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Kicking Up The Dirt - Will Power 500 and Ultimate Pink Night 2017
Joanne White posted Sunday December 17, 2017.

It has taken months for us to get here but we finally had some fine weather on a race day and Sprintcars Queensland headed back to Hi-Tec Oils Toowoomba Speedway last night for the Will Power 500, Ultimate Pink Night and Round Three of the Queensland Ultimate Sprintcar Championship. Thirty-three Sprintcars rolled into the venue and what a night it was! Previous winners of the Will Power 500, Luke Oldfield and Peter Lack, were both phenomenal as they tried to become the first repeat winners of the event, while Robbie Farr did what he does best with one simple goal in mind - to stand atop the podium in a race that had, so far, eluded him. Robbie Farr eventually got the win, though it was hard fought as he faced intense challenges from early leader Andrew Wright and a very hard-charging Luke Oldfield. Farr led comfortably for much of the race, but Oldfield and Wright both managed to close the gap in lapped traffic with seven laps to go, the trio having a captivating battle as they raced closer the chequered flag. Robbie Farr got a very much deserved win, with Luke Oldfield home in second and Andrew Wright rounding out the podium after a very solid drive. Peter Lack and Allan Woods completed the top five.

Qualifying started with Simon Jupe quickly setting the benchmark at a very quick 11.812 seconds. Jupe was in the very first group to qualify, but his time proved difficult to beat, with Robbie Farr the only driver able to better the time. Farr stopped the clock at 11.710 seconds to claim Quick Time in qualifying, with Simon Jupe second quickest ahead of Andrew Wright, Allan Woods and Mark Pholi. Sixth and Seventh quickest, Jessie Attard and Bryan Mann, recorded identical times, both stopping the clock at 11.968 seconds, and were the last of the drivers in the 11-second bracket, while the top twenty-three cars were separated by less than one second. Mitchell Gee beat Jayden Peacock by just one thousandth of a second, with Peacock running exceptionally high on the track, circulating just inches from the outside wall. Michael Saller, after a massive week rebuilding the N56 racer after his spectacular crash in Sydney last weekend, had an issue with the fuel hose and was unable to complete his qualifying laps.

Simon Jupe and Andrew Wright shared the front row for the start of heat one, having bettered the rest of their heat group in qualifying. The pair led the field to green with Jupe momentarily securing the advantage before Wright powered around the outside to take control of the race by the time they hit turn two. Jessie Attard made his way into second before Jupe got a little crossed up and surrendered his position to both Andrew Scheuerle and Brent Kratzmann. Scheuerle and Kratzmann had a thrilling battle mid-field, racing side-by-side as they chased the leaders before they split and raced either side of Jupe, the trio racing three-wide as they argued over the minor positions. Once ahead of Jupe, Scheuerle was then able to pull ahead of the Q2 racer of Kratzmann. Allan Woods looked strong and confident as he closed in on Jessie Attard, while Attard in turn started closing the gap to Wright. Woods worked the bottom beautifully while his rivals preferred the top, and it was only after Woods had a massive look on the inside of Attard that Attard ventured to the bottom as well. Andrew Wright got the win with Jessie Attard holding on to finish second ahead of Allan Woods, Andrew Scheuerle, Brent Kratzmann, Simon Jupe, Anthony Lambert, Dave Whell, Adam Butler and Mitch Gowland.

