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Kicking Up The Dirt - Easter Triple Challenge - Night 1
Joanne White posted Saturday March 31, 2018.

Forty-two Sprintcars rolled into Hi-Tec Oils Speedway last night for Round 5 of the Queensland Ultimate Sprintcar Championship and the first night of the 2018 Easter Triple Challenge. With Mother Nature finally on our side we were set for a MASSIVE night of Sprintcar racing on the high-banks of the Toowoomba circuit and the Sprintcar stars sure didn’t disappoint. The final few laps of the feature race were truly a sight to see, with experience battling youth as Robbie Farr and Lachlan McHugh went wheel-to-wheel, exchanging positions several times in a series of breath-taking slide jobs as they raced towards the chequered flag. A yellow light stoppage for a spun car left us with a green-white-chequer dash to the finish, with McHugh leading the way. Lachlan McHugh got the win ahead of Robbie Farr while Bryan Mann had a solid run to cross the line in third and round out the podium. Luke Oldfield clawed his way back to fourth, knocking on the door of a podium result after a somewhat ordinary qualifying run, with Peter Lack completing the top five.

Qualifying got under way and it was Lachlan McHugh, back in his home state after a very successful debut season with World Series Sprintcars, who stopped the clock at 11.219 seconds and earned himself quick time. Brent Kratzmann, who is always phenomenal at the Toowoomba venue and secured his first feature event win there earlier this season, was second quickest, stopping the clock at 11.292 seconds while Bryan Mann was third quickest with an 11.303 second lap. Mann only narrowly beat Andrew Wright from NSW, with just three thousandths of a second separating the pair, while Michal Saller locked in fifth quick, beating Mitchell Gee by only 0.002 seconds. Mick Sauer, Jayden Peacock, Robbie Farr and Peter Lack rounded out the top ten in qualifying, leaving some big names well outside the top ten. Deeper in the field Callum Walker and Brendan Scorgie both stopped the clock at 11.495 seconds, the pair beating Danny Reidy by just one thousandth of a second, while behind them Andrew Scheuerle and Dan Murray recorded identical times, both stopping the clock at 11.573 seconds. Luke Oldfield managed twenty-third quickest, while Darren Jensen qualified back in twenty-ninth. The top the top 21 cars were separated by less than half a second, with less than one second separating the top 31 cars, proving, once again, just how tough the competition is.

Heat one started with Kristy Bonsey from pole position with Tony Wynne alongside and a remarkably tough field behind. Bonsey got a brilliant start when the green flag flew, quickly securing the race lead and leaving Wynne in second while Robbie Farr, who started from position six, immediately made his way into third. In just one lap Farr made his way past Wynne before racing underneath Bonsey to take control of the race. Andrew Scheuerle and Danny Reidy quickly made their way forward, with Bonsey fading as the pair slipped underneath the Q42 racer, with Lachlan McHugh and Jayden Peacock quickly getting through as well, the pair involved in their own intense battle as they argued over the minor places and exchanged positions several times in the opening few laps of the race. Farr was opening a sizable lead and approached lapped traffic in just a couple of laps, while Andrew Scheuerle in third caught the tail of Wynne and started challenging for second. Scheuerle slid beautifully underneath the NQ8 racer of Wynne, while behind them McHugh chased Reidy, searching for a way through, while Jayden Peacock boldly took to the high line and raced fearlessly around the outside of McHugh with two laps left to run. Robbie Farr got the win, recording a blistering lap time of 10.733 seconds on the third lap of the race, with Andrew Scheuerle home in second ahead of Danny Reidy, Jayden Peacock, Lachlan McHugh, Tony Wynne, Jackson Delamont, Kristy Bonsey (who secured her personal best lap at Toowoomba with an 11.992 second lap), Mitch Gowland, Dale Shilleto and Brendon Claridge.

