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Kicking Up The Dirt - East Coast Logistics Series - Round 6
Joanne White posted Sunday November 26, 2017.

Last night twenty-seven Sprintcars and ten Development Series cars descended on Ausdeck Patios and Roofing Archerfield Speedway for Round 6 of the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Series. The night culminated in twin 20-lap feature events, with Mitchell Gee and Cody Maroske each earning hard fought and very much deserved wins as the chequered flags fell, but once the points from both feature events were tallied it was Mitchell Gee who claimed victory and stood atop the final podium. The first feature event was Luke Oldfield across the line in second ahead of Andrew Scheuerle, Ben Hilder and Callum Walker, while Dave Whell had a truly brilliant run in the second feature, leading a significant portion of the event but ultimately finishing second and leading Brent Kratzmann, Luke Oldfield and Mitchell Gee across the line. With a win and a fifth place finish to his name Mitchell Gee had just enough points to take the overall win, with Luke Oldfield missing out by just one point. Oldfield was officially second with a very impressive Cody Maroske rounding the podium and Brent Kratzmann and Dave Whell completing the overall top five.

Qualifying got underway and while Kaiden Manders set the benchmark early, Andrew Scheuerle eventually locked in quick time, stopping the clock at 11.842 seconds. Mitchell Gee secured second quick, his 11.875 second time hinting at the speed he would carry into the rest of the night. Manders ended up third quick at the conclusion of qualifying and was the final car in the 11-second bracket, stopping the clock at 11.955 seconds. Cody Maroske and Mark Pholi rounded out the fastest five while the top twenty-five cars were separated by less than one second. Adam Butler managed to out-qualify Luke Oldfield, beating the Q17 racer by just three thousandths of a second, while further back in the field Andrew Marks beat Brad Ayers by just two thousandth of a second and Ayers himself was only 0.001 seconds quicker than Andrew Liebke. Unfortunately for Travis Woods, who was just one of three members of the Woods family competing in the Sprintcar ranks last night, his night ended very prematurely as mechanical dramas in the NQ28 racer forced him to withdraw from the remainder of the program, despite qualifying in twenty-third position.

The first Development Series heat hit the track with Aleesha Woods and Andrew Baumber sharing the front row for the start. Both drivers got a great start but it was Baumber on the high side who managed to secure the lead. Woods held down second but immediately came under fire from Jason King while behind them Liam Atkinson had made his way ahead of Ashley Morgan and was searching for a way underneath Brendon Claridge. King soon made his way around Woods, with Claridge quick to follow on the top side while from the rear of the field Peter Campbell began making his way forward past Libby Ellis, Justin Snellman and Ashley Morgan before turning his attention to Kris Jennings and Liam Atkinson. Atkinson searched for a way past Woods, as Campbell made his way past Jennings and started putting pressure on Atkinson and Woods. It took Campbell just a couple of laps to displace both Atkinson and Woods and while he started closing in on Claridge he ran out laps. Andrew Baumber got the win, his first in the division, with Jason King home in second and Brendon Claridge officially third. Peter Campbell made his way to fourth by the fall of the chequered flag, leading Liam Atkinson, Aleesha Woods, Kris Jennings, Ashley Morgan, Justin Snellman and Libby Elis across the line.

