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Kicking Up The Dirt - East Coast Logistics Series - Round 14
Joanne White posted Sunday April 29, 2018.

Andrew Scheuerle extended his lead in the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Series last night when he took the win in Round Fourteen at Ausdeck Patios and Roofing Archerfield Speedway. When the main race started Scheuerle fought Michael Saller for second, while Peter Lack led the opening laps. Once Scheuerle had taken second from Saller he turned his attention to Lack and set his sights on the race lead. It was starting to look like a truly epic battle, with Scheuerle determined and relentless on the bottom, and Lack, long overdue for some good fortune, consistent on the top side. Unfortunately for Lack a niggling issue with the brakes on the Mega Fuels Q5 racer resurfaced, and just ten laps into the thirty lap affair, with Scheuerle already having a massive look on the inside as they rounded turn four, Lack looped the car and handed control of the race to Scheuerle. Mitchell Gee and Luke Oldfield traded places several times as they tried to find a way past Saller, while Saller briefly challenged Scheuerle for position. Oldfield made his way into second, and challenged Scheuerle for the lead as they weaved their way through heavy lapped traffic, while Gee took third from Saller and set his sights on Oldfield. Saller regained third briefly late in the race, only for Gee to have a phenomenal drive on the bottom to get back underneath Saller and then, just one lap later, slip underneath Oldfield to take second. Oldfield raced around Gee with only a handful of laps to go, but there was nothing anyone could do to stop Scheuerle out in front. Whilst the battles raged fiercely behind him, Scheuerle remained smooth, determined and focused on getting the job done. Andrew Scheuerle got the win ahead of Luke Oldfield and Robbie Farr, who came on particularly strong in the final six laps and stole third from Gee. Mitchell Gee finished fourth, only narrowly missing a podium finish, crossing the line just behind Farr and losing the spot by just 0.192 seconds. Mark Pholi had a brilliant run in the final ten laps of the race, starting with an impressive passing move as he raced underneath Jayden Peacock and Bryan Mann as the trio rounded turn four. Mark Pholi would end up crossing the line in fifth, having made up five positions in the final ten laps of the race.

Qualifying got underway as a very light shower of rain passed over the venue, leaving the track a little greasy for the first qualifying group, and getting quicker as each group completed their qualifying runs. Robbie Farr topped the qualifying order, stopping the clock at 11.295 seconds, while Luke Oldfield went second quickest with an 11.326 second lap. Mitchell Gee (11.372), Peter Lack (11.519) and Andrew Scheuerle (11.523) rounded out the fastest five. Jayden Peacock was sixth quickest, while Cody Maroske, seventh, beat Karl Hoffmans, eighth, by just one thousandth of a second. Brock Dean was ninth quickest, just five thousandths of a second slower than Hoffmans, with Kevin Titman rounding out the top ten. Less than half a second separated the top thirteen cars, with the top twenty-two, of thirty-three, separated by just under one second. Eighteen cars recorded times in the 11-second bracket.

Heat one started with Andrew Corbet from pole position with Mark Pholi alongside. Corbet got the jump on the start and led the field to the first corner, while Dave Whell, from position three, challenged Pholi for second as they entered turn one. Pholi refused to surrender second and, once in front of Whell, had a big look up the inside of Corbet as they rounded turn two. Corbet led from Pholi and Whell, while behind them Bryan Mann got underneath Dan Murray, and Robbie Farr searched high and low as he tried to find a way past Jayden Peacock and Cody Maroske. Corbet handed the lead to Pholi when he looped the Q78 racer in turn four before rejoining the race at the rear of the field, only to loop the car again in the same spot soon after, managing to keep the car moving both times but soon pulling out of the event. Peacock was all over the back of Murray, searching for a way through, while Mann began searching for a way past Whell, before taking to the high side to get the job done around the top as they raced through turn four. Mark Pholi got the win ahead of Bryan Mann, Dave Whell and Dan Murray, while Jayden Peacock crossed the line in fifth and led Robbie Farr, Brad Ayers, Cody Maroske, Jason King and Randy Morgan across the line. Andrew Corbet did not finish the event.

