Scheuerle Wins Again at Archerfield
Author : Archerfield Speedway
Delivering the type of performance befitting an Australian Champion, Andrew Scheuerle returned to the scene of his national title triumph just two weeks earlier and was unstoppable in winning round ten of the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Track Championship at Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway on Saturday night (February 9). Having qualified on pole position, Scheuerle encountered little resistance in his charge to the chequer, leading all 30 laps and putting all but the first five finishers a lap in arrears. Brent Kratzmann advanced from fifth to finish second ahead of Allan Woods and Peter Lack, with Andrew Corbet securing his best ever result with a fifth-place finish.
While the rest of the field engaged in some recklessness behind him, Brock Dean enjoyed an untroubled drive to victory in the Polar Ice Midget feature race. Rusty Whittaker climbed through the field to snare second spot ahead of Cal Whatmore and Charlie Brown, who fought his way back from the rear after a spin.
Liam Williams was an easy winner in the NuPave Formula 500 feature race, Matt ONeill prevailed in the main event for Compact Speedcars and Keith Blatch cleaned up in the Lightning Sprint feature.
At the end of a hectic month of racing, 26 cars fronted for competition in the wake of a couple of late withdrawals and it was business as usual in qualifying with Luke Oldfield topping the timesheets once again, securing another KRE Fast Time with a best lap of 11.684. Scheuerle (11.789) was second best, with Lack (11.941) and Dan Murray (11.955) the only others to go under 12 seconds. Ben Hilder was the best of the rest, followed by Kratzmann, Corbet, Woods, Randy Morgan and Brett Minett.
Despite starting sixth, Oldfield charged to victory in the opening heat, rounding up Sean Rose to assume the lead with two laps remaining. Corbet clinched second ahead of Kratzmann as Rose inexplicably found himself fourth at the chequer.
Anthony Lambert led throughout to win heat two over Mitch Gowland, who fought back to reclaim second from Woods.
Kristy Bonsey led the early stages of heat three before succumbing to the persistence of Morgan and Lack in a race that saw several drivers strike trouble, the most spectacular of which was Geoff Davey taking a tumble in the back straight after kissing the wall.
Morgan backed up to win heat four ahead of Phil Foster and Ryan McNamara before Bonsey bounced back to take heat five in advance of Hilder and Corbet.
The final heat saw Gowland defy the best effort of Scheuerle to take the win, with Woods delivering a preview of his feature race result in third place.
With lightning lurking in the distance and storms closing in, promoter John Kelly opted to push ahead and forego any track preparation prior to the dash and feature races, a sensible decision under the circumstances that delivered a track which served up a few more challenges than might otherwise have been the case.
Starting third in the Spanloc Dash, Scheuerle had sliced his way to the front after just two laps and would ultimately finish more than two seconds clear of Woods, who withstood the advances of Oldfield despite a deflating left rear tyre. Corbet, Kratzmann and Hilder were the remaining finishers as both Murray and Morgan only completed one lap before finding the wall in turn two in an incident from which Oldfield somehow emerged unscathed.
The B Main was a typically torrid affair that saw both Steve Greer and Andrew Baumber exit whilst in transfer positions, the latter launching into a wild roll through turn one with only two laps remaining that resulted in the race being declared in favour of Brett Minett. Rose snared second spot as Baumbers exit elevated tenth-starting Karl Hoffmans into third, with Davey rewarded for his efforts in getting back on track by clinching the final spot in the feature race field.
With Murray failing to take the green, 17 cars would launch in the feature race and Scheuerle made easy work of Woods to lead the field through the opening lap. From here on, Scheuerle would expand his lead with a minimum of fuss as Woods found himself under pressure from Oldfield initially before Kratzmann chased them both down and took over second spot on lap 10. With Kratzmann unable to make much impression the Scheuerle lead, interest centred on the battle between Woods and Oldfield which would continue for another 10 laps before Oldfield, who had just rounded up Woods on the outside to reclaim third, happened upon a parked Bonsey in turn four and was unable to avoid contact. Whilst the large number of lapped cars enabled Oldfield to restart sixth, he was only able to complete one more lap before a damaged right rear wheel forced him to the infield. Whilst the restart delivered Kratzmann with his best chance of usurping Scheuerle from the lead, it was not to be and the order remained unchanged through to the finish as Woods fended off a late charge from Lack to remain third. Behind Lack came Corbet, with Morgan and Lambert next as Hilder, McNamara and Gowland rounded out the top ten.
