Kicking Up The Dirt - ECL Series Round 9 - USA Night 3
Joanne White posted Wednesday January 2, 2019.
Donny Schatz dominated Round Eight of the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Series at Ausdeck Patios and Roofing Archerfield Speedway last night, making it look easy as he raced to the win with about half a lap margin on second placed Logan Schuchart, and lapping up to and including sixth place by the fall of the chequered flag. Schuchart secured second after an epic battle with Luke Oldfield, with Oldfield throwing away a podium result after looping the Q17 racer in the later parts of the race. While Oldfield was able to keep the car moving and avoid going to the rear of the field, he surrendered several positions and buried himself deep in the field. Mitchell Gee raced home in third, a particularly impressive result after a nasty crash in his opening heat, where he was left with nowhere to go after another competitor spun in front of him, while Peter Lack crossed the line in fourth. Allan Woods was having a great run in the Q28 racer, spending the early part of the race well inside the top five, only to spin the car to a stop with twenty-nine laps left to run. Woods had an absolutely sensational run in those final twenty-nine laps, weaving his way past his rivals and making it as high as fourth with one lap left to run. The battle with Lack as they fought over fourth and fifth was mesmerising, with the pair exchanging positions several times, only for Lack to lead the pair across the line, leaving Woods in fifth.
Thirty-seven cars took to the track for qualifying, and while both Brandon Haynes and Mark Pholi had mechanical troubles, it was Donny Schatz who topped the leader board, breaking the strangle-hold of Luke Oldfield on the event. Schatz stopped the clock at 11.887 seconds and was the only driver in the field to dip into the 11-second bracket. Luke Oldfield went second quickest, a 12.022 second lap enough to beat the 12.103 recorded by third quickest Mitchell Gee. Andrew Scheuerle (12.122) and Peter Lack (12.143) rounded out the fastest five, while Brett Minett (12.190) was sixth quickest, securing his best qualifying result to date. Less than one second separated the top twenty-one qualifiers, while Brock Dean beat Kris Jennings by just two thousandths of a second.
Nelson Reddacliff and Ben Hilder led the field to the green for the start of heat one and while Reddacliff led the way through turn one, Hilder powered around the outside of the Q85 racer to take control of the race by the time they exited turn two. Logan Schuchart tried to follow Hilder on the high side but soon switched to the bottom to get under Reddacliff as they started the second circulation, while deeper in the field Donny Schatz started weaving his way through the field, setting his sights on Allan Woods and Darren Jensen. Woods and Jensen came together in turn two, leaving Woods with a flat right front tyre, the Q28 racer spending the rest of the race limping slowly around the high line, trying to stay out of the way. Jensen spent a few laps searching for a way underneath Reddacliff, eventually making his way through on the bottom of turn four, while Donny Schatz spent a couple of laps studying Reddacliff before racing effortlessly around the Q85 and immediately pulling several car lengths ahead with his focus now set on reeling in Jensen. Logan Schuchart managed to get the better of Ben Hilder and went on to take the win with Hilder forced to settle for second ahead of Darren Jensen and Donny Schatz. Nelson Reddacliff finished fifth and led Brett Minett, Kris Jennings, Mark Pholi, Adam Butler, James Grady, Brandon Haynes and Libby Ellis across the line, while Allan Woods, a few laps down, rounded out the finishers.