Heat two started with Robbie Farr and Mark Pholi from the front row with Pholi getting a great start and, momentarily, securing the race lead. Farr was quick to make his move and almost instantly took control of the race, only for Pholi to fight back boldly on the high side and regain the lead. Pholi drove a truly phenomenal race, fiercely defending his position as Farr put all kinds of pressure on the race leader, searching high and low for a way past but Pholi simply was not prepared to surrender the advantage. Farr slide beautifully underneath Pholi, only for Pholi to quickly return serve with a breath-taking slide job of his own. It was mesmerising to watch but it was not the only battle unfolding, with Travis Woods doing an incredible job defending his position from a hard-charging Peter Lack. Lack did eventually manage to make his way past Woods and into third, while Robbie Farr had one last big look on the inside of Pholi as they rounded the final corner but it was Mark Pholi who was first to greet the chequered flag and take the win. Robbie Farr finished second ahead of Peter Lack, while Mitchell Gee crossed the line in fourth, having got the better of Travis Woods on the final lap. Woods finished fifth and led Dylan Menz, Mick Sauer, Kim Becker, Bryan Zelinski and Kris Jennings across the line. Karl Hoffmans pulled out of the event after completing just five laps.

Bryan Mann, in his season debut, started heat three from pole position with Cody Maroske alongside and while Mann initially got his nose in front when the lights went green, Maroske was sensational on the top side and made it look easy as he raced around the high line and into the lead. Brodie Tulloch and Jayden Peacock rubbed wheels as they fought over the minor position, while Brett Minett chased after Peacock. Peacock, still running the extreme high line he was in qualifying, slammed the wall coming out of turn four, while Luke Oldfield, who had started back in position six, continued his impressive climb towards the front, making his way into second with only a few laps completed. Peacock slowed just as David Kenway spun to a stop in turn four, with Michael Saller exiting the race with more mechanical issues. Maroske led the restart from Oldfield and Mann with six laps left to run but before a lap was completed Brett Minett spun the Q94 racer in the middle of the field and brought the race back under caution just as Oldfield began challenging Maroske for the lead. Maroske again led the restart with Oldfield on his tail and holding nothing back as he searched for a way into the lead. Jayden Peacock, who had restarted at the rear of the field, was spectacular on the top side and quickly made his way back to mid field, where he found himself on the tail of Andrew Corbet, with Brett Minett also making impressive progress towards the front of the field after coming from the rear with six laps to go. At the front of the field Oldfield was relentless, working the bottom and trying to get his nose in front of Maroske, but Maroske was quick and fought hard to defend his position. The fans were captivated as the pair but on a brilliant show but once Oldfield secured the lead with two laps to go he immediately started to pull away and opened a small margin on his rivals. Luke Oldfield got the win ahead of Cody Maroske and Bryan Mann. Brodie Tulloch crossed the line in fourth and led Andrew Corbet, Jayden Peacock, Brett Minett, Nelson Reddacliff, Dan Murray and Brendon Claridge home. Michael Saller and David Kenway did not finish the event.

Andrew Scheuerle and Brent Kratzmann shared the front row for the start of the fourth heat and while Scheuerle and Jessie Attard, from position three, both got brilliant starts, Kratzmann did not. Contact between Kratzmann and Simon Jupe left Jupe enough damage to prematurely end his race, while Kratzmann was relegated to the rear of the field as the primary cause of the stoppage. Allan Woods inherited the front row alongside Scheuerle with Woods getting the jump when the lights went green. Scheuerle immediately challenged for the lead but could not quite get the job done, while Andrew Wright quickly made his way past both Dave Whell and Jessie Attard to settle into third and began chasing down Scheuerle and Woods. Brent Kratzmann was charging through from the rear of the field, working hard to make up lost ground, having a great battle with Anthony Lambert for a few laps, the pair trading places multiple times, before Kratzmann secured the position and set out after Dave Whell. Kratzmann worked the bottom and raced beautifully underneath Whell while at the front of the field Scheuerle was all over the back of Woods. Scheuerle was persistent and unrelenting as he fought for control of the race, searching high and low for a way past Woods before having a massive look on the inside of Woods only for Woods to close the door. With just a couple laps to go Woods made a small error in turn four, and that was all the invitation Scheuerle needed. Scheuerle did not hesitate and quickly took control of the race, and while Woods fought back valiantly with a big charge on the last half of the last lap, it was Andrew Scheuerle who got the win ahead of Allan Woods and Andrew Wright with Jessie Attard home in fourth. Brent Kratzmann came from the rear of the field to finish fifth and led Anthony Lambert, Dave Whell, Mitch Gowland and Adam Butler across the line. David Kenway and Simon Jupe did not finish the event.