The biggest and, arguably, strongest field of the season thus far fronted for round seven of the Polar Ice Midget Track Championship with 21 cars hitting the track, but the night started most bizarrely with Audie Malt and Nathan Mathers somehow managing to get upside down in time trials, although both would make it back on track. Whittaker clocked the quickest lap against the clock at 15.517, outpacing Dean (15.545), Darren Vine (15.580) and Glenn Wright (15.910).
Having won the previous round, Vine found himself on the back foot early when he smacked the main straight wall on the opening lap of the first heat. With Vine ensconced on the infield, Tim Farrell took maximum advantage to take the race in advance of Brown and Whatmore.
Heat two was a very straightforward affair with Dean leading home Chris Singleton and Dan Biner.
Scott Doyle downed Dean and Whatmore in heat three before Whittaker, who failed to finish his opening heat, bounced back to defeat Mitchell Rooke and Vine in the final preliminary.
Rather than the showcase event it promised to be, the 20-lap feature race descended into a surfeit of silliness as a series of incidents resulted in several restarts. Having qualified on pole position in his first Archerfield Midget outing for the season, Dean powered way from the field in the early going before the first interruption came on lap three when Lachy Paulger made a misstep in the back straight. Back underway and Dean quickly distanced himself from Farrell and Whatmore, with Charlie Brown under fire from teammates Whittaker and Doyle in a scrap for fourth. Of course, two against one is never a fair fight and Brown found himself pinballed into a spin in turn one on lap 11. Another interruption came on lap 14 when Tom Clauss spun in turn two, with just one more lap completed before Doyle and Farrell faltered in turn four, the latter tipping over when collected by Vine. Through it all, Dean remained untroubled at the front and when Wright flipped in turn three on lap 18, officials called a premature end to proceedings, with Dean awarded the win ahead of Whittaker and Whatmore, while Brown advanced 10 spots in eight laps to finish fourth. Dawson, Rooke and Vine were next in line ahead of Mathers, Riki Harrison and Doyle, with Nick McDowell the only other survivor.
Ryan Skennar downed Kristin Brown and Ron Barber in the opening Formula 500 heat, with Brown returning to finish second once again in heat two, this time behind her fiance Liam Williams and ahead of Ethan Eyears.
Heat three featured a great drive from Bryn Upshall to keep Williams at bay, only for a late-race restart to cruel his chances and allow the Australian Champion to pounce and snatch victory, leaving Upshall second ahead of Victorian visitor Dylan Willsher.
In the absence of an inversion of any kind for the feature race, it was going to take a mishap or misfortune of some kind to deny Williams from pole position. In the end, there were to be no such setbacks for Williams as the 15-lap race ran without interruption and resulted in him greeting the chequer more than three seconds ahead of Brown, with Skennar running a lonely race in third. A late run from Barber took him to fourth ahead of Upshall, Jacob Gray, Willsher and Mitchell Whittaker, with Brock Thornton and Brady Argles rounding out the top ten.
Matt ONeill, Bodie Smith and Nick Gannon collected Compact Speedcar heat wins and it was ONeill who would back up to take out the feature race. Smith snared second ahead of Rob Stewart, Gannon and Trent Usher.
Lightning Sprint heats were shared between Jim Kennedy, Andrew Sparks and Kurt Wilson, but it was veteran racer Keith Blatch who trumped them all to take the feature race. Wilson and Kennedy filled the minor placings were followed home by Sparks and David Van Vegchel.
Jy Corbet was the standout in Formula 500 Juniors, winning three of the heats and finishing second behind Taylor Prosser in the other. Taylor Morgan and Blake Matthews were the best of the rest.
Racing continues at Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway next Saturday night (February 16) with Super Sedans, AMCA Nationals, Wingless Sprints, Modlites, Open Sedans and Ford vs Holden vs Sigma sedans.