for the first few laps of the restart, and before long was on the tail of the battle between David Muir and Kevin Titman. Within just a few laps the leaders were again in lapped traffic, with McHugh patiently working any line he needed to get the job done. Bryan Mann was closing in fast, as was Peter Lack who had found his way past Andrew Scheuerle. Mann had a massive look under McHugh in lapped traffic, but could only show his nose before McHugh pulled ahead once more, leaving Mann to defend his position from Lack who was challenging on the low line for second. The pace was frantic and exhilarating and the leading quartet weaved through lapped traffic. McHugh switched lines seemingly effortlessly, but when he switched from the high line to the low side to slip under Chris Harrison and Dylan Menz in turns three and four, things came undone for the race leader. Menz got a fraction sideways entering turn four, washing off some speed just as McHugh was coming through. Contact between the pair left McHugh spun and stopped on the track with just eight laps to run. Kristy Bonsey, who had been having another impressive run as well, spun to avoid the stranded car of McHugh and would join him at the rear of the field for the restart.
Bryan Mann led the restart with eight laps left to run and Peter Lack and Andrew Scheuerle right on his tail. Callum Walker was up to a very impressive fourth with Ben Hilder and Steve Greer set to argue over fifth and sixth. Mitchell Gee had made his way into ninth in just ten laps and was always going to be one to watch for the final eight circulations, and of course Lachlan McHugh coming from the rear of the field after what could have been his second feature race win. Steve Greer put the challenge to Ben Hilder, the pair racing side-by-side, while behind them Dan Murray and Kevin Titman were negotiating over the minor mid-field places in a two-abreast battle that kept the crowd enthralled. Greer got the better of Hilder while Gee joined the battle between Titman and Murray and McHugh once again put the Q23 racer wherever he needed to weave his way back through the field. Bryan Mann went on to take a hard fought and popular win, with Peter Lack and Andrew Scheuerle joining him on the podium, experience beating youth in a tough and quality field. Callum Walker had an impressive run to finish fourth while Steve Greer had one of his best runs in a Sprintcar to date and rounded out the top five. Kevin Titman had a massive drive to finish sixth after transferring from the B-Main and led Ben Hilder, Mitchell Gee, Dan Murray, Scott Doyle, Dave Whell, Kevin Britten, Chris Harrison, Lachlan McHugh, David Muir, Andrew Liebke and Kristy Bonsey across the line. Dylan Menz was the only driver who did not finish the race, a stark contrast and welcome change to the attrition rate of a fortnight ago.
Sprintcars Queensland will return to Hi-Tec Oils Toowoomba Speedway next weekend, Saturday 05 November 2016, for another round of the USC Series. The night will also double as Ultimate Pink Night where the venue will raise money for Breast Cancer Research. All women and girls, and all children under twelve years old will receive free general admission so come on out for a spectacular night of racing and raise some money for a good cause. You will not want to miss this one – hope to see you all trackside!
Kicking Up The Dirt – Sprintcar Track Championship – Round 3
Luke Oldfield won an action packed Round Three of the Sprintcar Track Championship at AusDeck Patios Archerfield Speedway last night, with Brent Kratzmann having a truly mesmerising drive to secure second after initially starting from position eight. With just six laps completed in the main event Kratzmann had not only survived the chaos of the multiple restarts, he had caught, and passed, Mitchell Gee, before seriously challenging Oldfield for control of the race. Kratzmann had the always immaculate presented Q2 simply flying but an inopportune stoppage six laps in, just as Kratzmann was having a massive look underneath Oldfield in turns three and four, brought the race under caution. Oldfield switched to the low line when the race resumed and despite a strong challenge from Kratzmann, eventually went on to secure the win quite comfortably. Mitchell Gee put in yet another solid and consistent performance to once again fill the final podium position for the night, while Ben Hilder and Callum Walker completed the top five after each driver came from the rear of the field. Twenty four sprintcars turned up at Archerfield last night ready to put on a show, and while the opening laps of the A-Main saw more than half the field exit the race prematurely, the entire night was a sight to behold.
The format for the night was a little different to that which we normally run. There was no qualifying, and heat starting grids were determined in a draw and invert fashion, making each and every heat, and every single position, extremely valuable to the drivers and teams. It is a format that has been criticised in the past and is no longer used to the degree it once was, but it is a way to mix up the competition a little and puts the emphasis on performing well in the heats as opposed to relying on a good qualifying run.
Heat one started with Brent Kratzmann from pole position with James Grady alongside and the formidable duo of Mitchell Gee and Luke Oldfield out of the second row. Kratzmann got a brilliant start when the green flag flew, with Gee quick to follow on the bottom. Oldfield, caught behind the slower Grady, switched to the low line as they raced towards the first corner, clipping Paul Rooks, who had started from position five, on the way down track. Rooks, who slowed a little after the contact, was then hit from behind by Kristy Bonsey, sending Rooks spinning onto the infield in turn one. Unfortunately for Rooks he came to a stop well onto the infield and race officials left the green lights on. Kratzmann quickly settled into the race lead, trying to open any kind of margin over Gee and Oldfield, while further back in the field Kristy Bonsey looked for a way past James Grady, until a small mistake by Bonsey in turn two allowed Jayden Peacock to slip through and begin his battle with Grady. Peacock edged closer to Grady with each lap before searching high and low for a way past the Q40 car, the pair putting on a brilliant show as they fought over the minor places. As each lap passed Kratzmann extended his lead ever so slightly, his team having the car set up beautifully for him, and left Gee and Oldfield to battle over second. Oldfield was relentless as he chased the tail of Gee, while the pair actually closed the gap to Kratzmann quite significantly when the race leader got caught behind a lapped car. Once clear of the lapped car Brent Kratzmann quickly pulled ahead once more before going on to take the win ahead of Mitchell Gee and Luke Oldfield. James Grady finished fourth ahead of Jayden Peacock. Kristy Bonsey pulled out of the race after just seven laps, joining both Clem Hoffmans and Paul Rooks on the infield, with all three failing to finish the event.
Scott Doyle and Nelson Reddacliff started alongside each other on the front row for the start of heat two, with Kevin Titman and Peter Lack making for a daunting second row. Doyle got a great start when the lights went green, while Lack took to the high line to race spectacularly around the outside of Reddacliff as they rounded the first corner. Lack secured second and set out after Doyle in the race lead, while Reddacliff settled into third. Kevin Titman and Callum Walker were both keen to get closer to the front and before long both were on the tail of Reddacliff, while Lack applied all kinds of pressure to Doyle. Sean Iacono had a great run on the bottom, racing under Walker when Walker clipped the wall on the exit of turn two, while Titman switched to the low side looking for a way past Reddacliff. When Reddacliff drifted too high in turn two Titman was quick to take advantage but just half a lap later Titman, who has had a seemingly endless run of bad luck in the past couple of weeks, made heavy contact with the wall in turns three and four before tipping the Q59 racer on its side. Titman walked away from the wreck but unfortunately his night of competition had once again come to a very premature end. Doyle led the restart from Lack, Reddacliff and Iacono with just four laps left to run. Doyle and Lack immediately opened a sizable margin over the rest of the field, with Lack completely relentless as he searched for a way past Doyle. Doyle, to his credit, really held his own and ran a solid and consistent race, successfully holding off his more experienced rival and taking the win. Peter Lack finished a strong second, a quarter of a lap ahead of Nelson Reddacliff in third. Sean Iacono crossed the line in fourth and led Callum Walker, Andrew Marks and Mitch Gowland across the line. Kevin Titman did not finish the race.