Heat one of the open Sprintcars started with Anthony Lambert and Brad Ayers from the front row. Ayers got a brilliant start and quickly secured the race lead while Stewart Craig, from position four, swiftly followed Ayers on the top side and raced around the outside of Lambert to steal second with less than half a lap completed. Ben Hilder and Kevin Titman raced around the outside of Andrew Marks as they began making their way closer to the front, leaving Marks to try and defend his position from Andrew Scheuerle and Callum Walker. Walker raced exquisitely underneath Scheuerle as they rounded turn two, and spent the next lap searching for a way underneath Marks, all with Scheuerle right on his tail. Walker was fast but clean as he searched for the right opportunity to make his move, eventually racing up the inside of Marks as they raced their way down the back straight. Scheuerle was quick to follow Walker, racing almost effortlessly underneath Marks before slipping by on the inside of Walker half a lap later and setting out after Kevin Titman and Anthony Lambert. Titman relentlessly pursued Lambert, but looped the Q59 racer several times in turn four and brought the race under caution. Ayers led the restart from Craig and Hilder with just three laps left to run. As the green flag flew Ayers immediately opened a comfortable and unassailable lead before taking the win ahead of Stewart Craig, Ben Hilder and Anthony Lambert. Andrew Scheuerle finished fifth ahead of Callum Walker, Kevin Titman, Brock Dean and Andrew Marks.

Nelson Reddacliff and Andrew Liebke led the field to the green for the start of heat two and while the pair raced side-by-side into the first corner it was Liebke on the top-side who managed to secure the lead. Liebke immediately started opening a small lead over the rest of the field while Reddacliff had both Dave Whell and Peter Lack right on his tail. Mitchell Gee made his way past Mark Pholi and Phill Foster and set his sights on Lack and the race at the front. Lack was magnificent ton the top side as he raced beautifully around the outside of Whell before setting out after Reddacliff, while Gee raced his way underneath Whell as they rounded turn four. Lack and Gee spent several laps closing in on Reddacliff before Lack made his way through on the bottom and Gee followed half a lap later before he and Lack started edging ever closer to Liebke and the race lead. Lack got a little unsettled entering turn four with just over three laps left to run, giving Gee all the invitation he needed to race through on the bottom and into second. Lack of course fought back and just one lap after surrendering second he raced back though on the inside of Gee and regained his position. Now right on the tail of Liebke both Lack and Gee were relentless in their search for a way into the race lead, but Liebke, who has had a somewhat disappointing season so far, was determined to maintain the advantage. Andrew Liebke got the win ahead of Peter Lack and Mitchell Gee, with Nelson Reddacliff home in fourth and leading Dave Whell, Mark Pholi, Dan Murray, Phill Foster and Adam Butler across the line.

Brett Minett started from pole position in heat three, with Karl Hoffmans alongside. Minett quickly secured the lead when the lights went green, while Dylan Menz managed to get the better of Hoffmans to steal second. Luke Oldfield made his way underneath Brent Kratzmann as they rounded turn two and set his sights on Hoffmans and Menz, while Allan Woods made his way underneath Kratzmann and left the Q2 racer to defend his position from Kaiden Manders. Oldfield made his way past Hoffmans and turned his attention to Menz, while behind him Cody Maroske was trying to race around the outside of Kratzmann, just as Kratzmann was looking for a way under Woods. Woods and Kratzmann raced underneath Hoffmans as they navigated turn one, with Kratzmann getting underneath Woods a couple of laps later. Karl Hoffmans promptly brought the race under caution when he spun to a stop in turn two. Minett led the restart from Menz, Oldfield and Kratzmann with Oldfield immediately all over the back of Menz. Oldfield slid under Menz as they rounded turn two, only for Menz to fire back half a lap later when Oldfield made a small mistake in turn four and gave Menz all the invitation he needed. Kratzmann also capitalised on the rare mistake from Oldfield and raced up the inside of the Q17 racer as they powered towards turn one before focusing his attention on chasing down Menz. Kratzmann spent several laps closing the gap, but once back on the tail of Menz, Kratzmann did not hesitate and made it look easy as he raced though on the bottom and into second. While Kratzmann began chasing after Minett in the race lead, Menz once again found himself defending his position from a hard charging Luke Oldfield. Oldfield was absolutely relentless and searched high and low for a way past Menz, the pair holding nothing back as they raced ever closer to the chequered flag. Brett Minett remained largely unchallenged as he took the win with Brent Kratzmann home in second ahead of Dylan Menz and Luke Oldfield. Allan Woods finished fifth and led Cody Maroske, Kaiden Manders and Karl Hoffmans across the line.