Clem Hoffmans started heat two from pole position with Ryan McNamara alongside and Brent Kratzmann and Dan Murray right behind. Hoffmans got a brilliant start and quickly secured the lead in advance of McNamara and Kratzmann, while Brock Dean and Dave Whell, who had shared the third row for the start, raced up the inside of Murray, the trio three-wide as they approached the first corner, with Whell leading them through turn one. Dean however fought back on the bottom, getting underneath Whell as they entered turn one, while Peter Lack found incredible momentum on the bottom, racing underneath Murray and Whell before challenging Dean for position with just over half a lap completed. Kratzmann had a massive look underneath McNamara but could not quite get the job done, while Luke Oldfield made his way underneath Dave Whell before spending a few laps searching for a way around Dan Murray. Once Oldfield had displaced Murray he set out after Dean, while Kratzmann applied increasing pressure to the back of McNamara before slipping underneath the Q88 racer as they rounded turn one. Kristy Bonsey was quick on the bottom, making her way underneath Tim Farrell before setting out after Dan Murray, but there was no stopping Clem Hoffmans out in front. Hoffmans went on to take the win ahead of Brent Kratzmann, with Ryan McNamara coming home in a very solid third. Peter Lack crossed the line fourth ahead of Luke Oldfield and Brock Dean, while Dan Murray, Kristy Bonsey, Dave Whell, Paul Rooks, Tim Farrell and Mitch Gowland rounded out the finishers.
Heat three started with Anthony Lambert and Nathan Black from the front row and while Lambert quickly secured the lead ahead of Black and Steve Greer, all eyes were on Kevin Titman and Mitchell Gee as they began to make their way forward. Titman was exceptional as he made his way ahead of Andrew Corbet before having a bold look between Steve Greer and Bryan Zelinski as they entered turn one. Titman had a look underneath Zelinski again as they entered turn three, eventually securing the advantage half a lap later, while Gee searched for a way underneath Corbet. Zelinski spun the NQ71 racer in turn two, and while Corbet was able to sneak past on the low line, Gee had nowhere to go. Gee collided with Zelinski, leaving Andrew Scheuerle, who was right on the tail of Gee at the time, nowhere to go. Scheuerle made contact with Gee and Zelinski, helping up-end the Q36 racer of Gee and leaving him in the path of a completely luckless Nathan McFarlane. McFarlane too collided with Gee, tipping him over once more, while Scheuerle and Zelinski were somehow able to drive away from the chaos. Gee walked away from the wreck but both he and McFarlane were unable to restart the event. Lambert led the restart from Black and Titman and while Scheuerle restarted in fifth, it became apparent quite quickly that the Q25 racer had suffered more damage than first thought and Scheuerle pulled out of the event just one lap into the restart. Titman was on a mission though and made his way around Black just half a lap into the restart, moving into second, after having started back in sixth, with only one and a half laps completed. Another caution for the spun car of Sean Rose at half race distance bunched the field back up again and while Lambert led the restart he now had a very determined Titman on his tail. Lambert got a great start and immediately pulled slightly ahead of Titman, but Titman closed the gap quickly, opening a margin of several car lengths on Corbet in third, while mid-field Brodie Tulloch got underneath Black and turned his attention to Corbet. Titman took to the high line and started challenging Lambert for the lead, the pair racing side-by-side for several laps before Titman was able to emerge in front just a couple of laps before the chequered flag. Titman went on to take the win ahead of Anthony Lambert and Andrew Corbet, while Brodie Tulloch finished fourth and led Steve Greer, Nathan Black, Tony Wynne, Sean Rose and Bryan Zelinski across the line. Mitchell Gee, Andrew Scheuerle and Nathan McFarlane all failed to finish the event.
Nelson Reddacliff started heat four from pole position with Darren Jensen alongside. Reddacliff and Jensen raced wheel-to-wheel into the first corner but it was Jensen who took control of the race. Reddacliff held down second but immediately came under enormous pressure from a very hard-charging Allan Woods, with Woods taking to the high line in a gutsy effort to get around the top side of the Q85 racer. Brent Kratzmann got the better of Logan Schuchart on the start before racing underneath Steve Greer, as Schuchart went around the top, and set out after Reddacliff, with both Schuchart and Donny Schatz closing in fast. Kratzmann searched for a way underneath Reddacliff but quickly surrendered positions to both Schuchart and Schatz, and while Kratzmann fought back and got back underneath Schatz, it was not long before Schatz again returned serve and back underneath the Q2 racer, before getting under both Schuchart and Reddacliff in quick succession. Schuchart spent another couple of laps searching for way past Reddacliff, before slipping through on the bottom and leaving Reddacliff to try and defend his position from Kratzmann once more. Kratzmann got underneath the Q85 racer as they rounded turns three and four, only for Reddacliff to have a massive look back underneath Kratzmann as they rounded turn one moments later. Darren Jensen led the way but as the race drew to a close came under increasing pressure from Allan Woods and Donny Schatz. Allan Woods ended up getting the win after taking the lead on the final lap, with Donny Schatz home in second ahead of Darren Jensen. Logan Schuchart finished fourth and led Brent Kratzmann, Nelson Reddacliff, Andrew Corbet, Steve Greer, Adam Butler, Tony Wynne, Libby Ellis and Brandon Haynes across the line. Brodie Tulloch did not finish the event.
