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Kicking Up The Dirt - USC Chase and Round 7 of the Queensland USC
Joanne White posted Sunday March 26, 2017.

With the sun shining high over the venue yesterday twenty-seven sprintcars signed in to Hi-Tec Oils Speedway in Toowoomba for the Ultimate Sprintcar Chase and the second last round of the Queensland Ultimate Sprintcar Championship. Luke Oldfield led the USC Points battle heading into the competition and was widely considered the man to beat, but a less than ideal qualifying run saw him languishing deep in the field. A mid-field incident at the start of the A-Main event saw Oldfield, Allan Woods and Andrew Scheuerle all upside down before a lap was completed, with a number of other cars involved. An open red stoppage allowed crews to work feverishly to repair their cars before the race resumed, with Scheuerle and Simon Jupe the only two who failed to make the restart. On the restart Oldfield made his way as high as seventh in only eight laps, before a mechanical issue in the front end slowed his progress. Robbie Farr and Sam Walsh had a truly scintillating battle for control of the race, with Farr initially leading the event before Walsh secured the advantage in lapped traffic. Walsh led for ten laps before Farr regained the lead with six laps to run. Robbie Farr went on to take a hard fought win ahead of Sam Walsh, while Lachlan McHugh crossed the line in third after challenging Farr and Walsh for position late in the race. Bryan Mann, who had a thrilling battle with McHugh earlier in the race, and Danny Reidy rounded out the top five.

Robbie Farr set a cracking pace in qualifying, stopping the clock at a very quick 10.746 seconds, reportedly a new track record, and was the only driver to go sub-eleven seconds. Simon Jupe, who is still relatively new to Sprintcars, impressed everyone when he recorded a blistering quick 11.046 second lap and secured second in the qualifying order. Jupe beat seasoned competitor Sam Walsh by just 0.021 seconds, while Walsh was just 0.017 seconds quicker than Bryan Mann. Lachlan McHugh was fifth fastest, beating Shaun Dobson by just two thousandths of a second, with Andrew Scheuerle only five thousandths of a second behind Dobson. The top twenty-four cars were separated by less than one second, while Garry Jacobson managed to record a personal best lap time, beating his old time by a full second.

Heat one started with Robbie Farr and Bryan Mann from the front row, with Farr quickly securing the lead and Mann settling into second. Brent Kratzmann had a brilliant run on the low line and seemingly effortlessly raced up the inside of Andrew Scheuerle and Dan Murray to steal third only moments after the race commenced. Murray faded quickly while Scheuerle was all over the back of Kratzmann searching for a way past, while Jayden Peacock began closing in on the back of Scheuerle. Kratzmann started to pull away as Peacock stepped up the pressure on Scheuerle, searching high and low for a way through. Farr was out in front and quickly catching the tail end of the field, with Mann in a comfortable second gaining ground on the leader when lapped traffic came into play. As the laps wore on it was hard to know where to look as Peacock had a massive look on the inside of Scheuerle and, with the white flag in the air, Mann challenged Farr for control of the race. Robbie Farr managed to take the win with Mann across the line in second and Brent Kratzmann rounding out the top three. Andrew Scheuerle managed to hold off Jayden Peacock to finish fourth, leaving Peacock in fifth ahead of Danny Reidy, Dan Murray, Dave Whell and Scott Genrich. Farr, on route to victory, also managed to lower his own track record, completing the second lap of the race in just 10.713 seconds.

Heat two started with Simon Jupe and Lachlan McHugh from the front row, with Peter Lack and Matthew Dumesny right behind them. Jupe got the initial jump when the lights went green but McHugh was sensational on the high side and quickly made his way into the race lead. Darren Jensen took to the top of the race track to try and make his way forward, only to find Peter Lack racing through on the bottom. Jensen was left to try and defend his position from the ever-popular Max Dumesny, while Lack began challenging Matthew Dumesny for position. McHugh had opened a comfortable margin over Jupe, while Jupe and his team had the Q49 racer set up beautifully and running a very smooth second. Lack was relentless in his search for a way past Matthew Dumesny, while further back in the field Kevin Titman was looking for a way past Max Dumesny and Darren Jensen. Lachlan McHugh went on to take the win ahead of Simon Jupe, Matthew Dumesny, Peter Lack, Darren Jensen, Max Dumesny, Kevin Titman, Garry Jacobson and Neil Howard.