Heat three started with Brett Minett and Dan Murray from the front row, with Murray getting a brilliant start on the high side and quickly securing the race lead. Steve Greer, who started from position four, was quick to follow Murray on the high side to secure second, while Andrew Scheuerle had a look underneath Minett as they entered turn one. Lachlan McHugh, already on the high side, ran seemingly effortlessly around the outside of both Scheuerle and Minett before setting his sights on Greer. Scheuerle switched to the high line coming out of turn two to make his way around Minett and set about trying to close the gap to Greer and McHugh, leaving Minett to try and defend his position from a hard charging and very much in-form Ben Hilder. Minett and Hilder had a moment in turn two a few laps into the race, with both cars running wide in the corner, opening the door for Rob Hamilton who did not hesitate to slip straight past both cars as he worked on the low side of the track. Hilder came out in front of Minett, with the pair both looking to find a way back past Hamilton, only for the race to be brought under caution when Chris Harrison, in the NT84 racer, spun in turn two as he was about to go a lap down to Murray. Murray led the restart from Greer, McHugh and Scheuerle with five laps left to run with Murray getting a beautiful start and immediately opening small but comfortable lead over his rivals. Greer had both McHugh and Scheuerle all over his tail tank searching for a way through, but soon managed to edge ahead just a couple of car lengths and give himself a fraction of breathing room. Dan Murray went on to take the win ahead of Steve Greer, Lachlan McHugh, Andrew Scheuerle, Rob Hamilton, Ben Hilder, Brett Minett and Chris Harrison.
When Andrew Marks, who was scheduled to start heat four from pole position, elected to start rear of the field, Peter Lack was elevated to the front row, with Jayden Peacock alongside. Lack got a brilliant start on the bottom and quickly took control of the race, while Nelson Reddacliff had a brief look on the inside of Peacock before Peacock powered ahead to secure second. Paul Rooks and Mitchell Gee took to the high line and within half a lap had raced around the outside of Reddacliff, leaving Reddacliff to try and defend his position from Brent Kratzmann. Kratzmann committed to the high line and raced around the outside of Reddacliff in turn four, while Gee searched high and low for a way past Rooks, eventually getting the job done and setting out after Peacock. The race was brought under caution when Mitch Gowland had a spin in turn one, backing the Q32 racer into the turn one fence and ending his race. Lack led the restart from Peacock and Gee with eight laps left to run, with Lack getting an absolutely magnificent start and opening a sizable lead before hitting turn one. Gee had a look underneath Peacock before switching to the high line, while Kratzmann searched high and low for a way past Rooks. Kratzmann had a massive look on the inside of the #64 racer of Rooks as they rounded turns three and four, and then again in turns one and two, only for Rooks to fight back strongly each time and maintain his position. Not content to settle for fifth Kratzmann had another look on the inside of Rooks as they raced down the main straight a lap later and this time was able to secure the advantage and, gradually, began to pull away as he chased after Gee. At the rear of the field Andrew Marks closed in on Nelson Reddacliff but couldn’t quite get close enough to challenge for position, but there was simply no stopping Peter Lack out in front, with Lack going on to take the win ahead of Jayden Peacock and Mitchell Gee. Brent Kratzmann finished a strong fourth and led Paul Rooks, Nelson Reddacliff and Andrew Marks across the line. Mitch Gowland did not finish the event.
Kristy Bonsey was elevated to the front row for the start of the fifth heat when Clem Hoffmans pulled out of the event. Rob Hamilton shared the front row as they approached the start and while Bonsey got the initial jump and led the way to the first corner, Hamilton was impressive on the top side and raced around Bonsey in turn one to steal the lead. Ben Hilder was in fine form and quickly followed Hamilton to secure second by the end of turn two, while Luke Oldfield and Andrew Scheuerle tried to find a way past Bonsey. Oldfield chased Bonsey for a few laps before taking to the high side in turn three and running spectacularly around the outside of the Q42 racer, leaving Bonsey to defend her position from Scheuerle. Scheuerle was persistent and patient as he searched for the way past, spending several laps watching and waiting for the right opportunity to strike, eventually making his move around the outside in turn two. The race was almost instantly brought under caution as Brett Minett had a moment in turn two, only Minett managed to keep the car moving. With three laps left to run it was Hamilton who led the field to the green, with Oldfield and Hilder now right on his tail. Hamilton did a great job out in front while Oldfield found a way underneath Hilder as they came out of turn two, only for Hilder to try and slide straight back past Oldfield half a lap later. Oldfield closed in on Hamilton and had one last look underneath the Q11 racer as they raced side-by-side past the chequered flag but it was Rob Hamilton who secured the win. Luke Oldfield crossed the line in second ahead of Ben Hilder, Andrew Scheuerle, Kristy Bonsey, James Grady and Brett Minett.
The sixth and final heat of the night started with Chris Harrison and Callum Walker from the front row, with the pair racing wheel-to-wheel into the opening corner. Walker, on the high line, was able to secure the lead coming out of turn two, with Harrison settling briefly into second. Harrison got a little too sideways on the bottom of turn two, leaving plenty of room for Lachlan McHugh and Scott Doyle to race around the outside. Sean Iacono tried to go with them, but Harrison recovered well and fought hard to keep Iacono behind him. The pair actually came together coming out of turn four, with Iacono clipping the wall coming out of turn four. Just a couple of laps later and the race was brought under caution for Harrison who had spun in turn four. Walker led the restart from McHugh and Doyle, while Iacono suffered a very flat right rear that saw him pull out of the race as the lights went green. Walker quickly built a very healthy lead, but just a few laps later the race was again brought under caution for Harrison who had come to a stop against the wall in turn one. Walker again led the field to the green and got a truly breath-taking start, immediately opening a sizable margin over second placed McHugh, while Dan Murray searched for a way past Steve Greer at the rear of the field. Callum Walker went on to take the win and led Lachlan McHugh, Scott Doyle Steve Greer and Dan Murray across the line. Chris Harrison and Sean Iacono both failed to finish the event.
Instead of a dash event we ran a series of three shootouts with the top eight qualifiers. First up was the Bronze shootout, with qualifiers three to eight taking to the track for a couple of qualifying laps. Callum Walker was quickest of the lot, stopping the clock at 12.079 seconds, while Luke Oldfield was second quickest with a 12.320 second lap. Mitchell Gee and Dan Murray also secured transfers to the silver shootout, while Lachlan McHugh and Brent Kratzmann were eliminated from the shootout events and would start the A-main from positions seven and eight respectively.
Peter Lack and Scott Doyle joined Callum Walker, Luke Oldfield, Mitchell Gee and Dan Murray on track for the Silver Shootout, with the fastest four drivers to transfer to the Gold shootout. Peter Lack was the quickest this time around, stopping the clock at 12.144 seconds, just 0.011 seconds quicker than Callum Walker. Mitchell Gee and Luke Oldfield rounded out the fastest four, leaving both Dan Murray and Scott Doyle eliminated from the shootout events and set to share the third row for the start of the A-Main race.
For the Gold Shootout the four remaining cars lined up, fastest to the back, for five-lap race to determine the starting positions for the upcoming A-Main race. Luke Oldfield and Mitchell Gee shared the front row for the start but it was Oldfield who got the jump on the start and secured the race lead. Gee fought hard and was all over the back of Oldfield, while Lack and Walker argued between themselves over the minor positions. Walker slid beautifully underneath Lack in turns one and two, only for Lack to slide straight past just half a lap later. Walker was not done and by the time they hit turn one again he was sliding back under Lack in an effort to regain third. It was truly mesmerising to watch as Lack and Walker exchanged slide jobs, with Lack then taking to the high line to try and race around Walker before switching back to the low side. It was thrilling, clean racing and thoroughly entertaining to watch, but neither had anything for Oldfield and Gee out the front. Luke Oldfield went on to take the win and briefly considered accepting the Kratzmann Challenge to invert the top fourteen, but in the end declined the Kratzmann Challenge and elected to start from pole position. Mitchell Gee finished second in the Gold Shootout to earn his spot alongside Oldfield for the start of the A-Main, with Callum Walker and Peter Lack set to fill the second row for the start.
