Big Names and Bumper Fields for Easter Action
The Easter holiday weekend is always a very busy period within each and every Australian speedway season, with myriad major events at numerous venues across the country and Archerfield Speedway is certainly no exception. More than 100 competitors will be unleashed on the hallowed Archerfield clay come Saturday night (April 8), with interstate stars aplenty rolling into town for a huge triple-bill fixture comprising round two of the Easter Sprintcar Series, which also doubles as round seven of the East Coast Logistics Track Championship, along with round two of the Brisk Spark Plugs Wingless Sprint Easter Trail, round two of the Aero6four Racing Products Formula 500 Tri-Series, and Lightning Sprints as well on a huge open wheel program.
The cancellation of the last scheduled Archerfield event on March 25 as a result of some heavy, and somewhat unexpected, rain just prior to gates opening means it has been seven weeks since Archerfield has reverberated to the thunderous rumble of Sprintcars. For many teams, the extended break has been a chance to regroup and refresh in readiness for remainder of the final ever Archerfield season, while others have taken the opportunity to compete interstate, accumulating some impressive results along the way. Given his utter domination of the Track Championship so far this season, Luke Oldfield heads into the weekend as the man to beat. Oldfield is yet to finish outside the top three in any Sprintcar feature race at Archerfield so far this season and currently sits more than 50 points clear of his nearest rival in the championship standings. He has also enjoyed success away from Brisbane, the most recent of which was a feature race win in Lismore last month, however both Ryan Newton and Jy Corbet are also bringing some very strong form into the weekend that should have them brimming with confidence. Following his victory in the most recent round of the ECL Series, Newton has also secured a feature race win at Eastern Creek Speedway, and it was the Sydney venue that also hosted what might just be Corbet’s best performance yet, with the Gympie young gun racing to a fourth-place finish in the New South Wales Championship last Saturday night, beaten only by three of the biggest names in the game.
In addition to all the regular Archerfield contenders such as Taylor Prosser, Aaron Kelly, Adam Butler, Randy Morgan, Brent Kratzmann, Kevin Titman and rookie sensation Harry Stewart, the field for Saturday night, which is the largest of all three Easter series rounds, also includes some returning racers, interstate challengers and an exciting entry from the world of V8 Supercars. Fresh from his maiden Supercars win in Melbourne last weekend, Brodie Kostecki will is a welcome addition to the Sprintcar field on Saturday night and whilst the Erebus Motorsport pilot has had a couple of Sprintcar outings previously, Kostecki will face his toughest speedway challenge yet when he makes his Archerfield debut in the John Weatherall-owned #95 Sprintcar. Two others competing at Archerfield for the first time this weekend, and making long hauls to do so, are Ben Atkinson Jnr from Darwin and Tasmania’s Brody Appleby, while Sydney’s Daniel Sayre is also trekking north to take on the locals, which includes Darren Jensen for the first time this season.
With the Australian Wingless Sprint Championship to be decided at Archerfield in just a few weeks (April 29 and 30) , it is no surprise to see several interstaters amongst the entries, including a couple of drivers expected to feature very prominently in the championship results. Victorian duo Travis Millar and Luke Weel have both enjoyed considerable success in their home state, which boasts the toughest weekly fields, both in quality and quantity. A couple of weeks ago, Millar outpaced more than 30 others to win the Victorian Championship for the second time while Weel, who has accumulated race and series wins at home and interstate, has twice finished on the podium at national championship events. Having finished third behind Millar in the state title, Blake Walsh is also in the field this weekend, with South Australia’s Harley Alexander also among the entries. Meanwhile, the New South Wales contingent includes four of their very best with Andrew Sayre, Jason Bates, Bailey Goodwin and state champ Jacob Jolley heading north, chasing every advantage in readiness for the big show. Jolley is an Archerfield regular and is the only driver in the field who has been able to match it with the dominant Brodie and Scott Thomsen so far this season. The Thomsen brothers have dominated the local results and this weekend looms as an acid test for the Maryborough-based duo, while Lachlan Robertson, Liam Atkinson, Michael Butcher and Corey O’Toole should also be in the thick of the action. A couple of interesting nominations come in the form of Cody O’Connell and Jack Bell, both of whom have spent the season thus far competing in the Sprintcar ranks. O’Connell is no stranger to Wingless Sprints, having competed with considerable success before stepping up to the V8’s, while the versatile Bell is fresh from winning back-to-back Victorian Formula 500 Championships.