Brendon Claridge and Peter Campbell led the field to green for the second of the Development Series heat events. Campbell quickly secured the lead when the lights went green, while Claridge ran a very comfortable second ahead of Kris Jennings, Justin Snellman and Jason King. While the leading trio started to pull ahead of the rest of the field, King searched cautiously for a way past Snellman, eventually going around the top side a few laps into the race. Liam Atkinson slipped past the inside of Snellman moments later and started chasing down King, while Snellman defended his position from Andrew Baumber. Atkinson got out of shape in turn two and while both Snellman and Baumber tried to avoid him, they made contact with each other, with Baumber inverting the NQ2 racer and Snellman tipping the Q64 racer on its side. Ashley Morgan also became involved. Unfortunately for both Baumber and Morgan they were unable to restart the event, while Snellman restarted at the rear of the field. Peter Campbell led the restart and was untouchable out in front, taking the win with a margin of almost three seconds built in just three laps. Brendon Claridge restarted the race in second ahead of Kris Jennings and Jason King, but the race for the minor places was intense. Claridge and King crossed the line side-by-side, with just one thousandth of a second separating the pair in the final positions. Jason King managed to snare second by the smallest of margins, leaving Brendon Claridge in third ahead of Kris Jennings, Aleesha Woods, Liam Atkinson, Libby Ellis and Justin Snellman. Andrew Baumber and Ashley Morgan both failed to finish the event.

Heat four started with Karl Hoffmans from the front row with Phill Foster alongside. Hoffmans got the jump but contact with Foster in turn one left Brett Minett with nowhere to go. Minett collected Foster while Dan Murray and Brent Kratzmann tried to take evasive action, only for Kratzmann to be collected by Mark Pholi, with Brock Dean also involved. Both Pholi and Foster were unable to restart the event, which elevated Dan Murray to the front row for the restart, and Mitchell Gee to position four after initially starting from position eight. Hoffmans again got the jump on the start but this time it was Murray who challenged for control of the race, having a big look in the inside as they rounded the first corner but unable to get in front. Gee took to the high line in spectacular fashion, racing beautifully around the outside of Ben Hilder and Dan Murray in less than half a lap, before turning his attention to Hoffmans. Kratzmann also committed to the high line, racing around Minett and Hilder before switching to the bottom to try and get underneath Murray as they made their way through turn three. Murray held on to his position while Kratzmann lost a spot to Minett, who was running the high line and really starting to make up ground. Ben Hilder made his way underneath Kratzmann when the latter made a small error in turn four, while Minett remained committed to the high line as he pursued Murray, while Murray closed in on Hoffmans. The speed Minett had on the top side carried him around the outside of Murray, where he began trying to get the better of Hoffmans, while Kratzmann worked the low line trying to get back past Hilder, the pair running wheel-to-wheel and right on the tail of Murray. Unfortunately for Murray his race came to a very spectacular end when he made heavy contact with the back straight wall and crashed heavily, getting plenty of air in the Q44 racer. Dan walked away from the wreck his night of competition was now over. Gee, who had already displaced Hoffmans from the lead, led the restart from Minett and Kratzmann with only four laps left to run. Gee immediately opened an unassailable lead while Kratzmann was all over the back of Minett, relentlessly searching for a way through and eventually sliding deftly underneath the Q94 racer as they navigated turn two. Minett tried to fight back but soon came under pressure from Hilder, with Hilder capitalising on a small mistake from Minett in the final corner. Mitchell Gee got the win ahead of Brent Kratzmann and Ben Hilder, with Brett Minett home in fourth and leading Brock Dean and Karl Hoffmans past the chequered flag. Dan Murray, Phill Foster and Mark Pholi all failed to finish the event.