Bryan Zelinski and Brett Minett shared the front row for the start of heat two, with Luke Oldfield and Dan Murray from the second row. When the lights went green Oldfield did not hesitate, working the bottom and trying to race straight into the lead, but Minett on the top side was not going to be denied the lead. Mick Sauer raced underneath Zelinski, with Brent Kratzmann right on his tail, and while Minett had control of the race, Oldfield was relentless as he searched for a way past. Oldfield ran the top before sliding underneath the Q94 racer to steal to the lead and while Minett valiantly fought back he could not get back in front. Peter Lack had quietly made his way into third, before slipping straight underneath Minett and setting out after Oldfield. Lack was quick to move when Oldfield got momentarily caught behind a lapped car, making it too easy as he raced underneath Oldfield and into the lead with only a few laps left to run. Deeper in the field Mick Sauer was making his way closer the front, advancing several positions in the first few laps of the race before battling with Dan Murray as they negotiated over mid-field positions, while Brent Kratzmann spent most of the race trying to find a way past Brendan Scorgie. Sauer soon got the better of Murray and set his sights on Minett, making a last lap pass to secure third. Peter Lack got the win ahead of Luke Oldfield and Mick Sauer, with Brett Minett home in fourth and leading Dan Murray, Brendan Scorgie, Brent Kratzmann, Bryan Zelinski, Anthony Lambert and David Kenway across the line.

Heat three started with Karl Hoffmans and Randy Morgan from the front row with Adam Butler and Andrew Corbet from the second row. Hoffmans got the jump when the lights went green, with Morgan fierce on the top-side as he challenged for the lead. Hoffmans managed to hang on to control of the race, while Butler raced beautifully underneath Morgan to steal second before starting to challenge Hoffmans for position. Morgan boldly challenged Butler, trying to regain his position, but Hoffmans slowed dramatically with fuel line issues in the Q3 racer and brought the race under caution, just as Mitchell Gee began putting all kinds of pressure on Morgan. Butler led the restart from Morgan and Gee. Butler, with a deflating right rear tyre, immediately struggled and tried to get out of the way, moving to the high side of the track, as Mitchell Gee came charging through underneath. Unfortunately Callum Walker, who loves running the top side, was left nowhere to go and collected the Q10 racer of Butler before flipping out of the event. The car landed awkwardly and there was a short delay while Walker received some medical attention after complaining of a sore back. Walker will go for further scans today and we wish him a speedy recovery. The chief steward allowed Butler and his team to change the right rear tyre on the Q10 racer during the stoppage and restart the race at the rear of the field. When the race resumed it was young Randy Morgan who led the field to the green, with hard-charger Mitchell Gee right on his tail. Morgan immediately opened a small lead over Gee, while Mark Pholi made it look easy as he slid underneath Andrew Corbet to move into third. Bryan Mann began closing in on Corbet, catching the Q78 racer before searching high and low for a way past. Mann worked the top side for several laps before diving underneath Corbet to steal fourth. Mitchell Gee tried to close the gap to Morgan, but there was no stopping Morgan as he raced to victory in the Q54 racer. Mitchell Gee crossed the line in second ahead of Mark Pholi and Bryan Mann, with Andrew Corbet, Scott Genrich, Adam Butler and Shane Matthews. Callum Walker and Karl Hoffmans both failed to finish the event.

The fourth heat of the evening saw Darren Jensen and Stewart Craig lead the field to the green, with Jensen quickly securing the advantage and Dave Whell, from position four, immediately sliding underneath Craig to take second. Craig however fought back hard, racing back underneath Whell less than half a lap later, though neither could make ground on Jensen out in front. Andrew Wright had a phenomenal run in the N78 racer, making his way past Michael Saller, Dylan Menz, Cody Maroske and Steve Greer on the opening lap before finding himself on the back of Whell. Wright, who can never be discounted from the competition in Toowoomba, was all over the back of Whell, searching for a way through, while behind them Saller ran the top side as he tried to find a way past Maroske, eventually getting he job done with just a couple of laps left to run. Darren Jensen went on to take the win ahead of Dave Whell, who managed to withstand enormous pressure from Andrew Wright, with Wright home in third ahead of Stewart Craig in fourth. Steve Greer was fifth across the line, leading Michael Saller, Cody Maroske, Dylan Menz, Kris Jennings (who managed to set a new personal best lap time, dipping into the 11-second bracket for the first time), and Liam Atkinson past the chequered flag.

