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Kicking Up The Dirt - ECL Series - Round 8
Joanne White posted Sunday December 29, 2019.

Donny Schatz got the win in Round Eight of the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Series at Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway last night, after winning the shootout and taking the BK Trading Challenge to invert the top fourteen starters in the main race. Schatz spent just twenty laps weaving his was past his rivals before displacing early leader Ryan McNamara with half the race still to run. Cody Maroske, having started from position three after the inversion, drove a spectacular race to come home in second while Luke Oldfield managed to get the better of Kevin Titman to cross the line in third. Titman finished fourth while Callum Walker had a solid run in the Q33 racer to round out the top five.

Qualifying saw Donny Schatz top the leader board, his 11.986 second lap the only qualifying lap in the eleven-second bracket, while Bryan Mann secured second quickest with a 12.063 second lap. Luke Oldfield locked in third quickest when he recorded a 12.196 second lap, with Brent Kratzmann (12.212) and Tim Farrell (12.237) rounding out the fastest five. Brock Dean beat Andrew Scheuerle by just 0.001 seconds, while Nicholas Whell was only two thousandths of a second slower than Scheuerle, meaning Dean, Scheuerle and Whell were separated by only 0.003 seconds. Adam Butler was one thousandth of a second quicker than Callum Walker, while Karl Hoffmans and Cody Maroske recorded identical times, both stopping the clock at 12.436 seconds. Less than one second separated the top twenty-five contenders.

Heat one started with Karl Hoffmans from pole position with Brodie Tulloch alongside. Hoffmans got the jump and led them to the first corner, with Andrew Corbet from position three having a look on the inside as they took the green, but it was Tulloch on the high side who sailed around top and into the race lead by the time they exited turn two. Allan Woods and Andrew Scheuerle negotiated over position, with Woods coming out in front and beginning to challenge Corbet while Scheuerle came under pressure from Donny Schatz. Schatz raced around the top-side of Scheuerle, before switching to the bottom to get underneath Woods and then Hoffmans, all in less than one lap, before turning his attention to Corbet. While Woods, Scheuerle and Hoffmans fought over the minor positions Schatz got past Corbet and set out to close in on Tulloch and the race lead. It only took a few laps but Schatz was unstoppable as he caught the Q74 racer, slipping seemingly effortlessly underneath and taking control of the race with four and a half laps still to run. Donny Schatz went on to take the win ahead of Brodie Tulloch, while Allan Woods and Andrew Scheuerle had a thrilling battle for third, with Woods eventually beating Scheuerle to the chequered flag. Andrew Scheuerle finished fourth and led Brock Dean, Kevin Britten, Karl Hoffmans and Libby Ellis home. Andrew Corbet did not finish the event, a deflated right rear tyre ending his race just three laps into the ten-lap journey.

Cody Maroske and Mick Sauer shared the front row for the start of the second heat, and with the first two starts aborted it was Maroske who led the way third time around. Sauer tried to challenge but immediately came under pressure from a very hard-charging Adam Butler, who had a massive look on the inside before Sauer raced back around the high side to maintain second. Tim Farrell and Bryan Mann challenged Ryan McNamara for mid-field positions, with Mann making his way past Farrell before turning his focus to McNamara, getting underneath the Q88 racer a lap later. Mann quickly started closing in on Butler, the Q16 racer in magnificent form as he searched high and low for a way past before getting the job done on the bottom as the pair rounded turn four. Butler fought back by Mann was too quick and had already shifted his focus to closing the gap to Sauer. Cody Maroske went on to take the win with Mick Sauer home in second ahead of Bryan Mann and Adam Butler. Ryan McNamara crossed the line in fourth and led Tim Farrell and Nicholas Whell home. David Kenway and Jai Stephenson failed to finish the event.