Sam Walsh and Shaun Dobson shared the front row for the start of heat three, with Mitchell Gee and Mitchell Dumesny right behind. Gee got a brilliant start when the lights went green, having a big look up the inside of both Walsh and Dobson, the trio almost three wide as they raced towards turn one. It was Walsh however who managed to secure the lead, with Dobson and Gee securing second and third respectively. Luke Oldfield took to the high side to make his way around Dumesny, while Mitch Gowland and Brodie Tulloch argued over the minor positions towards the rear of the field as they closed in on Allan Woods. Sam Walsh went on to take the win ahead of Shaun Dobson and Mitchell Gee with Luke Oldfield home in fourth. Mitchell Dumesny was fifth across the line and led Allan Woods, Mitch Gowland, Brodie Tulloch and Kevin Hill past the chequered flag.

Garry Jacobson and Danny Reidy started alongside each other on the front row for the start of heat four, with Darren Jensen and Brent Kratzmann coming from the second row. Danny Reidy got a brilliant start and quickly took control of the race, while Kratzmann had an impressive run from position four and quickly made his way into second. Robbie Farr immediately began working his way through the field, slipping straight between Matthew Dumesny and Andrew Scheuerle on the start. Before long Farr had not only closed in on Kratzmann, but had made his way into second and set his sights on Reidy and the race lead. This left Kratzmann to try and defend his position from Matthew Dumesny and while the battle for the minor places was unfolding, the race for the lead was beginning to heat up. Farr closed in on Reidy but Reidy was smooth and consistent, hitting his marks putting in a series of impressive laps. Farr searched high and low for a way through, but Reidy was not prepared to relinquish control of the race without a fight. In a perfectly timed move on the high side Farr waited until there was just half a lap left to run before taking to the top side and racing spectacularly around the outside of Reidy to steal the lead and the win. Robbie Farr got the win with Danny Reidy forced to settle for second ahead of Brent Kratzmann, Matthew Dumesny, Lachlan McHugh, Darren Jensen, Garry Jacobson, Andrew Scheuerle and Scott Genrich.

Dave Whell, who celebrated his birthday last night, started heat five from pole position, with Brodie Tulloch scheduled to start alongside. Unfortunately for Tulloch he blew a power steering line in the first heat and did not make the start of the second. Allan Woods was elevated to the front row alongside Whell and while Whell got the jump on the start, Woods was sensational on the high side and quickly raced around the outside of Whell to secure the race lead. Whell settled into second while Mitchell Gee and Jayden Peacock argued over third. Peacock managed to get ahead of Gee, and while Gee tried to fight back, Sam Walsh soon joined the pair and made for a thrilling three-way battle. Walsh boldly had a look on the high side of Gee, but Gee managed to hold on, while Peacock found his way past Whell. Walsh had another go at Gee and this time managed to emerge in front, and while Gee tried to fight back, the pair racing side-by-side and putting on a spectacular show, they soon encountered Whell running mid track. Walsh was first to find a way past Whell and started to pull away, leaving Whell and Gee to their own battle, with Gee eventually getting past and setting off after Walsh. Allan Woods went on to take the win ahead of an impressive Jayden Peacock with Sam Walsh across the line in third. Mitchell Gee finished fourth and led Bryan Mann, Dave Whell, Dan Murray and Kevin Hill home.

Mitch Gowland and Kevin Titman lined up on the front row for the start of heat six, with Titman getting the jump when the green flag flew and settled into the race lead. Gowland faded quickly while Max Dumesny was magnificent on the high side and quickly made his way into second. Luke Oldfield began fighting his way forward, sliding underneath Max Dumesny to steal second and setting out after Titman and the race lead. Peter Lack had a big look underneath Max Dumesny, but Dumesny shut the door, leaving Lack to defend his position from a very hard charging Shaun Dobson. Lack pulled a huge wheel stand coming out of turn four, giving Dobson all the invitation he needed to slip through on the bottom, while at the front of the field Oldfield was quickly closing in on Titman. In just a few laps Oldfield was on the tail of the race leader and while Titman ran high on the track Oldfield slid underneath the Q59 racer and took control of the race. Titman of course tried to fight back and regain his position but couldn’t quite get the job done, while Max Dumesny began slowing with mechanical issues with just two laps left to run. Luke Oldfield took the win, earning some valuable points after a disappointing qualifying result, with Kevin Titman home in second and leading Shaun Dobson, Peter Lack, Mitchell Dumesny, Mitch Gowland, Simon Jupe, Max Dumesny and Neil Howard across the line.