Mick Sauer and Mitchell Gee shared the front row for heat five and led the field to green. It was a very even start with the leading duo racing side-by-side into the first corner, but it was Gee on the top-side who managed to secure the lead. Travis Woods was quick to move into second, but Peter Lack was on the move and quickly slid underneath Woods and into second, setting his sights on Gee with Robbie Farr in hot pursuit. Farr quickly made his way past Woods, following Lack and trying to close in on the leaders, while Mick Sauer and Mark Pholi had an entertaining battle mid-field, only for Dylan Menz to join the battle as well. Menz had a big look on the inside of Mark Pholi and, together with Sauer, the trio put on a truly spectacular show for race fans. At the front of the field Peter Lack closed in on the tail of Mitchell Gee, and while Lack is quick on the top he switched to the bottom and slide magnificently underneath Gee and into the lead. Unfortunately for Lack he promptly slammed the outside wall and lost a lot of speed, handing control of the race back to Gee with just a couple of laps to run. Lack fought back in the last half lap of the race with a last minute charge, but there was no stopping Mitchell Gee out in front as he took the win ahead of Peter Lack, Robbie Farr, Travis Woods, Mick Sauer, Mark Pholi, Dylan Menz, Kim Becker, Bryan Zelinski and Kris Jennings. Karl Hoffmans had continuing mechanical problems in the Q3 racer and pulled out of the event before taking the green.

Heat six started with the formidable duo of Luke Oldfield and Jayden Peacock from the front row, with Brett Minett and Brodie Tulloch right behind. Oldfield got the initial jump but Peacock had been exceptionally quick all night and immediately took to the high side and raced around the top to steal the lead. Oldfield challenged for control of the race but Peacock started to pull away. Cody Maroske began making his way towards the front of the field but Brendon Claridge spun to a stop in turn four and brought the race under caution. Peacock led the restart from Oldfield and Tulloch and immediately started to pull away from the rest of the field, generating a small margin. Oldfield closed in and challenged on the bottom but could not make his way in front, while Cody Maroske was all over the back of Bryan Mann, who in turn was trying to find a way past Brodie Tulloch. As Mann edged closer to Tulloch, Peacock pulled a little further ahead of Oldfield, but the margin was short lived as Oldfield timed his run to perfection. Oldfield edged closer to the Q77 racer of Peacock, and, with less than half a lap left to run, seemed to find a little extra momentum on the bottom and dove seemingly effortlessly underneath Peacock to steal the lead with only a quarter of a lap left to run. Luke Oldfield secured the win in heat six, with Jayden Peacock home in second and Brodie Tulloch officially third. Bryan Mann, Brett Minett, Cody Maroske, Nelson Reddacliff, Dan Murray and Brendon Claridge rounded out the finishers while Michael Saller and Andrew Corbet both failed to finish the event.

In a special treat for kids both young and old, Santa joined us trackside and challenged a couple of the local Toowoomba drivers to a dash event. Santa, borrowing the Q4 of Dave Whell while Whell watched on, started at the rear of the field and made a big move on the inside when the lights went green. Andrew Scheuerle had the lead but Santa moved into second by the end of the first lap, and when Scheuerle stared to slow a little after just three laps, Santa quickly moved into the race lead. Much to the delight of the children in the crowd, Santa got the win, a far more successful run than the one he had in Brisbane a few years back, with Peter Lack second ahead of Mark Pholi, Andrew Scheuerle and Anthony Lambert.