The B-Main rolled out onto the track and with Kevin Titman, Clem Hoffmans, Andrew Marks and Chris Harrison all out of the competition with various issues, there were just six cars to take part in an eight lap race, with the top four finishers to transfer to the back of the A-Main field. James Grady and Sean Iacono started alongside each other on the front row, with Brett Minett and Kristy Bonsey right behind as they led the field to the green. Grady got his nose in front when the green flag flew, but Iacono had more momentum on the high side and quickly made his way into the race lead. Grady settled into second while the battle behind between Bonsey, Minett and Paul Rooks began to heat up. Bonsey had settled into third but a small mistake in turn two was all the invitation Minett needed to look for a way through on the bottom, while Rooks searched the high side for a way around. Bonsey managed to hold on to third for another lap while Rooks secured the advantage over Minett before racing around the outside of Bonsey in turn two. Unfortunately for Rooks the race was immediately brought under caution for Mitch Gowland who had spun to a stop on the bottom of turn one. Iacono led the restart from Grady, Bonsey, Rooks and Minett with seven laps left to run. Rooks was all over the back of Bonsey, searching for a way through, the pair battling for the rest of the race with Bonsey doing a magnificent job and running a smooth and consistent race. Sean Iacono took the win ahead of James Grady and Kristy Bonsey, with Paul Rooks securing the final transfer to the A-Main. Brett Minett and Mitch Gowland rounded out the finishers of the B-Main race.
When the field of eighteen cars rolled out for the A-Main event, little did anyone know what was about to unfold. Luke Oldfield and Mitchell Gee shared the front row of the 30-lap affair, with Callum Walker and Peter Lack close behind. Luke Oldfield got the jump when the green flag flew and quickly settled into the race lead, with Gee in second and Lack taking to the high line in spectacular fashion as he tried to race around the outside of Gee. Unfortunately contact between Lack and Gee ended with Lack hurtling down track towards the concrete barrier on the edge of the infield as they raced down the back straight. Lack made heavy contact with the barrier and came to a sudden stop on the back straight and brought the race under caution. Lack was unscathed in the incident but his race was prematurely over, with Ben Hilder also suffering mechanical issues and putting the Q95 car on the infield.
A full restart followed with Oldfield and Gee again sharing the front row and Oldfield again getting the better start and taking control of the race. Gee settled into second while Callum Walker made his way into third, Lachlan McHugh made his way in front of Brent Kratzmann and Andrew Scheuerle searched for a way under Steve Greer. Unfortunately though several back markers came together in turn one, leaving James Grady up-side-down and both Kristy Bonsey and Nelson Reddacliff with wing damage. Bonsey was unable to restart the event, and while Grady was able to restart his car, officials deemed his main wing, the left side board hanging by just a few rivets, just too dangerous to continue and he was relegated to the infield. Reddacliff also pulled out of the event.
Attempted start three once again saw Oldfield and Gee lead the field to the green, and while Gee had a better start than the previous two attempts at getting the race underway, Oldfield still managed to secure the advantage once more and began settling into the race lead. Brent Kratzmann began trying to climb his way forward, racing around the outside of Dan Murray, only for the race to again be pulled up, this time for Lachlan McHugh, who had been trying to follow Kratzmann on the high line. A small error was enough to see McHugh collide with the wall coming out of turn one and brought the race to yet another stop, still without a single lap being completed.
The fourth attempt at a start again saw Luke Oldfield and Mitchell Gee share the front row, with Oldfield again able to secure the race lead. Callum Walker raced under Scott Doyle to secure third while Brent Kratzmann was on the move and once he was in front of Dan Murray, Kratzmann switched to the low side and raced under Doyle as they rounded turn one. Walker was next in line for Kratzmann, with Kratzmann sticking to the bottom and racing up the inside of Walker in turn two. Walker fought hard and the pair raced side-by-side out of turn two and down the back straight with Kratzmann securing the advantage in turn four just as Walker looped the Q33 racer on the high line and brought the race under caution once more.
Still without a single lap competed Luke Oldfield and Mitchell Gee led the field to the green for the fifth time, with Oldfield still dominating the start and once again securing the race lead. Gee settled into second ahead of Scott Doyle and Dan Murray, but Brent Kratzmann took to the high line this time and raced around the outside of Murray in turn one before getting around Doyle in the second corner. Kratzmann was flying and had Gee in his sights while deeper in the field Andrew Scheuerle battled with Steve Greer and Ben Hilder, who had had the opportunity to fix the Q95 racer during all the stoppages and restarted at the rear of the field, was making impressive progress towards the front of the field. Kratzmann had several big looks underneath Gee and they fought over second, but wheel-standing the Q2 down the main straight cost him ground. Dan Murray and Scott Doyle had a brilliant battle unfolding for the minor places, while Callum Walker had a beautiful drive from the rear of the field, quickly making up lost ground as he raced straight between Steve Greer and Rob Hamilton as the trio went three-wide through turn two. Sean Iacono and Paul Rooks were quickly on the tail of Greer and Hamilton, with Iacono racing under Hamilton in turn four. Unfortunately Iacono got a fraction sideways in turn four, and as Rooks tried to slip through on the inside contact between the pair ended with Iacono rolling spectacularly end-to-end out of turn four and half way down the main straight. Iacono walked away from the wreck but his race was over and he joined the growing contingent on the infield. Rob Hamilton also pulled out of the race, leaving just eleven cars on the track after only two laps.
Luke Oldfield led the restart from Mitchell Gee and Brent Kratzmann and once the race resumed, so did the battle between Gee and Kratzmann for second and third, and the battle between Doyle and Murray for fourth and fifth. Callum Walker raced beautifully underneath Andrew Scheuerle in turn three, with Kratzmann executing a perfectly timed slide job on Gee a lap later, stealing second and setting out after Oldfield. Kratzmann closed in on Oldfield in just a handful of laps and was starting to look like a real threat to the race leader when an incident in turn two brought the race to another stop. This time it was Doyle and Murray who had come together and become stranded on the track, ending what was shaping up to be a thrilling battle between the pair. Unfortunately neither was able to restart the event.
With twenty-four laps still to run and now as many cars on the infield as were left on the track, Luke Oldfield led the restart from Brent Kratzmann and Mitchell Gee, with Ben Hilder up to a very impressive fourth after initially going rear of the field. Callum Walker quickly raced under Jayden Peacock and set his sights on Hilder, while Andrew Scheuerle focused on trying to find a way past Peacock. Walker caught Hilder and slipped almost effortlessly underneath the Q95 racer, but Hilder was quick to fire back with a slide-job of his own on the very next corner. Paul Rooks was searching for a way past Steve Greer when race leader Oldfield approached lapped traffic and began weaving his way through, racing under Rooks and then Greer in quick succession. Rooks managed to get underneath Greer when Greer ran too wide in turn two, while Kratzmann, trying to hunt down Oldfield, began trying to find his way through the lapped traffic, all the while Mitchell Gee closed in. Kratzmann and Gee both eventually made their way through the back markers but it was hard to ignore the battle between Walker and Hilder, which only intensified when they too hit lapped traffic. With nine laps left run Oldfield had lapped Greer, Scheuerle and Peacock and had fifth placed Walker in his sights. Greer, Peacock and Scheuerle had a great battle going for the minor places, while Gee had caught Kratzmann in the traffic and was beginning to challenge him for second and really put the pressure on in the final half dozen laps. Luke Oldfield took the win with Brent Kratzmann a very impressive second, his first podium this season, and Mitchell Gee putting in another solid performance to secure third. Ben Hilder crossed the line in fourth ahead of Callum Walker, both drivers having a truly exceptional run from the rear of the field to not only survive the chaos but put on a scintillating show for the fans as they raced their way through the field. Jayden Peacock, Andrew Scheuerle and Steve Greer rounded out the finishers while Paul Rooks, Dan Murray, Scott Doyle, Rob Hamilton, Sean Iacono, Peter Lack, Lachlan McHugh, Nelson Reddacliff, James Grady and Kristy Bonsey all failed to finish the event.
