Kicking Up The Dirt - ECL Series - Round 11
Joanne White posted Sunday February 24, 2019.
Sprintcar racing does not get much better than the show the Sprintcars Queensland drivers put on at Ausdeck Patios and Roofing Archerfield Speedway last night. Round Eleven of the East Coast Logistics Sprintcars got underway with twenty-seven contenders, individual qualifying, two rounds of heats a fifteen-lap B-Main and a pair of twenty-lap A-Mains to round out the night, yet despite the format the competition at the top was fierce, with Luke Oldfield and Andrew Scheuerle dominating both feature events, taking one win and a second each and ending up tied on points at the final fall of the chequered flag. Oldfield, having won the first of the twin features, was credited with the round win, with Scheuerle officially second and Allan Woods, who finished fourth in both features, securing enough points to finish fourth. Randy Morgan had probably his best night in a Sprintcar to date, and scored two fifth place finishes in the feature events. He finished fifth overall. Luke Oldfield won the first of the feature events, from Andrew Scheuerle, Brent Kratzmann, Allan Woods and Randy Morgan, and while Oldfield inverted the top ten for the start of the second event he and Scheuerle fought their way to the front, with Scheuerle taking the win in the second feature and leading Oldfield, Kevin Titman, Allan Woods and Randy Morgan across the line.
Randy Morgan impressed early in qualifying, and while he was only the fourth car to hit the track for his qualifying run, he set the benchmark at 12.267 seconds. Andrew Scheuerle followed Morgan on the track for qualifying but could only manage a 12.345 second lap, which was enough to secure second until Brent Kratzmann hit the track a littler later and stole second from Scheuerle with a 12.278 second lap. The 12.267 second lap set by Morgan proved to be unassailable with the teenager topping the order at the end the qualifying session. Kratzmann was second quick ahead of Scheuerle with Kevin Titman and Ryan McNamara rounding out the fastest five, while the top nineteen were separated by less than one second.
Heat one started with Mitch Gowland and Anthony Lambert from the front row with Lambert getting the jump on the start and quickly securing the race lead while Gowland settled into second ahead of Peter Lack and Mark Pholi. Randy Morgan drifted a fraction too high coming out of turn four, with Andrew Corbet capitalising on the opportunity to slip though on the bottom and move ahead of Morgan. Morgan fought back with a bold look underneath Corbet a lap later but was unable to find a way through, while closer to the front Lack made his way underneath Gowland as they rounded turn four and set out after Lambert, leaving Gowland to try and defend his position from Pholi. Pholi was relentless on the bottom, having several looks underneath the Q32 of Gowland before eventually making his way in front, while Lack closed in on Lambert and began challenging for the race lead. Lack had a bold look on the inside of Lambert as they made their way through turns three and four but Lambert hung on to the lead, with Lack chasing him all the way to the chequered flag. Corbet and Morgan caught the tail of Gowland in the later stages of the race, the trio putting on a great show as they fought for the minor places, only for Gowland to fade further as both Corbet and Morgan found their way past. Anthony Lambert went on to take the win, successfully holding off a very chard-charging Peter Lack, with Mark Pholi home in third. Andrew Corbet was fourth across the line in advance of Randy Morgan, Mitch Gowland, Brett Minett and Jason King.
Phill Foster and Paul Rooks shared the front row for the start of heat two, with Foster getting the better start and leading the way into turn one. With Foster in control of the race Rooks settled into second but had both Dave Whell and Luke Oldfield on his tail. Oldfield took to the high side in an effort to try and get around Whell, making his move as they exited turn two and taking over third before setting out after Rooks, leaving Whell to try and defend his position from a determined Brent Kratzmann. Kratzmann had a big look underneath Whell as they rounded turn four but could not quite make his way through, while Oldfield continued to the run the high side as he challenged Rooks for second. Oldfield almost got into the wall in turn four and surrendered positions to both Whell and Kratzmann before spending a couple of laps closing back in on Whell and Kratzmann. The trio raced three-wide through turn two with Oldfield on the top, Kratzmann on the bottom and Whell sandwiched between them, and while Kratzmann led them out of the corner the race was promptly brought under caution for the spun car of David Kenway in turn three. Foster led the restart from Rooks, Whell, Oldfield and Kratzmann with just four laps left to run. When the race resumed Oldfield immediately took to the high side and raced around Whell and Rooks in just three-quarters of a lap, before turning his attention to Foster. Oldfield took the lead, racing around the outside of Foster with just two laps left to run and from there was untouchable out in front. Kratzmann got underneath Whell and set out after Rooks, closing in as the last few laps wore on, before having one big look on the inside of Rooks as they rounded the final corner. Luke Oldfield got the win ahead of Phill Foster and Paul Rooks, with Brent Kratzmann home in fourth and leading Dave Whell, Ryan McNamara, Trent Vardy, James Grady and David Kenway across the line.
