Midgets, Dirt Modifieds and so much more
There is no doubt that the TFH Midget Series is the premier Midget competition in Australia, both in terms of the quantity and quality of the fields that contest each round of the championship, and this Saturday night (March 6) is no exception with 22 competitors nominated to take part in round eight at Archerfield Speedway. The seven rounds contested thus far have produced six different feature race winners, all of whom are nominated for this weekend in what will be the first time that all six have come together in a series round this season. If such a proposition is not enough to whet your appetite for Saturday night, there is also a huge support program featuring Dirt Modifieds, Formula 500s, Modlites, RSA Sedans, Junior Sedans and Formula 500 Juniors, with more than 120 cars expected to hit the track.
There is no doubt that Michael Kendall comes into the weekend as the best-credentialed contender in the fight for round eight of the TFH Midget Series. In addition to five New Zealand Midget Championship wins, Kendall has an outstanding record of success at Archerfield and his return to the ranks has only served to raise the standard even further. The previous round saw Kendall make easy work of what was another strong field, leading all 25 laps to secure his first TFH Series win for the season. Bodie Smith has collected two feature race wins, while Brad Dawson, Rusty Whittaker, Reid Mackay and Darren Vine have all secured one apiece in what has proven to be a highly competitive and combative championship. Dawson and Vine are the only drivers in the field this weekend to have contested all seven rounds thus far and Vine has been particularly impressive in finishing on the podium on six occasions. On the other hand, it has been all or nothing for young Smith, whose two wins mark his only appearances in the top five from five rounds contested. Meanwhile, having taken out the Queensland Championship at Archerfield earlier in the season, Reid Mackay is yet to make much impact in any of his subsequent outings, with no further top-five appearances, a circumstance he will no doubt be determined to remedy this weekend. Rusty Whittaker has been a prolific winner in seasons past and will no doubt do so again if he can overcome the incessant mechanical gremlins that seem to plague him each season, while Dawson will simply be hoping for a result that is better than his last outing when two spins in the early laps ended his feature race challenge before it had even started.
Making his Midget return this Saturday to bolster the field even further is one of the elite performers from previous years in Brock Dean. Having focussed his energy so far this season on Sprintcar competition with Kyle Brothers Racing, the closure of that team has enabled Dean to return to the category that has brought him his greatest successes. Also in the field will be another recent returnee to the Midget ranks in Brendan Palmer, and at least four other drivers in Nathan Mathers, Chris Singleton, Cal Whatmore and Lachlan Paulger who have finished in a podium position on one or more occasions so far this season, setting the scene for more of the great racing for which the mighty Midgets are renowned..
A dozen Dirt Modified daredevils will deliver up another dose of dynamic dirt track derring-do when they make their return to Archerfield for their first appearance since January. With an engine breakage preventing national champ Kevin Britten from taking part, David Clark has just seen his chances of securing a third straight feature win bolstered significantly, although fellow former national titleholders in Andrew Pezzutti and Mark Robinson have no intention of allowing Clark to upstage them again. With Geoff Phillips, Mitchell Randall and Terry Leerentveld also in the mix, the level of competition is still going to reach the high standards we have come to expect any time they hit the track. Make no mistake, the numbers might be down a little, but there will still be an abundance of the wheel-hiking, wall-hugging antics for which Dirt Modifieds have become renowned.
In what might just be their strongest field yet for a round of the Done Right Paint Worx Series this season, Formula 500 competitors from near and far will contest round five of the championship. Liam Williams has continued to be the benchmark performer again this season, having won three of four feature races at Archerfield and this week returns fresh on the back of further successes in Bundaberg and Toowoomba. Whilst his Archerfield results this season might suggest otherwise, James Kennedy remains the rival most likely to challenge Williams on any given night, a runner-up result coming his way in Toowoomba just two weeks ago. Kurt Wilson has finished on the podium at the previous two Archerfield rounds and with Bryn Upshall, Ryan Newton and Dekota Gay having also secured top-three finishes in feature races here this season, there are certainly plenty of rivals poised to pounce should Williams flounder in his request for four on the trot. Bolstering the field further this weekend is Cairns-based young gun Brodie Davis and New South Wales champion Lachlan Caunt, who has already made several appearance at Archerfield this season in Sprintcar competition.