Andrew Marks and Dave Whell shared the front row for the start of heat five, and while they raced side-by-side to the first corner it was Whell who took control of the race. Marks settled briefly into second but soon faded as Dylan Menz raced around the topside, and Brad Ayers and Allan Woods slipped through on the bottom. Callum Walker was brilliant on the high line, boldly running the top as he relentlessly searched for a way past Woods and Ayers, all while Andrew Scheuerle closed in on their tails. Woods was looking for a way through on the inside of Ayers when the race was brought under caution for the spun car of Adam Butler in turn two. Whell led the restart from Menz and Ayers, with Both Callum Walker and Andrew Scheuerle now ahead of Woods, having slipped through just before the stoppage. Scheuerle made his way underneath Walker and turned his attention to Ayers, while Cody Maroske took to the highline to race around Woods and set his sights on Walker. Butler and Marks came together at the rear of the field but both drivers managed to limp their cars from the track without causing a caution. Walker raced smoothly around the outside of Ayers, leaving Ayers to battle with Woods for several laps, but there was no stopping Dave Whell out in front, with Whell going on to take the win ahead of a quick Dylan Menz and the ever consistent Andrew Scheuerle. Callum Walker came home in fourth and led Allan Woods, Brad Ayers and Cody Maroske across the line. Adam Butler and Andrew Marks both failed to finish the event.

The final heat of the night started with Anthony Lambert from pole position with Nelson Reddacliff alongside and Kevin Titman and Andrew Liebke right behind. Lambert got the jump when the lights went green, with Reddacliff in second ahead of Kevin Titman, but the race was promptly brought under caution when Luke Oldfield spun to a stop in turn one. A full restart followed Lambert again getting the advantage, only this time Reddacliff put up a bigger fight, challenging strongly on the top-side but not quite able to get the job done. Reddacliff was forced to settle for second but quickly had his hands full as Kevin Titman started challenging on the bottom and Peter Lack closed in while working the high side. Titman was relentless, searching high and low for a way past the Q85 of Reddacliff, eventually diving underneath as they rounded turn one, with both Lack and Oldfield moving ahead of Reddacliff a few laps later. As Lack and Oldfield closed the gap to Titman, Titman put all kinds of pressure on Lambert as they fought over the lead but with two laps left to run contact between Titman and Lack saw Lack invert the beautifully presented Q5 racer down the main straight. Lambert led the restart with Oldfield right on his tail and while Oldfield held nothing back and searched high and low and everywhere in between for a way past Lambert, Lambert was not prepared to surrender the lead. Anthony Lambert drove a remarkable race and took the win with Luke Oldfield officially second ahead of Stewart Craig and Kaiden Manders. Andrew Liebke crossed the line in fifth and led Kevin Titman and Nelson Reddacliff, who had a flat left rear and limped across the line, home. Peter Lack did not finish the race.

Nine cars lined up for the start of the C-Main event, also known as the Development Series feature event. Jason King started from pole with Peter Campbell alongside. Campbell secured the lead as they exited turn one and from there started opening a small lead. King settled into a very comfortable second ahead of Brendon Claridge, while Kris Jennings and Liam Atkinson argued over the minor places. King spent several laps chasing Campbell and, when within striking distance, made his move on the bottom, stealing the lead as the pair navigated turns three and four. Unfortunately for King just half a lap later he spun the NQ69 racer in turn two, bringing the race under caution and forfeiting the race lead. Peter Campbell led the restart and went on to take the win, and continuing his unbeaten run in the division. Kris Jennings finished a strong second while Aleesha Woods crossed the line in third. Liam Atkinson finished fourth, and, along with Campbell, Jennings and Woods, was offered a place at the rear of the Sprintcar B-Main field. Jason King finished fifth and led Ashley Morgan, Justin Snellman and Libby Ellis across the line. Brendon Claridge did not finish the race.