Kristy Bonsey started heat three from pole position with Kevin Britten alongside. The pair drag-raced side-by-side into turn one with Bonsey leading them towards turn two. Britten challenged on the high side but Bonsey was strong out in front and Britten soon found himself under pressure from a very hard-charging Allan Woods. Kevin Titman and Andrew Scheuerle made their way underneath Ben Hilder and started closing in on Britten, who had surrendered second to Woods. Titman had a look on the high side of Britten, but left the bottom open and gave Scheuerle the only opportunity he needed to slip through on the bottom. Titman fought back, chasing Scheuerle for a few laps as they both tried to find a way past Britten, with Titman sliding underneath Scheuerle a few laps later as they rounded turn two. Titman turned his attention to Britten while Scheuerle tried to make up lost ground, and when Titman again started to look on the high side of Britten, Scheuerle again made his move on the low side, racing back underneath Titman to regain the advantage. Titman was relentless though and continued to challenge Scheuerle for a few more laps, before Scheuerle was able to get past Britten with one lap to run. Allan Woods got the win ahead of Kristy Bonsey and Andrew Scheuerle, with Kevin Britten home in fourth ahead of Kevin Titman, Ben Hilder, Geoff Davey, Nick Whell and Libby Ellis.
Heat four started with Mitch Gowland and Dave Whell from the front row, with Mark Pholi and Andrew Corbet close behind. Gowland got the jump on the start and quickly secured the race lead, and while Whell initially tried to challenge on the high side he was soon forced on the defensive as Pholi tried to take second. Kevin Titman and Randy Morgan began challenging Corbet for the minor places, with Titman getting underneath Corbet as they completed the first lap. A caution for the spun car of Steve Greer soon followed with Gowland to lead the restart from Whell and Pholi. Corbet had a look underneath Titman as they rounded turn two, but drifted too high and allowed Morgan to slip through on the bottom, with Morgan then closing in on the back of Titman, who was trying to catch Pholi. Mitch Gowland had opened a massive lead and went on to take the win about a third of a lap ahead of second placed Dave Whell. Mark Pholi secured third and led Kevin Titman, Randy Morgan, Geoff Davey, Jason King, Steve Greer and Andrew Corbet across the line.
The fifth heat of the night saw Kevin Britten start from pole position, with Paul Rooks alongside and a tough field behind them. Britten got a brilliant start and quickly took control of the race, leaving Rooks to settle for second ahead of Ben Hilder, Allan Woods and Peter Lack. Lack got underneath Woods as they rounded turns three and four and immediately began challenging Hilder for third, only for Woods to fight back on the bottom a lap later and regain his position from Lack. Lack then found himself under pressure from Brent Kratzmann, the Q2 racer challenging hard and having a massive look on the inside of Lack as they rounded turn four. Lack fought back and managed to maintain the advantage only for Kratzmann to have another look half a lap later. The race was brought under caution though when Lack spun the Q5 racer in turn three moments later. Britten led the restart from Rooks and Hilder with Britten opening a comfortable margin and Rooks holding down a solid second but with Hilder staying close behind and ready to make a move. Kratzmann challenged Woods as they made their way through turn four but to no avail, while Brett Minett closed in on Kratzmann. Kratzmann got underneath Woods as they rounded turn one with less than a lap left to run, only for Woods to immediately return the favour and raced back underneath Kratzmann as they exited turn two and headed down the back straight with half a lap left to run. Kevin Britten got the win ahead of Paul Rooks, Ben Hilder, Allan Woods and Brent Kratzmann, with Brett Minett, Peter Lack, James Grady and David Kenway rounding out the finishers.