Andrew Baumber started heat three from pole position with Kevin Titman alongside and Callum Walker and Dan Murray right behind. Baumber got a brilliant start when the green flag flew and settled into the race lead ahead of a Titman and Walker, while Luke Oldfield made his way underneath Dan Murray and Kristy Bonsey before turning his attention to Walker. Luke Dougherty got underneath Brent Kratzmann and Dan Murray before starting to challenge Bonsey, while Oldfield was on a mission to get to the front and quickly displaced both Walker and Baumber, who had already surrendered the lead to Titman, in one breath-taking passing move on the bottom as the trio rounded turn one. Oldfield set out after Titman, leaving Baumber and Walker to negotiate over third and fourth, while further back in the field Kratzmann challenged Bonsey before eventually making his way through on the bottom and turning his attention to Murray. Walker soon got the better of Baumber, leaving Baumber with Murray and Kratzmann on his tail, with Murray soon going around Baumber moments before Kratzmann raced through underneath the NQ2 racer. Kratzmann persisted in challenging Murray, getting underneath the Q44 car and securing the advantage as they exited turn four a few laps later, only to loop the Q2 racer on the final lap of the race and fade back several positions. Oldfield closed in on Titman as the race drew to a close but it was Kevin Titman who got the win ahead of Luke Oldfield, Callum Walker, Dan Murray, Kristy Bonsey, Brent Kratzmann, Andrew Baumber, Luke Dougherty and Anthony Vanderreyden.

Heat four started with Andrew Corbet and Brodie Tulloch sharing the front row for the start, with hard-chargers Kevin Titman and Ryan McNamara close behind and Donny Schatz from the rear of the field. Corbet got the jump when the lights went green and led the field into the first corner, while Tulloch challenged on the high side and, behind them, Andrew Scheuerle managed to displace McNamara and settle into fourth behind Titman. Tulloch persisted on the high side, racing side-by-side with Corbet, the Q74 racer managing to get his nose just in front, only for Corbet to fight back hard in an effort to maintain the lead. Tulloch was relentless though and charged hard on the high side until the race was brought under caution with Brock Dean stopped against the wall in turn two. Tulloch, who had his nose in front as they completed the first lap under green light conditions, led the restart from Corbet and Titman with nine laps still to run. Titman challenged Corbet for second, while defending his position from Scheuerle, only for Scheuerle to race through underneath Titman as they rounded turn four. Schatz raced around McNamara and turned his attention to Scheuerle and Titman, making it look easy as he raced underneath both as they made their way through turn two. Schatz got underneath Corbet moments later, with Scheuerle soon following him through, with Tulloch forced to surrender the lead to Schatz just one lap later. Scheuerle began to close in on Tulloch, the pair having a thrilling battle for second as Tulloch tried to deny Scheuerle a way through. Donny Schatz went on to take the win, his second heat race victory of the night, with Andrew Scheuerle home in second ahead of Brodie Tulloch, Ryan McNamara and Kevin Titman. Andrew Corbet and Andrew Baumber rounded out the finishers while Brock Dean did not finish the ten-lap journey.

Karl Hoffmans and Cody Maroske led the field to the green flag for the start of heat five with Hoffmans getting a great start and taking the lead while Kristy Bonsey challenged Maroske for second. Luke Oldfield and Allan Woods raced side-by-side mid-field as they searched for a way past Bonsey, while Maroske persisted on the high side of Hoffmans for several laps before eventually securing the lead. Bonsey did a remarkable job holding off both Woods and Oldfield, with Oldfield eventually getting the better of Woods and turning his attention to Bonsey. Oldfield took to the high line and spent several laps working the top side, gradually making his way ahead of Bonsey, before getting around Hoffmans a few laps later, leaving Bonsey to defend her position from a hard-charging Woods. The battle between Woods and Bonsey was fierce, the pair exchanging places a couple of times, but it was Woods who finally managed to secure the better position. Cody Maroske got the win, before spinning the Q5 racer after the race had concluded, with Luke Oldfield home in second ahead of Allan Woods and Kristy Bonsey. Tim Farrell and Luke Dougherty rounded out the finishers while Karl Hoffmans and Adam Butler did not finish the event.