Fifteen cars lined up for the 15-lap B-main event with Simon Jupe and Mick Sauer sharing the front row. Jupe initially secured the lead but Dave Whell had a brilliant drive and dove underneath Jupe to steal the lead. It however was short-lived as the front four drivers negotiated over control of the race, with Jupe soon emerging in front once more. Dylan Menz held down second but put a serious challenge to Jupe, and the battle between the pair was only just starting to heat up when Kim Becker spun the N55 racer and brought the race under caution with thirteen laps remaining. Jupe led the restart from Menz and Sauer with Jupe getting a magnificent start when the lights went green. Menz missed the start a little and allowed Jupe to open a small margin while deeper in the field Nelson Reddacliff had a massive look on the inside of Mitch Gowland. Anthony Lambert was all over the tail of Mick Sauer as he searched for a way through, with Lambert then sliding beautifully underneath the Q69 racer just a couple of laps into the restart to secure third. Dylan Menz committed to the high side and raced boldly around the outside of Simon Jupe to take control of the race, while Dave Whell and Mick Sauer fought over the final transfer position with eight laps still to run. Menz had built a comfortable lead and while both Jupe and Lambert were unchallenged in their positions, the battle for fourth was just starting to heat up. Michael Saller, who has endured a tough week followed by a difficult night, seemed to have finally sorted the problems in the N56 racer and was coming through the field with his eyes on a transfer position. While Dave Whell looked for a way past Mick Sauer, Saller began challenging Whell for position, making for a close and intense battle as the trio argued over who would transfer to main event. Dylan Menz was doing a brilliant job out in front, patiently navigating lapped traffic before taking the win ahead of Simon Jupe and Anthony Lambert. Michael Saller managed to make his way into fourth by the fall of chequered flag, earning the final transfer to the up-coming A-Main race, while Mick Sauer was forced to settle for fifth. Dave Whell crossed the line in sixth and led Mitch Gowland, Adam Butler, Brendon Claridge, Nelson Reddacliff, Dan Murray, Kim Becker and Kris Jennings across the line. Bryan Zelinski and Karl Hoffmans did not finish the event.

An impressive field of twenty Sprintcars lined up for the start of the thirty-lap A-Main race, with Robbie Farr and Andrew Wright from the front row, and Bryan Mann, Allan Woods, Mark Pholi and Luke Oldfield close behind. Farr got the jump as the lights went green, but with just half a lap completed Wright raced spectacularly underneath Farr and stole the lead. Farr slid back underneath Wright to regain control but Wright was quick to return serve with a slide job of his own, this time managing to hang on to the race lead. Behind them Luke Oldfield was arguing with Allan Woods over the minor positions, while Mark Pholi tried to fend his position from a very quick Cody Maroske. The race was however soon brought under caution when Michael Saller, Dylan Menz and Brett Minett tangled, and Minett had a damaged front wing and Menz had a very bent steering arm, all three drivers were able to restart the event.

Andrew Wright led the restart from Robbie Farr, Bryan Mann, Luke Oldfield, Allan Woods and Mark Pholi, with Cody Maroske coming on strong. Minett soon pulled out of the event, just as the race was brought under caution for Mark Pholi who had hit the cone on the restart. Pholi was relegated to the rear of the field, while Minett had the chance to be restarted and rejoin the race at the tail of the field. Andrew Wright again led the restart from Robbie Farr, Bryan Mann, Luke Oldfield, Allan Woods, Cody Maroske, Peter Lack and Mitchell Gee, and while Wright seemed comfortable in the race lead, Lack had a massive charge on the bottom, sliding beautifully underneath Maroske and having a big look at Woods as well. Unfortunately for Lack the race was again promptly brought under caution when Dylan Menz spun to a stop in turn one. Unfortunately for Menz he was issued with a mechanical defect flag and was forced to the infield to watch the remainder of the race.