Mitch Gowland led the field to the green for the start of heat five, with Stewart Craig alongside. Gowland was quick to secure the lead while Craig faded quickly as Brett Minett and Michael Saller made their way forward. From the back of the field Lachlan McHugh took to the high line and began trying to make his way towards the front, before switching the low side to underneath Brendan Scorgie and set out after Craig. Minett spun the Q94 racer in turn three and brought the race under caution. Gowland led the restart from Saller, Craig and McHugh, with Gowland getting a brilliant start and immediately opening a small lead on his rivals. McHugh raced beautifully underneath Craig in the first two corners of the restart, only for Craig to spin half a lap later and bring the race back under caution. Unfortunately for Craig a flat right front tyre spelt the premature end to his race. Meanwhile, Saller had a rapidly deflating left rear tyre and while he did everything he could to hang on to second, there was no stopping McHugh once the race resumed. Gowland led comfortably while McHugh raced under Saller, leaving Saller to try and defend his position from both Mick Sauer and Brendan Scorgie. Sauer and Scorgie had a mesmerising battle mid-field the pair exchanging positions back and forth as they negotiated over minor places, with Sauer ultimately securing the advantage, going around the high side of Scorgie and Saller. McHugh began closing in on Gowland, quickly gaining ground before taking the lead just moments before the race was brought under caution for Saller, whose flat left rear had exploded. With a lap not completed since McHugh moved into the lead, it was Gowland who led the restart, with McHugh in second ahead of Sauer and Minett. Gowland was exceptional on the start, immediately opening a small lead and making McHugh work hard to gain ground. Minett and Scorgie battled fiercely mid-field but it was Mitch Gowland who got the win in heat five. Lachlan McHugh crossed the line in second ahead of Mick Sauer and Brendan Scorgie, with Brett Minett, Dave Whell and Anthony Lambert rounding out the finishers. Michael Saller and Stewart Craig did not finish the race.

Kristy Bonsey and Adam Butler lead the field to the green in heat six with Bonsey initially securing the lead only for Butler to race boldly around the top and take control of the race. Jayden Peacock ran the top side, running close to the fence as he tried to make his way forward, while Luke Oldfield, who, thanks to a massive effort from his team, changed engines after his first heat, managed to get past Bonsey to take second and set out after Butler. Bonsey was left to defend her position from a determined Peacock, with Peacock soon racing around the outside of the Q42 racer. Oldfield quickly closed in on Butler, the Q17 racer trying the race underneath the leader only for Butler to refuse to surrender. Butler did not lift, the pair racing side-by-side in a thrilling battle that captivated the crowd. Oldfield was relentless, giving Butler racing room but never once holding back as the pair fought for the lead. Oldfield tried the high line on the final lap but it was Adam Butler who got the win with Luke Oldfield forced to settle for second. Jayden Peacock came home in third ahead of Peter Lack, Bryan Mann, Cody Maroske, Kristy Bonsey (setting another PB at 11.953 seconds), Steve Greer, Karl Hoffmans and David Kenway.

The seventh heat of the night saw Bryan Zelinski start from pole with Tony Wynne alongside and Andrew Corbet and Randy Morgan from the second row. Zelinski secured the advantage when the lights went green, while Brent Kratzmann charged hard on the bottom from back in seventh. Unfortunately Corbet and Morgan came together in turn two, with Morgan inverting the Q54 racer out of the race. Corbet suffered a flat right front tyre and was unable to restart the event as well. A full restart followed with Wynne this time taking control when the green flag flew. Kratzmann again raced through on the bottom, with Mark Pholi also trying to make up ground on the low side. Kratzmann raced underneath Pholi while Andrew Wright used the top side perfectly, racing around both Pholi and Kratzmann before setting out after Wynne and using the high line to rapidly gain ground on the leader. Kratzmann sat in third ahead of Pholi and Dylan Menz, while at the front of the field Wright caught the tail of Wynne before getting just a little crossed up and losing a little ground, giving Wynne just a little breathing space. With Kratzmann closing in quickly, Wright again closed the gap to Wynne, and when Wright had a look on the top side of Wynne, Kratzmann took to the low line to slide underneath Wright with less than a lap left to run. Wright immediately fired back, sliding straight back underneath Kratzmann just in time to greet the chequered flag. Tony Wynne got the win ahead of Andrew Wright and Brent Kratzmann, with Mark Pholi home in fourth and leading Dylan Menz, Bryan Zelinski, Shane Matthews and Liam Atkinson across the line. Andrew Corbet and Randy Morgan did not finish the event.

