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Kicking Up The Dirt - ECL Track Championship - Round Nine
Joanne White posted Sunday February 19, 2017.

Thirty-five Sprintcars checked into AusDeck Patios Archerfield Speedway last night for Round Nine of the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Track Championship and what a night it was! Andrew Scheuerle led the early part of the main event with style and opened a comfortable margin over Luke Oldfield in second, only for Oldfield to close in and begin challenging for the lead once they entered lapped traffic. Oldfield was in breath-taking form and a restart with seven laps left to run gave the pair some clear track, with Oldfield diving to the bottom half a lap into the restart and racing his way into the lead with just over six laps left to run. Scheuerle of course immediately fought back on the topside before having a look on the bottom as they came out of turn two, but Oldfield refused to surrender the lead. Luke Oldfield went on to take the win, his seventh for the season so far, with Andrew Scheuerle home in second. Peter Lack had an impressive run and after getting past Dave Whell in the first few laps of the race Lack settled into a very comfortable third, staying close to the leaders while opening a very comfortable margin on his rivals. Lack crossed the line in third to fill the final podium position, while Mitchell Gee came from thirteenth on the starting grid and managed to climb his way into fourth and even started looking for a way past Lack in the final few laps of the race. Gee finished fourth with Ben Hilder rounding out the top five after another solid drive in the Motorguard Motorsport Q95 racer.

Qualifying got underway with teenager Karl Hoffmans first on the track. In only his first night of Sprintcar competition and with track conditions that were still a little greasy, Hoffmans set the benchmark at 12.718 seconds and while he would fade to twenty-seventh by the end of the qualifying session, he still managed to out-qualify eight of his rivals in an impressive debut effort. Luke Oldfield topped the leader board once all thirty-five cars had hit the track for qualifying, with the Q17 racer stopping the clock at a quick 11.414 seconds, some 0.207 seconds quicker than his nearest rival. Sprintcar newcomer Dylan Menz turned more than a few heads when he completed two beautiful qualifying laps and crossed the line in a quick 11.621 seconds and secured second overall in the qualifying runs. Peter Lack is always quick and the Q5 racer looked magnificent as Lack raced around the Brisbane circuit to secure third quickest in qualifying. Andrew Scheuerle and Dave Whell rounded out the fastest five, while the top twenty-four cars were separated by less than one second. Brent Kratzmann was two thousandths of a second quicker than Ben Hilder while, mid-field Rob Hamilton beat Brock Dean by just three thousandths of a second, and Dean beat Mitchell Gee by only one thousandth of a second. Mick Sauer, who made a remarkable come-back to Sprintcar racing a fortnight ago where he secured a brilliant second place in Toowoomba, was one thousandth of a second quicker than Anthony Lambert but the pair were buried deep in the qualifying order.