When the race resumed once more it was again Andrew Wright who led the way, with Robbie Farr close on his tail and Bryan Mann closing in fast. Mann chased after Farr but Farr took to the high line and challenged Wright for the lead. It was a perfectly timed move and enough to see Farr secure the lead, and while Wright fought back, with Mann all over his tail, Farr was simply too good. Mann had a big look on the inside of Wright but, just one lap into the restart, the race was brought back under caution, this time for Brent Kratzmann who had spun in the middle of the back straight.

Robbie Farr led the restart this time around, with Andrew Wright holding down second ahead of Bryan Mann and Luke Oldfield. Wright stayed with Farr was the green flag flew and had a bold look on the inside of Farr, trying to regain the lead and captivating the crowd at the same time. Peter Lack and Mitchell Gee chased Allan Woods while Bryan Mann closed in on Andrew Wright to challenge for second. Mitchell Gee edged closer to the front and started putting all kinds of pressure on Allan Woods, while at the front of the field Farr, Wright and Oldfield entered lapped traffic. Oldfield challenged Wright for second, while behind them Peter Lack and Bryan Mann came together while arguing over the minor positions. Another yellow light stoppage followed soon after bringing the race to another stop.

Robbie Farr led the restart from Andrew Wright and Luke Oldfield and while Farr quickly opened a comfortable margin over his rivals, further back in the field Peter Lack made his way ahead of Bryan Mann, leaving Mann in the clutches of a hard-charging Mitchell Gee. Cody Maroske chased Bryan Mann for a couple of laps, while Jayden Peacock, who had climbed as high as sixth, spun to a stop and brought the race under caution. Mitchell Gee also spun as the yellows were thrown for Peacock, with both young guns relegated to the rear for the restart.

With sixteen laps to run it was Robbie Farr who led the restart from Andrew Wright and Luke Oldfield and Peter Lack, with both Oldfield and Lack, the two previous winners of the Will Power 500 race, stepping up the pressure on Wright as they fought over second. Allan Woods closed in on the back of Lack as Wright and Oldfield exchanged slide job after slide job for several laps before Oldfield finally secured second with about twelve laps left to run. Oldfield and his team had the car set up beautifully and had some serious momentum in the Q17 racer as he rapidly closed in on Farr and the race lead. Farr entered lapped traffic, with Oldfield only further closing the gap as Farr carefully made his way past the back markers. With seven laps left to run, not only had Oldfield caught the tail of Farr, but Andrew Wright had joined the battle once more. Oldfield had a massive look on the inside of Farr, much to the delight of the large Ultimate Pink Night crowd, but Farr was too good and not prepared to surrender his position. Lapped traffic played a big part as the leaders weaved their way through, but with four laps left to run it became clear that there was going to be little Oldfield could do to displace Farr from the top spot. Robbie Farr got hard-fought and well-deserved win, with Oldfield, who clouted the back straight wall and slowed slightly in the final laps, across the line in second and Andrew Wright home in third. Peter Lack and Allan Woods rounded out the top five, with Bryan Mann, Travis Woods, Brent Kratzmann, Cody Maroske, Andrew Scheuerle, Jessie Attard, Brodie Tulloch, Jayden Peacock, Brett Minett, Michael Saller and Mitchell Gee rounding out the finishers. Anthony Lambert, who had been running inside the top ten as he approached the chequered flag, had a moment with Kratzmann in the final corner of the race and inverted the Q90 racer within sight of the finish. Lambert was unscathed in the incident but did not officially finish the race. Mark Pholi, Dylan Menz and Simon Jupe all retired to the infield before the completion of the thirty-lap journey.

Sprintcars Queensland will now break for a little over a week and will return to Ausdeck Patios and Roofing Archerfield Speedway on Boxing night for the first of our USA Sprintcar events. It is going to be a massive show (isn't it always), where Americans Donny Schatz and Logan Schuchart will join us for a thrilling night of family entertainment. You won't want to miss this one!

From all of us at Sprintcars Queensland we wish you all a wonderful Christmas, full of good people, good food and good times, and a Boxing Day full of plenty of Sprintcar racing action! See you trackside!

 

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