Kicking Up The Dirt - East Coast Logistics Series - Round 9
Joanne White posted Sunday December 31, 2017.
With no rest for the committed, Sprintcars Queensland returned to Ausdeck Patios and Roofing Archerfield Speedway last night for Round Nine of the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Series, and Round Two of the USA Sprintcars. Donny Schatz and Logan Schuchart returned, with Lucas Wolfe joining the American contingent and USA-Based Lynton Jeffrey piloting the NQ28 racer for team owner Allan Woods. With storms developing to the west of the track and heading in the direction of the Speedway, the decision was made, during qualifying, to alter the format for the night to run similar to the World of Outlaws format used in the States, in an effort to get the program concluded before more inclement weather arrived. The A-Main was declared with just two laps left to run, with Donny Schatz the official winner ahead of Andrew Scheuerle, while Brent Kratzmann joined them on the podium in third. Peter Lack and Lucas Wolfe rounded out the top five, while the drive of the night had to be Darren Jensen, who came from fourteenth in the B-Main before making it inside the top ten in the main race, only to have race-ending contact with another competitor with four laps left to run.
Qualifying got underway with young Callum Walker setting the benchmark in the first group to hit the track. Walker stopped the clock at a quick 11.930 seconds and, with the track deteriorating fast as each group time trialled, was the only car to break into the 11-second bracket. Andrew Scheuerle (12.093 seconds) and Brent Kratzmann (12.131 seconds), both also in the first group to qualify, were next quickest, while Lucas Wolfe (12.157 seconds), Logan Schuchart (12.181 seconds) and Donny Schatz (12.185 seconds) completed the quickest six. Dylan Menz beat Steve Rowell by just three thousandths of a second, while Rowell beat Lynton Jeffrey by just 0.005 seconds. Paul Rooks was six thousandths of a second quicker than Jayden Peacock while Dan Murray beat Mitchell Gee by just two thousandths of a second. Bryan Mann and Mitchell Gee both suffered mechanical issues during their original qualifying groups, the pair taking to the track for one qualifying lap at the end of the qualifying session. Despite their best efforts in trying track conditions, Mann managed to lock in a 13.536 second lap, some 1.606 seconds slower than quick time set by Walker, and saw him languishing back in twenty-third, while Gee locked in a 13.719 second lap to see him in twenty-eighth position, 1.789 seconds behind quick time, and illustrated just how much the track had changed over seven qualifying groups.
With the format now changed to try and beat the approaching weather, we were reduced to just four heat events, with each driver getting just one heat race. The fastest qualifiers started from the front, with the top four finishers from each event transferring directly into the A-Main event, leaving the rest split between the C and B Mains.
Callum Walker and Logan Schuchart were scheduled to start heat one from the front row, but Schuchart suffered engine woes at the end of qualifying and did not front for the heat event, elevating Paul Rooks to the front row to take the green alongside Walker. Walker and Rooks raced side-by-side into turn one, each taking their turn at getting their nose in front before Walker secured the lead coming out of the second corner. Luke Oldfield raced up the inside of Rooks to steal second before they hit turn three, with Mark Pholi following Oldfield on the bottom to move ahead of Brodie Tulloch and Paul Rooks by the time the first lap was completed. Tulloch got momentarily caught behind Rooks but soon came under pressure from Steven White. Tulloch quickly pulled a little ahead of White and started looking for a way past Rooks, leaving White to try and defend his position from Steve Greer, with White and Greer exchanging positions a couple of times before Greer came unstuck and spun the Q84 racer to a stop in turn three. Walker led the restart from Oldfield and Pholi with five laps still to run and once the race resumed Oldfield wasted no time in racing up the inside of Walker as the pair powered down the back straight, stealing the lead before they entered turn three. Walker fought back valiantly on the bottom through turn four but Oldfield remained in control of the race while behind them Tulloch briefly challenged Rooks for the minor places before Rooks opened a small gap and started challenging Pholi for third. Steven White had another couple of looks underneath Tulloch but could not get the job done, while at the tail of the field Jason King led Karl Hoffmans and Steve Greer, the trio having a close battle as they raced ever closer to the chequered flag. Luke Oldfield got the win ahead of Callum Walker and Mark Pholi with Paul Rooks fourth across the line and leading Brodie Tulloch, Steven White, Jason King, Karl Hoffmans and Steve Greer home.
