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Kicking Up The Dirt - ECL Series - Round 12
Joanne White posted Sunday March 1, 2020.

Sprintcars Queensland headed back to Ausdeck Archerfield Speedway last night for an action-packed round twelve of the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Series. After a thrilling thirty-lap main event with plenty of thrills and spills it was Lachlan McHugh who graced the top step of the podium. Kevin Titman was impressive in second with Mitchell Gee in third and Ryan McNamara and Callum Walker rounding out the top five. Early leaders Brent Kratzmann and Luke Oldfield both ended the night on the infield while Andrew Corbet was just four laps away from a podium finish when contact with Oldfield as they fought over third saw Corbet invert the Q78. Corbet was unscathed and even managed to restart and finish the event, but a podium result was unattainable.

Lachlan McHugh started the night atop the leader board after all cars had taken to the track for qualifying, the Q23 racer stopping the clock at an impressive 11.635 seconds. Luke Oldfield was second quickest, his 11.668 second lap enough to displace early front-runner Brent Kratzmann. Kratzmann ended up third with a 11.755 second lap with Bryan Mann (11.844) and Mitchell Gee (11.917) rounding out the fastest five. Less than one second separated the entire qualifying field, while Tim Farrell failed to record a time, the Q51 racer enduring some mechanical woes early in the night.

The Development Series cars joined us trackside again last night, with Ron Hendrickson and Jason King leading their first heat to green light conditions. Hendrickson got the better jump when the race got underway, leading the field into turn one, and while King initially tried to challenge on the top side, Hendrickson soon started to open a small lead over the rest of the field. King settled into second, while Daniel Helmore closed in. At the tail end of the field Geoff Davey searched for a way past Libby Ellis in a battle that lasted most of the race, but there was no stopping Ron Hendrickson out in front as he raced to victory in the Q20 racer. Jason King crossed the line in second ahead of Daniel Helmore, Libby Ellis and Geoff Davey. Cody Reynolds and Erin Vanderreyden both had mechanical dramas and did not start the event.

Heat one of the open Sprintcars started with Andrew Corbet from pole position with Mitch Gowland sharing the front row. Corbet and Gowland raced side-by-side towards the first corner but it was Gowland who managed to secure the race lead, leaving Corbet in second ahead of Kristy Bonsey. Mitchell Gee quickly made his way past Nicholas Whell, leaving Whell with both Aaron Kelly and Lachlan McHugh on his tail. While McHugh tried to find a way past Kelly, deeper in the field Bryan Mann searched for a way around Brock Dean, and Tim Farrell challenged Nelson Reddacliff for minor positions. Mitch Gowland went on to take the win ahead of Andrew Corbet, Kristy Bonsey and Mitchell Gee, with Nicholas Whell home in fifth and leading Aaron Kelly, Lachlan McHugh, Brock Dean, Bryan Mann, Nelson Reddacliff and Tim Farrell across the line.

Ryan McNamara and Rob Hamilton led the heat two field to green light conditions with McNamara getting a brilliant start and Kevin Titman, from position three, following to secure second before they rounded the first corner. Hamilton settled into third ahead of Callum Walker, while Luke Oldfield and Brent Kratzmann raced inside both Adam Butler and Karl Hoffmans as they navigated the first half of the opening lap before turning their attention to Walker. Kratzmann and Oldfield raced side-by-side for a little over a lap before Oldfield secured the advantage, quickly shifting his focus to Walker and looking for a way underneath the Q33 racer. Walker closed in on Hamilton, all the while denying Oldfield a way through, the battle heating up as the laps ticked away. Oldfield had a couple more unsuccessful looks underneath Walker before switching to the high side with half a lap left to run. Oldfield was phenomenal on the top side, racing around Walker as they crossed the line, but it was Ryan McNamara who got the win ahead of Kevin Titman and Rob Hamilton. Luke Oldfield managed to secure fourth, narrowly beating Callum Walker to the line, with Brent Kratzmann, Karl Hoffmans, Adam Butler, Anthony Lambert and Andrew Baumber rounding out the finishers.

Geoff Davey and Libby Ellis shared the front row for the start of the second of the Development series heat events, and while Davey got his nose in front initially, Ellis powered around the top into the race lead. Unfortunately the race was promptly brought under caution when Davey spun the NQ74 racer in turn two. Jason King joined Ellis on the front row for the restart and while King lead them to turn one, Ellis again succeeded with an impressive run on the high side, the NQ73 racer taking control of the race as they rounded turns one and two. Ron Hendrickson followed Ellis around King to secure second with just half a lap complete and set his focus on Ellis, while deeper in the field Erin Vanderreyden and Cody Reynolds negotiated over the minor places, with Geoff Davey and Daniel Helmore joining their battle. At the front of the field Hendrickson closed in on Ellis, the Q20 racer searching high and low for a way into the lead, but Ellis denied him at every opportunity. Libby Ellis went on to take a very popular win ahead of Ron Hendrickson and Jason King with Geoff Davey and Daniel Helmore rounding out the finishers. Erin Vanderreyden and Cody Reynolds pulled out of the event before the fall of chequered flag and did not complete the ten-lap journey.