Mick Sauer and Kristy Bonsey led the field to the green for the start of heat two, with Bonsey soon penalised for jumping the first start. Allan Woods was elevated to the front row for the restart and quickly secured the lead when the green flag flew. Sauer challenged for control of the race but was forced to settle for second, while Brent Kratzmann challenged Bonsey for third. Mid-field Luke Oldfield made his way underneath Karl Hoffmans and joined the battle between Michael Saller and Andrew Scheuerle, with Oldfield committed to the high line as he challenged Scheuerle for position. Oldfield raced his way around Scheuerle as they exited turn four, powering down the main straight and narrowly leading the pair into turn one, getting just far enough in front of Scheuerle to switch to the bottom and get underneath Saller as they rounded turn two. Saller of course fought back, but left the door open for Scheuerle a lap later, with Scheuerle quickly slipping through on the bottom. As Scheuerle began closing in on Oldfield, Oldfield started challenging Kratzmann for fourth, while Kratzmann had a quick look up the inside of Bonsey. Kratzmann and Oldfield came together in turn two, allowing Bonsey to get away, while Scheuerle got back in front of Oldfield. Oldfield immediately regained the position from Scheuerle, but soon struggled with a flat tyre and could not gain any ground on Kratzmann. Scheuerle eventually got the better of Oldfield, leaving Oldfield to try and defend his position from Saller, while Kratzmann chased Bonsey to the line and Allan Woods withstood a challenge from Mick Sauer on the final corner. Allan Woods got the win, just 0.153 seconds ahead of Mick Sauer in second while Kristy Bonsey did a magnificent job to hold off Brent Kratzmann to take third. Kratzmann crossed the line in fourth and led Andrew Scheuerle, Michael Saller, Karl Hoffmans, Mitch Gowland, Peter Campbell and Liam Atkinson across the line. Luke Oldfield failed to finish the event, spinning the Q17 racer in turn three with less than half a lap left to run.

Ben Hilder started heat three from pole position with Kris Jennings alongside and Lachlan McHugh and Steve Greer close behind. Hilder got a great start and quickly secured the lead when the lights went green, while McHugh immediately raced underneath Jennings to secure second. Kevin Titman tried to race up the inside of Steve Greer, but could not quite get the job done on the first corner, while Greer found some momentum in turn two as he raced underneath Jennings and into third. Peter Lack and Mitchell Gee, from deep in the field, made their way past Brock Dean, with Gee having a big look on the inside of Lack as they chased the tail of Titman. Titman got around Jennings, with Lack, Gee and Ryan Jones soon following, while at the front of the field McHugh took control of the race from Hilder. Kevin Titman was all over the back of Steve Greer, working the bottom and trying to find a way through, eventually making his move as they rounded turn three, with Peter Lack quickly following him through. When Titman made a small error coming out of turn two, Lack quickly raced up the inside while Greer attempted to get around the outside of Titman. Unfortunately for Greer he rode the right rear of the Q59 racer of Titman as they entered turn three, the Q84 racer making heavy contact with the wall and getting some impressive height before landing back trackside. Greer managed to walk away from the wreck, though a little sore, but unfortunately his night of racing was over. McHugh led the restart from Hilder and Titman with Lack and Gee close behind and five laps left to run. Lack and Gee quickly made their way under Titman, while at the rear of the field Andrew Marks got the better of Kris Jennings before going around the outside of Jones. Lachlan McHugh was first to greet the chequered flag with Ben Hilder home in second ahead of Peter Lack, Mitchell Gee, Kevin Titman, Andrew Marks, Kris Jennings, Ryan Jones and Libby Ellis. Steve Greer and Brock Dean both failed to finish the event.

Heat four saw Andrew Marks and Ben Hilder lead the field to the green, with Hilder getting the better start and leading the way into turn one, with Michael Saller racing around the top side of Marks to secure second. Lachlan McHugh was looking for a way underneath Brock Dean when he uncharacteristically spun the Q23 racer to a stop in turn two and brought the race under caution. A full restart followed, with McHugh at the rear of the field. While Marks got a better start second time around, it was still Hilder on the high line who secured the lead when the race resumed. Saller again raced around the outside of Marks, just as Dean who looking for a way through on the bottom. Marks initially tried to fight back and had a very brief look underneath Saller, but Saller soon began to pull away as he set about chasing down Hilder. Brock Dean came under fire from Allan Woods, with Woods making his way through on the bottom of turn four just a handful of laps into the race, while Robbie Farr and Lachlan McHugh battled over mid-field positions. Brock Dean spun the Q8 racer to a stop in turn four and brought the race back under caution. Hilder led the restart from Saller and Marks, with Woods close behind. Woods put all kinds of pressure on Marks, while also trying to defend his position from Farr and McHugh. McHugh made his way past Farr and was looking for a way underneath Woods, when the race was brought under caution for Libby Ellis who had spun in turn three. Barely a lap into the restart and Ellis spun again, bringing about a premature end to her race with six laps left to run. Hilder again led the restart from Saller and Marks, though Marks soon surrendered third to Woods, while McHugh and Farr negotiated behind them. Bryan Mann briefly challenged McHugh for position, with McHugh then stepping up his game and swiftly making his way underneath Farr before getting past Marks on the low line less than a lap later. While Marks held off Robbie Farr for a lap or two, a small mistake in turn two opened the door for Farr, and Mann, to slip through with only a few laps left to run. Ben Hilder got the win ahead of Michael Saller and Allan Woods, with Lachlan McHugh salvaging fourth after a less than ideal start. Robbie Farr crossed the line in fifth ahead of Bryan Mann, Andrew Marks, Brock Dean and Randy Morgan. Libby Ellis did not finish the event.