The sixth and final heat of the night started with Phill Foster and Kristy Bonsey from the front row, and while the pair raced wheel-to-wheel towards the first corner it was Bonsey who led the field by the time they entered turn two. Foster challenged for the lead as they entered turn three but Bonsey was magnificent out in front, maintaining the advantage and opening a small margin on her rivals. Deeper in the field Andrew Scheuerle and Luke Oldfield raced either side of Anthony Lambert, the trio going three-wide through turn one with Scheuerle on the top and Oldfield on the bottom. Scheuerle secured the advantage over Oldfield and promptly dove underneath Ryan McNamara before turning his attention to Foster as they came around to complete the first lap. Scheuerle was phenomenal as he raced around the high side of Foster and turned his attention to Bonsey, setting his sights on the race lead and starting to close in on the Q42 racer. Oldfield made his way around McNamara, then, a few laps later Foster as well, and began closing in on Scheuerle, while Scheuerle continued to try and find a way into the race lead. Bonsey was unstoppable out in front, running a brilliant race and maintaining a margin of several car lengths on Scheuerle, who soon came under enormous pressure from Oldfield. Oldfield was attempting a spectacular outside pass on Scheuerle when he happened across the spun car of Libby Ellis high on the track on the exit of turn three. Lightening quick reflexes saw Oldfield turn his own Q17 racer sharply, including a wheel-stand for a little extra showmanship, and impressively managed to narrowly avoid contact with the stranded car right in front of him. Bonsey led the restart with Scheuerle and Oldfield now right on her tail and two laps still to run. Bonsey got a brilliant start and quickly opened a small and unassailable lead, while deeper in the field Nick Whell and Anthony Lambert fought over the minor places. Kristy Bonsey got the win ahead of Andrew Scheuerle and Luke Oldfield, with Ryan McNamara home in fourth. Phill Foster finished fifth and led Anthony Lambert, Nick Whell, Trent Vardy and Libby Ellis across the line.
Thirteen cars rolled onto the track for the fifteen-lap B-Main event, with Anthony Lambert and Kevin Britten to lead them to the green. Lambert led the first start but the race was quickly brought under caution when Brett Minett spun to a stop in turn two. A full restart followed with Lambert again securing the lead and Britten, Mitch Gowland and Phill Foster fighting over second. James Grady and Jason King raced side-by-side for a couple of laps before Grady emerged in front, while Trent Vardy tried to defend his position from Brett Minett. Vardy did a great job in the Q55 racer, running the bottom and staying ahead of Minett while also beginning to challenge Jason King for position. Steve Greer soon joined the fight, racing up the inside of Minett and beginning to look for a way past Vardy and King, while Minett took to the high side and raced around both Greer and Vardy as they rounded turn two. Greer got underneath Vardy only for Vardy to fire back half a lap later and slip straight back underneath the Q84 racer, momentarily regaining the advantage before Greer fought back on the high side and began to pull ahead. Greer started looking on the inside of Minett, the pair racing side-by-side for a couple of laps as they both searched for a way past King. Minett was committed to the high side and soon began making his move around King, while Greer tried to race underneath the NQ69 racer. Contact between Greer and King in turn one saw Greer invert the always absolutely immaculately presented Q84 racer. Greer walked away from the wreck but his race was over. Lambert led the restart from Britten and Gowland while deeper in the field Minett took to the high side and began searching for a way around Grady. Vardy made his way underneath King, while the race was brought under caution soon after for the spun car of Grady in turn four. Lambert again led the restart from Britten, Gowland and Foster and while there was another caution with three laps left to run, when Vardy spun to a stop in turn four, the leading quartet were untroubled out in front. Anthony Lambert got the win ahead of Kevin Britten and Mitch Gowland, with Phill Foster securing the final transfer to the twin features. Nick Whell finished fifth ahead of Brett Minett, Geoff Davey, Jason King, Libby Ellis, David Kenway, Trent Vardy and James Grady. Steve Greer was the only driver who did not finish the event.
Andrew Scheuerle and Randy Morgan led the field to the green for the first of the two feature race events, with Scheuerle leading from Brent Kratzmann when the lights went green. Unfortunately it was short-lived as Ryan McNamara spun the Q88 racer and brought the race under caution. A full restart followed with Scheuerle again quick to secure the advantage ahead of Kratzmann and Morgan. Luke Oldfield took to the high line and raced around Morgan as they navigated turn two, while Kevin Titman had a big look on the inside of the Q54 racer as well, with Allan Woods on his tail. Woods managed to make his way ahead of Titman and Morgan in quick succession and set out after Oldfield, Kratzmann and Scheuerle, but the race was soon brought under caution once more when Ryan McNamara, Phill Foster and Mitch Gowland came together in turn two. Scheuerle led the restart from Kratzmann and Oldfield, with Woods and Morgan behind. Oldfield committed to the top side and raced around Kratzmann less than half a lap into the restart, turning his attention to Scheuerle and leaving Kratzmann with a hard-charging Woods on his tail. Peter Lack and Kevin Titman had a thrilling battle just outside the top five, with Titman soon pulling ahead and setting out after Morgan. Titman spent a few laps chasing Morgan before making his move on the high side and moving into fifth, while Lack came under pressure from both Ben Hilder and Kristy Bonsey. Oldfield closed in on Scheuerle as they approached lapped traffic, with Oldfield boldly taking to the high side once more and racing around Scheuerle to take control of the race with eight laps left to run. Scheuerle of course fought back but Oldfield was quick to put a few lapped cars between them, creating a comfortable margin as they raced towards the chequered flag. Mitch Gowland and Paul Rooks had a fierce battle for some minor positions deep in the field, while behind the leaders the battle for third was just starting to heat up, with Woods rapidly closing in on the back of Kratzmann. Woods got past Kratzmann with the white flag in the air, only for Kratzmann to fight back on the high side, the pair crossing the line side-by-side, with Kratzmann just 0.058 seconds ahead of Woods. Luke Oldfield got the win ahead of Andrew Scheuerle and Brent Kratzmann, with Allan Woods forced to settle for fourth. Randy Morgan finished fifth and led Kevin Titman, Ben Hilder, Peter Lack, Kristy Bonsey, Dave Whell, Andrew Corbet, Mark Pholi, Kevin Britten, Anthony Lambert, Paul Rooks, Mitch Gowland and Phill Foster across the line. Ryan McNamara did not finish the event.