Heat five started with Nathan Black and Anthony Lambert sharing the front row, with Dan Murray and Kris Jennings close behind. The first start was aborted, with officials sending Black to the second row for the restart after he jumped the first start, elevating Murray to pole position alongside Lambert. Murray quickly capitalized on his good fortune, racing into the lead and moving a couple of car lengths ahead of Lambert in second with just half a lap completed. Mitchell Gee made short work of getting underneath both Brock Dean and Kris Jennings, moving into fourth and beginning the chase down Black, while behind him Jennings tried to defend his position from Mark Pholi, the pair racing side-by-side with Pholi eventually moving ahead of the immaculately presented Q81 racer. Jennings soon surrendered a position to a determined Luke Oldfield, who went on to chase down Pholi, leaving Jennings and Brett Minett to negotiate over the minor places. Minett brought the race to a stop when he spun the Q94 racer coming out of turn four, with Murray and Lambert to lead the restart with six laps remaining. Luke Oldfield took to the restart from back in seventh position but soon stole the show when he took the Q17 racer to the high line and began making his way forward. Oldfield raced around Mark Pholi just half a lap into the restart before turning his attention to Brock Dean and Nathan Black, getting past the pair as they raced three-wide through turn two. Dean managed to get underneath Black while Oldfield set out after Mitchell Gee and Anthony Lambert, and while Oldfield spent a couple of laps closing the gap and searching for a way past Gee, it was not long before he again used the high line to get around Gee and start challenging Lambert. Unfortunately for Oldfield a caution for the spun car of Nathan Black moments later saw him relegated back behind Gee for the restart with two laps left to run. Murray again led the restart from Lambert, with Gee and Oldfield close behind, and Murray got a truly brilliant start and opened a small lead, Oldfield went straight back to the high line and resumed his battle with Gee and Lambert. Oldfield had impressive momentum on the top side, managing to get around both Gee and Lambert as they rounded turns one and two with less than one lap left to run. Oldfield closed in on Murray as they raced closer to the chequered flag but it was Dan Murray who got the win ahead of Luke Oldfield and Anthony Lambert. Mitchell Gee crossed the line in fourth and led Mark Pholi, Brock Dean, Tim Farrell, Mitch Gowland, Kris Jennings, Brett Minett, James Grady and Nathan Black home.
The sixth and final heat of the night saw Bryan Zelinski and Ryan McNamara share the front row for the start, with Zelinski getting the better start and securing the lead while McNamara and Clem Hoffmans negotiated over second and third. Ben Hilder and Dave Whell battled hard for fourth and fifth, the pair exchanging places several times, while Kevin Titman got underneath Andrew Scheuerle, before Scheuerle immediately returned serve, and Kristy Bonsey got underneath Peter Lack and Kevin Titman before both Titman and Lack fought back to regain their positions half a lap later. Hilder made his way past Whell, leaving Whell to try and defend his position from an incredibly hard-charging and unrelenting Andrew Scheuerle. Hoffmans made his way past Zelinski while Scheuerle and Lack both advanced ahead of Whell and turned their attention to Hilder and McNamara. Scheuerle made his way underneath McNamara and Hilder in quick succession before racing spectacularly around Hoffmans and Zelinski as Hoffmans challenged Zelinski on the inside for control of the race. Ben Hilder took to the high line with one lap left to run, successfully displacing both Hoffmans and Zelinski before the fall of the chequered flag, but it was Andrew Scheuerle who got a hard-fought and well-deserved win ahead of Ben Hilder and Bryan Zelinski. Clem Hoffmans finished fourth and led Ryan McNamara, Peter Lack, Kevin Titman, Dave Whell, Paul Rooks, Kristy Bonsey, Sean Rose and Nathan McFarlane past the chequered flag.