Heat one started with Cody Maroske and Kristy Bonsey from the front row, with Andrew Liebke and Paul Rooks right behind. Maroske got the jump when the lights went green, with Bonsey settling into second ahead of Liebke and Rooks, while behind them Lachlan McHugh tried to find a way in front of Anthony Vanderreyden, while Luke Oldfield also began searching for a way through. The race was however brought under caution moments later when Vanderreyden made contact with the wall coming out of turn two and slowed to a stop. Unfortunately Vanderreyden was unable to restart the event. A full race restart followed with Maroske again securing the advantage over Bonsey, Liebke and Rooks. Liebke had a big look under Bonsey in turn two but the Q42 racer stood her ground and managed to maintain her position while behind them Callum Walker was closing in quickly on Rooks. McHugh and Oldfield were having a breath-taking battle for the mid-field places while racing on the tail of Walker, but when Walker got a fraction too sideways in turn four there was nothing McHugh and Oldfield could do to avoid contact. Both McHugh and Oldfield were able to keep their cars running but the race was brought under caution for the now stranded car of Walker. With less than a lap completed another full restart followed and while Maroske again secured the lead, Bonsey got a brilliant start and initially challenged the pole sitter for control of the race. Bonsey settled into second ahead of Andrew Liebke, while Paul Rooks tried to defend his position from Jayden Peacock, Luke Oldfield and Lachlan McHugh. Peacock raced underneath Rooks, with Oldfield, who had just raced underneath McHugh, was quick to follow. McHugh had a big look on the bottom side of Rooks in turn four but could not quite get the job done, while Oldfield raced his way past Peacock. Peacock then found himself challenged for position by Paul Rooks, with Rooks in the Q64 racer soon slipping through. McHugh was quick to follow Rooks past Peacock but Peacock instantly fought back hard on the bottom through turn one and managed to regain his position. McHugh of course fought back valiantly but disaster unfolded when contact between the two on the back straight, the right rear of the Q23 racer of McHugh running over the left front of the Q77 car of Peacock, launched McHugh into spectacular flip into the turn three fence, tearing the main wing from the car. McHugh was able to walk away from the wreck, though already somewhat sore, and was later taken to hospital for tests and observations. McHugh is reportedly ok but has spent the night in hospital for observation. We wish him a speedy recovery. Peacock was unable to restart the event, as was a luckless Andrew Corbet, who had been left with nowhere to go and collided with the pair as he tried to avoid the incident. With seven laps left to run Cody Maroske led the restart from Kristy Bonsey and Andrew Liebke but Liebke soon found himself under enormous pressure from Luke Oldfield. Oldfield soon raced under Liebke and set his sights on Bonsey, leaving Liebke to defend his position from team-mate Paul Rooks, and a very hard-charging Callum Walker. Oldfield soon made his way past Bonsey to steal second while Walker was persistent in his search for a way past Rooks and Liebke. Walker searched high and low before committing to the high side to make his way around Rooks and then Liebke in less than a lap. Cody Maroske took a well-earned win with Luke Oldfield in second and Kristy Bonsey doing an absolutely brilliant job in third. Callum Walker crossed the line in fourth while Andrew Liebke managed to hang on to fifth after racing side-by-side across the line with his team-mate Paul Rooks. Rooks was forced to settle for sixth and led Brett Minett past the chequered flag. Jayden Peacock. Lachlan McHugh, Andrew Corbet and Anthony Vanderreyden all failed to finish the action-packed first heat.

Heat two rolled onto the track with Kevin Britten and Mick Sauer to share the front row for the start. The pair drag-raced to the line with Sauer on the high side soon moving into the race lead but the race was soon brought under caution when Matthew Butler climbed the right rear of Chris Harrison, with Mark Pholi taking action to avoid what could have been a much bigger incident. Unfortunately for Pholi this then resulted in contact with Dylan Menz, the contact leaving Pholi on his side and Menz stranded on the track facing the rest of the oncoming field. A full restart followed once more and this time, while the leading duo again raced wheel-to-wheel into the first corner, it was Kevin Britten who managed to secure the race lead. Mick Sauer was forced to settle for second and was briefly challenged by Darren Silcock, while Matthew Butler tried to work his way underneath Rob Hamilton. Dave Whell was on the move, working his way past Ben Hilder as the pair tried to find a way past Hamilton, with Whell then quickly racing under Hamilton and setting his sights on Butler. Butler was all over the back of Silcock, the duo putting on a brilliant show as they argued over the minor positions, while further back in the field Dylan Menz was making up ground after his earlier incident, only to then spin the Q46 racer to a stop in turn one and bring the race under caution. Britten led the restart from Sauer and Silcock with just four laps left to run but it was the battle between Silcock, Butler and Whell that captivated the crowd. With less than half a lap left to go Butler timed his run perfectly and took to the high side to race around Silcock and steal third just moments before greeting the chequered flag. Kevin Britten took the win ahead of Mick Sauer, Matthew Butler and Darren Silcock with Dave Whell home in fifth and leading Rob Hamilton, Brad Ayers, Brandon Burrows, Dylan Menz and Tim Ford across the line. Jason Bottin and Mark Pholi did not finish the race.