Andrew Scheuerle and Donny Schatz shared the front row for the start of heat two, the pair drag racing wheel-to-wheel into the first corner, with Scheuerle securing the race lead. Schatz immediately challenged for control of the race, the pair quickly opening a margin over the rest of the field. Dylan Menz dove underneath Jayden Peacock through the opening corners but the race was quickly brought under caution when Darren Jensen spun the Q75 racer to a stop in turn one. A full restart followed with Scheuerle again getting the better of Schatz when the lights went green. Menz initially secured the advantage over Peacock as they entered the first corner, only for Peacock to fight back hard on the bottom and steal third from Menz as they raced down the back straight. Cody Maroske had pulled ahead of Anthony Lambert, and soon joined Menz and Peacock in their negotiations over the minor places, the trio of young guns putting on a spectacular show as they exchanged places back and forth. Maroske took to the high line and made it look easy as he raced around the outside on Menz, setting his sights on Peacock only for Menz to fight back hard on the bottom, while behind them Anthony Lambert and Andrew Corbet were briefly embroiled in their own battle for position. But all eyes were on Scheuerle and Schatz at the front of the field, with Schatz all over the back of the Q25 racer, searching for a way in front, while Scheuerle drove a faultless race, withstanding the pressure and showing why he is one of the best drivers in Queensland. Andrew Scheuerle got the win ahead of Donny Schatz and Jayden Peacock with Cody Maroske across the line in fourth to earn his place in the main event. Dylan Menz finished fifth and led Andrew Corbet, Kevin Britten, Darren Jensen, Anthony Lambert and Liam Atkinson home.
Heat three started with Brent Kratzmann from pole position with Peter Lack sharing the front row. Kratzmann got the jump on the start and quickly settled into the lead in advance of Lack while Dave Whell and Steve Rowell argued over third and fourth. Rowell made his way underneath Whell as they rounded turn two, with Allan Woods following half a lap later to relegate Whell back to fifth. Whell fought back with a big look on the inside of Woods heading into turn one, but got caught behind Rowell on the bottom with Woods, running mid-track, maintaining his position. Woods continued to work the higher line, searching relentlessly for a way around Rowell, and while it took a couple of laps of side-by-side racing with Rowell, Woods did eventually secure third. Whell spent the last half of the race searching for a way past Rowell, trying to earn an automatic transfer to the A-Main race, but Rowell was able to hold him off and kept the transfer position for himself. Brent Kratzmann easily took the win almost three and half seconds ahead of Peter Lack in second, while Allan Woods and Steve Rowell secured the last two transfer positions for the heat when they crossed the line in third and fourth respectively. Dave Whell finished fifth ahead of Dan Murray, Bryan Mann, Bryan Zelinski and Stewart Craig.
Lucas Wolfe and Brock Dean shared the front row for the fourth and final heat event of the night and while Wolfe quickly secured the lead the race was quickly brought under caution, officials deeming Wolfe to have jumped the start and relegated the 5W car to the second row for the restart. This elevated Lynton Jeffrey to pole position for the second attempted start with Jeffrey quickly securing the advantage over Dean when the green flag flew. Dean held down second while Kaiden Manders searched the high line for a way past Wolfe, with Wolfe then challenging Dean for second. Mitchell Gee ran the high line trying to find a way past Adam Butler and Kristy Bonsey, while at the tail of the field Mitch Gowland and Nelson Reddacliff fought over the minor places. Reddacliff ran the topside and soon got the better of Gowland, the pair quickly catching Butler, who had reluctantly surrendered a position to Gee. Reddacliff used the high line to get around Butler before switching back to the bottom to close the gap to Gee. It took several laps for Reddacliff to catch Gee but when Gee left the bottom open Reddacliff did not hesitate and quickly slipped through on the inside of Gee with only a couple of laps left to run. Lynton Jeffrey got the win ahead of Brock Dean and Lucas Wolfe, while Kaiden Manders secured the last direct transfer to the feature event. Kristy Bonsey finished a very strong fifth and led Nelson Reddacliff, Mitchell Gee, Adam Butler and Mitch Gowland past the chequered flag.
Bryan Zelinski started the C-Main from pole position with Adam Butler alongside and Steve Greer and Anthony Lambert from the second row. Zelinski and Butler raced side-by-side into turn one and remained that way for almost a lap and a half before Zelinski finally managed to secure the lead. Greer and Lambert exchanged positions several times on the opening lap, with Mitch Gowland then racing up the inside of both Greer and Lambert as they completed the first lap. Unfortunately though Greer spun the Q84 racer in turn two, where he was promptly collected by Stewart Craig, who had been left with nowhere to go, and brought the race under caution. Zelinski led the restart from Butler and Lambert with Gowland taking the green from position four. Gowland had a look underneath Lambert, but opened the door for Craig who didn’t hesitate as he slipped through on the inside of the Q32 racer. Gowland searched high and low for a way back through but Craig had him covered until the final corner of the race. Bryan Zelinski took the win ahead of Adam Butler, both drivers earning a transfer to the back of the B-Main, while Anthony Lambert looped the Q90 racer in the final corner, giving up third as he straightened the car enough to cross the line. Stewart Craig hesitated for just a fraction when Lambert spun in front of him, giving Gowland the only invitation he needed to race around the outside. Mitch Gowland crossed the line in third, with Stewart Craig home in fourth and leading Anthony Lambert, Steve Greer and Liam Atkinson to the finish.