On the Formula 500 front, they also have drivers converging from across the country for their events this weekend, with two Victorians in Liam Russell and former national champion Dylan Willsher coming to town, along with current Northern Territory champion Scott Leonhardt and several others from various points in the far north, such as Brodie Davis, John Magro and Cameron Jaenke. Although not as dominant of late as he has been in seasons past, four-time national champ Liam Williams remains the local benchmark and will relish the additional competition coming his way, with arch rival James Kennedy looming as his biggest threat from amongst the Archerfield regulars, although the likes of Brady Argles, Amanda Chaffey and Ronnie Barber are most certainly podium contenders in what is biggest field so far this season.
Gates open at 3.00pm for online ticket holders, with general admission from 4.00pm and early racing on track from 5.00pm. The main program, which also features Lightning Sprints with current Queensland and New South Wales titleholder Kurt Wilson heading the entry list, gets underway from 6.00pm.
Easter Sprintcar Series round two nominations: Aaron Kelly, Adam Butler, Ben Atkinson, Brad Ayers, Brent Kratzmann, Brodie Kostecki, Brody Appleby, Dan Murray, Daniel Bridge, Daniel Helmore, Daniel Sayre, Darren Jensen, Dave Fanning, Dylan Menz, Harry Stewart, Josh Fort, Jy Corbet, Kaydon Iverson, Kevin Titman, Kye Jensen, Libby Ellis, Luke Manttan, Luke Oldfield, Mark Pholi, Mitch Gowland, Nash Morris, Nicholas Whell, Randy Morgan, Ryan Newton, Tarhlea Apelt, Taylor Prosser, Thomas Button, Tim Farrell, Tony Bridge, Trent Vardy
Brisk Spark Plugs Wingless Sprints Queensland Easter Trail round two nominations: Andrew Sayre, Bailey Goodwin, Ben Manson, Blake Walsh, Brett Hehir, Brody Thomsen, Chris Ansell, Chris Catchpole, Cody O’Connell, Corey O’Toole, Errol Campbell, Harley Alexander, Ian Milnes, Ian O’Toole, Jack Bell, Jacob Jolley, Jaidyn Boulding, James Grady, Jarvis Menzies, Jason Bates, Jayden O’Toole, Jeremy Burt, Kaila Blayney, Lachlan Robertson, Liam Atkinson, Luke Weel, Matthew Brown, Matthew Gamble, Michael Butcher, Mitchell Allan, Scott Thomsen, Stuart Jefferies, Travis Millar, Zeth Cox
Aero6four Racing Products Formula 500 Easter Tri-Series round two nominations: Amanda Chaffey, Ash Ewing, Bailey Leeson, Brady Argles, Brock Thornton, Brodie Davis, Bryce McGregor, Cameron Jaenke, Dylan Willsher, Jake Hooper, James Kennedy, John Magro, Liam Russell, Liam Williams, Mitch Whitmore, Noah Ball, Ronnie Barber, Ron McDonnell, Scott Leonhardt, Taylor Morgan, Wayne Jukes
Lightning Sprints nominations: Aaron Seiler, Andy Kimm, Harley Graham, Jac Carnell, Jack Selmes, James Elliott, Jim Gollagher, Keith Blatch, Kurt Wilson, Michael Gollagher, Tyler Stralow, Wayne Iacono
For further information and event updates, please stay tuned to Facebook or the track website at www.brisbanespeedway.com.au