After five consecutive weekends of racing to start of 2016-2017 season, Sprintcars Queensland will take next weekend off before returning to AusDeck Patios Archerfield Speedway on Saturday 29 October 2016 for Round Four of the Sprintcar Track Championship. We have such a broad depth of talent here in South East Queensland at the moment that any one of at least a dozen drivers could take the win if a little luck is on their side. You can be sure it will be a thrilling night of Sprintcar racing action so come on out and watch these stars put on a spectacular show! After that we return to Hi-Tec Oils Speedway in Toowoomba on Saturday 05 November 2016 for USC Round Three and Ultimate Pink Night where all girls and ladies receive free general admission and the venue raises money for breast cancer research, and then back at AusDeck Patios Archerfield Speedway on Saturday 12 November 2016 for Round Five of the Sprintcar Track Championship. There is plenty of racing coming up so come on out and cheer on your favourite driver! See you trackside!
Kicking Up The Dirt – Queensland Sprintcar Title
For the fourth week in a row the stars of Sprintcars Queensland headed trackside for another night of racing, last night hitting Hi-Tec Oils Speedway in Toowoomba for Round Two of the Queensland USC Series and the 2016-2017 Queensland Sprintcar Title. It was a spectacular night for Sprintcar racing and while the field may have been smaller than that which attended the same venue a fortnight ago, there was plenty of talent in the field, with anyone of at least a dozen drivers more than capable of taking the win. Peter Lack had a mesmerising run the GW Racing Q5 car, winning both of his heat events before securing second in the Shootout and then leading most the A-main event. Mitchell Gee also impressed in the feature event, spending much of the race inside the top three and putting up an incredible fight as he raced for every spot on the podium. Lack had a very healthy lead but once lapped traffic came into play that lead quickly diminished and, when Lack hesitated for just a fraction of the second behind a lapped car, Farr took advantage and stole the lead. Lack didn’t surrender the lead without a fight, making last nights race one of the most entertaining, and heart-stopping Sprintcar A-Mains seen in recent times. In the end though it was Robbie Farr who took the win, his sixth Queensland Title, with Peter Lack securing second and Luke Oldfield having a powerful drive to finish third. Danny Reidy and Bryan Mann rounded out the top five, the pair involved in their own race long battle for the minor places and really putting on a show for the fans.
Twenty-One cars turned up to put on a show but it was Robbie Farr who topped the leader board stopping the clock at a very quick 10.964 second lap. Andrew Scheuerle secured second quick in a very solid start to his Queensland Title campaign, stopping the clock at 11.136 seconds, while Mitchell Gee was officially third quickest. Bryan Mann and Lachlan McHugh rounded out the fastest five but with the entire field of twenty-one separated by barely one second it was clear right from the beginning just how close the competition was going to be. Allan Woods and Andrew Wright both recorded identical times (11.482 seconds) while Kevin Titman was just one thousandth of a second slower, stopping the clock at 11.483 seconds. Deeper in the field Dave Whell beat Darren Kane by 0.001 seconds and all twenty-one cars separated by just 1.029 seconds.
Heat one started with Danny Reidy from pole position with Scott Genrich alongside and a very tough field behind. Danny Reidy got the jump on the start and quickly settled into the race lead while Rob Hamilton settled, briefly, into second. Peter Lack was working the high line and quickly made his way into third and began looking for a way around Hamilton. Unfortunately Hamilton spun on the bottom of turn two and brought the race under caution. Danny Reidy led on the restart but Lack was on a mission and slid under Reidy to steal the lead in turn two. Reidy tried valiantly to fight back but Lack was simply too quick and was already starting to open a sizable lead over the rest of the field. Lachlan McHugh and Robbie Farr were both trying to make their way forward but no one could touch Lack out in front. Lack caught lapped traffic at about the half way point in the race and had begun weaving his way through the back markers when Dan Murray brought the race to a stop after spinning in turn two. Peter Lack led the restart from Danny Reidy, Robbie Farr and Kevin Titman with just three laps left to run. Farr had a big look underneath Reidy when the lights went green but couldn’t quite get the job done, while both Kevin Titman and Lachlan McHugh began to close in. Peter Lack took the win ahead of Danny Reidy, Robbie Farr and Kevin Titman. Lachlan McHugh crossed the line in fifth and led Bryan Mann, Scott Genrich, Simon Jupe, Rob Hamilton and Dan Murray across the line. Brent Kratzmann suffered mechanical dramas in the front end of the immaculately presented Q2 racer before the race started and unfortunately was unable to take the green.
Darren Kane and Dave Whell shared the front row for the start of heat two, with Jayden Peacock and Mark Pholi close behind. Whell secured the lead when the lights went green, while both Mark Pholi and Allan Woods took to the high line in an effort to get closer to the front. Mitchell Gee was trying to work his way forward while Luke Oldfield had a big look under Allan Woods, but couldn’t quite make his way through. Mitchell Gee and Brandon Rawlings had a great race amongst themselves, the former team-mates spending several laps side-by-side as they negotiated over track position, while Andrew Scheuerle searched for a way through from behind. Oldfield had his eyes set firmly on the pointy end of the field and dived underneath Woods before setting his sights on Mark Pholi and sliding under the Q14 racer of Pholi just one lap after securing the advantage over Woods. Oldfield set about closing the gap to Whell in the race lead, quickly catching the leader and beginning to challenge him for control of the race. While Oldfield put all kinds of pressure on Whell, there were only a couple of laps left to run and Whell did a truly spectacular job out in front and was able to hang on to the lead. Dave Whell went on to take the win ahead of Luke Oldfield, with Mark Pholi having an absolutely terrific drive to finish third. Allan Woods crossed the line in fourth and led Andrew Wright, Mitchell Gee, Darren Kane, Andrew Scheuerle, Brandon Rawlings, and Jayden Peacock across the line.
Scott Genrich and Darren Kane lined up alongside each other on the front row of heat three, while Rob Hamilton and Jayden Peacock shared the second row. Genrich and Kane came together shortly after the green, ending with Kane making contact with the wall and flipping down the main straight and into turn one. It was a big hit and while Kane was able to walk away from the wreck, the car suffered enough damage to bring about a very premature end to his night of racing. Mitchell Gee, who had started at the rear of the field after a strong qualifying performance, suffered a pair of flat front tyres and was unable to restart the race. Genrich led the field to the restart, with Peacock now alongside him on the front row. Peacock was brilliant on the high side and quickly secured the race lead while deep in the field Robbie Farr and Peter Lack were having a brilliant battle between themselves, whilst also chasing down Brandon Rawlings. Lachlan McHugh soon joined the battle making for an exciting four-car race, but closer to the front of the field Andrew Wright was having a massive look on the inside of Genrich and entertaining the crowd as he put on a brilliant show trying to make his way through the field. Peter Lack was again on a mission and had managed to weave his way through field, and was now putting all kinds of pressure on Wright. Brandon Rawlings slammed the fence hard, climbing the right side of the car up the fence but somehow managing to avoid disaster. Unfortunately though Robbie Farr had nowhere to go and came to a stop trying to avoid Rawlings. The stoppage with three laps left to run was probably the last thing race leader Peacock needed, with the field now bunched up and right on his tail tank. Lack wasted no time at all and slid beautifully under Genrich as they rounded turn one when the race resumed, before turning his attention to Peacock and stealing the lead in a perfectly timed inside passing move just one lap later. Peacock tried to fight back in a valiant effort but Lack was simply too quick. Peter Lack took the win ahead of Jayden Peacock and Lachlan McHugh, with Andrew Wright and Scott Genrich rounding out the top five finishers. Robbie Farr finished sixth and led Brandon Rawlings and Rob Hamilton across the line while Mitchell Gee and Darren Kane did not finish the event.