The top eight Dash event saw Callum Walker and Andrew Scheuerle share the front row for the start, with Brent Kratzmann and Lynton Jeffrey from the second row. While Walker and Scheuerle raced side-by-side into the first corner it was Scheuerle on the topside who emerged in front. Behind them Kratzmann and Jeffrey argued over minor positions while Donny Schatz tried to run around the outside of the pair. With Kratzmann momentarily caught behind Walker, Jeffrey used the high line to race around Walker, with Schatz in hot pursuit, while Brock Dean made his way underneath Kratzmann and started looking for a way past Walker. Kratzmann fought back on the high side of Dean, getting by both Dean and Walker in one impressive run on the outside, advancing two positions in less than half a lap, while Luke Oldfield tried to follow on the high side. Oldfield eventually displaced Dean with half a lap to run, and while he began challenging Walker he ran out of time to get the job done. Andrew Scheuerle got the win ahead of Lynton Jeffrey and Donny Schatz, with Brent Kratzmann home in fourth and leading Callum Walker, Luke Oldfield, Brock Dean and Peter Lack past the chequered flag.
Sixteen cars lined up for the start of the fifteen-lap B-Main event, with Brodie Tulloch and Dylan Menz to lead the field to the green. Tulloch got the jump on the start and quickly secured the lead in advance of Menz, while Dave Whell held down third but spun the Q4 racer in turn two, leaving the oncoming field nowhere to go. Kristy Bonsey and Steven White were first on the scene, with Dan Murray inverting the Q44 racer and Bryan Mann also involved. Whell actually managed to drive away from the chaos unfolding behind him, and while Bonsey and Mann restarted the race both White and Murray suffered enough damage to their cars to prematurely end their night of competition. A full restart followed with Tulloch, Menz, Whell and Andrew Corbet to lead them away. Tulloch got the jump on the start but Whell raced up the inside through turn two, stealing the lead with Menz quickly racing through the open door on the bottom to steal second from Tulloch. Menz had a big look on the inside of Whell but could not quite make it through, while Tulloch came under pressure from Corbet and Mitchell Gee and Darren Jensen started climbing their way through the field. The race was just two laps old when Jason King spun the NQ69 racer in turn four, while in an intense battle with Kevin Britten, Mitchell Gee, Kristy Bonsey and Darren Jensen. Whell led the restart from Tulloch, who had regained second from Menz moments before the caution, with Menz taking the green from third position. Darren Jensen was phenomenal in the Q75 racer, using the high line and systematically working his way closer to the front. Jensen started back in fourteenth position and quickly captivated the crowd as he patiently made his way past his rivals and edged closer to the front of the field. With only the top two cars to transfer to the back of the main race, it was never going to be easy but Jensen remained focused as he quietly made his way forward. Committed to the high line Jensen made his way past Kevin Britten, before watching Mitchell Gee and Nelson Reddacliff exchange positions several times. When Gee had secured the advantage over Reddacliff Jensen made his move on the inside of Reddacliff before racing underneath Gee half a lap later. Gee fought back on the inside of Jensen as they rounded turn three and the pair raced side-by-side for two laps before Jensen pulled ahead. Jensen quickly displaced Corbet before spending a few laps closing the gap to Tulloch, who was challenging Menz for the final transfer position. At the rear of the field Reddacliff was involved in an intense battle with Adam Butler, only for Kristy Bonsey to race boldly through on the inside of the pair, taking them three-wide through turn two, with Bonsey coming out in front and leading them down the back straight. At the front of the field Jensen made his way past Tulloch before drag-racing side-by-side with Menz as they crossed the line. Dave Whell got the win with Darren Jensen snaring second as they crossed the line and earning himself a transfer to the A-Main. Dylan Menz was third across the line in advance of Brodie Tulloch, Andrew Corbet, Mitchell Gee, Kevin Britten, Kristy Bonsey, Adam Butler, Nelson Reddacliff, Bryan Zelinski, Karl Hoffmans and Jason King. Bryan Mann, Steven White and Dan Murray all failed to finish the event.
