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Kicking Up The Dirt - East Coast Logistics Series - Round 15
Joanne White posted Sunday May 20, 2018.

Luke Oldfield was absolutely unstoppable at Ausdeck Patios and Roofing Archerfield Speedway last night as he sailed to victory in Round 15 of the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Track Championship. Oldfield started the race back in sixth after an incident in an earlier heat briefly slowed his progress, but once the lights went green to get the eighteen-car A-Main field underway, Oldfield had a single focus. Weaving his way past the opposition, Oldfield made his way into third in just eight laps, before setting his sights on Michael Saller and Ben Hilder, displacing both drivers and taking control of the race just four laps later, racing underneath early leader Hilder as they rounded turn four with eighteen laps still to run. Once in front, Oldfield immediately started opening a comfortable margin, weaving his way past the back markers, patiently waiting for the right opportunities to slip through the traffic, and driving with a determination that let nothing and no one stand in his way. Luke Oldfield went on to take the win, snaring some much needed series points, and, with double points on the line, setting us up for a truly epic finale next weekend. Ben Hilder led the first twelve laps of the A-Main last night, and looked very comfortable out in front until Oldfield arrived on the scene to deny him his first Sprintcar feature win. Hilder is not one for theatrics, he gets in and gets the job done, quietly, looking after the Q95 Motorguard Motorsport racer and, particularly this season, has developed a consistency that sees him well inside the top five in the track championship. Whilst Oldfield denied him a win last night, Hilder crossed the line in second, securing his first podium result in the Q95 car and beating the hard-charging duo of Bryan Mann and Cody Maroske across the line. Mann, who quick timed in qualifying earlier in the night, finished third to complete the podium, while Maroske and Michael Saller completed the top five.

Qualifying got underway with Bryan Mann setting quick time when he stopped the clock at 11.680 seconds, beating Luke Oldfield, who locked in an 11.689 second lap, by just nine thousandths of a second. Dan Murray impressed with an 11.790 second lap to secure third quickest overall, while Peter Lack (11.828) and Ben Hilder (11.844) rounded out the fastest five. The quickest seven were all in the eleven-second bracket, while the top twenty-one cars were separated by less than one second. Cody Maroske beat Andrew Scheuerle by just five thousandths of a second, while Brad Ayers and Karl Hoffmans recorded identical times, both stopping the clock at 12.232 seconds.

The Development Series cars joined us trackside again last night, for the final time this season, with Andrew Baumber and Jason King to lead them to the green for the start of the first heat. The pair raced side-by-side into the first corner but it was King who secured the lead as they headed towards turn two, while Nathan Black quickly raced around Baumber to settle into second before half a lap was completed. Black set his sights on King, racing around the NQ69 racer as they rounded turn three and took control of the race. From there Black was untouchable, opening a comfortable lead and leaving King to try and defend his position from a hard-charging Baumber. Baumber was relentless as he chased King, having several looks underneath the NQ69 racer, but to no avail. Nathan Black went on to take the win ahead of Jason King and Andrew Baumber, with Peter Campbell, David Kenway and Libby Ellis rounding out the finishers.

Heat one of the open Sprintcars saw Nelson Reddacliff, subbing for Andrew Marks in the Q96 racer, start from pole position with Brett Minett alongside. Reddacliff got a brilliant start when the green flag flew, quickly securing the lead and immediately opening a margin of a couple of car lengths on Minett in second. Behind them Brock Dean tried to run around Karl Hoffmans as they navigated the first couple of corners, while Bryan Mann and Michael Saller battled deeper in the field. Brad Ayers was all over the back Brett Minett, searching for a way past, while in front of them Reddacliff got far to sideways in turn three. Whilst Reddacliff had built a significant margin and was able to straighten the car without a stoppage, he handed control of the race to Minett and Ayers and rejoined the race in third. Brett Minett went on to take the win ahead of Brad Ayers while Nelson Reddacliff managed to hang on to finish third despite damaged steering on the Q96 racer. Bryan Mann stole fourth from Brock Dean as they crossed the line, leaving Dean in fifth ahead of Karl Hoffmans, Mitch Gowland and Michael Saller.