The fourth and final heat of the night got underway with Dave Whell from pole position and Danny Reidy alongside as they led the field to the green. Reidy got the jump when the lights went green and quickly settled into the race lead as Allan Woods raced around the outside of Dave Whell to move closer to the front of the field. Kevin Titman had contact with the wall before pulling the Q59 out of the race, while Luke Oldfield began to make his way forward as well. Reidy looked extremely comfortable in the race lead but the battle was all behind him as Brent Kratzmann, determined to make up for the heat he dropped earlier in the night, raced around the outside of Whell, as Oldfield began closing in on Woods. Andrew Scheuerle suffered some mechanical dramas, which were later revealed to be a broken valve in the engine, and slowed to a stop coming out of turn two. Unfortunately for Scheuerle it would be the end of his 2016-2017 Queensland Title campaign. Reidy led the restart from Woods, Oldfield, Kratzmann and Whell, with Oldfield quick to slide under Woods once the lights went green. Unfortunately for Oldfield though the race was brought under caution when Kratzmann hit the cone on the restart. Kratzmann was relegated to the rear of the field for the restart with three laps left to run. Reidy again led the restart from Woods and Oldfield and while Oldfield tried to repeat his slide job on Woods from the previous restart, but Woods was not going to let him through quite so easily this time around. Danny Reidy went on to take a well-deserved win ahead of Allan Woods and Luke Oldfield, with Bryan Mann, Dave Whell, Dan Murray, Simon Jupe and Brent Kratzmann rounding out the finishers. Andrew Scheuerle pulled out of the event after completing just seven of the ten laps, with Kevin Titman also failing to finish the event. Mark Pholi also suffered mechanical problems in the Q14 Darra Mechanical racer and was unable to start the heat event, his Queensland Title campaign also coming to a disappointing end.
Peter Lack led the points chase heading into the shootout events, with Robbie Farr, Lachlan McHugh, Bryan Mann, Danny Reidy, Luke Oldfield, Allan Woods and Mitchell Gee all qualifying for the top eight shoot out events. Reidy, Oldfield, Woods and Gee were the first to hit the track for the Bronze Shootout. They got three timed laps with the fastest two set to transfer into the Silver Shootout. Mitchell Gee was the quickest of the quartet, stopping the clock at 11.764 seconds, with Luke Oldfield securing second quick to join Gee and transfer to the Silver Shootout. Danny Reidy missed the transfer by just four thousandths of a second and would start the A-Main from position seven, with Allan Woods alongside.
The Silver Shootout saw Bryan Mann and Lachlan McHugh, third and fourth highest on points, join Mitchell Gee and Luke Oldfield on the track for their three timed laps. This time it was the young guns who topped the leader board, with Mitchell Gee and Lachlan McHugh topping the leader board, the pair separated by just 0.014 seconds. Luke Oldfield and Bryan Mann would start the A-Main event from positions five and six respectively while both Gee and McHugh would advance to the Gold Shootout to battle against Peter Lack and Robbie Farr for their A-Main starting positions.
With four of the fastest cars on the track for the Gold Shootout we were set for a close battle and they sure didn’t disappoint. Pole position changed hands several times as each driver went quicker with each completed lap but at the end of the run it was Robbie Farr who held the top spot, and pole position for the Title race, after stopping the clock at 11.586 seconds. Peter Lack went second quick to join Farr on the front row for the start of the A-Main, with Lachlan McHugh beating Mitchell Gee in the final qualifying run.
The eighteen-car A-Main rolled on to the track with Farr, who has won the Queensland Title four times in the past seven years, set to start from pole position with Peter Lack alongside him on the front row. Young guns Lachlan McHugh and Mitchell Gee shared the second row, while defending champion Luke Oldfield took the green from position five with Bryan Mann on his outside. When the lights went green it was Farr who got the initial jump but Lack committed to the high line and it was nothing short of spectacular. Lack raced around the outside of Farr in the opening couple of corners to steal the lead, much to the delight of the Toowoomba crowd, while McHugh had a look on the bottom of Farr. Mitchell Gee had a brilliant run in the Q36 Titan Garages racer and began challenging McHugh for track position, while further back in the field Brandon Rawlings and Allan Woods exchanged positions several times as they negotiated over mid-field positions. Within just a handful of laps Lack entered lapped traffic, while Mitchell Gee slid beautifully underneath Farr to steal second. Farr switched lines to try and stay in touch with both Lack and Gee, while Oldfield made his way into fourth and Danny Reidy found his way in front of Bryan Mann. In very heavy lapped traffic Gee really closed in on Lack but Farr can never be discounted and seemingly out of nowhere Farr stole second from Gee and held nothing back as he challenged Lack for the lead. As Lack searched for a way around the lapped car of Dave Whell, Farr did not hesitate to slide under Lack and take control of the race. Lack switched to the low line and immediately fired back to regain the lead, just as the race was brought to a stop as McHugh upended the Q23 racer with just fifteen laps completed. McHugh walked away from the wreck but was unable to restart the race. Kevin Titman, who had been running close to the top ten, suffered a flat right rear tyre, ending his 2016-2017 Queensland Title campaign on the infield for the final twenty-laps of the race.
Peter Lack led the restart from Robbie Farr, Mitchell Gee, Luke Oldfield, Danny Reidy and Bryan Mann. When the lights went green Gee had an absolutely massive look underneath Farr, all the while Farr was on the tail of Lack and the race lead. Further back in the field Brandon Rawlings got a little too loose in turn four, getting the NQ44 racer a little sideways in turn four and washing off some speed. Unfortunately Jayden Peacock was left with nowhere to go and while he tried to spin his own car to lessen the unavoidable contact, both cars ended up up-side-down. Both Rawlings and Peacock were unscathed in the crash but neither were able to restart the race.
Peter Lack again led the restart from Robbie Farr, Mitchell Gee, Luke Oldfield and Danny Reidy and while Farr chased hard to challenge Lack for the lead, Lack had plenty of speed in the Q5 racer and managed to open a small lead. Further back in the field Allan Woods and Brent Kratzmann were having a thrilling battle, with Woods sliding under Kratzmann only for Kratzmann to fight straight back. The leaders caught the tail of the field once more in only a few laps, with Farr right on the tail tank of Lack as they tried to weave their way through the traffic. Farr had a massive look on the inside of Lack but couldn’t quite make it stick, and immediately found Gee right on his tail. Farr had another big look under Lack and Lack was caught momentarily behind a lapped car, with Farr this time moving into the race lead. Lack lost a little bit of ground behind the lapped car and came under pressure from Gee as they argued over second and Luke Oldfield began to close in with nine laps left to run. Lack and Gee soon gained ground on Farr and the trio became surrounded by very heavy lapped traffic. Farr and Lack showed their years of experience as they raced through a small gap between a pair of lapped cars, while Gee got into the back of one of the lapped cars as the other driver lost a little speed. Gee spun the Q36 racer to a stop with five laps left to run and ruining his chances of another strong podium position finish.
Robbie Farr led the restart from Peter Lack, Luke Oldfield, Danny Reidy and Bryan Mann with five gruelling laps to run. Lack took to the high side and looked fast and determined as he fought Farr for control of the race, while further back in the field Allan Woods found his way past Brent Kratzmann, and Danny Reidy and Bryan Mann had a thrilling battle over fourth and fifth. Lack closed in on Farr with three laps left to run but Farr looked too strong as he raced past the white flag. Unfortunately for Kratzmann, who had endured a dreadful run of bad luck last night, he brought the race under caution when Farr had just half a lap left to run.
Robbie Farr led the field to the green for the Green-White-Chequer dash to the finish. Farr was quick and Lack held nothing back, the pair putting on a truly brilliant show as they fought for the Queensland Title, all the while defending champion Luke Oldfield was right on their tail tanks. Robbie Farr took the win, ahead of Peter Lack and Luke Oldfield with Danny Reidy and Bryan Mann rounding out the top five. Allan Woods crossed the line in sixth and led Mitchell Gee, Brent Kratzmann, Andrew Wright, Simon Jupe, Dan Murray, Dave Whell, Rob Hamilton and Scott Genrich across the line. Brandon Rawlings, Jayden Peacock, Lachlan McHugh and Kevin Titman did not finish the race.