With the program rushed through and the order events somewhat re-arranged in order to try and fit the feature event in before the rain came, the A-Main pushed out on track just before 8pm. Andrew Scheuerle and Lynton Jeffrey led the field to the green with Scheuerle getting a sensational start and quickly settling into the race lead. Donny Schatz, who started from position three, quickly made his way past Jeffrey to lock into second, setting his sights firmly on Scheuerle, while mid-field Callum Walker and Brock Dean came together. While both Walker and Dean were able to untangle themselves and keep moving, both drivers lost a lot of ground. Jeffrey settled into third while Luke Oldfield made his way past Brent Kratzmann to steal fourth only for Kratzmann to fight back and regain his position. With only one lap completed Callum Walker brought the race to a stop when he spun the Q33 racer in turn one.
Andrew Scheuerle led the restart from Donny Schatz, Lynton Jeffrey and Brent Kratzmann, with Luke Oldfield, Peter Lack, Jayden Peacock and Lucas Wolfe close behind. Lack challenged Oldfield for position, while Scheuerle and Schatz quickly opened a comfortable margin over the rest of the field. Schatz was absolutely relentless on the topside, while Scheuerle was strong on the bottom, the pair looking like they were having a lot of fun while fighting for control of the race. Schatz spent several laps searching the topside for a way around the top before switching to the bottom and making his way through on the inside to steal the lead. Scheuerle of course fought back but once in front it was not long before Schatz started to pull away. Lack continued to challenge Oldfield, while deeper in the field Cody Maroske, Brock Dean and Mark Pholi had a close battle for the mid-field positions. Oldfield finally managed to get a couple of car lengths ahead of Lack and started challenging Kratzmann for fourth, while Lucas Wolfe searched for a way past Jayden Peacock and Schatz entered lapped traffic. Oldfield held nothing back as he searched lap after lap for a way past Kratzmann, eventually getting through on the inside as they rounded turn four and setting out after Jeffrey. Darren Jensen was on the move, continuing his impressive run from the B-Main and quietly working his way past his rivals and edging closer to the top ten, while closer to the front Oldfield had caught Jeffrey and was attempting to get past when contact between the two in turn four brought the race under caution. Oldfield was able to restart at the rear of the field by Jeffrey was unfortunately out of the race.
With sixteen laps left to run it was Donny Schatz who led the restart from Andrew Scheuerle, Brent Kratzmann, Peter Lack and Lucas Wolfe, with Darren Jensen up to an impressive tenth. Allan Woods tried to race around the outside of Brock Dean, but Dean refused to surrender the position, while Jensen made his way in front of Dave Whell and Jayden Peacock. Callum Waler started trying to make his way through the field, while Lucas Wolfe and Peter Lack had a thrilling battle over fourth and fifth. Dave Whell fought his way back in front of Darren Jensen and set his sights on Allan Woods, while Luke Oldfield used the high line in an effort to climb his way back through the field. Jayden Peacock and Darren Jensen came together in turn four with just five laps left to run, with Jensen disappointingly out of the race and Peacock sent rear of the field for the restart.
Donny Schatz again led Andrew Scheuerle and Brent Kratzmann to the green and while Peter Lack briefly challenged Kratzmann for third, Kratzmann refused to surrender the position. Luke Oldfield and Dave Whell were negotiating over mid-field positions when Kaiden Manders joined the battle, having a massive look on the inside of the pair as the trio entered turn one with two laps to run. Unfortunately for Manders his right rear climbed the left front of Whell and launched the Q83 into the air. With Manders up-side-down in turn one the race was brought to a stop, with officials declaring the race on the spot. Donny Schatz was the official winner ahead of Andrew Scheuerle and Brent Kratzmann while Peter Lack and Lucas Wolfe rounded out the top five. Allan Woods finished sixth ahead of Mark Pholi and Brock Dean, while Luke Oldfield managed to climb his way back into ninth by the time the race was declared. Callum Walker salvaged tenth after a rough start to the race, and led Steve Rowell, Cody Maroske, Jayden Peacock and Dave Whell to the finish. Kaiden Manders, Darren Jensen, Lynton Jeffrey and Paul Rooks all failed to finish the event.
Sprintcars Queensland will have tonight off before returning to Ausdeck Patios and Roofing Archerfield Speedway tomorrow night, Monday 01 January 2018, to celebrate the new year with another incredible night of Sprintcar racing. We hope you have all had a wonderful 2017 and we wish all our drivers, families, friends, volunteers, sponsors and fans a happy and safe New Year, full of success and Sprintcar racing. See you trackside tomorrow night folks!
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