Peter Milnes and Kevin Britten led the field to the green for the start of heat two, with Milnes quickly securing the lead while Britten settled into second, while Mitchell Gee made his way around Mark Pholi and set his sights on Britten. Ben Hilder got the better of Cody Maroske on the start before racing underneath Pholi with just half a lap completed. As Hilder edged closer to Gee and Britten, Pholi was left to try and defend his position from a very much in-form Maroske, while at the rear of the field Luke Oldfield searched for a way past James Duckworth. Gee put all kinds of pressure on Britten, never lifting but making sure they both had plenty of racing room, patiently waiting for the right opportunity to slip underneath and advance into second. The pair battled for several laps before Gee found a small opening on the bottom and raced under Britten as they powered down the back straight, while behind them Oldfield had displaced Duckworth and was now mounting a serious challenge to both Cody Maroske and Mark Pholi. Oldfield persisted on the bottom, racing underneath Maroske as they rounded turn four, before getting by Pholi just one lap later and setting his sights on Hilder. Oldfield closed in quickly but ran out of laps before he could make a move. Peter Milnes got the win though, largely untroubled in the race lead, with Mitchell Gee home in second ahead of Kevin Britten, Ben Hilder, Luke Oldfield, Mark Pholi, Cody Maroske and James Duckworth.

Randy Morgan was scheduled to start heat three from pole position, however when the Q54 racer suffered mechanical dramas before the start Brodie Tulloch was elevated to the front row with Scott Genrich alongside. Tulloch got the jump on the start and quickly secure the lead, with Andrew Scheuerle immediately making his way into second and leaving Genrich to try and defend his position from Brent Kratzmann. Unfortunately it did not last long, with the race promptly brought under caution when Kristy Bonsey bicycled the Q42 racer coming out of turn two before colliding with the wall and landing heavily. While Kristy was, fortunately, able to walk away, her night of racing, and potentially her season, came to a premature and disappointing end. A full restart followed and this time it was Genrich who secured the lead as they took the green, with Tulloch settling into second. Kratzmann got the better of Scheuerle and began challenging Tulloch, only to run a little too wide in turn four a few laps in and allowed Scheuerle to slip through. Scheuerle set out after Tulloch, leaving Kratzmann with Peter Lack on his tail, the pair almost coming together when Kratzmann again ran a little wide in turn four. Scheuerle caught Tulloch in just a few laps and set about finding a way past, eventually getting underneath Tulloch as they raced down the main straight a few laps from home. Scott Genrich got the win with Andrew Scheuerle second across the line ahead of Brodie Tulloch, Brent Kratzmann, Peter Lack, Dan Murray and Kris Jennings. Kristy Bonsey and Randy Morgan both failed to finish the event.

Libby Ellis and David Kenway shared the front row for the start of the second Development Series heat, with Ellis getting a brilliant start when the green flag flew, quickly securing the lead ahead of Kenway, while Peter Campbell and Nathan Black argued over third. Campbell got around Black, with Andrew Baumber following on the high line, with Baumber then attempting to slip underneath Kenway as they rounded turn three. Unfortunately for Baumber he spun the NQ2 racer and brought the race under caution. Ellis led the restart from Kenway and Campbell and while Kenway had a look on the inside of Ellis once the race resumed, Ellis hung on to the lead, the pair battling for control for a number of laps with Ellis doing a magnificent job out in front. Kenway was relentless, while Campbell had a brilliant run in the NQ22 racer, getting the best of Kenway before racing underneath Ellis and into the race lead less than half a lap later. Ellis held down second for a few more laps, despite relentless pressure from both Kenway and Black, but eventually surrendered second to Kenway. Peter Campbell got the win ahead of David Kenway, with Libby Ellis crossing the line in third and recording a personal best lap time in the process. Andrew Baumber crossed the line in fourth and led Nathan Black and Jason King home.

Heat four of the open Sprintcars saw Kevin Britten and Mark Pholi share the front row for the start, with Britten getting the jump and leading the way into the first corner, only for Pholi to immediately fight back on the top side to take control of the race as they rounded turn two. Scott Genrich settled into third while Bryan Mann searched for a way underneath Cody Maroske, whilst also defending his position from Andrew Scheuerle. Maroske got underneath Genrich when Genrich ran too wide in turn four, with Mann trying to follow him through. Genrich fought back on the high side of Mann, the pair coming together half a lap later and while both were able to avoid a stoppage, Genrich limped his Q18 racer to the infield and out of the race. The incident between the pair allowed both Andrew Scheuerle and James Duckworth to slip past Mann, while closer to the front Cody Maroske got the better of Kevin Britten and set out after Mark Pholi and the race lead. Maroske had incredible car speed, and while Pholi had built up a significant margin, it took Maroske just a few laps to catch the Q14 racer and take over the race lead. Britten was under immense pressure from Scheuerle, the pair putting on a great show as Scheuerle relentlessly searched for a way forward while Britten denied him every time, but there was no stopping Cody Maroske as he took the win. Mark Pholi crossed the line in second while Kevin Britten managed to hang on to finish third. Andrew Scheuerle finished fourth and led Bryan Mann and James Duckworth across the line. Scott Genrich and Brock Dean failed to finish the race.