The top eight qualifiers after the conclusion of the heat events headed back track side for the Shootout events, with drivers sitting fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth on points first up in the Bronze Shootout. The quartet had three laps in which to record the fastest time, with the quickest two cars to transfer to the Silver Shootout. Mitchell Gee was the quickest in the Bronze Shootout, stopping the clock at 11.220 seconds, while Shaun Dobson was second quickest with an 11.403 second lap. Peter Lack and Simon Jupe rounded out the Bronze Shootout contenders.

The Silver Shootout saw Bryan Mann and Lachlan McHugh join Mitchell Gee and Peter Lack on track for three more qualifying laps. This time it was Bryan Mann who turned the quickest lap, a quick 11.149 second lap enough to secure a transfer to the Gold Shootout. Mitchell Gee was second quickest, snaring the final transfer to the Gold Shootout, beating Peter Lack by just two thousandths of a second. Lack was third quickest ahead of Lachlan McHugh.

Sam Walsh and Robbie Farr joined Bryan Mann and Mitchell Gee on track for the Gold Shootout, with Robbie Farr setting the quickest time of the session. Farr stopped the clock at 10.977 seconds and secured himself pole position for the A-Main, while Sam Walsh stopped the clock at 11.228 second and would share the front row for the start of the main race. Bryan Mann and Mitchell Gee would start the feature event from the second row after finishing third and fourth respectively in the Gold Shootout.

Ten cars lined up for the twelve lap B-Main event, with Danny Reidy and Darren Jensen from the front row and only the top four finishers to transfer to the main race. When the lights went green Reidy and Jensen raced wheel-to-wheel through the opening corners but it was Jensen on the topside who managed to secure the lead. Unfortunately Mitch Gowland got a little too sideways and left Neil Howard with nowhere to go, the pair coming together and bringing the race under caution. Both Gowland and Howard restarted the event. Darren Jensen led the restart from Danny Reidy and Kevin Titman, with Titman searching for a way past Reidy. Brodie Tulloch was having a spectacular run and quickly made his way into fourth, after starting from position ten, while the leading trio started navigating lapped traffic. Tulloch sat in fourth and seemed to have the final transfer position well under control, but Garry Jacobson had fourth in his sights as he started to close in on the Q74 racer as the laps wore on. Darren Jensen took the win with Danny Reidy, Kevin Titman and Brodie Tulloch next across the line, all four transferring to the back of the A-Main field. Garry Jacobson finished in fifth and led Dave Whell, Scott Genrich, Neil Howard and Kevin Hill across the line. Mitch Gowland did not finish the race. Andrew Scheuerle, who reportedly suffered a broken plug lead in the earlier heat events, ran a few laps at the rear of the field to test the car, while Shaun Dobson, who was experiencing his own mechanical gremlins in the ACT21 racer, came out for an engine start at the conclusion of the B-main event.

Twenty cars lined up for the start of the A-Main event, with Robbie Farr and Sam Walsh from the front row. Max Dumesny pulled out of the event with mechanical dramas before the field was even pushed onto the track. Unfortunately for Shaun Dobson he pulled onto the infield before the lights went green, mechanical issues still plaguing the ACT21 racer. Despite infield personnel checking over the car he did not make it trackside in time for the green. Walsh got a brilliant start on the high line when the green flag flew and quickly secured the race lead in advance of Robbie Farr. Unfortunately though the race was quickly brought to a stop when chaos unfolded mid-field. Peter Lack got a little sideways in turn one, where he was promptly collected by Simon Jupe, with the rest of the field trying to take evasive action but most had nowhere to go. Andrew Scheuerle, Allan Woods and Luke Oldfield all inverted their cars, while Darren Jensen, Kevin Titman were among the drivers involved. Thankfully, no one was injured but with so many cars damaged, and the program a fraction ahead of schedule, officials made it an open red light stoppage and crew swarmed the track and started assessing the damages. It was quickly ascertained that both Andrew Scheuerle and Simon Jupe would not be able to restart the event, but there was a flurry of activity around Woods, Titman and Oldfield in particular as everyone worked frantically to repair damages. Darren Jensen completed repairs to his own car, while Dobson and his team tried to find the gremlin and get going again for the restart. The Woods team replaced the main wing on the Q28 racer, while Oldfield and a bunch of helpers replaced the main wing and entire front end in the Q17 racer. The infield was a hive of activity and in the end Dobson was able to take the start second time around, though it only lasted a couple of laps before he was back on the infield, with Simon Jupe and Andrew Scheuerle the only drivers involved in the crash who did not make the restart.