Kevin Titman started heat three from pole position with Anthony Lambert alongside and Mitchell Gee and Brock Dean from the second row. Titman and Lambert raced side-by-side into the first corner but it was Titman who took control of the race with Lambert in second and Gee securing third. Andrew Scheuerle tried to find a way under Brock Dean, as Dean chased Ben Hilder, while further back in the field Peter Lack tried to run around the outside of Brent Kratzmann while defending his position from Chris Harrison. The battle intensified when Kratzmann and Lack caught Dean and Scheuerle, and while Scheuerle looked for a way around the outside of Dean, Kratzmann started challenging Scheuerle on the bottom and Lack took to the high side searching for a way past Kratzmann. The race however was soon brought to a stop when both Scott Johnston and Chris Harrison stopped in turn one. Titman led the restart from Lambert and Gee with Titman immediately opening a sizable lead and Scheuerle quickly making his way around Hilder and setting his sights on Gee. Lack committed to the high line as he raced around Kratzmann and focussed his attention on Dean and quickly making his way forward. Lack had a quick look on the inside of Hilder with Hilder then closing in on Scheuerle and Gee. Scheuerle was relentless as he searched for a way past Gee, eventually racing under Gee as they rounded turn two and setting his sights on Lambert. Scheuerle was in fine form and while Lambert drove a strong and smooth race, Scheuerle took to the high side in the final corner of the race and managed to cross the line just 0.156 seconds ahead of Lambert. Kevin Titman took the win with Andrew Scheuerle an impressive second ahead of Anthony Lambert, Mitchell Gee, Ben Hilder, Peter Lack and Brock Dean. Chris Harrison was officially eighth with Mitch Gowland in ninth and Brent Kratzmann and Karl Hoffmans rounding out the finishers. Kratzmann actually crossed the line in eighth but was penalised two positions for hitting the cone on the final restart. Scott Johnston did not finish the event.

Heat four hit the track with Brad Ayers and Kristy Bonsey sharing the front row and while Bonsey got a great start it was Ayers who managed to secure the race lead. Kevin Titman raced around Cody Maroske and stared looking for a way underneath Bonsey, while Luke Oldfield took the high line in absolutely spectacular fashion and started making his way towards the front. Oldfield skilfully used the top and bottom seemingly effortlessly as he weaved his way under Maroske and Gee in less than half, before returning the high side to get past Matthew Butler. Kevin Titman found his way past Kristy Bonsey, leaving Bonsey with Oldfield on her tail. It only took half a lap for Oldfield to make his way under Bonsey and set out after Titman, who had caught race leader Ayers. Before long it was a three-way battle for the lead, with Oldfield stealing second from Titman when the Q59 racer ran a fraction too wide in turn two. Oldfield spent a couple of laps searching for the right way past Brad Ayers, before committing to the high line with one lap left to run and powering in to the race lead, immediately pulling ahead several car lengths. Luke Oldfield secured the win with Brad Ayers in a solid second ahead of Kevin Titman and Mitchell Gee. Kristy Bonsey finished a very respectable fifth and led Matthew Butler, Cody Maroske, Dylan Menz, Chris Harrison and Andrew Corbet across the line.

