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Kicking Up The Dirt - ECL Series - Round 7
Joanne White posted Friday December 27, 2019.

Donny Schatz kicked off his 2019-2020 Australian Summer racing program with a win at Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway, securing the lead in the main event when early leader Luke Oldfield had a moment trying to get around a lapped car. Schatz raced through on the bottom and into the lead and from there the U15 racer was unstoppable. Luke Oldfield managed to cross the line second ahead of Andrew Scheuerle, with Callum walker and Cody Maroske rounding out the top five.

Qualifying got underway and it was Bryan Mann who again topped the leader board once all cars had taken to the track. Mann stopped the clock at 11.715 seconds, narrowly beating Tim Farrell who went second quickest with an 11.777 second lap. Callum Walker was quick from the first drop of the green flag, securing third quickest with an 11.820 second lap, while Luke Oldfield (11.835) and Donny Schatz (11.882) rounded out the fastest five. The top twenty-four cars were separated by less than one second, while Kristy Bonsey beat Mick Sauer by just one thousandth of a second. Kevin Titman had mechanical woes in the Q59 racer and missed his qualifying spot, getting just one qualifying lap at the end, and despite going twelfth quickest, could not qualify any better than nineteenth. Jai Stephenson had dramas in the N45 racer, unable to get the car started and missed qualifying all together, while Brodie Tulloch had some engine issues on board the Q74 racer and did not make it back trackside for his heats.

Heat one started with Kevin Britten and Mark Pholi from the front row, with Brent Kratzmann, Mitchell Gee, Andrew Scheuerle and Bryan Mann right on their tail. Britten got the jump when the lights went green, and while Pholi challenged on the high side, before having a look on the bottom, Britten secured the lead. Gee and Kratzmann fought over third, with Gee momentarily securing the position before running a fraction too wide in turn two and allowing Kratzmann, and Scheuerle, though. Gee came under pressure from Mann, while Kevin Titman tried to advance from the rear of the field. Scheuerle started closing in on Kratzmann, while Kratzmann was all over the back of Pholi, eventually getting underneath the Q14 racer as they rounded turn two. Pholi initially fought back but soon had Scheuerle searching for a way through, and while Scheuerle was relentless, Pholi refused to surrender the position. Kevin Britten went on to take the win ahead of Brent Kratzmann and Mark Pholi, with Andrew Scheuerle home in fourth ahead of Kevin Titman, Mitchell Gee, Bryan Mann, Karl Hoffmans and Luke Dougherty.

Allan Woods and Kristy Bonsey shared the front row for the start of heat two, with Bonsey getting a truly brilliant start and quickly securing the race lead once the green flag flew. Woods challenged on the bottom but Bonsey was too quick on the top side, taking control and forcing Woods to settle for second while Cody Maroske got the better of Ryan McNamara and the pair tried to stay ahead of Donny Schatz. Schatz spent several laps searching for a way past McNamara before slipping through on the inside of the Q88 racer and setting out after Maroske, while Woods had closed in on Bonsey and was starting to challenge once more for the race lead. Schatz spent another few laps working out the best way past Maroske before turning his attention to Woods, while Bonsey had pulled several car lengths ahead of her nearest rivals. Kristy Bonsey went on to take the win ahead of Allan Woods and Donny Schatz, with Cody Maroske home in fourth ahead of Ryan McNamara, Tim Farrell, Dave Whell, Andrew Baumber and Libby Ellis.