Heat eight started with Scott Genrich and Jackson Delamont from the front row, with Darren Jensen and Dan Murray right behind. Jensen got a brilliant start on the bottom and immediately began challenging for control of the race but Delamont was too quick on the top. Delamont secured the lead with Jensen settling into second ahead of Genrich, while Andrew Scheuerle was making his way forward before racing underneath Genrich and into third. Genrich however fought back valiantly, quickly returning serve and regaining his position from Scheuerle, with Scheuerle spending a couple of laps fighting for a way back through. Once Scheuerle got back past Genrich, Danny Reidy was quick to follow the Q25 racer past Genrich, leaving Genrich to try and defend his position from Mitchell Gee. Jackson Delamont got the win ahead of Darren Jensen and Andrew Scheuerle. Robbie Farr came from the back of the field and crossed the line in fourth, leading Danny Reidy, Mitchell Gee, Scott Genrich, Dan Murray and Kris Jennings across the line. Dale Shilleto did not finish the event, mechanical issues in the Q51 racer ending his night of racing.

Five cars took to the track for the eight-lap C-Main event, with Anthony Lambert and Karl Hoffmans leading the way to the green. Once the green flag flew it was Lambert who secured the lead, with Hoffmans settling into second. Shane Matthews initially challenged Hoffmans for position but soon found himself under pressure from a hard-charging Kris Jennings. Jennings took to the high side and raced his way into third, just as Hoffmans stole the lead from Lambert. Hoffmans quickly pulled away from the field, opening a sizable lead, while Jennings eventually managed to pull ahead of Matthews and started closing in on Lambert. Karl Hoffmans got the win ahead of Anthony Lambert, the pair both earning a transfer to the B-Main, with Kris Jennings home in third ahead of Shane Matthews and David Kenway.

Robbie Farr, Mick Sauer, Mitchell Gee and Peter Lack took to the track for the Bronze Shootout. Peter Lack proved to be unstoppable, stopping the clock at 11.218 seconds to beat the 11.230 of Farr, with both drivers transferring to the Silver Shootout. Mitchell Gee (11.338) and Mick Sauer (11.444) rounded out the Bronze Shootout finishers.

The silver Shootout rolled onto the track, with Peter Lack and Robbie Farr being joined on track by Bryan Mann and Brent Kratzmann. Robbie Farr this time dominated, stopping the clock at 11.382 seconds, with Bryan Mann, 11.435, also securing a transfer to the Gold Shootout. Peter Lack (11.599) and Brent Kratzmann (11.879) rounded out the Silver Shootout finishers.

Lachlan McHugh and Andrew Wright joined Robbie Farr and Bryan Mann on track for the Gold Shootout to determine the starting order for the A-Main. Farr initially held the top spot, only for Lachlan McHugh to better his time on the final lap. McHugh stopped the clock at 11.211 seconds, enough to secure pole position for the feature event, with Robbie Farr set to join him on the front row after recording an 11.360 second lap in the Gold Shootout. Bryan Mann (11.476) and Andrew Wright (11.514) would share the second row for the start of the 40-lap final.

Brendan Scorgie and Cody Maroske led the field to the green in the 15-lap B-Main, with Scorgie quickly taking the lead and leaving Maroske in second. Whell immediately challenged Maroske for position, while Adam Butler worked the high line trying to find a way past Whell. Maroske challenged Scorgie for the lead, while deeper in the field Brett Minett was captivating the crowd as he weaved his way through the field. Minett raced around the outside Randy Morgan before sliding underneath Andrew Corbet, and then headed back to the high line to get around Steve Greer. Minett was making impressive progress towards the front of the field when the race as brought under caution for Tony Wynne who had stopped in turn two with only nine laps left to run. Adam Butler pulled out of the event before the race resumed, with Scorgie leading from Maroske and Whell and Minett up to fourth. Minett was far from done though and once back under green he began challenging Whell on the high side, remaining focused and determined before eventually getting the job done and setting his sights on Maroske. Randy Morgan raced around the outside of Steve Greer, who had been having a great battle with Jackson Delamont. Scorgie came under immense pressure from Maroske as the laps wore away, with Maroske eventually getting underneath the N57 racer to take control of the race. Scorgie soon surrendered second to the still hard-charging Minett, while Randy Morgan challenged Dave Whell for fourth as the pair greeted the chequered flag. Cody Maroske got the win ahead of Brett Minett and Brendan Scorgie, with Dave Whell crossing the line in fourth and securing the final transfer to the A-Main event. Randy Morgan finished an impressive fifth and led Andrew Corbet, Jackson Delamont, Stewart Craig, Scott Genrich, Anthony Lambert, Steve Greer, Dan Murray, Bryan Zelinski, Kristy Bonsey, Mitch Gowland, Tony Wynne and Karl Hoffmans across the line. Adam Butler was the only driver who did not finish the event.