Anthony Vanderreyden and Brock Dean shared the front row for the start of heat five, but officials were not happy with the first start and brought the race under caution, penalising Dean for jumping the start and elevating Mark Pholi to the front row for the restart. Vanderreyden got the better start and led the first half of the opening lap, but Mark Pholi came charging through on the bottom and stole the lead as they rounded turn three, forcing Vanderreyden to settle for second. Andrew Scheuerle took to the high line and started working his way forward while Ben Hilder tried to find a way around both Dean and Vanderreyden. As Hilder made his way around the top Andrew Scheuerle started challenging on the bottom, making his way underneath Dean before turning his attention to Vanderreyden and running around the top side of the ACT72 racer. Brock Dean, with Rob Hamilton now on his tail, started challenging Vanderreyden, while Scheuerle chased down Hilder, and Brett Minett, Darren Silcock and Callum Walker battled towards the rear of the field. Walker raced his way under Minett and around Silcock, showing patience and skill as he began to make his way forward. Unfortunately the race was promptly brought under caution when Dean spun the Q8 racer in turn three, right in front of Walker, leaving Walker little time to react. Walker spun the Q33 racer in an effort to avoid contact and somehow managed to pull the car up in time. Both Dean and Walker restarted the race from the rear of the field. Mark Pholi led the restart but now had both Ben Hilder and Andrew Scheuerle right on his tail. Scheuerle worked the bottom beautifully to make his way under Hilder and set his sights on Pholi. Scheuerle was in remarkable form, he and the team had car set up beautifully, and Scheuerle started closing on the race leader when Karl Hoffmans had a spin in turn three and brought the race under caution once more. Pholi again led the restart but with Scheuerle right on his tail and two laps left to run. Rob Hamilton was penalised two positions for hitting cone on the previous restart and immediately started trying to regain ground while Scheuerle put the AusDeck Patios Q25 racer wherever he needed. Scheuerle started looking around the top side but swiftly switched to the bottom to race under Pholi with only half a lap left to run, and while Pholi tried to fight back, there simply wasn’t enough time. Andrew Scheuerle took the win, after starting way back in eighth, with Mark Pholi across the line in second and Ben Hilder home in third. Anthony Vanderreyden finished fourth ahead of Brett Minett, Rob Hamilton, Brandon Burrows, Callum Walker, Darren Silcock, Brock Dean and Karl Hoffmans.

Andrew Liebke started from pole position in the sixth and final heat of the night, with Anthony Lambert alongside. Lambert got the jump when the green flag flew with Liebke settling into second ahead of Kevin Britten and Mick Sauer. Britten and Sauer were embroiled in their own thrilling battle as they fought over the minor places, with Brent Kratzmann having a brilliant run on the bottom to not only join their battle but race underneath Sauer and split the pair. Britten and Kratzmann began pulling away from Sauer, leaving the latter to defend his position from Paul Rooks and Peter Lack. Lack committed to the high side and raced exquisitely around the topside of Rooks and Sauer in less than lap and began closing in on Britten, who had surrendered his position to the hard-charging Kratzmann. Lack made short work of Britten, again working the high line in spectacular fashion, while Kratzmann closed in on Liebke and began challenging him for position. Tim Ford brought the race under caution when he spun the immaculately presented Q70 racer in turn four. Lambert led the restart from Liebke and Kratzmann with three laps left to run and while Lack initially challenged Kratzmann for third, Kratzmann soon stepped up the pressure on Liebke, stealing second with a beautiful inside passing move as the pair raced past the white flag with one lap to go. Lack had a look on the high side of Liebke but switched to the bottom coming out of the final corner, the pair racing side-by-side across the line. Anthony Lambert secured the win with Brent Kratzmann impressive in second. Andrew Liebke managed to hang to third with Peter Lack home in fourth and leading Kevin Britten, Mick Sauer, Paul Rooks, Dave Whell, Jayden Peacock, Mitch Gowland and Tim Ford across the line.

Six cars were scheduled to start the C-Main event, but with Jason Bottin experiencing mechanical dramas, that had plagued him all night, unable to start, just five cars took the green in the six-lap event. Jayden Peacock started from pole and quickly secured the lead, with Andrew Corbet immediately settling into second. Corbet was all over the back of Peacock and when Peacock ran too wide in turn four Corbet did not hesitate and took control of the race. Andrew Corbet went on to take the win ahead of Jayden Peacock, the pair securing transfers to the back of the B-Main field. Tim Ford finished third and led Scott Johnston and Karl Hoffmans across the line.

Four cars rolled out for the Bronze shootout, which saw Dylan Menz stop the clock at 13.314 seconds and secure the quickest time of the quartet. Callum Walker went second quickest with a lap of 13.400 second, with both Menz and Walker transferring to the Silver Shootout. Ben Hilder and Matthew Butler would start the main event from positions seven and eight respectively after finishing third and fourth in the Bronze Shootout.

