Oldfield back in victory lane
Having spent a few weeks competing interstate, Luke Oldfield and Andrew Scheuerle returned home to contest round five of the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Track Championship at Ausdeck Archerfield Speedway on Saturday night (November 30) and the expected resistance from those who have dominated in their absence never really eventuated as they assumed their customary positions at the front of the field. On this occasion it was Oldfield who prevailed in the 30-lap feature race, scoring his first win for the season after a series of runner-up results, both at home and away. Scheuerle finished in second spot, with Bryan Mann scoring third ahead of Andrew Corbet and Mick Sauer.
In the McCosker Super Sedan feature race, Australian champ Matt Pascoe was untroubled in leading all 30 laps after snaring pole position in the pre-race grid draw. Darren Kane advanced from the fourth row to finish second, with Trent Wilson scoring third ahead of Gary Higgs and Sam Roza.
In other feature race results, Dave Fanning proved far too quick in winning the Lightning Sprints and likewise Liam Williams was untouchable in the Formula 500s, with Jason Glynn and Dallas Dack also comfortable winners in Microsprints and Ford vs Holden vs Sigma respectively.
Oldfield was a cut above the field in qualifying, stopping the clock at 12.060 to set KRE Fast Time. In his first outing for the Erhart Motorsport team, Cody Maroske (12.111) was second quickest ahead of Callum Walker (12.172), Kevin Titman (12.279) and Mitch Gowland (12.301), in what might just be his best ever time trial performance. Ryan McNamara, Scheuerle, Brett Minett, Corbet and Kristy Bonsey rounded out the top ten.
In his first Archerfield appearance for the season, Sauer sailed home to win the opening heat over Tim Farrell and Scheuerle, with Oldfield advancing from seventh to finish fourth.
Bouncing back from a heavy crash in the previous round, Adam Butler pounced from the outside front row to win the second heat in impressive fashion, leading Anthony Lambert and Brent Kratzmann to the flag.
Heat three followed an identical trajectory with Mann also jumping clear from the outside front row to lead throughout and defeat Randy Morgan and Titman.
Lambert led every circulation to win heat four in advance of Farrell, Scheuerle and Oldfield, while Brett Minett saw his night end when he rode out a flip through turn three.
Mann doubled up in heat five to defeat Kratzmann and Dan Murray, with Sauer also snaring a second success when he downed Morgan and Corbet in the final preliminary.
The B Main went the way of Nicholas Whell from Murray, Butler and Morgan, all of whom would transfer to the feature race, while Karl Hoffmans would take a provisional and also join the field for the main event. Meanwhile, having finished on the podium at the previous round, Aaron Kelly made no impression on this occasion and was languishing in ninth when the chequer dropped.
In a bid to stay ahead of storms lurking close to the venue, the Trax Tyre and Auto Dash was scrapped and the feature field would line up in accordance with their qualifying points, putting Oldfield on pole position with Titman alongside. At the green it was Titman who launched best to assume the lead, extending his margin through the opening laps as Oldfield settled into second spot. The lead change came on lap 13 when Oldfield moved to the front, only for the race to be halted a lap later as a result of a Lambert spin in turn four. The race was delayed further on lap 19 when Maroske took a wild ride through turn four, coming to rest atop the turn four concrete. Back underway and Oldfield continued to lead Titman and Scheuerle as, further back, Butler was putting in a mighty drive from 17th and had moved ahead of Sauer to be sixth. Along the back straight on lap 27, Oldfield and Titman both looked to dive underneath a lapped car and the ensuing contact between them sent Titman crashing out and elevated Scheuerle to second. Mann moved to third and that is how they finished, with Butler crossing the line fourth in a sterling drive, only to be penalised two spots for an infringement at the final restart. This would elevate Corbet to fourth and Sauer into fifth, leaving Butler to rue his misjudgement. Bonsey, Kratzmann and Farrell rounded out the top ten, followed by Gowland, Murray, Hoffmans, Lambert, Whell and McNamara, who was another to fall a long way short of the very strong performances he served up in the opening rounds.
Trent Wilson took out the opening Super Sedan heat by more than five seconds as the rest of the field found themselves snookered behind Justin Randall, who would hold on to finish second ahead of Pascoe.
Bob McCosker bested Roza and Tania Smith to win heat two, with WA veteran Gary Higgs passing Kane to take the lead and subsequently win heat three, leaving Black third despite being the fastest car on the track.
Barry Craft led much of heat four before Pascoe launched an outside run turns three and four that saw him draw alongside Craft. Contact between the pair pitched Pascoe into a spin and resulted in Craft being banished to the back for the restart. Despite damaged steering that brought a noticeable drop in pace, Pascoe held on to win from Ed Doherty and Randall.
The first attempt to get the feature race started only made it to turn one as Rosa opted to turn right, only to find the wall, and a rear-of-field restart, waiting for him. As the field re-formed for take two, Black stopped on the main straight and would take no further part in proceedings. Once underway, Pascoe took complete control and never looked likely to lose, leading Randall, Wilson, McCosker and Higgs. Despite having a multi-lane track at their disposal, the field remained glued to the pole line and, as a result, not a lot transpired over the course of the 30 laps. The only action came courtesy of Kane as he steadily worked his way forward, moving into the top three on lap 15 and then advancing to second spot when Randall spun in turn one. Wilson was now third and under plenty of pressure from Higgs, but there would be no change over the final laps. A great recovery from Roza would be rewarded with fifth ahead of McCosker, Smith, Justin Smithwick, Doherty and Craig Hammond, leaving rookie Zac Pascoe to complete the finishers as Randall, Craft and Colin Kaine joined Black on the infield.
A superb effort from the Lightning Sprint brigade saw them deliver more cars than promised, with a 20-car field hitting the track for round five of the Stockmans Civil and Plant Club Championship. Four heats would sort the feature race field and it was Fanning who topped the results with two wins in his return to the track. Scott Jukes and Jason George were also heat winners, but a pole position start for Fanning in the feature would result in him clearing away from the field, only to have his advantage negated on several occasions as a series of incidents eventually resulted in the race initially being shortened to 15 laps and then declared with two laps remaining. Wayne Iacono emerged the best of the rest in second spot, followed by Jukes, George, Sean Iacono, Dave Collins, Keith Blatch and Jason Rae.
It was a similar story in the Formula 500 feature race in that a pole position start was always going to make Williams almost impossible to beat and that is exactly how it played out. Williams zoomed away from the field at the drop of the green, leaving it to those back in the pack to create some excitement. Kristin Brown would finish second for the second time in as many Archerfield appearances, with James Kennedy surging through the field to snare third. Ronnie Barber, Brady Argles and Brock Thornton were next best, followed to the flag by Dekota Gay, Tarhlea Apelt, Tony Bailey and Adrian Farrell.
Jason Glynn romped home in the Microsprints feature race, finishing more than seven seconds clear of John Lawson, with Matt Hanford third home ahead of Keirah Hawkins and Andrew Carrick.
The Ford vs Holden vs Ford feature produced the biggest winning margin of all when Dallas Dack finished more than 14 seconds clear of Jake Besgrove, Terry Russell and Kim Dack.
The next event at Ausdeck Archerfield Speedway is on Saturday, December 14 featuring round six of the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Track Championship, plus AMCA Nationals, Compact Speedcars, RSA Sedans, Formula 500 Juniors and Ford vs Holden vs Sigma sedans.
Ausdeck Archerfield Speedway is proudly supported by:
East Coast Logistics
Queensland Speedway Spares