Twenty cars rolled onto the track for the start of the forty-lap A-Main event, with Gold Coast based teenager Lachlan McHugh from pole position and veteran racer Robbie Farr alongside. Farr quickly took control when the lights went green, settling into the race lead and while McHugh had a massive look on the inside of Farr, there was no stopping the Q7 racer out in front. Luke Oldfield, from deep in the field, took to the high line and began making his way toward the front, while Bryan Mann and Peter Lack argued over mid-field positions. Oldfield made his way underneath Mick Sauer while Jayden Peacock made his way around the outside of Michael Saller, with Oldfield quick to follow. Sauer faded as Danny Reidy, Dylan Menz and Andrew Scheuerle came through, while Brent Kratzmann battled with Jayden Peacock and then Michael Saller, with Saller sliding underneath Kratzmann, only for Kratzmann to race back around the outside, the pair putting on a spectacular show as they fought over mid-field positions. Farr entered lapped traffic with McHugh closing in. Brett Minett brought the race under caution when he spun in turn two right in front of the leaders, with McHugh tagging him on his way past.

With twenty-eight laps still to run it was Robbie Farr to lead them away from Lachlan McHugh and Andrew Wright, with Bryan Mann, Peter Lack, Mitchell Gee, Luke Oldfield and Jayden Peacock in hot pursuit. McHugh was relentless in his pursuit of Farr, while Gee and Lack had a thrilling battle as they fought over fifth, the pair swapping positions back and forth, lap after lap and entertaining the crowd with some truly breath-taking racing. Lack soon began closing in on Mann, leaving Gee to try and defend his position from Oldfield, while Andrew Scheuerle pulled out of the race with a cut down right rear tyre. Oldfield managed to make his way ahead of Gee, while the leaders again entered lapped traffic and McHugh again closed in on Farr. Michael Saller had a spin in turn two, where he was collected by Danny Reidy, and brought the race under caution.

Robbie Farr led the restart with seventeen laps remaining and Lachlan McHugh still on his tail. Quiet achiever Bryan Mann made it look easy as he raced underneath Andrew Wright, leaving Wright to contend with Peter Lack on his tail tank and both Luke Oldfield and Mitchell Gee closing in fast. With ten laps still to run Farr again approached lapped traffic, with McHugh quickly closing the gap and starting to challenge for control. McHugh boldly looked on the inside of Farr but could not quite make it through, with McHugh having another look when Farr hesitated just slightly behind the lapped cars of Danny Reidy and Darren Jensen. Farr quickly made his way past Reidy, with McHugh then caught behind Reidy as the Q19 racer got momentarily out of shape, allowing Farr to pull away slightly. Wright challenged Mann for third, trying to regain his position, but all eyes were on Farr and McHugh as McHugh raced past Farr to take the lead with just a couple of laps left to run. Farr slid straight back past McHugh, only for McHugh to return serve, the pair exchanging positions half a dozen times as they raced towards the chequered flag. With the leaders in turn three on the final lap Andrew Wright spun the N78 to a stop and brought the race under caution, bringing about a two-lap dash to the finish. McHugh led the restart and from there, with nothing but clear track ahead, was unstoppable. Lachlan McHugh got the win ahead of Robbie Farr with Bryan Mann finishing third and rounding out the podium. Luke Oldfield crossed the line in fourth, with Peter Lack rounding out the top five. Mitchell Gee finished an impressive sixth and led Jayden Peacock, Dylan Menz, Cody Maroske, Brent Kratzmann, Brett Minett, Danny Reidy, Mark Pholi, Darren Jensen, Brendan Scorgie and Mick Sauer across the line. Andrew Wright, Michael Saller, Dave Whell and Andrew Scheuerle all failed to finish the event.

The 2018 Easter Triple Challenge now heads to Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway TONIGHT, for Round Two of the Easter weekend series, which doubles as another round of the east Coast Logistics Sprintcar Series at the Brisbane venue. Can Lachlan McHugh make it two in a row? Or will it be Robbie Farr who stands atop the podium at the end of the night? McHugh and Farr were the clear stand-outs last night, but with over forty cars nominated for tonight, the competition is still wide open. Come along and see the action for yourself!


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