Nelson Reddacliff and Peter Milnes led the field to the green at the start of heat five, the pair racing side-side-into the first corner with Milnes soon emerging in front as they entered turn two. Reddacliff briefly held down second but soon faded as both Brent Kratzmann and Brodie Tulloch simultaneously dove underneath the Q96 car. Luke Oldfield made it all look so easy as he slipped underneath Ben Hilder before sailing around the top side, getting around Mitchell Gee, Nelson Reddacliff and Brodie Tulloch in less than a lap. Oldfield set his sights on Kratzmann, who was searching for a way past Milnes, while Gee and Hilder argued over minor positions while trying to find a way ahead of Reddacliff. As Gee and Hilder made their way forward and started closing in on Tulloch, Oldfield began challenging Kratzmann for position, relentlessly searching the high line for a way past before eventually getting the job done as they rounded turns one and two. Oldfield set his sights on Milnes and the race lead and began challenging for control moments before Kris Jennings spun in turn four and brought the race under caution. Milnes led the restart from Oldfield, Kratzmann and Tulloch, however as soon as the lights went green Mitchell Gee took to the high line to power around the outside of Tulloch and into fourth. Unfortunately for Gee this left him high on the track and completely unable to avoid contact with the chaos unfolding right in front of him as Milnes and Oldfield came together coming down the back straight. Gee hit the brakes hard and did everything he could to lessen the unavoidable impact, but with leaders almost stationary in front of him Gee collided hard with the rear end Oldfield and upended the Q36 racer. Gee did walk away from the wreck, his night of racing now over, and later received some medical attention. Oldfield was unable to restart the event, the fuel tank on the Q17 busted in the impact, while Milnes was also unable to restart the event. Kratzmann inherited the lead for the restart and, with five laps still to run, was untroubled in the lead. Brent Kratzmann went on to take the win ahead of Brodie Tulloch, with Ben Hilder home in third and Nelson Reddacliff the only other finisher. Kris Jennings, Peter Milnes, Luke Oldfield and Mitchell Gee all failed to finish the event.

Heat six was just as action-packed as heat five. The ten-lap journey started with Mitch Gowland and Karl Hoffmans to lead them to the green, with the first start aborted and Gowland penalised for jumping the start. Brett Minett was elevated to the front row for the restart, but it was Hoffmans who secured the lead when the lights went green, while Michael Saller raced around Minett to secure second with less than half a lap completed. Randy Morgan tried to advance on the high side but faded back a few positions, while Peter Lack challenged Mitch Gowland for mid-field positions. Brad Ayers was looking for a way past Brett Minett when Minett got a fraction too sideways in turn four, forcing Ayers to take evasive action. Gowland managed to squeeze around the outside while Lack made contact with Ayers as he tried to do the same. Lack made contact with Ayers and while he tried to drive out of the incident without stopping, both he and Ayers tipped over. Neither Lack nor Ayers restarted the race. Hoffmans led the restart from Saller and Gowland with nine laps still to run. Saller challenged Hoffmans for the lead while deeper in the field Gowland was under increasing pressure from Dan Murray, while Randy Morgan impressed with a bold run on the high line. The race was again brought under caution when Hoffmans suddenly slowed to a stop and was unable to restart the race. Another caution followed soon after, this time for Brett Minett who had spun in turn four, leaving just four cars to contest the final four laps. Michael Saller led them to the green and immediately opened a small lead before taking the win, but all eyes were Mitch Gowland, Dan Murray and Randy Morgan as they fought over minor places. Murray had a massive look up the inside of Gowland but could not quite get the job done, while Morgan took to the high line and began to challenge Murray. Morgan was patient but persistent, eventually getting around Murray with just one lap left to run. Michael Saller got the win ahead of Mitch Gowland, Randy Morgan and Dan Murray. Karl Hoffmans, Brett Minett, Brad Ayers and Peter Lack all failed to finish the event.

