Goodyer Wins Archerfield Open Finale
Having come into the weekend as the form driver in the country so far this season, it came as no surprise to see Jock Goodyer standing tall in victory lane at Archerfield Speedway on Saturday night (January 14), having earned himself a cool $20 000 as the winner of the 2023 Australian Sprintcar Open. When the leading pair of Lachlan McHugh and Carson Macedo couldn’t agree over who had right of way through turn two on lap 48, the ensuing contact would ensure that neither would enjoy the spoils of victory, handing the race lead to Goodyer, who duly completed the final laps to become the first Tasmanian to win the event. In what was the final Australian Open to be staged at Archerfield, local favourite Luke OIdfield finished just 0.187 behind Goodyer in a thrilling finish. Advancing from ninth on the grid, Cole Macedo would salvage some family pride with a third-place finish ahead of Matt Dumesny and Texan teenager Chase Randall, for whom reputations meant nothing in his charge from 14th. Steven Lines and a 19th-starting Brooke Tatnell were next best ahead of a somewhat subdued Jamie Veal, with Michael Saller and Justin Sanders rounding out the top ten.
After the opening night of qualifying, Carson Macedo (112) sat atop the point standings, two points clear of Oldfield, with Matt Dumesny another two points back and just one clear of McHugh. Brock Hallett (100), Goodyer (96), Lines (93), Marcus Dumesny (92), Veal (90) and Sanders (86) occupied the remainder of the top ten spots and, whilst Ian Madsen was next in line just one point adrift, he would endure a tough night and ultimately find himself confined to the B Main.
In front of a packed house, Sam Walsh got the racing action underway when he won heat nine ahead of Veal, Marcus Dumesny and Carson Macedo.
Heat ten served up an all-the-way for Saller over Adam Butler, Randall and Lines while Oldfield, needing to finish third or better to narrow the points buffer to Macedo, could do no better than fifth.
Matt Dumesny found trouble in the opening moments of heat 11 when he bounced off the cushion and tipped over in turn two. The restart only made it to turn one before the yellows were out again with Madsen having crunched the concrete. Once underway, Brent Kratzmann led throughout to outpace Randy Morgan, Tatnell and Goodyer.
Jy Corbet downed Peter Doukas, Cole Macedo and Newton in heat 12 before Kratzmann doubled up to win again in heat 13, leading home Carson Macedo, Chase Randall and Matt Dumesny to propel himself into the feature race field.
Heat 14 saw Corbet emulate Kratzmann’s effort, scoring his second win for the night to secure his place in the main event. Oldfield and Marcus Dumesny filled the minor placings ahead of Adam Butler.
A tangle with Trent Vardy and a resulting flat tyre would see Veal confined to the infield for heat 15 as Aaron Kelly secured some much-needed points with a win over Randall, Morgan and McHugh.
The final heat of the weekend went the way of Doukas over Cole Macedo, with Madsen back on track and snaring third ahead of Saller.
Kye Jensen made easy work of the small C Main field, pouncing from the second row to lead throughout. In finishing second, Jared Desmares would also advance to the B Main, with James Matthews third ahead of Libby Ellis.
Kelly led the first ten laps of the B Main before Madsen swept to the front and raced clear to finish more than three seconds ahead of the field. Kelly remained second at the chequer, with Tatnell and Newton locking down the final transfer spots into the feature race.
Having been meticulous over two night of racing to establish and maintain his points advantage, it all amounted to very little for Cameron Macedo, with the final starting order determined in the Pole Shootout. It was Goodyer and Hallet who progressed from the opening round to take on McHugh and Marcus Dumesny, with Goodyer and McHugh advancing on this occasion to challenge Macedo and Oldfield. Carrying momentum into the clash, McHugh and Goodyer would secure the front row spots, leaving Macedo and Oldfield to launch from row two.