After four consecutive weekends of racing Sprintcars Queensland will now head back to AusDeck Patios Archerfield Speedway next Saturday night, 15 October 2016, to make it five in a row. It will be round three of the Sprintcar Track Championship and if the racing we have already seen so far this season is anything to go by it will be a exhilarating night of Sprintcar racing action that you will not want to miss. We have already had a number of different winners this season so come on out to Archerfield Speedway next weekend and see if Andrew Scheuerle or Luke Oldfield can get a second win on board, or if perhaps Peter Lack, Brent Kratzmann, Bryan Mann, Kevin Titman, Lachlan McHugh, Mitchell Gee or any one of the other drivers can get their first win of the season. See you all trackside!
Kicking Up The Dirt – Sprintcar Track Championship – Round 2
It was a beautiful evening for Sprintcar racing at AusDeck Patios Archerfield Speedway last night where a field of twenty-four Sprintcars took to the track for the second round of the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Track Championship. Teenager Callum Walker had an absolutely brilliant night, securing quick time in qualifying before winning the dash event in spectacular fashion and leading the first ten laps of the A-Main event after beating Andrew Scheuerle off the line. In the end though experience triumphed and Andrew Scheuerle managed to race under Callum Walker to take control of the race. Luke Oldfield had a magnificent drive and put some pressure on Scheuerle in lapped traffic, but it was Andrew Scheuerle who walked away with the win, his first of the season. Oldfield finished a strong second while Mitchell Gee stole third from Brent Kratzmann in the last half dozen laps of the race. Brent Kratzmann had a very impressive drive in the A-Main and crossed the line in fourth, with Peter Lack rounding out the top five.
Qualifying got underway with each driver getting the track to themselves for two qualifying laps. Kevin Titman unfortunately suffered some engine gremlins and while he was able to get one qualifying lap completed, and qualifying in eleventh position, the issues on board the Q59 would eventually bring a very premature end to his night of competition. Brett Sullivan had issues with the transponder on board the NZ28 racer, and, despite two attempts, failed to record a time. Callum Walker had an inspiring first lap, and while his second lap was somewhat less than ideal, he only needed the first one to secure quick time. Walker stopped the clock at a quick 11.701 seconds, beating second quickest Luke Oldfield by 0.050 seconds. Andrew Scheuerle was third quickest, his time of 11.791 seconds meaning the fastest three were separated by just nine hundredths of a second. Mitchell Gee beat Ben Hilder by just two thousandths of second, the pair rounding out the fastest five, with Peter Lack just three thousands of a second behind. Lachlan McHugh, who qualified in seventh position, was the last of the cars to break into the eleven-second bracket, but the top twenty cars were separated by less than one second proving once again not only how closely matched each of these drivers are and how tough the competition is, but that the smallest fraction of second can have a massive impact on how the rest of the night unfolds.
Heat one started with Paul Rooks from pole position with Jayden Peacock alongside and Chris Harrison (from the Northern Territory) and Brent Kratzmann from row two. Rooks was at a disadvantage from before the lights went green, a collapsed front wing set to make handling more difficult than usual. Peacock got a brilliant start on the outside and quickly moved into the race lead, while Kratzmann raced around the high side of Rooks to steal second before they hit turn two. Peter Lack was trying to follow on the top side but the race was quickly brought under caution for Chris Harrison who had spun to a stop on the bottom of turn two. A full race restart followed with Rooks and Peacock again sharing the front row but with Lachlan McHugh now starting from position three. Peacock again got a great start and quickly secured the lead while Kratzmann continued to work the high line to move in second. McHugh was trying to find a way around Rooks, who was struggling with the damaged front wing, and when Rooks ran too wide in the second corner of the race, Peter Lack quickly slid under both Rooks and McHugh to move into third. Rooks persevered for a lap or two but with the front wing now lifting at the front, making it both difficult to handle and impairing the already limited vision, it wasn’t long before Rooks pulled out of the race. Meanwhile at the front of the field Peacock was opening a small but comfortable margin over Brent Kratzmann, while Lack worked on catching the tail of Kratzmann and Lachlan McHugh started to close in. With just four laps left to run Sean Iacono brought he race under caution when he spun coming out of turn four and leaving a quick and thrilling four-lap dash to the chequered flag. Peacock led the restart and immediately put a couple of car lengths between himself and Kratzmann. Kratzmann tried to fight him for the lead but was soon forced on the defensive as Peter Lack tried to make his way into second. Lack had a massive look underneath Kratzmann as they rounded turn four, the pair rubbing wheels right through the turn but with Kratzmann able to hang onto the advantage. One lap later and Lachlan McHugh joined the battle, and traded slide jobs with Lack as they raced ever closer to the chequered flag. McHugh slid beautifully underneath Lack as they raced through turn four, only for Lack to fire straight back and race back under McHugh as they navigated turn one. Jayden Peacock went on to take the win ahead of Brent Kratzmann, Peter Lack, Lachlan McHugh and Callum Walker, with Sean Iacono and Chris Harrison rounding out the finishers. Paul Rooks did not finish the event.
Dave Whell and Anthony Lambert shared the front row for the start of heat two with Mark Pholi from position three and Ben Hilder elevated to position four in the absence of Kevin Titman. Titman has been scheduled to start the event from the outside of the second row but the earlier issues on board the Q59 racer were enough of a concern that the team had decided to park the car for the rest of the evening, however Clem Hoffmans kindly offered Titman his own car to drive instead and Titman took to the start, in the Q3 racer, from the rear of the field. Whell and Lambert raced side-by-side into turn one, with Lambert on the high side soon taking control of the race lead. Hilder had a look around the outside of Whell, but got caught behind Lambert who had gotten a little sideways in turn two and washed off some speed. This left the door open on the bottom for Whell, and while Whell had a big look on the inside of Lambert for the lead, Lambert recovered from his mistake and fought back on the high side to secure the lead. Meanwhile Mark Pholi was on a mission and had raced under Hilder in turn two and was quickly closing in on Whell. Luke Oldfield caught Hilder and spent a couple of laps searching for a way through, eventually slipping through on the low side coming out of turn four, and began closing in on Mark Pholi. The race was barely at the halfway point when Oldfield raced under Pholi as the rounded turn four, with Whell next in the sights of Oldfield. Oldfield was clearly on a mission and just one lap after getting under Pholi he slipped past Whell, again working the bottom to his advantage. Oldfield quickly closed in on the tail of Lambert in the race lead and put all kinds pressure on the Q90 racer, but Lambert ran a smooth and consistent race and would go on to take the race win ahead of Luke Oldfield and Dave Whell. Mark Pholi came on particularly strongly in the final few laps of the race, catching Whell and putting on a great show as he searched for a way through, but was forced to settle for fourth. Ben Hilder crossed the line in fifth and led Steve Greer across the line. Kevin Titman unfortunately had issues in the Q3 car of Hoffmans and pulled out of the race after only five laps.
Heat three started with James Grady and Brett Minett from the front row, with Kristy Bonsey and Darren Kane out of the second row. Grady got a great start from pole position and quickly settled into the race lead, while Bonsey had a brief look under Minett through turn one. Darren Kane was magnificent on the high side, racing around Bonsey before switching to the low side and having a look under Minett. Andrew Scheuerle was trying to make his way forward, searching patiently for a way around Bonsey, eventually getting through underneath the Q42 racer in turn four. Mitchell Gee was able to follow Scheuerle through as well, but all eyes were drawn to the front of the field where Minett and Kane had caught Grady, with Scheuerle and Gee also closing in. Kane, whilst no stranger to speedway racing or Archerfield Speedway, has adapted to Sprintcars remarkably quickly and eventually found a way under Minett as they raced through turn two. Scheuerle and Gee followed in the next couple of laps and while Kane was able to close in on Grady in the final two laps of the race, there was little he could do before the chequered flag flew. James Grady took the win, his first in Sprintcars, with Darren Kane in second and Andrew Scheuerle third. Mitchell Gee, Brett Minett, Kristy Bonsey, Brett Sullivan and Dylan Menz rounded out the finishers.