Peter Lack and Dave Whell joined Dylan Menz and Callum Walker on track for the Silver Shootout. Callum Walker this time took quick time with a 12.977 second lap, an impressive 0.376 seconds quicker than Peter Lack who was second quickest of the group. Walker and Lack transferred to the Gold Shootout while Dylan Menz and Dave Whell were eliminated from the Shootout events after finishing third and fourth respectively.

Luke Oldfield left it until the last moment of the Gold Shootout to lock in the fastest time, but a quick 12.967 second lap was enough to earn himself pole position for the main race. Andrew Scheuerle finished second in the Gold Shootout and would share the front row with Oldfield for the start of the main race, while Peter Lack and Callum Walker would come from the second row of the A-Main grid.

Sixteen cars lined up for the start of B-main event with Paul Rooks from pole position and Rob Hamilton alongside. The leading duo raced wheel-to-wheel into the first corner but it was Rooks on the bottom who secured the lead. Hamilton settled into second with Andrew Liebke right on his tail until Hamilton raced a fraction wide in turn two and allowed Liebke to steal second. Cody Maroske was on the high line just outside of a transfer position and was putting the pressure on both Kristy Bonsey and Rob Hamilton, eventually racing around each to move into third behind Liebke. Maroske was all over the back of Liebke while deeper in the field Darren Silcock, Brandon Burrows and Jayden Peacock were embroiled in their own battle over the minor positions and Chris Harrison and Brett Minett had their own battle unfolding. Contact between Minett and Harrison could have easily ended in disaster for either driver but neither was willing to concede a position without a fight. The pair raced wheel-to-wheel for over a lap before Minett managed to secure the advantage. A few laps later and race was brought under caution when Harrison spun to a stop in turn two. Rooks led the restart from Liebke and Maroske while Hamilton held down fourth. Rooks tried the high line when the race resumed but that opened the door for his team-make, Liebke, and the hard charging Maroske, to make their moves. Maroske raced under both Liebke and Rooks through turns three and four to momentarily steal the lead, only for Rooks to fight back hard on the high side and regain the lead moments later. Brock Dean and Mick Sauer had a brilliant fight just outside of the top four, but the race was again brought under caution, this time for Andrew Corbet and Mitch Gowland who had come together and stopped in turn three, and Brock Dean who had stopped in turn two. Rooks led the restart from Maroske and Liebke, with Hamilton in the final transfer position and under pressure from Anthony Vanderreyden, Mick Sauer and Brett Minett. Sauer made his way past Vanderreyden and began challenging Hamilton for the final transfer when Mitch Gowland spun in turn four and brought the race back under caution once more. Rooks led the restart from Maroske, Liebke and Hamilton with three laps left to run. Maroske took to the bottom and raced side-by-side with Rooks, stealing the lead moments before spinning the Q22 racer to a stop in turn four. Officials declared the incident plagued event with Paul Rooks credited with the win ahead of Andrew Liebke and Mick Sauer, with Rob Hamilton securing the final transfer to the A-main. Anthony Vanderreyden crossed the line in fifth and led Brett Minett, Jayden Peacock, Brad Ayers, Brock Dean, Kristy Bonsey, Darren Silcock, Andrew Corbet, Brandon Burrows and Cody Maroske across the line. Mitch Gowland and Chris Harrison did not finish the race.