The third heat saw Andrew Corbet start from pole position with Mick Sauer alongside and Dan Murray and Mitch Gowland from the second row. Sauer got a magnificent start on the high side and quickly powered into the race lead ahead of Corbet and Gowland. Callum Walker was quick to race around Murray and move into fourth, while Gowland challenged on the high side of Corbet in an effort to move into second. Luke Oldfield, from position five on the starting grid, made his way around Murray as the field completed the first lap, with Oldfield quickly shifting his focus to Walker and having a brief look on the inside of the Q33 racer. Oldfield was determined though and soon challenged both Walker and Gowland for position, the Q17 racer exchanging positions with Walker several times before Oldfield was able to get underneath both Walker and Gowland in quick succession. Anthony Vanderreyden had some mechanical dramas in the Q72 racer and slowed to a stop in turn four, bringing the race under caution. Sauer led the restart from Oldfield and Walker with two laps to go, but chaos unfolded at the rear of the field and the race was brought to a stop when a luckless Jai Stephenson upended the N45 racer. Sauer again led the restart with Oldfield and Walker still on his tail for a green, white, chequered two-lap dash to the finish. Sauer got a great start but Oldfield was quick and relentless, searching high and low for a way past Sauer before eventually getting around the high side of the Q69 racer as they navigated the final corner of the race. Luke Oldfield got the win ahead of Mick Sauer and Callum Walker, with Mitch Gowland, Dan Murray, Andrew Corbet and Brett Minett rounding out the finishers. Jai Stephenson and Anthony Vanderreyden did not finish the event.

Allan Woods and Ryan McNamara shared the front row for the start of the fourth heat of the night, with Woods getting a brilliant start when the lights went green, the Q28 racer quickly securing the lead in advance of McNamara and Cody Maroske. Luke Oldfield had his sights set on the lead from the moment the green flag flew, the Q17 racer quickly making his way around Andrew Scheuerle and Kristy Bonsey, before getting underneath Cody Maroske by the end of the first lap. Oldfield got underneath McNamara and moved into second with only one and half laps completed and turned his attention to chasing down Woods, while Scheuerle searched for a way getting underneath Maroske. At the front though it was hard to take your eyes off the battle between Woods and Oldfield. Oldfield was persistent and unrelenting and Woods was fiercely determined to maintain the lead, denying Oldfield at every opportunity. Oldfield raced up the inside of Woods with half a lap left to run and moved into the race lead, but Woods, to the delight of the large Archerfield Speedway crowd, fought back and raced underneath Oldfield as they rounded the final corner, the pair racing almost side-by-side across the line. Allan Woods got the win with Luke Oldfield forced to settle for second ahead of Ryan McNamara, Cody Maroske, Andrew Scheuerle, Andrew Corbet, Kristy Bonsey and Luke Dougherty. Libby Ellis pulled out of the event after completing just four laps.

Heat five started with Kevin Britten and Kevin Titman sharing the front row and leading the field to green light conditions. While they raced side-by-side towards the first corner it was Titman on the high side who emerged in front and secured the advantage as they rounded the opening corners. Further back in the field Callum Walker got the better of Donny Schatz and raced around Dan Murray, before turning his attention to Mitchell Gee and leaving Schatz to find his own way past Murray. Murray looped the Q44 in turn four, and while he was able to keep the car running and avoid a stoppage, he lost several positions and slipped further back in the running order. Walker continued to pursue Gee, with Schatz closing in quickly, the U15 racer spending just a couple of laps finding a way underneath Walker, and then Gee, before slipping straight past Britten and setting his sights on Titman. Schatz started closing in on the leader but ran out of laps, with Kevin Titman taking the win ahead of Donny Schatz and Mitchell Gee. Kevin Britten crossed the line in fourth and led Callum Walker, Karl Hoffmans, Dave Whell and Dan Murray home. Anthony Vanderreyden did not finishing the event.