Kevin Britten started from pole position in the sixth and final heat of the night, with Mick Sauer alongside. The leading duo raced side-by-side into the opening corners but it was Sauer on the top-side who managed to secure the race lead. Bryan Mann started making his way forward from the rear of the field, getting underneath Brent Kratzmann before challenging Dan Murray for position, while Callum Walker raced around the high-line in spectacular form, racing wheel-to-wheel with Nicholas Whell as they both tried to find a way around Britten. Walker had incredible momentum on the high line, soon getting the better of both Whell and Britten and rapidly closing in on Sauer. Walker spent a couple of laps getting around Sauer, with Sauer valiantly fighting back and trying, unsuccessfully, to deny Walker a way past, while at the very rear of the field Libby Ellis and Anthony Vanderreyden had a fierce battle over the minor positions. Kratzmann closed in on Mann and Murray, making for a close three-way battle for mid-field positions, with a determined Kratzmann searching high and low for a way past Mann to no avail. Callum Walker went on to take the win ahead of Kevin Britten and Mick Sauer, with Nicholas Whell home in fourth, leading Dan Murray, Bryan Mann, Brent Kratzmann, Anthony Vanderreyden and Libby Ellis past the chequered flag.

The top eight qualifiers took to the track for a series of three shootout events. Brent Kratzmann won the Bronze Shootout, his 14.291 second lap the quickest of the on track quartet, with Allan Woods second quickest (14.302) and transferring, along with Kratzmann, to the Silver Shootout. Tim Farrell (14.972) and Kristy Bonsey (15.320) were eliminated from the Shootout events.

Bryan Mann and Andrew Scheuerle joined Brent Kratzmann and Allan Woods on track for the Silver Shootout. This time it was Andrew Scheuerle who secured the quickest time, stopping the clock at 14.264 seconds and securing his spot in the Gold Shootout. Joining him would be Allan Woods (14.361) while Brent Kratzmann (14.470) and Bryan Mann (14.579) were relegated to the infield and out of the Shootout.

Donny Schatz and Luke Oldfield hit the track, joining Andrew Scheuerle and Allan Woods for the Gold Shootout. On his final circulation Donny Schatz stopped the clock at 13.939 second to earn pole position for the A-Main, with Andrew Scheuerle second (14.183) ahead of Allan Woods (14.228) and Luke Oldfield (14.303). However, when Schatz was presented with the option of taking on the BK Trading Challenge, inverting the top fourteen starters in the main race, he decided to accept the challenge, and put on a show for the large Archerfield crowd, with the chance of winning an additional $2500 in prize money.

Mick Sauer and Brodie Tulloch led the ten-car field around for the start of the B-Main, with Sauer getting a brilliant start and quickly securing the race lead. Tulloch challenged on the high side through turns one and two but could not quite get the job done, while Brock Dean and Kevin Britten had a fierce battle over third. Tulloch persisted relentlessly on the top and managed to get around Sauer and into the race lead a few laps into the twelve-lap journey, while behind the leading pair Andrew Corbet joined the battle between Dean and Britten, the trio now fighting over just two transfer positions. Brodie Tulloch took the win, an impressive 4.365 seconds ahead of second placed Mick Sauer, with Brock Dean and Kevin Britten securing transfers to the main race. Andrew Corbet finished fifth and led Andrew Baumber, Karl Hoffmans, Anthony Vanderreyden, Libby Ellis and Luke Dougherty across the line.

Kevin Titman and Ryan McNamara shared the front row for the A-Main when the top fourteen starters were inverted courtesy of Donny Schatz. Titman managed to get his nose in front and led the field through the opening corner, but McNamara was too quick on the top-side, racing around Titman and into the lead as they navigated turn two. McNamara immediately started opening a comfortable margin while Cody Maroske got the better of Dan Murray and started searching for a way past Titman. Donny Schatz and Luke Oldfield raced either side of Bryan Mann, with Andrew Scheuerle following soon after. Schatz made short work of getting around Kristy Bonsey and underneath both Allan Woods and Brent Kratzmann is quick succession, the U15 racer on a mission to get to the front of the field. He spent several laps looking for a way past Tim Farrell and Nicholas Whell, who were embroiled in their own thrilling battle for track position, while Oldfield tried to make his way past Woods and Kratzmann, with Mann and Scheuerle soon joining the battle. Oldfield and Mann fought their way past Woods and began challenging Kratzmann and Farrell, and while Oldfield was able to get in front of Kratzmann, the Q2 racer fired back around the top side to not only get his position back from Oldfield but move ahead of Farrell as well. Oldfield, Mann and Farrell battled behind Kratzmann while Callum Walker did everything he could to keep Schatz behind him. Schatz though was too quick and soon displaced Walker, while Oldfield again closed on Kratzmann, the pair putting on a captivating show for race fans as they fought over the minor positions and held nothing back as they race wheel-to-wheel, making contact with the wall several times as they used every inch of the race track to try and secure the advantage. The race was however brought under caution when Kevin Britten came to a stop in turn four, with front-end damage on the Q34 racer prematurely ending his race.