With the feature race grid now set, driver introductions were completed and the field fired up to do battle over 50 gruelling laps. As to be expected, McHugh shot to the front at the drop of the green, with Goodyer initially slotting into second ahead of Macedo, Oldfield and Marcus Dumesny. The order amongst the first five remained unchanged until lap 11 when Macedo moved ahead of Goodyer. Meanwhile, the other Macedo was also on the move, with Cole having climbed to sixth when the first restart came on lap 15 as a result of Kelly tipping over in turn four. With 20 laps down, McHugh continued to lead as Randall started to make his presence felt a little further back, having advanced to sixth. An extended period of uninterrupted racing enabled Macedo to play a waiting game behind McHugh before finally making his move with eight laps remaining to assume the lead. A lap later, racing was halted when Madsen, having charged into the top ten after transferring from the B Main, wiped out in turn one to endure an inglorious end to what had been a topsy-turvy week for the team. Marcus Dumesny headed infield at this stage to join Newton, who had exited a lap earlier. The restart proved costly for Randall when he dropped several spots after contacting Oldfield exiting turn two as Cole Macedo charged underneath both of them to grab fourth, only for another stoppage a lap later following a turn four spin from Walsh, who would also head to the infield. Back underway and Oldfield pounced to reclaim fourth as McHugh fought his way back to the front with three laps remaining. Into turn one on lap 49 with McHugh running high on the track, Macedo dove low in a bid to reclaim the lead, only to drift uptrack as they charged through turn two. With McHugh hemmed in against the fence and understandably refusing to yield any ground, the inevitable happened and contact between the pair resulted in McHugh tipping over, Macedo being banished to the rear of the field for the second time this week and Goodyer inheriting the lead for a green-white-chequer finish. Urged on by a boisterous crowd, Oldfield threw everything at Goodyer over those final two laps but fell agonisingly short in his quest. It was an impressive drive from Cole Macedo to secure third place ahead of Matt Dumesny, who goes about his business with little fanfare yet is always there or thereabouts when the chequer falls, with Randall fighting his way back to fifth ahead of Line and Tatnell, who certainly came to life in the feature to advance more positions than anybody else. Veal, Hallett and Saller were next home, with Justin Sanders, Carson Macedo and Kratzmann the only other finishers.
In round four of the Shock Absorber Therapy AMCA Nationals Track Championship, Lee McKinnell poroved too pacey in the feature race, leading all the way to finish ahead of Bruce Marshall and Steve Potts, with all three having shared the spoils in the heats with a win apiece. Starting further back in the field after failing to finish one of his heats, Nathan Tomkins stormed home to finish fourth ahead of Brett Robotham, Scott Hitchcock and Michael Denning, with Peter Greer, Nash Granger and Robert Turner rounding out the top ten.
Liam Williams was at it again in round three of the Crete 4 U Formula 500 Series, leading throughout the 15-lap feature to outpace a couple of young guns in Boyd Chaffey and Bailey Leeson, who is a recent graduate from the Junior ranks and fresh from his maiden Speedweek campaign. Brodie Davis finished fourth in the feature, with Brady Argles fifth to the flag, followed by Brock Thornton, Scott Jukes, Jarred Boys, Noah Ball and Mark Farmer.
Heat wins were shared between Williams, Chaffey and James Kennedy, whose feature race ended on lap three when he bounced over the cushion in turn four and slammed the wall.
Following heat wins to Blaxx Caron, Kobi Wright and Charlie Bowen, it was Wright who dominated the feature race, finishing more than 1.5 seconds clear of Bowen. Cooper Norman clinched third ahead of Chay Corbet, who started at the back of the pack, with a last-lap pass propelling Daisy Smith into the top five at the expense of Brooke Wilson. Rounding out the top ten were Hally Ferguson, Brock Hughes, Jai Bateman and Jack Walker.
It has been confirmed that the Australian Sprintcar Open will be held at Eastern Creek Speedway in 2024 with a prizemoney increase to $26 000 for the winner to commemorate what will be the 26th staging of a race that never fails to deliver action, drama and damn fine racing.
The next event at Archerfield Speedway will be on January 28 featuring the Paul Britten Memorial PB Memorial for Dirt Modifieds, along with a big support program comprising Wingless Sprints, AMCA Nationals, Compact Speedcars, Modlites and Open Sedans.