The final heat of the night saw Mick Sauer and Mark Pholi share the front row in advance of Brent Kratzmann and Mitch Gowland. Sauer managed secure the lead, despite a strong challenge from Pholi, and while Pholi settled into second he quickly came under immense pressure from Kratzmann. Kratzmann had a bold look on the inside of Pholi but could not quite get the job done as they rounded turn three, but had greater success half a lap later, slipping underneath Pholi and into second with less than two laps completed. Bryan Mann got underneath Gowland and moved into fourth, turning his attention to Pholi and Kratzmann, the Q16 racer getting underneath Pholi as they headed towards turn one, only for mechanical dramas to promptly befall the Q16 of Mann moments later and see him slow unexpectedly and pull out of the event. Tim Farrell challenged Mitch Gowland, eventually getting through on the inside of the Q32 racer, while at the front of the field Kratzmann was all over Sauer, searching high and low relentlessly for a way into the race lead. Kratzmann soon got underneath Sauer as the pair rounded turn one and while Sauer tried to fight back Kratzmann was too quick and soon opened a comfortable margin. The race however was soon brought to a stop when Mark Pholi got a little too high coming out of turn four and clipped the wall, inverting the immaculately presented and new-look Q14 racer. Pholi was unscathed but out for the rest of the night. Brent Kratzmann led the restart and went on to take the win ahead of Mick Sauer and Tim Farrell, with Mitch Gowland home in fourth, leading Andrew Baumber across the line. Mark Pholi, Bryan Mann and Jai Stephenson all failed to finish the event.

Luke Oldfield and Donny Schatz shared the front row for the start of the Dash event, with Oldfield quick to secure the lead when the green flag flew. Tim Farrell, who started from position three, had a look on the inside of Schatz but Schatz quickly powered around the high side and settled into second behind Oldfield, while Brent Kratzmann got the better of Callum Walker and started searching for a way past Farrell, leaving Walker with Andrew Scheuerle on his tail. Scheuerle got underneath Walker and set out after Farrell and Kratzmann, with Kratzmann soon making his way underneath Farrell and moving into third. Farrell tried to fight back, boldly looking on the inside of Kratzmann in an effort to regain his position, but was soon forced on the defensive as Scheuerle began challenging for fourth. Scheuerle and Farrell had a thrilling battle, and, despite Farrell clouting the back straight wall, the pair put on a spectacular show for race fans until Farrell spun the Q51 racer and stopped near the inside barrier in turn four. Luke Oldfield got the win ahead of Donny Schatz and Brent Kratzmann, with Andrew Scheuerle Callum Walker, Mitchell Gee and Cody Maroske rounding out the finishers. Tim Farrell did not finish the event.

Eleven cars took to the track for the fifteen-lap B-Main event, with Kristy Bonsey and Kevin Britten leading them to the green. Bonsey got a brilliant start and led them all to the first corner, but Britten fought back on the high side, challenging Bonsey for control of the race, only Bonsey refused to surrender. The pair raced wheel-to-wheel for several laps, and each time Britten managed to get his nose in front it was short-lived as Bonsey charged back on the bottom, doing a remarkable job in the Q42 racer. Britten eventually got around the top side and managed to hang on to the race lead, while Bonsey sat in second and, further back in the field, Brett Minett, Jai Stephenson and Luke Dougherty raced three-wide through turn four. The race was however soon brought under caution when the back-markers tangled, leaving Minett stranded on the track in turn two. Britten led the restart from Bonsey, Andrew Corbet and Dan Murray while from deep in the field Jai Stephenson began making his way forward while Karl Hoffmans and Andrew Baumber negotiated over positions at the rear of the field. Baumber and Hoffmans both spun to a stop in turn four, leaving race leader Britten nowhere to go, the Q34 racer making contact with Hoffmans and coming to a stop with only six laps to run. Bonsey inherited the lead for the restart with Corbet, Murray and Stephenson on her tail, while deeper in the field Hoffmans started trying to make up lost ground. Minett spun to a stop in turn four and brought the race under caution once more with Bonsey again leading them back to green light conditions when the race resumed. Kristy Bonsey got the win ahead of Andrew Corbet and Dan Murray, with Jai Stephenson crossing the line in fourth and securing the final transfer to the main race. Luke Dougherty and Andrew Baumber rounded out the finishers, while Brett Minett, Kevin Britten, Dave Whell and Libby Ellis all failed to finish the event.