More than 25 cars will hit the track for round two of the Dondex/Redcliffe Wrecking Extreme Series, with current series leader Terry Leerentveld heading the entry list in search of his third feature race win at Archerfield this season. Leerentveld has been such a dominant figure in the category that, regardless of the number of entries for any given event, he is almost always the leader of the pack when the chequer falls in feature race competition. Klinton Hancey and Sam Gollschewsky have also recorded feature race wins at Archerfield this season and they are again expected to present as the most serious threats to Leerentveld, whose decision to also compete in Dirt Modifieds on the night might take its toll as the laps wind down, enabling the likes of Hancey, Gollschewsky, Nathan Politch, Kyle Honour, Sean Rose, Chris Fing or any of the others to pounce.
No less than three members of the Taylor family (Daniel, Scott and Michael) will be in the mix for feature race honours in the RSA Outlaw Sedans, while Aaron Buchanan, Matthew Hannigan and Glen Lesslie are likely to lead the way in the Limited Sedans.
In Stockcar action, Stu Jefferies is looking continue his domination of the season that has seen his win four of the five feature races contested and ten of the twelve heat races that have been run.
Gates open at 2.00pm for competitors and online ticket holders only, with general admission ticket sales and entry from 3.30pm. Early racing will hit the track from 5.00pm and the main program, which will also feature the future stars of Junior Sedans and Formula 500 Juniors, will get underway from 6.00pm. There is no reserved seating for this event, however all patrons must maintain 1.5m social distancing.
TFH Midget Series round eight nominations: Barry Gibbs, Bodie Smith, Brad Dawson, Brendan Palmer, Brock Dean, Brodie Tulloch, Cal Whatmore, Chris Singleton, Cody O’Connell, Darren Dillon, Darren Vine, Jesse Harris, Lachlan Paulger, Matt O’Neill, Michael Kendall, Mitchell Rooke, Nathan Mathers, Nick McDowell, Reid Mackay, Rusty Whittaker, Scott Doyle, Tony Stephens
Dirt Modified nominations: Andrew Firth, Andrew Pezzutti, Chris Polsen, Darren Tindal, David Clark, Geoff Phillips, Luke Dunn, Mark Robinson, Marley Weller, Mitchell Randall, Phil Roberts, Terry Leerentveld
Done Right Paint Worx Formula 500 Series round five nominations: Adrian Farrell, Brady Argles, Brock Thornton, Brodie Davis, Bryn Upshall, Cameron Bertuch, Dekota Gay, James Kennedy, Jarred Boys, Kurt Wilson, Lachlan Caunt, Liam Williams, Libby Ellis, Mitchell Whittaker, Royce Harvey, Ryan Newton, Tony Bailey
Dondex/Redcliffe Wrecking Modlite Extreme Series round two nominations: Abi Meehan, Adrian Reinke, Alex Coward, Andrew Carrick, Ben Cosgrove, Ben Walker, Brock Lehfeldt, Callum Beering, Chris Fing, Dan Lewis, Donika Gowers, Dylan Hunter, Howie Powers, Jamie Cornes, Julian Olley, Klinton Hancey, Kyle Honour, Luke Harrison, Nathan Politch, Nic Stein, Sam Gollschewsky, Scott Lehfeldt, Sean Rose, Steve Collins, Terry Leerentveld, Trent McLean, Tyson Snow, Warren Hooper
RSA Sedan nominations: Aaron Buchanan, Aaron Stone, Daniel Taylor, Glen Lesslie, Greg Trezise, Luke Frisina, Matthew Hannigan, Michael Laver, Michael taylor, Peter Van Lissum, Robert Tamini, Scott Taylor, Wayne Kirkman
Junior Sedan nominations: Cody Stein, Connor Reeves, Daisy Smith, Harley Graham, Hayden Fleming, Jack Betts, Jack Walker, Josh Weir, Nathan McGregor, Ryley Smith, Sam Mooney
Formula 500 Junior nominations: Amanda Chaffey, Bailey Leeson, Blake Matthews, Charlie Bowen, Chay Corbet, Ewan Oliver, Kacy Lee Black, Kinser Claridge, Noah Ball, Tim Devine
Stockcar nominations: Bryce Moorman, Fraser Ward, Graeme Rangihuna, James McEwen, Peter Hosking, Same Bateman, Steve Bateman, Stu Jefferies, Tony Shires
For further information and event updates, please stay tuned to Facebook or the track website.