Heat three of the open Sprintcars saw Andrew Corbet and Karl Hoffmans from the front row with Corbet getting the jump when the green flag flew and quickly securing the race lead. Hoffmans settled into second while Bryan Mann had a massive look underneath both Ryan McNamara and Mitch Gowland. Luke Oldfield raced underneath Callum Walker, with Mitchell Gee following soon after, with Oldfield and Gee turning their attention to Mann and Gowland. Mann got underneath Gowland, with Oldfield following less than half a lap later, Callum Walker started challenging Gee and Gowland for position. Walker displaced Gee, leaving Gee to defend his position from a hard-charging Brock Dean, while Mann closed in on Oldfield, and Walker started searching for a way past Gowland. Oldfield caught McNamara and made his way underneath the Q88 racer in lapped traffic, but there was no stopping Andrew Corbet as he raced to victory 2.829 seconds ahead of Luke Oldfield in second. Ryan McNamara crossed the line in third and led Karl Hoffmans, Bryan Mann, Callum Walker, Mitchell Gee, Mitch Gowland, Brock Dean, Tim Farrell and Nelson Reddacliff across the line.

Heat four saw Rob Hamilton start from pole position with Nicholas Whell alongside and Aaron Kelly and Adam Butler from the second row. Whell secured the lead once the lights went green, with Hamilton settling into second. Hamilton withstood an early challenge from Butler before Butler surrendered positions to both Aaron Kelly and Kevin Titman in quick succession. Lachlan McHugh got around Brent Kratzmann before getting underneath Kristy Bonsey, while Titman got underneath Kelly and turned his attention to Hamilton. Anthony Lambert and Brent Kratzmann traded places back and forth deep in the field, while McHugh made his way past Bonsey and set out after Kelly. Nicholas Whell got the win ahead of Kevin Titman and Aaron Kelly, with Lachlan McHugh, Adam Butler, Rob Hamilton, Kristy Bonsey, Brent Kratzmann, Anthony Lambert and Andrew Baumber rounding out the finishers.

Luke Oldfield was the highest points scorer going into the Dash event, but in the Pre-Dash draw Oldfield drew position three for the start of the six-lap event, leaving Brent Kratzmann and Nicholas Whell from the front row. Kratzmann got the jump when the lights went green and quickly secured the lead and while Whell initially briefly managed to keep the opposition at bay, Luke Oldfield soon made his way into second and started chasing down Kratzmann, with Whell surrendering third to Kevin Titman soon after. Whell faded to fifth as Lachlan McHugh made his way forward, while Andrew Corbet and Aaron Kelly battled at the rear of the field. Brent Kratzmann went on to take the win and earn pole position for the main race, with Luke Oldfield home in second ahead of Kevin Titman and Lachlan McHugh, with Nicholas Whell, Mitchell Gee, Aaron Kelly and Andrew Corbet rounding out the finishers.

Fourteen cars hit the track for the B-Main event with Mitch Gowland and Rob Hamilton to lead them all to green light conditions. Gowland secured the lead ahead of Hamilton and Brock Dean while Tim Farrell began making progress towards the front after starting deep in the field. Contact unfolded between Ron Hendrickson and Libby Ellis further back in the field as they rounded turn two, with Ellis then spinning the NQ73 racer in turn three, leaving an unlucky Erin Vanderreyden with nowhere to go. Unfortunately Hendrickson, Ellis and Vanderreyden were all unable to restart the event. Gowland led the restart from Hamilton and Dean, with Lambert sitting in fourth and Tim Farrell just outside of the transfer positions. Nelson Reddacliff had a big look on the inside of Farrell but could not quite get the job done, only for Farrell to quickly slip underneath Lambert and into a transfer position. Farrell though was not content with fourth and set out after Dean, leaving Lambert and Reddacliff to battle over mid-field positions. Dean closed in on Hamilton and while Dean got caught behind the Q11 racer, Farrell again made short work on getting underneath his rivals, racing underneath Dean as they rounded turn four before getting through on the inside of Hamilton a lap later. Lambert had pulled ahead of Reddacliff and joined the tail of the battle with Farrell and Dean, with Lambert having a big look on the inside of Dean just moments before Dean raced around Hamilton. Farrell caught and passed Gowland for the lead in just a few laps and started opening a sizable margin on the rest of the field, but the race was brought to a very sudden stop when Sprintcar new-comer Daniel Helmore rode out a nasty wreck after contact with the wall on the back straight. Thankfully Helmore walked away from the wreck. The race was declared with Tim Farrell securing the win ahead of Mitch Gowland and Anthony Lambert, with Brock Dean securing the final transfer to the main race. Rob Hamilton finished fifth ahead of Nelson Reddacliff, Andrew Baumber, Geoff Davey and Jason King. Daniel Helmore, Cody Reynolds, Ron Hendrickson, Libby Ellis and Erin Vanderreyden all failed to finish the event.