Nine cars took to the track for the ten-lap C-Main event with Sean Rose and Adam Butler to lead them away. Butler got a brilliant start and quickly secured the race lead while Rose settled into second but immediately came under pressure from Paul Rooks. Rooks raced up the inside of Rose as they completed the first lap of the race, relegating Rose to third before setting out after Butler. Tony Wynne challenged Rose for third, while Mitch Gowland chased Wynne for several laps before racing through on the inside of turn one. Gowland carried the momentum on the bottom through turn two, slipping underneath Rose and into third, while at the front of the field Rooks closed in on Butler, having a massive look underneath the Q10 racer as they came out of the final corner. The pair raced side-by-side across the line, with Adam Butler hanging on to get the win, just 0.114 seconds ahead of Paul Rooks. Both Butler and Rooks secured transfers to the B-Main, while Mitch Gowland led Tony Wynne, Nathan McFarlane, Sean Rose, James Grady, Libby Ellis and Brandon Haynes home in the C-Main event. ?
Kevin Titman and Logan Schuchart shared the front row for the Dash event, thanks to the pre-dash draw that saw highest point scorer Donny Schatz start from position four. Titman got a magnificent start, quickly securing the lead ahead of Schuchart while Allan Woods tried to hang on to third. Schatz made short work of getting around Woods, while Luke Oldfield followed Schatz on the high side to get around Andrew Scheuerle and Allan Woods, just as Kevin Titman came under enormous pressure from Logan Schuchart. Schuchart raced underneath Titman and while Titman fought back on the high side Schuchart was too quick. Schatz and Oldfield closed in on Titman in just a couple of laps, with Schatz slipping seemingly effortlessly underneath Titman when the Q59 racer got a fraction too high in turn two. Oldfield eventually got the better of Titman while Schuchart valiantly held off a hard-charging Schatz. Logan Schuchart got the win, declining the opportunity to take up the BK Trading Challenge, which would have inverted the top fourteen starters for the main race, with Donny Schatz coming home in second. Luke Oldfield crossed the line in third ahead of Kevin Titman, Mitchell Gee, Allan Woods, Andrew Scheuerle and Peter Lack.
The B-Main rolled onto the track with Darren Jensen and Anthony Lambert to lead the sixteen-car field to the green for the fifteen-lap affair. Jensen quickly secured the lead when the lights went green, with Lambert settling into second while Dave Whell and Clem Hoffmans negotiated over third. With barely a lap competed Tim Farrell and Nelson Reddacliff made contact deep in the field, with Farrell spinning the NQ10 racer and leaving an unlucky Adam Butler nowhere to go. Butler collided with Farrell and tipped the Q10 onto its side, bringing the race under caution. Jensen led the restart from Lambert, Whell and Ryan McNamara, with Butler restarting at the rear of the field, albeit with a badly damaged main wing. Mark Pholi, who had already advanced ahead of both Steve Greer and Kris Jennings in the opening lap, raced underneath Bryan Zelinski and edged closer to a transfer position, while Greer made his way underneath Jennings. Jennings soon fell victim to a determined Brodie Tulloch, who then went on to challenge Greer and then Zelinski, while Nelson Reddacliff and Paul Rooks searched for a way past Nathan Black. With eight laps still to run Black brought e race under caution with a spin in turn two, leaving Jensen to lead the restart from Lambert, Whell and McNamara. Pholi challenged McNamara on the start, the pair fighting over the last transfer spot, while Reddacliff made his way past both Jennings and Greer. Reddacliff was searching for a way underneath Zelinski when Zelinski got too sideways in turn four, spinning the NQ71 racer, clipping Reddacliff as he slipped through on the bottom and leaving both Kris Jennings and Tim Farrell with nowhere to go. Jennings made contact with Zelinski before being pushed into the tractor tyre on the edge of turn four, leaving Farrell no chance of avoiding contact. Farrell got into the back of Jennings, pushing him harder into the tyre, while Farrell tipped the NQ10 racer over. Neither