When heat four rolled onto the track no one quite knew it would become the spectacle it was. It started with Dave Whell and Brett Minett from the front row, with Mark Pholi and Anthony Lambert out of the second row. Whell got a brilliant start and quickly secured the lead, while Pholi and Lambert made quick work of getting under Minett. Lachlan McHugh and Luke Oldfield tried to race under Minett as well, with Oldfield on the bottom of the track, only for Ben Hilder to race spectacularly around the outside of Oldfield and McHugh, and under Minett, essentially going four wide as they raced down the main straight for the first time. Hilder was first of the quartet to make it through turn one, with Oldfield and Minett staying side-by-side until Oldfield got a great drive off the bottom and managed to pull ahead of not only Minett but Hilder as well. Lambert was next in the crosshairs for Oldfield but Hilder was not willing to surrender his position quite so easily and soon fought back hard, racing up the inside of Oldfield as they came out of turn four. Oldfield managed to maintain his advantage and pulled slightly ahead and he searched for a way around Lambert. Oldfield eventually got the job done coming out of turn four on the high side and set about closing the gap to the leaders. Meanwhile, the battle for the lead was only just starting to heat up. Dave Whell was in control of the race but Mark Pholi had the Q14 racer on rails and was holding nothing back as he relentlessly searched for a way into the lead. It was simply breath-taking to watch as each racer ran a smooth and clean race, with Oldfield soon joining the battle. Pholi worked the high line beautifully and had plenty of speed as he put all kinds of pressure on Whell, committing to the high line and running two-wide with Whell for the last lap of the race. Dave Whell managed to hang on to take the win, just one hundredth of a second ahead of Mark Pholi, with Luke Oldfield crossing the line less than one second later in third. Ben Hilder managed to finish fourth after trading slide jobs with Lachlan McHugh for several laps, with McHugh officially fifth across the line. Anthony Lambert finished sixth and led Brett Minett and Sean Iacono home.
With Kevin Titman out of action Jayden Peacock inherited pole position for the start of heat five, with Kristy Bonsey sharing the front row. The pair drag raced side-by-side down the main straight but it was Peacock who managed to secure the lead in turn one. Bonsey settled into second but soon found Darren Kane right on her tail, while Peter Lack tried to run the high line around Dylan Menz and Callum Walker. Lack and Paul Rooks both managed to get through under Menz when the Q46 racer ran too wide in turn four, with the pair then setting their sights on Callum Walker. Lack searched high and low for a way past the teenager, eventually making his way through on the bottom of turn three before racing around the outside of Bonsey a few laps later. Walker soon caught Bonsey and the pair put on a captivating show as Walker tried to the find a way past and Bonsey defended her position. It took several laps but just two laps from home Walker managed to get around Bonsey to steal fourth but ran out of time to catch the front three. Jayden Peacock took the win, his second of the night, ahead of Darren Kane and Peter Lack, with Callum Walker, Kristy Bonsey, Paul Rooks and Dylan Menz rounding out the field.
The final heat of the night saw Brett Sullivan and Chris Harrison line up alongside each other on the front row, with James Grady and Steve Greer from the second row. Sullivan and Harrison raced wheel-to-wheel into the first corner, with Harrison on the high side able to secure the lead and leave Sullivan in second. Steve Greer and Mitchell Gee used the high line to their advantage to move ahead of Grady, while Brent Kratzmann got caught behind Grady on the low side before sliding spectacularly underneath the Q40 racer as they raced through turn two. Kratzmann set his sights on Gee, who in turn was looking to run underneath Greer in turn three when the race was brought to stop for two separate incidents involving the first two cars. Chris Hamilton had thrown the NT84 racer a little too hard into turn four, spinning the racer, lifting the front wheels high off the ground, and performing a thrilling vertical pirouette before somehow landing back on all four wheels. Behind him Sullivan was running high on the track and balked a fraction when the Harrison car was spinning in front of him. Sullivan ended up in the marbles near the fence, before making contact with the concrete wall entering turn four and inverting the car. Sullivan was uninjured in the crash but unable to restart the event, while Harrison took to the restart from the rear of the field. A full restart followed with James Grady and Steve Greer now elevated to the front row to lead the field to the green. Greer got a brilliant start and quickly secured the lead, with Mitchell Gee on the high side quickly securing second. Brent Kratzmann got caught on the low line behind James Grady again, and while Kratzmann had more speed entering turn one, he was not able to find his way through, while Clem Hoffmans had a great run on the outside of both Kratzmann and Grady to advance two positions. Kratzmann, still behind Grady, now had Andrew Scheuerle to deal with, and while Scheuerle worked the high line searching for a way past both Kratzmann and Grady, Kratzmann had a massive look on the inside of Grady, running his right rear over the left front of Grady as they raced through turn four. Kratzmann bounced up track and little but somehow managed to not only keep the car on four wheels, but also managed to stay ahead of Grady on the track. Scheuerle however had seized his opportunity and while Kratzmann and Grady were preoccupied on the bottom, he raced around the pair in turn four and immediately set about opening a sizable margin on the pair. Kratzmann set about closing the gap to Scheuerle and the rest of the field and had considerable speed on board the Q2 racer, closing the gap in only a couple of laps. Scheuerle was looking for a way past the Q3 car of Hoffmans, eventually racing underneath down the main straight. Kratzmann followed a lap and half later, while Scheuerle began working on Steve Greer, who by then had surrendered the lead to Mitchell Gee. It was truly spectacular to watch as Scheuerle patiently watched Greer and waited for the right time to make his move, around the outside in turns three and four. As Kratzmann closed in on Greer, Scheuerle made quick work of closing the gap to Gee but ran out of laps to make any further impact on the race results. Mitchell Gee took the win with Andrew Scheuerle in second while the battle for third between Greer and Kratzmann really heated up in the closing few laps of the race. Greer was smooth and consistent but Kratzmann was fierce, determined and relentless, racing under Greer to steal third with just half a lap left to run. Brent Kratzmann officially finished a very commendable third with Steve Greer across the line in fourth. James Grady and Chris Hamilton rounded out the finishers while Clem Hoffmans pulled out of the race having only completed half the race distance. Brett Sullivan also did not finish the 10-lap journey.
The top eight drivers after time trials and heat events took to the track for six-lap Dash event. Luke Oldfield had been highest on points after all the qualifying rounds, but in a random draw prior to the start of the dash race he drew position six as his starting spot. The dash started with Callum Walker from pole position and Darren Kane sharing the front row. Walker got a brilliant start and quickly secured the race lead, pulling several car lengths ahead of Kane in second. Mitchell Gee and Peter Lack argued over third, with Lack winning that battle and setting his sights on Kane, while Andrew Scheuerle had an absolutely incredible run on the bottom, slipping underneath Luke Oldfield in turn two, then Mitchell Gee in turn three and finally Peter Lack coming out of turn four. Lack tried to fight back on the high side through turn four, but Scheuerle was simply far too quick, while Gee had a look under Lack as the exited turn two, and Oldfield looked on the high line for a way around Gee. The race was soon brought under caution for Lachlan McHugh who had uncharacteristically spun in turn four. Walker led the restart from Kane, Scheuerle, Lack, Oldfield and Gee with four gruelling laps left to run. Walker again got a magnificent start and opened a small margin while the battle over the minor places raged behind him. Scheuerle raced under Kane in turn one while Lack had a big look on the high side, but Kane fought back strongly on the bottom and managed to briefly regain his position coming out of turn four. Half a lap later and Scheuerle ran around the outside of Kane in turn two, while Oldfield and Lack raced wheel-to-wheel before Lack once again moved ahead. Lack is always spectacular on the high line and last night was no exception as Lack took the Q5 racer to the top and raced around the outside of Kane in turn two, with Oldfield following a lap later. Callum Walker had complete control of the race, oblivious to the battle for the minor places behind him, and went on to seemingly easily take his first ever Sprintcar Dash win. Andrew Scheuerle crossed the line in second ahead of Peter Lack, Luke Oldfield, Darren Kane, Mitchell Gee, Ben Hilder and Lachlan McHugh.