Bryan Mann led the points going into the Dash event, but drew position four for the start, leaving Ben Hilder and Michael Saller to share the front row. Hilder got a brilliant start and immediately secured the lead, opening a small margin that proved to be unsurmountable. Bryan Mann had a look underneath Dan Murray, while Brent Kratzmann got the better of Andrew Scheuerle before sliding underneath Mann. Mann fired straight back, regaining his position almost immediately, while Scheuerle surrendered a position to Luke Oldfield. Mann continued to challenge Murray, with Kratzmann close behind and Oldfield closing in fast, and it was not long before Oldfield raced around the top side of Kratzmann and set his sights on Mann and Murray. Unfortunately for Oldfield he looped the Q17 racer in turn three on the final lap and while he was able to keep going and finish the race, he surrendered a position back to Kratzmann. Ben Hilder got the win ahead of Michael Saller and Dan Murray, with Bryan Mann home in fourth ahead of Brent Kratzmann, Luke Oldfield, Andrew Scheuerle and Cody Maroske.

Fourteen cars hit the track for the B-Main event, including the six remaining Development Series cars who tagged on to the back of the field. Brad Ayers and Scott Genrich led the way, with the pair almost coming together as they took the green and setting off a chain reaction in the field behind. Brett Minett got into the back of Genrich, with Randy Morgan then getting into the back of Minett, James Duckworth took evasive action, while Kris Jennings climbed the left rear of Duckworth. Somehow everyone kept moving, with the exception of Andrew Baumber, who was unable to restart the race. A full restart followed with Mitch Gowland elevated to the front row ahead of Ayers. Gowland and Genrich raced side-by-side through the first two corners but it was Gowland who secured the race lead, leaving Genrich with Ayers on his tail. Minett held down fourth, but was immediately under enormous pressure from Karl Hoffmans, Randy Morgan, James Duckworth and Nathan Black as they fought over the final transfer position. Morgan was quick on the top side, showing patience and maturity beyond his years, as he raced around Hoffmans and attempted to do the same to Minett. Genrich suffered sudden mechanical dramas in the Q18 racer and slowed dramatically on the high side, leaving the oncoming field little time to respond. Minett moved down track to avoid Genrich, while Morgan held his line, quickly slowing the Q54 racer before carefully making his way underneath Genrich as officials brought the race under caution. Gowland led the restart from Ayers, Minett and Hoffmans, with Morgan sitting just outside the top four transfer positions with eleven laps still to run. Morgan searched the top side for a way around Hoffmans, before switching to the bottom to get the job done. Morgan had a quick look underneath Minett, only for Hoffmans to fight back and regain his position a lap later. Another caution, this time for the spun car of Libby Ellis, bunched the field back up once more, with Gowland still leading from Ayers, Minett, Hoffmans and Morgan with nine laps to go. Nathan Black made his way underneath James Duckworth, while Hoffmans challenged Minett and Morgan had a look on the top side. Minett got sideways in turn four, leaving Hoffmans with nowhere to go, while Morgan squeezed between Minett and the fence. Minett and Hoffmans came together, giving Morgan the only invitation he needed to move in front of both drivers, and while they were both able to keep moving, Hoffmans in particular lost a number of places as he straightened the Q3 racer enough to rejoin the race. Another caution with seven laps to run saw Gowland again lead the restart from Ayers, with Morgan now up to third and Minett sitting in the final transfer position. Morgan again took to the high line when the lights went green, trying to find a way past Ayers, only for Ayers to fight back valiantly on the bottom to maintain his position for a few more laps. Morgan was fierce though, and absolutely relentless as he worked the high line, eventually getting the better of Ayers and turning his focus to Gowland and the race lead. Morgan spent just a couple of laps closing the gap to Gowland, and then a few more trying to find a way past, snaring the lead on the final corner when Gowland got caught behind a lapped car. With just a quarter of a lap to run a lapped car got sideways in front of Gowland and when the Q32 racer took evasive action to try and avoid the spinning car, and then the tractor tyre on the edge of the infield, he surrendered the lead the Morgan just in time for Randy Morgan to take the win. Gowland and Ayers raced side-by-side across the line, with Gowland pulling a massive wheel stand as they greeted the chequered flag. Brad Ayers was officially second, just 0.038 seconds ahead of Mitch Gowland who finished third. Brett Minett crossed the line, earning the fourth and final transfer to the A-Main. Karl Hoffmans finished fifth and led Kris Jennings, Jason King, James Duckworth, Peter Campbell, Anthony Lambert and Libby Ellis across the line. Nathan Black, Scott Genrich and Andrew Baumber all failed to finish the event.