The fifteen lap B-Main event was contested by thirteen cars, with Andrew Liebke and Brad Ayers sharing the front row for the start of the event. Liebke got the jump on the start and quickly settled into the race lead with Ayers in second but when Ayers spun the NQ11 racer in turn two, a chain-reaction of events brought the race to a stop. Brett Minett and Anthony Lambert both had nowhere go, the pair coming together with Ayers, while behind them Nelson Reddacliff, Brock Dean and the rest of the oncoming field tried to avoid the chaos unfolding. Unfortunately for Minett he was unable to restart the event. A full restart followed with Kevin Titman now alongside Andrew Liebke on the front row, but it was Liebke who again managed to secure the lead when the lights went green. Titman settled into second and he and Liebke opened a comfortable margin over the rest of the field, while Dean took to the high line, albeit with a damaged main wing, and started trying to make up lost ground. Deep in the field Phill Foster and Andrew Marks had a great battle amongst themselves, exchanging positions several times, while Dean chased Lambert, who in turn was all over the back of Hoffmans. Marks soon caught the back of Dean and joined the battle for a few laps before a few small mistakes saw him drop back a couple of car lengths, while Dean remained focussed on finding a way past Hoffmans. Andrew Liebke took the win ahead of Kevin Titman and Nelson Reddacliff, while Anthony Lambert crossed the line in fourth and secured the final transfer to the twin A-Mains. Brock Dean finished fifth and led Karl Hoffmans across the line, with Brad Ayers, Andrew Marks, Peter Campbell and Liam Atkinson rounding out the finishers. Phill Foster, Kris Jennings and Brett Minett all failed to complete the 15-lap journey.

The first of two twenty-lap Sprintcar A-Mains hit the track with Mitchell Gee and Andrew Scheuerle sharing the front row ahead of Ben Hilder and Kaiden Manders. Gee got an absolutely brilliant start when the green flag flew and immediately secured the lead, opening small margin over his rivals, while Scheuerle settled into second but set his sights on Gee and the race lead. Hilder held down third but Luke Oldfield had already displaced Manders and, just half a lap into the race, was challenging Hilder for third. Callum Walker made his way past Brent Kratzmann, while Cody Maroske tried to find a way underneath Manders. Mid-field Dylan Menz, Peter Lack, Kevin Titman and Dave Whell had a close battle unfolding as they tried to find a way past Stewart Craig. Maroske and Kratzmann both soon found their way in front of Manders, while Peter Lack used the high line to his advantage and managed to make his way around Stewart Craig and set his sights on Manders and Kratzmann. Walker spent a number of laps closing the gap to Maroske and what followed was a captivating battle as two of the brightest young talents coming through sport raced cleanly, exchanging positions several times, and putting on a show for race fans. Meanwhile at the front of the field Mitchell Gee had started weaving his way through lapped traffic, with both Scheuerle and Oldfield all over his tail. Oldfield raced around the high side of Scheuerle and carried immense momentum on the top side, remaining there as he ran around the outside of the lapped car of Craig, just as Gee was on the bottom trying to make his way in front of the lapped traffic. Oldfield took control of the race but Gee was not done and had incredible speed and determination on the bottom. Holding nothing back but remaining focused on the task at hand Gee was smooth and quick on the bottom, relentlessly hitting his marks and running two-abreast with Oldfield for a couple of laps before finally regaining the lead as they exited turn four. Oldfield had another look on the outside in turn three but lost ground in turn four letting Gee pull several car lengths ahead. The race was soon brought under caution when Kaiden Manders spun to a stop in turn three with just three laps left to run. Mitchell Gee led the restart and went on to take the win with Luke Oldfield home in second and Andrew Scheuerle in third. Ben Hilder and Callum Walker raced side-by-side for most the last three laps, with Walker valiantly working the top side while trying to steal fourth. Ben Hilder managed to hang on to finish fourth ahead of Callum Walker, Brent Kratzmann, Cody Maroske, Dave Whell, Peter Lack, Mark Pholi, Dylan Menz, Nelson Reddacliff, Stewart Craig, Allan Woods, Kevin Titman, Anthony Lambert, Andrew Liebke and Kaiden Manders. All eighteen starters managed to finish the 20-lap journey.