Brad Ayers started heat five from pole position, with Kristy Bonsey alongside and Dave Whell and Dan Murray from the second row. Ayers secured the lead when the lights went green, with Bonsey in second until Whell charged through on the bottom as they rounded turn one. Kevin Titman made his way past Bonsey to move into third, while Luke Oldfield raced underneath Murray. Mitchell Gee was brilliant from the back, racing his way around Jayden Peacock as they powered down the back straight, the momentum carrying him through turn three and around Murray before he had a huge look on the inside of Oldfield as they started the second lap. Oldfield switched to the high side to get around Bonsey, while deeper in the field Peacock and Murray fought over mid-field positions. Oldfield caught Titman, and quickly made his way underneath the Q59 racer, clearly on a mission to get to the front and make up for the missed points in the earlier heat. Peacock got the better of Murray and soon made his way in front of Gee, while Oldfield turned his attention to Whell. Gee was all over the back of Peacock and it was simply breath-taking to watch as the young guns held nothing back. Gee looked underneath Peacock but could not get through, so switched to the top side and a look around the outside. Peacock denied him every time, with Gee trying the bottom again before heading back to the top side once more. Gee eventually got the job done on the bottom as they rounded turns three and four, while at the front of the field Oldfield had made his way past Whell, closed in Ayers and taken control of the race with one lap left to run. Luke Oldfield got the win ahead of Brad Ayers, Dave Whell, Kevin Titman, Mitchell Gee, Jayden Peacock, Kristy Bonsey, Dan Murray, Andrew Corbet, Liam Atkinson and Peter Campbell.

Kris Jennings and Mick Sauer shared the front row for the start of heat six, with Brent Kratzmann and Mark Pholi out of the second row. Sauer was too quick on the top side and quickly secured the race lead when the green flag flew, Jennings initially held second but soon surrendered the position to Pholi. Pholi was strong on the top side, making short work of getting around Jennings, and promptly set his sights on Sauer, leaving Jennings with Kratzmann on his tail. Cody Maroske and Peter Lack quickly made their way around Karl Hoffmans and turned their attention to Kratzmann, with Andrew Scheuerle getting past Hoffmans and then slipping up the inside of Maroske as they rounded turn four. Lack had a massive look on the inside of Kratzmann, the pair racing side-by-side until Lack managed to get in front, only for Kratzmann to dive underneath both Lack and Jennings in one exquisite run on the bottom as they raced through turn four. Scheuerle tried to follow Kratzmann through, but found tough competition in Lack, who shut the door on Scheuerle before racing underneath Jennings and setting out after Kratzmann. Scheuerle and Maroske both made their way past Jennings, but it was hard to not watch Lack as he chased down Kratzmann, with Scheuerle closing in fast. Mick Sauer got the win ahead of Mark Pholi and Brent Kratzmann, with Peter Lack home in fourth ahead of Andrew Scheuerle, Cody Maroske, Kris Jennings, Karl Hoffmans, Jason King and Mitch Gowland.

Peter Lack entered the Dash event as highest point scorer of the night, and started the six-lap event from pole position. A lucky pre-dash draw saw Michael Saller elevated from eighth to second for the start, but it was Lack who secured the lead when the lights went green. Saller immediately came under fire from Andrew Scheuerle and while Scheuerle managed to get his nose in front, Saller was quick on the top side and managed to settle into second. Scheuerle was relentless though, and challenged Saller again a few laps into the race, again getting just a fraction in front before Saller came back hard on the high line. Saller began challenging Lack for control of the race, having a couple of big looks underneath the Q5 racer, but was unable to find a way through. Peter Lack got the win ahead of Michael Saller and Andrew Scheuerle, with Luke Oldfield home in fourth ahead of Mitchell Gee, Robbie Farr, Allan Woods and Jayden Peacock.