Luke Oldfield and Donny Schatz led the field to green light conditions at the start of the thirty-five-lap A-Main event. Oldfield got the jump when the green flag flew, quickly securing the lead ahead of Schatz while Andrew Scheuerle got the better of Brent Kratzmann to settle into third. Mitchell Gee soon raced around Kratzmann to move into fourth, only for Kratzmann to charge back through on the bottom to regain the position. Kratzmann and Gee battled for several laps, both determined to stay ahead of the other, the pair racing two abreast for several laps whilst searching for a way past Scheuerle. Bryan Mann started making his way forward from deep in the field, making his way past both Mick Sauer and Mitch Gowland before contact between Gowland and Andrew Corbet saw both cars stopped on the track in turn two and the race brought under caution, just as Oldfield was approaching the back markers ready to put them a lap down. Oldfield took evasive action, desperate to avoid contact with the stranded cars, while Schatz and Scheuerle both found a way through the chaos unscathed.

Luke Oldfield led the restart from Donny Schatz, Andrew Scheuerle, Brent Kratzmann and Mitchell Gee with thirty-one laps still remaining, and while Gee took to the high line and continued to try to find a way back past Kratzmann, deeper in the field Kevin Titman was sensational on the high side, battling with Ryan McNamara as they searched for a way past Tim Farrell, while also defending their positions from the hard-charging duo of Kristy Bonsey and Allan Woods. Gee was relentless in his pursuit of Kratzmann but could not find a way through, while Callum Walker closed in quickly and soon started challenging Gee for position. Walker committed to the high side, racing beautifully around Gee before turning his attention to Kratzmann and leaving Gee with Cody Maroske on his tail. Maroske and Gee raced side-by-side while Walker persisted and searched for a way around Kratzmann before switching to the bottom and getting underneath the Q2 racer as they rounded turn two. Meanwhile at the front of the field Schatz had closed in on Oldfield as they began to make their way through lapped traffic. Oldfield was fast and withstood several big challenges as Schatz looked for a way through on the inside of the Q17 racer, but things changed when Oldfield got momentarily caught behind a lapped car that drifted a fraction too high in turn four. Oldfield slowed for a moment and that was all the invitation Schatz needed to race through on the bottom and take control of the race. Oldfield managed to maintain second but Schatz was already several car lengths ahead and making it look easy as he weaved his way through the traffic, lapping as high as sixth place. The race was however brought to a stop soon after when Andrew Baumber, who had been having an intense battle with Ryan McNamara, spun the NQ2 racer to a stop in turn three.

With seven laps left to run Donny Schatz led them to the green ahead of Luke Oldfield, Andrew Scheuerle, Callum Walker and Brent Kratzmann. Kevin Titman, who restarted from position six, took to the high line and raced around Kratzmann before turning his attention to Walker, while Kratzmann surrendered a position to Cody Maroske soon after. Kristy Bonsey was in fine form in the Q42 racer, challenging both Bryan Mann and Ryan McNamara for position. Mann soon got around McNamara, with Bonsey racing underneath the Q88 racer of McNamara half a lap later, while closer to the front Cody Maroske was vying for a top five finish, battling with Kevin Titman, the pair thrilling the crowd as they raced closer to the chequered flag. In the end though there was no stopping Donny Schatz as he raced to victory in Round Seven of the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Series. Luke Oldfield finished second with Andrew Scheuerle rounding out the finishers. Callum Walker finished fifth ahead of Cody Maroske and Kevin Titman, with Brent Kratzmann, Tim Farrell, Bryan Mann and Kristy Bonsey rounding out the top ten. Dan Murray, Ryan McNamara, Mick Sauer and Andrew Baumber completed the finishers, while Jai Stephenson, Mitchell Gee, Allan Woods, Mitch Gowland and Andrew Corbet all failed to finish the event.

Sprintcars Queensland will return to Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway tomorrow night, Saturday 28 December 2019 for another Huge Night of Sprintcar racing, where Donny Schatz will again take on some of the best in Queensland. It will be our last race for 2019 so come and join us trackside tomorrow night for another huge night of Sprintcar racing.

 

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