Eighteen cars lined up for the start of the 30-lap A-Main event and what a race it was. Luke Oldfield and Andrew Scheuerle shared the front row for the start with Scheuerle getting an impressive run on the high side when the lights went green. Scheuerle quickly secured the race lead with Oldfield settling into second while Dave Whell had a brilliant run straight between Peter Lack and Callum Walker on the start to steal third. Lack however was not going to surrender without a fight and quickly fought back hard sliding under Whell while entering turn two to steal third, only for Whell to race back on the inside of Lack as they exited the corner, exchanging positions once again. Lack raced back under Whell in turn three and managed to secure the advantage while Whell tried to defend his position from Callum Walker. Deeper in the field and Mitchell Gee raced on the inside of Kevin Titman as they chased the tail of Kratzmann, who in turn was searching for a way past Dylan Menz and Mark Pholi. Most of the field ran two-abreast for several laps as they argued over track position starting with Whell and Walker, followed by Ben Hilder and Matthew Butler, then Mark Pholi and Dylan Menz, and Brent Kratzmann and Kevin Titman. It was hard to know where to look and while the leading trio had opened a significant margin over the rest of the field, the battle for the minor positions was really starting to heat up. Whell, Walker and Butler had a close three-way battle, while Menz, Titman and Kratzmann ran the high line as they tried to find a way around Pholi. Mitchell Gee was looking for his way through, working the top and bottom as needed as he began making his way closer to the front. Scheuerle entered lapped traffic, with Oldfield rapidly closing in, the pair edging ever closer the big mid-field battle. Gee and Kratzmann ran two-wide for a number of laps before Gee emerged in front, only for Kratzmann to switch to the bottom and begin challenging and trying to take his position back. Gee was in fine form though and soon made his way around both Matthew Butler and Dave Whell, while Kevin Titman, Callum Walker and Ben Hilder put on a breath-taking show as they fought for the advantage mid-field. Scheuerle, now completely enveloped in lapped traffic was simply brilliant as he carefully weaved his way through the competition. Mark Pholi and Dylan Menz were having their own epic battle for position but Scheuerle knew he had to find a way through. Years of experience served him well as he raced his Q25 racer straight between the pair, the trio going three-wide for almost half a lap, before Scheuerle pulled ahead and left Menz and Pholi to their race. Kratzmann took the high line as he raced around Matthew Butler, while Scheuerle raced underneath the pair coming out of turn four, Kratzmann had impressive drive on the high side and powered ahead of Scheuerle and focussing his attention on Whell. Scheuerle got caught behind the battle between Kratzmann and Whell, giving Oldfield a chance to catch up, but it was not long before both Scheuerle and Oldfield had made their way in front and secured some clear air. Moments later though the race was brought under caution as Rob Hamilton slowed to a stop in turn one.

Andrew Scheuerle led the restart from Luke Oldfield and Peter Lack with Oldfield racing up the inside of Scheuerle as they exited turn two and persisting until he had secured the lead half a lap later. Scheuerle of course tried to fight back but was forced to settle for second while Lack was a strong and comfortable third. Kevin Titman was challenging Ben Hilder for fourth, with Mitchell Gee on his tail, all three having a spectacular run, when Titman spun the Q59 racer on the high line coming out of turn four and left Brent Kratzmann nowhere to go. Contact between the two left both cars stranded on the track, Titman unable to continue the race and Kratzmann relegated the rear of the field for the restart.

Luke Oldfield led the restart with six laps to run and Andrew Scheuerle and Peter Lack right behind him. The battle over fourth between Ben Hilder and Mitchell Gee was captivating, while Matthew Butler and Callum Walker, Mark Pholi and Dylan Menz put on a show. Luke Oldfield went on to take the win with Andrew Scheuerle in second and Peter Lack in third. Mitchell Gee managed to get the better of Ben Hilder to finish a very impressive fourth, while Hilder rounded out the top five. Matthew Butler crossed the line in sixth beating Dave Whell to the line by less than half a second. Dave Whell finished in seventh and led Callum Walker, Dylan Menz, Andrew Liebke, Mark Pholi, Kevin Britten, Mick Sauer, Brent Kratzmann and Paul Rooks across the line. Kevin Titman, Anthony Lambert and Rob Hamilton did not finish the event.

Our next race meeting will be in two weeks time, on Saturday 04 March 2017 at AusDeck Patios Archerfield Speedway and will include the twin features event. As we start heading towards the end of the season and the points chase really starts to heat up, you can be sure that these stars will hold nothing back as they chase the championship. You will not want to miss this one so come on out and see the action for yourself!


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