By now the ability of Luke Oldfield to draw the highest possible inversion is well-documented and last night was no exception. As the winner of the first feature event Oldfield was tasked with drawing one of four marbles, marked 6, 8, 8 or 10, to determine the inversion for the start of the second feature event. In true Oldfield form he drew the 10 marble, inverting the top ten for the start of the second A-Main, leaving Dave Whell and Kristy Bonsey from the front row and setting up what would end up being a thrilling race.
Dave Whell and Kristy Bonsey led the field to the green for the start of the second A-Main, with Whell leading the way through the opening corners ahead of Bonsey and Peter Lack. Scheuerle was on a mission from the first fall of the green, quickly making his way past Brent Kratzmann and Allan Woods, with Oldfield trying to follow, while at the front of the field Bonsey had a brilliant run as she took the lead from Whell and began to open a small margin on the rest of the field. Oldfield committed to the high line, racing around Scheuerle and Randy Morgan as they headed down the back straight, while much deeper in the field Ryan McNamara was in an intense battle with Paul Rooks and Mitch Gowland. Oldfield, with Scheuerle right behind, started searching for a way past Dave Whell while Kevin Titman took control of the race from Kristy Bonsey. Peter Lack worked the high side as he tried to find a way past Kristy Bonsey, while Oldfield and Scheuerle continued to make their way towards the front. Once both Lack and Oldfield had made their way past Bonsey Oldfield focused on finding a way past the Q5 racer, getting the job done on the bottom of turn one, only for Lack to regain the position half a lap later. With lapped traffic in play Scheuerle capitalised and quickly displaced both Bonsey and Oldfield and set his sights on Lack. Contact between Scheuerle and Lack in turn four as they fought over second left Lack stranded high on the track and brought the race under caution, with Lack to start the restart from the rear of the field with only three laps left to run. Titman led the restart from Scheuerle and Oldfield but it was the battle for fourth between Kristy Bonsey and Dave Whell that would bring the race to a stop just moments after returning to green light conditions. Contact between the Whell and Bonsey in turn one saw Whell invert the Q4 racer in spectacular fashion, with Ben Hilder, Brent Kratzmann, Anthony Lambert and Andrew Corbet all among those involved. Titman led the restart with Scheuerle and Oldfield on his tail. Scheuerle wasted no time when the lights went green, quickly displacing Titman and taking control of the race, while Oldfield searched the high side before switching to the bottom and diving underneath Titman with a couple of laps left to run. Andrew Scheuerle got the win in the second feature event, with Luke Oldfield and Kevin Titman rounding out the podium. Allan Woods and Randy Morgan finished fourth and fifth respectively with Mark Pholi, Ryan McNamara, Kristy Bonsey, Kevin Britten and Mitch Gowland rounding out the top ten. Peter Lack salvaged eleventh after his earlier incident and led Andrew Corbet, Anthony Lambert, Brent Kratzmann, Paul Rooks and Phill Foster home. Ben Hilder and Dave Whell did not finish the event.
Once the points from the twin features had been tallied Luke Oldfield and Andrew Scheuerle remained tied on points, with the round win going to Oldfield as the winner of the first feature event. Scheuerle secured second overall while Allan Woods was third ahead of Kevin Titman and Randy Morgan. Brent Kratzmann finished sixth overall ahead of Mark Pholi, Kristy Bonsey, Peter Lack, Ben Hilder, Kevin Britten, Andrew Corbet, Ryan McNamara, Mitch Gowland, Anthony Lambert, Dave Whell, Paul Rooks and Phill Foster.
Sprintcars Queensland will head back to Hi-Tec Oils Speedway in Toowoomba next Saturday night for another huge night of Sprintcar racing. See you there!
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