Seventeen cars lined up for the start of the fifteen-lap B-Main event, with Mick Sauer and Karl Hoffmans from the front and leading Brent Kratzmann, Dave Whell, Dan Murray, Kristy Bonsey and the rest of the field to the green. Sauer got the jump first time around and looked to have the race lead locked in, however chaos unfolded at the rear of the field when Andrew Marks got a little sideways on the top side as the lights went green, leaving Peter Campbell, Andrew Corbet and Liam Atkinson behind him with nowhere to go. In the chaos that followed Corbet inverted the Q78 racer, while Atkinson tipped the Q80 car on its side. Everyone walked away from the crash, and while Campbell and Corbet were unable to restart the event, both Marks and Atkinson took the green when the race resumed. Sauer again secured the lead as he led the field into the first corner, with Kratzmann quick to move up into second. Whell followed Kratzmann underneath Hoffmans as they rounded the second turn, relegating the Q3 racer back to fourth, leaving Hoffmans to try and defend his position, and the final transfer spot, from Dan Murray and Kristy Bonsey. Brad Ayers and Brock Dean raced wheel-to-wheel mid-field, as they tried to make their way forward, the pair right on the tail of Murray, Bonsey and Hoffmans, making for an intense five-car battle for the last spot in the A-Main. Deeper in the field Jason King had a look on the inside of Kris Jennings, while Marks and Atkinson battled at the rear of the field. At the front of the field Sauer caught lapped traffic, giving Kratzmann the chance to close in. As Sauer began to weave his way past the back markers, Kratzmann quickly caught the tail of the Q69 racer, and managed to race up the inside to take the lead, only to surrender control back to Sauer when he slowed to avoid contact with a sideways Jennings in front of him. Kratzmann was relentless in lapped traffic, but the race was soon brought under caution for the spun car of Ayers with five laps still to run. Mick Sauer went on to take the win ahead of Brent Kratzmann, the pair transferring to the back of the A-Main along with Dave Whell and Dan Murray who finished third and fourth respectively in the B-Main event. Karl Hoffmans finished fifth, narrowly missing a transfer, but elected to use his East Coast Logistics Series Provisional to start nineteenth in the main race. Brock Dean finished sixth in the B-Main, and led Kristy Bonsey, Randy Morgan, Mitch Gowland, Jason King, Brad Ayers, Andrew Marks, Kris Jennings, Liam Atkinson and Libby Ellis across the line. Peter Campbell and Andrew Corbet both failed to finish the event.

Peter Lack and Michael Saller led the field to the green for the start of the A-Main race. Thirty laps with a stellar field of nineteen quality cars and drivers and the stage was set for a truly brilliant race. In fact, it could be argued that it was one of the best Sprintcar feature races seen in South East Queensland so far this season – if you were not there you really did miss something special. When the green flag flew Lack and Saller raced side-by-side into the opening corner, with Lack soon emerging in front and securing the lead. Saller made a charge on the top side, trying to earn control of the race, but Lack was not going to be denied. Andrew Scheuerle settled into third in advance of Luke Oldfield and Mitchell Gee and while Robbie Farr tried to race around Gee, Gee refused to surrender and instead focused on Oldfield and trying to find a way underneath the Q17 racer. Scheuerle was aggressive on the bottom, unrelenting as he searched for a way past Saller, while deeper in the field Lachlan McHugh made his way past Jayden Peacock and set out after Farr and Allan Woods. Woods got underneath Farr in turn four, with McHugh quick to follow half a lap later, while at the front of the field Scheuerle managed to get the better of Saller and began challenging Lack for the lead, while Saller found himself in a tense battle with both Oldfield and Gee. Oldfield had a brilliant run up the inside of Saller through turn three, with Saller fighting back tenaciously on the high line to regain his position, only for Gee to seemingly come out nowhere, and slip through on the inside of Oldfield before challenging Saller for position. Saller had incredible momentum on the high side and quickly began searching for a way around Scheuerle, while Gee worked the bottom. Oldfield was far from done yet though and before long he had rejoined the battle and slid beautifully underneath Gee to take back his position and begin challenging Saller. The battle that followed as Saller, Oldfield and Gee fought over the minor places was exceptional, while out in front Scheuerle continued to pressure Lack. Behind them Woods, McHugh and Farr were closing in fast, while Jayden Peacock and Kevin Titman argued over the minor places just outside the top five. Mark Pholi soon joined Peacock and Titman, starting his climb toward the front, while Scheuerle stepped up the pressure on Lack. Scheuerle worked the bottom beautifully, and was looking to get underneath Lack in turn four when niggling brake issues in the Q5 of Lack saw him loop the car and bring the race under caution, handing control to Scheuerle.