A full restart followed, with Farr this time managing to get the better of Walsh and settle into the race lead. Walsh secured second ahead of Mitchell Gee and Bryan Mann, while Brent Kratzmann and Mitchell Dumesny exchanged positions several times. Walsh chased after Farr, with Mitchell Gee staying close behind, while Luke Oldfield was making impressive ground in the Q17 racer and made his way up as high as seventh in just eight laps. Walsh and Gee edged closer to Farr once lapped traffic entered the equation, while Kratzmann and Mitchell Dumesny continued their entertaining battle mid-field. Bryan Mann and Lachlan McHugh had a thrilling battle for the minor places, with Danny Reidy soon joining the negotiations. Jayden Peacock had a spin and brought the race under caution with just over two thirds of the race left to run.

Robbie Farr led the restart from Sam Walsh, Mitchell Gee, Bryan Mann and Lachlan McHugh, with Walsh having an exciting run on the high side of Farr as he tried to steal the lead. Unfortunately the race was brought under caution as Matthew Dumesny had hit the cone on the restart.

Nothing had changed at the front and Robbie Farr again led the field to green, with Sam Walsh and Mitchell Gee still on his tail. Brent Kratzmann and Mitchell Dumesny exchanged slide jobs repeatedly for a couple of laps, while mechanical issues in the front end of the Q17 racer of Oldfield slowed his progress. Kevin Titman came on exceptionally strongly and began challenging Oldfield for position, while at the front of the field Walsh was all over the back of Farr. Walsh searched high and low for a way into the race lead, eventually sliding under Farr in lapped traffic with about seventeen laps left to run. Mitchell Gee lost third to Lachlan McHugh but pulled out of the race with a flat right rear tyre just a lap later. For the next ten laps Walsh led the field, weaving through intense lapped traffic, with Farr right on his tail. Walsh occasionally managed to pull away a little as lapped traffic allowed, but Farr is a master in traffic and before long was back on the tail tank of the N92 racer and challenging for the lead. With only half a dozen laps left to run Farr finally managed to regain the lead, and while Walsh tried to fight back he could not quite get the job done. The race was promptly brought back under caution as Kevin Titman slowed to a stop on the track. Unfortunately for Titman, a crash bar had been rubbing against his right rear tyre since the opening lap incident, and, after twenty-four laps, the rubbing ended with the tyre exploding and bringing about a premature end to the race for Titman. Jayden Peacock also stopped on the edge of the track, a burn to his foot enough to see him also out of the race with only six laps left to run.

Robbie Farr led the restart from Sam Walsh and Lachlan McHugh, with McHugh working the low line beautifully as he challenged Walsh for second. There was no stopping Farr out in front though and Robbie Farr went on to take the win with Sam Walsh in second and Lachlan McHugh filling the final podium position in third. Bryan Mann came home in fourth with Danny Reidy finishing a very respectable fifth. Mitchell Dumesny crossed the line in sixth while Luke Oldfield managed to hang on to seventh and led Matthew Dumesny, Peter Lack, Brodie Tulloch, Dan Murray and Allan Woods across the line. Brent Kratzmann, who had spent the entire race inside the top ten, pulled out of the event with just a couple of laps left to run. Kevin Titman, Jayden Peacock, Darren Jensen, Mitchell Gee, Shaun Dobson, Simon Jupe and Andrew Scheuerle all failed to finish the event.

Sprintcars will return to AusDeck Patios and Roofing Archerfield Speedway next Saturday night, 01 April 2017 for Round Twelve of the East Cost Logistics Sprintcar Track Championship. Andrew Scheuerle won the last event at the venue and after the disappointment that was last night in Toowoomba, he will be even more determined to go back-to-back wins at the Brisbane track. It will not be an easy feat though with a tough field of talented drivers who would love to secure the win for themselves already nominated for the event. Come on out to AusDeck Patios and Roofing Archerfield Speedway next Saturday (and bring a friend or two) and see all the action for yourself! It is going to be a big night of racing and you will not want to miss it! See you there!


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