Championship Battles Heat Up
Author : Archerfield Speedway
The battle for the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Track Championship will reach a new level of intensity this Saturday night (April 29) when round 15 is contested at Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway. With series leader Andrew Scheuerle making an early exit from the previous round at Easter, Luke Oldfield and Peter Lack have closed the gap to set up a thrilling conclusion to the championship with only three rounds of racing remaining to complete the season. Midgets, Formula 500s and AMCA Nationals will also contest rounds of their various championships in another big night of competition.
Eleven rounds of racing have been completed thus far (three have been lost to inclement weather and round 11 was only partially completed before rain came) and there is a mere smattering of points separating the top three in what has again proven to be Queensland’s most competitive Sprintcar series. More than 65 competitors have taken part in the championship thus far this season and almost all of the top twenty in the series standings will be amongst those to hit the track on Saturday night. Whilst Oldfield has been the winningest driver so far this season with 10 feature race victories here at Archerfield and elsewhere, his absence from round four and the sheer consistency of Scheuerle and Lack at each round has kept them ahead in the championship standings, although Oldfield’s win in the previous round has set the scene for a three-way showdown for the series crown.
Of course, there is more at stake just the top three positions though as a gaggle of drivers fight to secure the best possible position at the completion of the series, with Mitchell Gee returning from injury in a bid to keep Brent Kratzmann at bay in their battle for fourth overall. Further back, David Whell, Ben Hilder and Callum Walker will be looking to reel in Lachlan McHugh for a spot in the top five, with Kevin Titman, Dan Murray and Kristy Bonsey needing a strong results in erach of the remaining rounds to emerge with a top ten finish in the championship.
The stumbling block for series contenders this weekend may well be two-time Australian champion Dave Murcott, who returns to Brisbane after a strong campaign in the southern states. Add the likes of Brett Minett, Brad Ayers, Mark Pholi, Dylan Menz, Jayden Peacock, Phil Foster, Mitch Gowland, Mick Sauer, Karl Hoffmans and Brodie Tulloch (who currently holds the 10-lap track record) into the mix and the scene is set for another blockbuster night of Sprintcar racing.
The Polar Ice Midget Track Championship is also nearing completion and this weekend will see current series leader Rusty Whittaker trying to fend off the advances of Brock Dean and Troy Ware, who sit second and third respectively in the standings. This round carries extra weight as the Danny Davidson Memorial and, as a result, a strong 16-car field has entered, including New Zealander Chris Gwilliam. Others expected to feature strongly in the battle for feature race supremacy include Darren Vine, Brendan Palmer, Scott Doyle, and Reid Mackay, who has been in career-best form in recent weeks and looms as a real threat, along with former state titleholders Michael Harders and Mark George. Meanwhile, current NSW Formula 500 champ Charlie Brown will be hoping the mechanical gremlins that have plagued his season have been rectified so that he can showcase his capabilities against the Midget establishment. Also chasing the Danny Davidson Memorial trophy will be Dallas Sharp, Cory Stothard, Tony Eickenloff, Robbie Stewart and Shane McDowall.
In addition to the Sprintcar and Midget action, a stacked field of 20 Formula 500s will also hit the track for the latest round of their KRE Race Engines Championship, with Liam Williams fresh back from successfully defending his Australian Championship at Murray Bridge, which he followed with a feature race win in Sydney last weekend. Tasmanian youngster Jock Goodyer is coming to town to take on a tough local line-up that includes Nathan Pronger, Kaydon Iverson, James Kennedy, Ryan McNamara, Ryan Skennar and Kristin Brown, who finished second behind Williams in Sydney, while Randy Morgan will be looking to replicate his effort from Maryborough on Sunday night when he scored his maiden feature win after moving into the senior ranks just a few weeks ago.
The final round of the Shock Absorber Therapy AMCA Nationals Track Championship will also be decided on Saturday night, with Steve Potts obviously the man to beat. However, a couple of interstate interlopers in Peter Markulin and Raymond Kime will be out to spoil the party by winning the feature event, with the return of Steve Price also expected to keep Potts and the series regulars on high alert.
Open Sedans and Formula 500 Juniors are also on the program, along with the Maroons vs Blues Demolition Derby and a spectacular fireworks show. Gates open at 4.00pm (3.30pm for online ticketholders), early racing commences at 4.45pm and the main show will get underway at 6.00pm.
For more information, follow Archerfield Speedway on Facebook or head to the track website at www.brisbanespeedway.com.au for event information, updates and online tickets.