Andrew Scheuerle led the restart from Luke Oldfield and Mitchell Gee with twenty laps left to run. The trio, who coincidentally are also leading the East Coast Logistics Series points, got a great start, with Scheuerle and Oldfield in particular pulling a way a little from the rest of the field, while Gee had Michael Saller, Lachlan McHugh, Allan Woods and Robbie Farr on his tail. Kevin Titman got underneath Bryan Mann as they fought over mid-field positions, but all eyes were on Gee as he tried to keep both Saller and McHugh behind him. Saller committed to the top side, with McHugh on the bottom, the pair attempting to race either side of Gee as they rounded turn four, the trio three-wide mid race with Saller coming out in front ahead of Gee and McHugh. Saller maintained his advantage for just over a lap before Gee raced through on the bottom once more, timing the move perfectly and emphasising just how much his race craft has improved in only a couple of years. Saller of course came back hard on the high line, regaining the advantage over Gee, with McHugh still right behind and ready to capitalise on any opportunity. While it was heard to tear your eyes from Saller, Gee and McHugh, Scheuerle was approaching lapped traffic, with Oldfield closing in and looking to challenge for the lead. With the laps starting to wear away, Robbie Farr stepped up the pace. Gee had secured the advantage over Saller and McHugh, but with Farr now on their tail the negotiations became even fiercer. McHugh had a big look on the inside of Saller as they rounded turn four, only to drift just high enough on track to leave the bottom open for Farr. It was all the invitation Farr needed, the Q7 racer slipping seemingly effortlessly up the inside of McHugh and challenging Saller for position as well. Karl Hoffmans looped the Q3 racer and managed to keep the car moving, however officials had already thrown the yellow lights on to slow everybody down.

With eleven laps left to run it was Andrew Scheuerle who led the field to the green, ahead of Luke Oldfield, Mitchell Gee, Michael Saller, Robbie Farr and Lachlan McHugh. Saller took to the high side and raced around Gee less than a lap into the restart, while McHugh got underneath Farr, and Mick Sauer had a look underneath Cody Maroske deep in the field. Farr raced back underneath McHugh a lap later, while just ahead of him Gee raced through on the inside of Saller and had a look underneath Oldfield. Gee was magnificent on the bottom and while Oldfield worked the top side, Gee slipped through on the low side to take second for himself. Oldfield remained determined on the top side, while further back in the field Mark Pholi was making his way forward displacing Jayden Peacock, Bryan Mann and Allan Woods in quick succession, before getting underneath McHugh as well. The race was again brought to a stop though when Karl Hoffmans got too high in turn three and clipped the wall, tipping the Q3 racer over with six laps remaining. Hoffmans walked away but was unable to restart the event.

Andrew Scheuerle led the restart from Mitchell Gee and Luke Oldfield, while Michael Saller sat in fourth ahead of Robbie Farr, Mark Pholi and Lachlan McHugh. Scheuerle was comfortable in the race lead and immediately opened a small margin over his rivals, while Gee and Oldfield fought over second. Oldfield took to the high side and raced beautifully around the outside of Gee to regain second with five laps to run, while behind them Farr got up the inside of Saller to steal fourth and set his sights on Gee and the last podium position. Ben Hilder and Cody Maroske raced wheel-to-wheel deep in the field, as did Dan Murray and Bryan Mann, while Farr closed in on Gee and Pholi raced underneath Saller. Andrew Scheuerle was first to greet the chequered flag, taking a hard fought and well-deserved win, with Luke Oldfield across the line in second. Robbie Farr got the better of Mitchell Gee as the race concluded, stealing third and leaving Gee to settle for fourth. Mark Pholi climbed into fifth by the fall of the chequered flag, and led Michael Saller, Allan Woods, Jayden Peacock, Bryan Mann, Mick Sauer, Dan Murray, Ben Hilder, Cody Maroske, Lachlan McHugh (who made a mistake late in the race that cost him more than a few positions), and Brent Kratzmann across the line. Karl Hoffmans, Kevin Titman, Peter Lack and Dave Whell all failed to finish the event.

Sprintcars Queensland will return to Ausdeck Patios and Roofing Archerfield Speedway next Saturday AND Sunday Nights, for a HUGE weekend of Sprintcar racing and the running of the 2018 Queensland Sprintcar Title. We have at least a dozen drivers who could easily take the win next weekend, and probably at least a dozen more that could if they had a little luck on their side. The only thing we can be certain of is that it is going to two nights of racing you will not want to miss. Come and join us trackside and see it all unfold – the racing has only been getting each night so next weekend is sure to be one of the best yet. See you there!

Andrew Scheuerle


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