As winner of the first feature Mitchell Gee was tasked with drawing a marble to determine the inversion for the start of the second feature event. Gee drew eight, leaving Dave Whell and Cody Maroske from the front row. Whell got the jump when the race got underway, with Maroske in second and Brent Kratzmann holding down third. The race was however quickly brought under caution when Andrew Scheuerle slammed the back straight wall, damaging the rear end of the Q25 racer before limping to a stop high on the track in turn four. Unfortunately for Scheuerle it was enough to end his race. A full restart followed and while Whell and Maroske raced wheel-to-wheel into the first corner, it was again Whell who took control of the race. Maroske settled into second with Callum Walker and Brent Kratzmann on his tail, but promptly took to the high line as he challenged Whell for the lead. Whell managed to maintain the advantage, while Maroske soon found Walker trying to steal second all the while Mitchell Gee was trying to make his way forward whilst battling Kratzmann for the minor places. Callum Walker was nothing sort of mesmerising as he powered around the top side, never yielding and eventually managing to make his way in front of Maroske and into second, chasing down Whell and the race lead. Mid-field Luke Oldfield and Peter Lack were battling each other and Nelson Reddacliff, all with Kevin Titman on their tail. Dylan Menz was also using the top to his advantage and starting to make his way forward, but back at the front of the field Maroske had not given up and was working the high line to try and regain his position from Walker. The race was brought to a stop when Menz spun to a stop in turn two, just a couple of car lengths in front of the leaders. In a devastating blow for Walker, a flat right front tyre saw him relegated to the rear of the field for the restart but less than a lap after the race resumed, Walker pulled the car out of the event. Whell led the restart with Maroske inheriting second, with Brent Kratzmann and Mitchell Gee right behind and fourteen laps left to run. Whell was strong out in front but Maroske was determined and the battle for the lead really was something special. Gee chased Kratzmann while Mark Pholi sat behind them but soon found Luke Oldfield on his tail. It was hard not to watch the leaders though as Maroske committed to the high line and refused to give up. Whell held his line and ran a strong and smooth race, while Maroske worked hard on the top side, and, with incredible speed in the Q22 racer and a persistence and tenacity that is sure to serve him well in the years ahead, spent several laps running two breast with Whell before finally managing to earn control of the race. Contact between Oldfield and Pholi ended with Pholi stranded on the inside edge of the track in turn three and brought the race under caution with six laps left to run. Cody Maroske led the restart and went on to take the win ahead of Dave Whell and Brent Kratzmann, while Luke Oldfield managed to get the better of Mitchell Gee in the final few laps to finish fourth with Gee officially fifth. Ben Hilder came home in sixth and led Kevin Titman, Peter Lack, Kaiden Manders, Nelson Reddacliff, Allan Woods, Anthony Lambert, Andrew Liebke, Stewart Craig, Dylan Menz and Mark Pholi across the line. Callum Walker and Andrew Scheuerle did not finish the race.

Once the points from both features were combined, it was Mitchell Gee who claimed overall victory for the night, beating second placed Luke Oldfield by just one point. Cody Maroske rounded out the final podium for the round, while Brent Kratzmann and Dave Whell completed the top five. Ben Hilder was sixth overall while Andrew Scheuerle hung on to seventh despite not finishing the second feature. Peter Lack, Callum Walker and Kevin Titman completed the top ten, followed by Nelson Reddacliff, Allan Woods, Mark Pholi, Dylan Menz, Kaiden Manders, Stewart Craig, Anthony Lambert and Andrew Liebke.

Sprintcars Queensland will take next weekend off before returning to Ausdeck Patios and Roofing Archerfield Speedway on Saturday 09 December 2017 for our last Brisbane event before the busy post-Christmas race schedule. We have seen some pretty incredible racing already this season so come on out and see it for yourself! See you trackside!


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