Ryan McNamara led the restart from Kevin Titman, Cody Maroske and Donny Schatz, with Maroske getting underneath Titman once the race resumed. Schatz followed half a lap later and while Titman tried to hold him off there was little he could do. Schatz made short work of getting past Maroske and was into second, while Titman again challenged Maroske on the high side, and, mid-field, Bryan Mann, Brent Kratzmann and Luke Oldfield picked up right where they left off before the stoppage and thrilled the crowd with some truly exciting racing. All eyes though were soon on Schatz and McNamara as the American challenged the Q88 racer for control of the race. McNamara held his own though, withstanding immense pressure from Schatz, while Mann and Kratzmann exchanged position back and forth, while defending their positions from Oldfield and challenging Dan Murray and Nicolas Whell in front. As Kratzmann and Mann made their way underneath Whell and Murray, both Kratzmann and Mann spun to a stop, with Oldfield just managing to slip between them, clipping Mann on the way through. Everyone else took evasive action, with Kratzmann and Mann both restarting at the rear of the field.

With only half the race completed Ryan McNamara led the field back to green light conditions, with Donny Schatz on his tail this time around. Schatz had a brief but unsuccessful look underneath McNamara moments after the race resumed, only for McNamara to fight back hard on the top-side and momentarily regain control of the race. Schatz was too good on the bottom though and powered ahead of McNamara as they exited turn four one lap into the restart, and while McNamara had a bold look on the inside of Schatz as they rounded turns one and two, a small mistake saw McNamara spin the Q88 racer in front of the oncoming field. While McNamara was fortunate everyone was able avoid the stranded #88, he was relegated to the rear of the field for the restart and left to rue what could have been.

Donny Schatz led the restart from Kevin Titman, Cody Maroske and Luke Oldfield with nineteen laps left to run. Maroske immediately challenged Titman for second, the pair racing side-by-side until Maroske was able to emerge in front, leaving Titman to try and defend his position from Oldfield. Another caution a few laps later, this time for Allan Woods and Tim Farrell who had tangled in turn four, brought the race to a stop once more, with Oldfield having just got the better of Titman on the last completed lap.

With sixteen laps to run Donny Schatz again led the restart from Cody Maroske, with Luke Oldfield now in third ahead of Kevin Titman and Callum Walker. Oldfield had a big look on the inside of Maroske, while Titman took to the high line and tried to boldly race around them both. Bryan Mann and Brent Kratzmann started working their way forward after their earlier incident, displacing Mick Sauer and challenging Brodie Tulloch, having already moved ahead of Andrew Scheuerle. Donny Schatz went on to take the win ahead of Cody Maroske and Luke Oldfield, with Kevin Titman and Callum Walker rounding out the top five. Bryan Mann managed to climb back to an impressive sixth after the earlier incident, and led Brent Kratzmann, Andrew Scheuerle, Mick Sauer, Dan Murray, Allan Woods, Brock Dean, Tim Farrell, Ryan McNamara and Libby Ellis across the line. Brodie Tulloch, Nicholas Whell, Kevin Britten and Kristy Bonsey all failed to finish the event.

And that race fans was our last race for 2019. Sprintcars Queensland will be back at Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway, with Donny Schatz, on New Years Day, Wednesday 01 January 2020 to kick the new decade off with another massive night of Sprintcar racing. Come and join us and help us celebrate the start of a new decade with a family-friendly night out at the Speedway. And follow us on Facebook for race night updates. Until then race fans, enjoy the last few days of 2019 – we hope to see you all trackside in 2020!


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