driver was hurt, though Jennings was none too impressed and while both Zelinski and Jennings were unable to restart the event, Farrell actually managed to restart at the rear of the field. Jensen led the restart once more, this time with only six laps left to run, and ran essentially unchallenged while the battles raged behind him. Mark Pholi had made his way into third and was challenging Lambert for second, while Whell and McNamara fought over the final transfer position and Paul Rooks tried to get around the outside of Nelson Reddacliff. Brodie Tulloch closed in on Whell and Hoffmans. Darren Jensen got the win ahead of Anthony Lambert and Mark Pholi, with Ryan McNamara earning the fourth and final transfer to the A-Main. Dave Whell finished fifth in the B-main event, holding off a fast-finishing Brodie Tulloch, with Tulloch home in sixth ahead of Clem Hoffmans, Nelson Reddacliff, Paul Rooks, Steve Greer, Tim Farrell, Nathan Black and Kristy Bonsey. Bryan Zelinski, Kris Jennings and Adam Butler all failed to finish the event.
Logan Schuchart and Donny Schatz led a field of nineteen cars to the green for the start of an epic thirty-five-lap journey that would see the Americans dominate, but not without a challenge from our own talented locals. Schuchart got the jump when the green flag flew, quickly settling to the lead ahead of Schatz and Luke Oldfield, but a scuffle in the middle of the field promptly brought the race under caution. Brock Dean ended up stranded on the track in turn two, facing the wrong direction and would, sadly, take no further part in the race. A full restart followed with Schuchart again getting the better start and leading the way through the opening corners in advance of Donny Schatz, Luke Oldfield and Kevin Titman. Schatz quickly made his way into the race lead though, getting underneath Schuchart and taking control with just half a lap completed, leaving Schuchart to defend second from an incredibly hard-charging Oldfield. Kevin Titman had a brave look underneath Oldfield but could not quite get the job done, while deeper in the field Brent Kratzmann had a brilliant drive on the bottom to get past Brett Minett, Dan Murray, Andrew Corbet and Ben Hilder in less than half a lap. Andrew Scheuerle and Mitchell Gee were in exceptional form, the pair racing side-by-side, with plenty of racing room, while trying to simultaneously find a way past Allan Woods while defending their positions from Peter Lack. The race was soon brought to a stop when chaos unfolded deep in the field. Corbet got too high coming out of turn four and looped the Q78 racer, straight into the side of Brett Minett. Behind them as the rest of the field tried to take evasive action, Darren Jensen managed to squeeze through on the top side, but Anthony Lambert came together with Dan Murray, with Lambert making heavy contact with the turn four wall and Murray inverting the Q44 racer. While both Murray and Minett were unable to restart the event, Corbet and Lambert restarted at the rear of the field, though Lambert only lasted a few laps with a severely damaged main wing.
Donny Schatz led the restart with thirty-three laps still to run, with Logan Schuchart in second but under increasing pressure from Luke Oldfield. While Oldfield focused his attention on Schuchart, behind him Kevin Titman was under enormous pressure from Allan Woods and Mitchell Gee, and Andrew Scheuerle and Peter Lack were embroiled in their own battle for the minor places. Woods got underneath Titman as they rounded turn two, and while Gee searched for a way around the Q59 racer of Titman, Oldfield was working the bottom beautifully to challenge Schuchart for second. Oldfield was unrelenting and soon managed to steal second as they navigated their way through turn four, only for Schuchart to fight back hard making for an intense battle for second and third, while behind them Lack got the better of Scheuerle. Brent Kratzmann joined Scheuerle and Lack, using the highline to make his way around Scheuerle in a beautiful outside passing move before turning his attention to challenging Lack, just as the race was brought under caution for the spun car of Allan Woods. Woods restarted at the rear of the field with twenty-nine laps remaining to make up lost ground.