The B-Main event saw nine cars hit the track for the ten lap last chance race for a start in the A-Main event. With only the top four cars to make the transfer it was going to be a thrilling battle as each driver vied for a spot in the main event. Dylan Menz and James Grady shared the front row for the start, with Chris Harrison and Kristy Bonsey from the second row. Menz and Grady raced down the straight together when the green flag flew, but it was Menz who made it to turn one first and secured the lead, leaving Grady to try and defend his position from Kristy Bonsey who was having a big look on the inside. Bonsey had just about got the job done when the race was brought under caution for the spun car of Sean Iacono in turn one. Brett Minett had suffered a flat right rear tyre and a short two-minute delay followed to allow his crew to change the tyre. A full race restart followed with Menz and Grady again set to lead the field away, with Menz repeating the start he had first time around and securing the lead as they entered turn one. Grady settled into second with Chris Harrison securing third. Paul Rooks and Kristy Bonsey argued over fourth but Bonsey took to the high side to not only secure the advantage over Rooks in turn two, but to race around the outside of Harrison in turn three and set out after Menz, who had just lost the lead to Grady. The battle for the lead was only just starting to heat up, with Menz soon taking to the high line to run around the outside of Grady a lap later and regain control of the race, leaving Grady and Bonsey to fight over second and third. Harrison had a spin in turn four, almost collecting Rooks, and then somehow managing to keep the NT84 racer moving. It was however too late as officials had already brought the race under caution and Harrison was relegated to the rear of the field for causing the stoppage. Menz led the restart from Grady, Bonsey and Rooks and while Rooks searched for a way past Bonsey, he found himself under fire from a hard charging Minett for several laps, before Minett surrendered his position to Sean Iacono. Rooks had several big looks up the inside of Bonsey but just could not quite find a way past and ran out of laps to try anything further. Dylan Menz took the win almost two and half second ahead of James Grady, while Kristy Bonsey and Paul Rooks competed the top four and all secured transfers to the A-Main event. Sean Iacono finished fifth and led Brett Minett, Brett Sullivan, Chris Harrison and Clem Hoffmans across the line.
The 30-lap A-Main event was set to be a cracker of an event, with young Callum Walker starting from pole position, and the very experienced Andrew Scheuerle sharing the front row. Walker got an absolutely brilliant start and seemingly easily beat his rival to the first corner, secured the lead and even managed to put a car length or two between himself and the rest of the field. Scheuerle settled into second ahead of Peter Lack and Luke Oldfield and while Oldfield looked strong on the high side, Ben Hilder had a breath-taking run on the bottom and by the time the race was just half a lap old Hilder had raced under Darren Kane, Mitchell Gee, Luke Oldfield and Peter Lack to secure third after starting from position seven. Brent Kratzmann tried to follow Hilder on the low side, and managed to race under Kane, just as Lachlan McHugh raced around the outside, before making his way under Gee and setting his sights on Oldfield. Jayden Peacock ran the low line to get under Kane and McHugh mid-field, while Kratzmann caught Lack, Oldfield and Hilder to make for a thrilling four-way battle, with Mitchell Gee soon joining the battle as well. Gee had a look on the inside of Kratzmann but couldn’t quite get the job done, while further back in the field McHugh searched for a way past Steve Greer and Darren Kane, all with Mark Pholi on this tail. Back at the front of the field Walker and Scheuerle edged ever closer to the back markers, with Scheuerle gradually closing in on the tail of Walker. Walker was having an amazing run out in front, smooth and consistent and holding his own again his vastly more experienced rival, with Scheuerle’s long and distinguished Sprintcar racing career having begun before Walker was even born. Kristy Bonsey was having a brilliant run deep in the field, working the low line beautifully as she battled Dave Whell, while Dylan Menz raced around the top side. Oldfield and Lack raced wheel-to-wheel, giving each other just enough racing room but putting on a mesmerising show for race fans, while Ben Hilder inched ever closer to Scheuerle with each passing lap. Ten laps in and Scheuerle made his move on Walker, timing the move beautifully and sliding elegantly under Walker as they raced through turn one. Scheuerle immediately started to pull away, leaving Walker to defend his position from a very impressive Ben Hilder. Lapped traffic soon became heavier and Oldfield was able to catch the leaders and quickly made his way past several cars before stealing positions from Hilder and Walker to settle into second and set out after Scheuerle. Peter Lack was next to make his move, finding his way under both Hilder (in turn two) and Walker (in turn four) in just half a lap, with Hilder then finding his way under Walker. Not to be outdone Brent Kratzmann was on the move, really picking up the pace and while Walker tried to run around the outside of Hilder in turn two, Kratzmann quietly slipped under the pair and set out after Lack, with Mitchell Gee staying hot on his heels. Meanwhile Scheuerle and Oldfield were trying to navigate lapped traffic, with Oldfield preferring the high side in an effort to get find a way around the traffic and steal the lead. It was a brilliant battle, and while Oldfield searched high and low for a way through, Scheuerle was too good in lapped traffic. Mitchell Gee made his way under Peter Lack, when the race, which many thought was going to go the full distance without a stoppage, was brought under caution when Anthony Lambert and Steve Greer came together in turn three.
With nine laps left to run Andrew Scheuerle led the field to the green, with Luke Oldfield, Brent Kratzmann, Mitchell Gee and Peter Lack close behind. Lack immediately came under fire from Ben Hilder, who managed to slip under Lack less than one lap into the restart, only for Lack to immediately fire back to regain his position. Oldfield held nothing back as he challenged Scheuerle for the lead, mid-field Lachlan McHugh and Jayden Peacock traded slide jobs for several laps and put on a simply brilliant show, all with Darren Kane and Mark Pholi close behind and ready to seize any opportunity. Mitchell Gee managed to catch Brent Kratzmann and, after a few laps, was able to slip through on the inside of the Q2 racer as they rounded turn four just a handful of laps from the chequered flag. Andrew Scheuerle went on to take a hard fought and very much deserved win, with Luke Oldfield forced to settle for second after a truly spectacular run. Mitchell Gee claimed third in another impressive result in the Titan Garages Q36 car, while Brent Kratzmann and Peter Lack both had inspiring drives to round out the top five and secure another set of solid and consistent results. Ben Hilder crossed the line in sixth and led Callum Walker, Lachlan McHugh, Mark Pholi, Jayden Peacock, Darren Kane, Steve Greer, Paul Rooks, Dave Whell, Kristy Bonsey, James Grady, Anthony Lambert and Dylan Menz across the line. In a field of eighteen cars, a race of thirty-laps, and just one stoppage, the entire field managed to finish the race whilst putting on a breath-takingly exciting show. It may be only the third night of racing this season but the competition is already unbelievable.
Next weekend Sprintcars Queensland head back to Hi-Tec Oils Toowoomba Speedway for Round Two of the Ultimate Sprintcar Championship, which will also double as our Queensland Title. Luke Oldfield is the defending Champion, and was the last start winner at the venue, but he will have some VERY tough competition next weekend. These boys and girls sure know how to put on show so come on out to Hi-Tec Oils Speedway in Toowoomba and cheer on your favourite! You will not want to miss this one! See you trackside!