Ben Hilder started the A-Main race from pole position, with Michael Saller alongside and a huge field of extremely tough competition behind. Hilder got the jump when the green flag flew, quickly settling into the race lead ahead of Saller, while Bryan Mann and Brent Kratzmann fought over third. Luke Oldfield started his climb towards the front, quickly displacing Dan Murray and setting out after Kratzmann and Mann, while Murray was left with a determined Andrew Scheuerle on his tail. Scheuerle quickly moved ahead of Murray, his sights firmly set on Oldfield in front, while mid-field Peter Lack tried to race between Brodie Tulloch and Cody Maroske. Maroske made impressive progress on the top side, and quickly moved ahead of Lack, while Kevin Britten soon challenged Peter Lack as the pair tried to find a way past Dan Murray. Contact between Murray and Lack in turn two almost ended in disaster for Lack and forced the rest of the field to take evasive action. Randy Morgan was having a brilliant run on the top side and was, not for the first time last night, forced to try to avoid the chaos unfolding in front of him. A sudden swerve down track from Morgan could have ended in disaster for several drivers but Morgan again did everything he could to keep the car straight, sticking to the high line and slowing as much as he could before making contact with the now stationary Lack. Unfortunately neither Lack nor Morgan were able to restart the race.

Ben Hilder led the restart from Michael Saller, Bryan Mann and Brent Kratzmann, with Luke Oldfield sitting in fifth ahead of Andrew Scheuerle. Oldfield searched high and low for a way past Kratzmann, before turning his attention to Mann, while Andrew Scheuerle and Cody Maroske fought over the minor places. Maroske soon got the better of Scheuerle and set out after Kratzmann, while Oldfield got underneath Mann to move into the top three. Mann and Oldfield traded places back and forth, but Oldfield won out in the end and set out after Saller. Just as Oldfield was making a move on the N56 racer, Brett Minett made heavy contact with the turn three wall and brought the race back under caution.

With clear track now ahead of him Ben Hilder again led the restart, from Michael Saller and Luke Oldfield and while Saller challenged Hilder for control once the race resumed, he soon surrendered second to Oldfield. Oldfield set out after Hilder, chasing him down and, with eighteen laps still to run, slipped underneath Hilder and into the lead. Cody Maroske and Andrew Scheuerle took to the high line in an effort to find a way around Brent Kratzmann, before Maroske switched to the low line and, further back in the field, Brodie Tulloch and Dan Murray negotiated over mid-field positions. Oldfield began weaving his way through lapped traffic when the race was brought under caution for Brent Kratzmann, who had stopped in turn one after contact with another competitor, and Brodie Tulloch, who had tried to squeeze between Kratzmann and the wall in a gap that was ultimately just a little too small. Unfortunately for Tulloch he was unable to restart the event, while Kratzmann took the green from the rear of the field.

Luke Oldfield led the restart with thirteen laps left to run, quickly opening a comfortable margin and, in just a few laps, beginning to once again weave his way through the back markers. Despite getting held up behind Mark Pholi and Nelson Reddacliff, who were having a thrilling wheel-to-wheel battle for positions outside the top ten, Oldfield patiently waited for the right opportunity and timed his run perfectly, racing up the inside of Reddacliff first in turn four, then Pholi before they made it through turn one. Elsewhere Andrew Scheuerle briefly got the better of Bryan Mann, while Mann challenged Saller for third. Whilst Oldfield was virtually untouchable out in front, taking the win some five seconds ahead of is nearest rival, Ben Hilder ran a solid second, holding on for a well-deserved and long overdue podium, despite a late race challenge from Mann. Bryan Mann finished third with Cody Maroske fourth and Michael Saller fifth. Andrew Scheuerle crossed the line sixth and led Dan Murray, Kevin Britten, Brock Dean, Brad Ayers, Mitch Gowland, Nelson Reddacliff, Mark Pholi and Brent Kratzmann across the line. Brodie Tulloch, Brett Minett, Peter Lack and Randy Morgan did not finish the event.

The East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Track Championship is now well and truly alive, and with just one night of racing left you are seriously not going to want to miss the show next Saturday night. Will it be Andrew Scheuerle or Luke Oldfield who wins the Championship? Or can Ben Hilder upstage them both? As we know all too well – anything can, and often does, happen so come and join us at Ausdeck Patios and Roofing Archerfield Speedway on Saturday the 26th of May for our last run of the 2017-2018 season!

 

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