Donny Schatz led the restart from Luke Oldfield and Logan Schuchart, with Kevin Titman holding down fourth ahead of Mitchell Gee. While Schatz started to pull away, Schuchart began challenging Oldfield in an effort to regain second, while Gee took to the high line to race around Titman and into fourth just half a lap into the restart. Brent Kratzmann resumed his run on the high side, attempting to find a way around Peter Lack but also facing a challenge from Andrew Scheuerle. Mark Pholi had great momentum on the bottom as he attempted to get underneath Ben Hilder, Andrew Scheuerle and Brent Kratzmann, but hit the sizable rut in turn four, settling in behind Kratzmann and Scheuerle. Scheuerle managed to get by Kratzmann soon after, and while Pholi had another big look on the inside of Kratzmann, Kratzmann ran a fraction too wide in turn three, making contact with the turn three wall, and allowing both Pholi and Darren Jensen to slip through. Pholi kept the pressure on Scheuerle, while Allan Woods began making significant progress forward from the back of the field, and Peter Lack and Kevin Titman continued to fight over the minor places with Andrew Scheuerle and Mark Pholi on their tail. Scheuerle managed to clip the tractor tyre on the edge of turn four in a very uncharacteristic and rare mistake, before spinning to a stop on the main straight and bringing the race under caution.
Donny Schatz led the restart from Luke Oldfield and Logan Schuchart. Kevin Titman challenged Mitchell Gee on the restart but was quickly forced on the defensive as Peter Lack made his move, spending a couple of laps on the low side of Titman as they raced side-by-side, only for Lack to emerge ahead. Allan Woods had made his way up to ninth already and was a man on a mission as he raced past both Darren Jensen and Mark Pholi before setting his sights on Kevin Titman. Luke Oldfield and Logan Schuchart raced wheel-to-wheel in a thrilling battle for second until Oldfield looped the Q17 racer coming out of turn four, with a little help from the rut that that had already several other out, handing second to Schuchart and giving Mitchell Gee, Peter Lack, Kevin Titman and Allan Woods the only invitation they needed to shuffle Oldfield even further back in the field. Mark Pholi and Darren Jensen both challenged Oldfield for position, while Donny Schatz extended his lead as he weaved his way through the back markers and the mid-field. Lack challenged Gee while under fire from Woods, the trio putting on a great show for the fans on the hill, while Schatz made his way through the field, lapping sixth place and starting to search for a way past Woods and Lack. Woods and Lack traded places back and forth in an epic battle over fourth as the race drew to a close. Donny Schatz got the win ahead of Logan Schuchart, with Mitchell Gee doing a remarkable job to snare third, an impressive effort from Mitchell and the Titan Garages team after their earlier misfortune. Peter Lack crossed the line in fourth with Allan Woods having a sensational drive to finish fifth. Darren Jensen crossed the line in sixth ahead of Luke Oldfield, Mark Pholi, Kevin Titman, Ben Hilder, Dave Whell, Brent Kratzmann, Ryan McNamara and Andrew Corbet. Andrew Scheuerle, Anthony Lambert, Dan Murray, Brett Minett and Brock Dean all failed to finish the event.
Our next race meeting will be this Friday and Saturday night, 04 and 05 January 2019, where Ausdeck Patios and Roofing Archerfield Speedway will play host to World Series Sprintcars and the Titan Garages Australian Sprintcar Open. A whole host of interstate and international rivals will roll into Ausdeck Patios and Roofing Archerfield Speedway to take on the best of the locals and see if they have what it takes to stand atop the podium after a night on our unique Brisbane track. You are not going to want to miss this one race fans so come on out and join us for a thrilling night of family entertainment. See you trackside…
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