Brent Kratzmann and Luke Oldfield shared the front row for the start of the A-Main event, leading the eighteen-car field to the green flag for the thirty-lap journey. While Kratzmann and Oldfield raced wheel-to-wheel down the main straight when the green flag flew, it was Kratzmann who led them all through the opening turns and secured the lead in advance of Oldfield, Kevin Titman and Lachlan McHugh. McHugh got around Titman before looking to race around the outside of Oldfield, just as Oldfield raced through on the inside of Kratzmann as they rounded turn four and took control of the race. Mid-field Callum Walker, Aaron Kelly, Nicholas Whell and Ryan McNamara had a close battle for the minor positions, while further back Tim Farrell was starting what would become a rather impressive run towards the front of the field. Titman regained the advantage over McHugh while Mitchell Gee and Andrew Corbet had an intense battle for position and McNamara and Whell very nearly came together as they rounded turn three with McNamara coming out of the turn in front of Whell. Titman and McHugh closed in on Kratzmann as Oldfield and Kratzmann began making their way through the back markers, with Titman having a bold look underneath Kratzmann in turn two only for his path to be blocked by a lapped car. The race was soon brought to a stop, with then race leader Luke Oldfield spun to a stop in turn two. Oldfield was able to restart at the rear of the field with twenty-one laps still to run.

Brent Kratzmann led the restart from Kevin Titman and Lachlan McHugh with Andrew Corbet doing a magnificent job in fourth ahead of Mitchell Gee. McHugh was relentless on the tail of Titman from the moment the race resumed, the Q23 racer spending just a couple of laps finding a way around Titman before turning his attention to Kratzmann. Luke Oldfield, from the rear of the field, started making his way forward, making short work of his rivals, with Tim Farrell also continuing his charge towards the front. The leaders entered lapped traffic again after only a few laps, with McHugh quickly closing the gap to Kratzmann before powering around the outside and into the race lead as Kratzmann tried to find a way past a lapped car. Titman closed on Kratzmann as McHugh started to pull a little ahead, and while Titman raced through on the inside of a lapped car Kratzmann looked to go around the outside, the trio three wide through turn two. Unfortunately for Kratzmann though he got into the turn two wall and inverted the Q2 racer in spectacular fashion. Fortunately he walked away from the wreck but would take no further part in the race.

Lachlan McHugh led the restart from Kevin Titman, Andrew Corbet, Mitchell Gee and Callum Walker with eleven laps to run and Luke Oldfield already up to position eight. When the lights went green Ryan McNamara and Luke Oldfield quickly made their way underneath Bryan Mann, with Oldfield then racing around McNamara just moments before Mann raced back though underneath the Q88 of McNamara to briefly regain a position. McNamara fought back and made his way back in front of Mann, while Oldfield closed in on the close battle between Walker and Gee. Oldfield had a single focus and incredible speed on board the Q17 racer, spending just a couple of laps searching for the right way past Walker, eventually getting the job done as they raced down the back straight. Oldfield turned his attention to closing in on Gee while ahead of him, and in heavy lapped traffic, Titman had closed right in on McHugh and the race lead. McHugh had contact with the lapped car of Adam Butler in turn three, with Butler spinning the Q10 racer to a stop and bringing the race under caution while McHugh was lucky to keep the car running and maintain control of the race.

Lachlan McHugh led the restart from Kevin Titman and Andrew Corbet with four laps left to run. Mitchell Gee sat in fourth ahead of Luke Oldfield in fifth and while McHugh and Titman opened a small lead when the race resumed, all eyes were on Oldfield as he attempted to race up the inside of both Gee and Corbet to move into third. Contact with Corbet in turn three saw Oldfield spin out of the race and Corbet invert the Q78 racer. Corbet was unscathed and even managed to restart the event, while Oldfield, having already stopped earlier in the race, was relegated to the infield.

With four laps still to run Lachlan McHugh again led the restart but with barely a lap completed the race was again brought under caution, this time for Aaron Kelly who had spun to a stop in turn four. Another restart followed but was promptly aborted when Kristy Bonsey ended up facing the wrong way as they came around to greet the green flag.

Lachlan McHugh led the restart with three laps to run and Kevin Titman, Mitchell Gee, Callum Walker, Ryan McNamara and Bryan Mann on his tail. Titman held nothing back as he challenged McHugh for the lead, while Gee, McNamara and Walker had a thrilling battle for the minor places. Lachlan McHugh got the win at the fall of the chequered flag with Kevin Titman home in second and Mitchell Gee rounding out the podium. Ryan McNamara crossed the line fourth ahead of Callum Walker and Bryan Mann, while Tim Farrell, who started the night without a qualifying time, fought his way up to finish seventh. Anthony Lambert came home in eighth and led Aaron Kelly, Nicholas Whell, Kristy Bonsey, Brock Dean, Mitch Gowland, Adam Butler, Karl Hoffmans and Andrew Corbet home. Luke Oldfield and Brent Kratzmann did not finish the event.

Sprintcars Queensland will return to Ausdeck Archerfield Speedway in two weeks time, on Saturday 14 march 2020 for Round 13 of the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Series. The competition in the local series is really starting to heat up so come and see all the action trackside and cheer on your favourites. See you trackside race fans!

 

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