Oldfield Wins Another Archerfield Epic
For the third time in as many rounds, Brisbane speedway fans were treated to a stunning display of Sprintcar racing from which Luke Oldfield emerged victorious in a rousing round three of the East Coast Logistics Track Championship on Saturday night (November 6). On a multi-groove track that afforded every driver ample opportunity to find their way to the front, it was Oldfield who found the fastest foothold and worked his way forward to emerge with the lead for what would become his second feature race win of the season. Tasmania’s Jock Goodyer maintained his perfect podium record with a runner-up finish ahead of Cody Maroske, Tim Farrell and Karl Hoffmans, who had earlier surged to the lead in a stunning run that saw him relegate Oldfield, Goodyer and Maroske, only to find himself unable to maintain that pace through the latter stages of the race.
In round three of the McCosker Super Sedan Series, Matt Williams faced little resistance, leading all 30 laps from pole position to become the third different winner from as many rounds. Former national champ Steve Jordan surged into second but left his run far too late to make much impression on the leader, while Mitchell Gee secured his first Super Sedan podium appearance in third place.
Even with a couple of late scratchings, 33 cars fronted for Sprintcar qualifying and it was Oldfield who set a benchmark time of 11.945 very early in the session that subsequently proved plenty good enough to secure KRE Fast Time. Jy Corbet (11.733) was second best ahead of Lachlan McHugh (11.822), Maroske (11.886), Bryan Mann (11.921), Dan Murray (11.939) and the only others to run under 12 seconds in Goodyer and Farrell.
Trent Vardy collected his first Sprintcar race win when he prevailed in the opening heat. Having shown plenty of race pace since returning to competition at the start of the season, poor qualifying has thus far hampered his overall results. However, starting from the outside front row on this occasion, Vardy established such a significant advantage so quickly that he held onto his lead despite a moment through turn four when he almost spun the Valley Head Services Maxim and then bunny-hopped along the main street with a series of wheelstands before regaining his composure. Goodyer grabbed second spot, with Oldfield advancing from the back of the inversion to finish third.
Darren Jensen downed Kevin Titman and Aaron Kelly to win heat two, With Brent Kratzmann easily accounting for Lachlan McHugh and Adam Butler in heat three.
Oldfield was superb in heat four, scything his way through the field with precision after starting from the outside of row four to finish ahead of Allan Woods and Taylor Prosser.
Heat five saw McHugh, in his bid to emulate Oldfield’s effort, push a little too hard into turn two on lap five, inverting the Leigh Smith Yachts Cool, which came to rest in a vertical position, balancing on the tail tank. Both Kelly and Nicholas Whell found themselves caught up in the incident, with only the latter able to continue as Adam Butler clinched a win over Brent Kratzmann and Maroske.
Kristy Bonsey launched from the outside front row to lead throughout the final heat, downing Goodyer and Ryan McNamara
Perhaps a little tentative in her first front row start, Tarhlea Apelt was slow to go at the commencement the C Main, allowing Geoff Davey and Mitch Gowland to lockdown the top two placings respectively. Apelt finished third and would also make the move into the B Main, along with Jason King.
Prosser paced the field in the B Main, keeping at charging Kelly at bay to take the race and secure his place in the main event. Kelly closed in through the latter stages to secure second spot in advance of Whell and McNamara, with Vardy, Woods and Whell also securing a start in the main event. Despite a front row start, Jensen was amongst those who failed to make the transfer as he backslid to seventh, while last round standout Ryan Newton was another who missed the cut.
The Spanloc Dash would bring more trouble for McHugh, with another crash in turn two bringing his night to an end. With Farrell and Corbet also failing to go the distance, Maroske would lead the depleted field home. Goodyer finished second to join Maroske on the front row for the feature, with Oldfield home third ahead of Mann and Hoffmans.
From pole position, Maroske jumped clear of the field at the start of the feature and was able to distance himself from the pursuing pack though the opening laps. However, with 10 laps on the board, he found himself under pressure from Goodyer, Oldfield and Hoffmans. Extracting extraordinary pace from the bottom of the track, Hoffmans rounded up Goodyer and Oldfield and then edged ahead of Maroske momentarily, only for his charge to serve as motivation for Oldfield to explore new territory in search of some extra pace. At one stage, the four cars exited turn four locked together in what was a thrilling scrap that eventually resulted in Oldfield emerging with the lead. Goodyer also moved ahead of Maroske, while a stirring late run from Farrell would carry him into fourth ahead of Hoffmans. Next best was Butler, followed by Corbet, Mann, Morgan and Kelly, who advanced nine spots to slip inside the top ten. In a race that ran without interruption, Kratzmann, McNamara, Murray, Bonsey, and Vardy were next in line, leaving Woods, Whell, Jensen, Titman and Prosser to round out the field.
The first of the Super Sedan heats saw Steve Jordan prevail over Sean Black, who spent much of the race arguing with Trent Wilson, who finished third.
The second heat started in wild fashion with a turn two kerfuffle resulting in Leigh Williams rolling in front of the field. Once underway, Matt Pascoe was at his brilliant best as he reeled in Nicola and made several attempts at an outside pass, only for Nicola to shift up-track each time. Not to be denied, Pascoe switched to the bottom and was able to promptly relegate Nicola, with Gee grabbing third.
Heat four went to Gee over Nicola and Brims before Justin Randall wrapped up the preliminaries with a win in the final heat, outpacing Matt Williams and Brad Pascoe.
Black and Brims were the first eliminated from the Pole Shootout as Williams and Brad Pascoe advanced from the Bronze round to take on Matt Pascoe and Jordan. It was Williams again in the Silver showdown, taking Matt Pascoe with him into the final clash. Not to be denied, Williams clinched pole position for the feature race, with Matt Pascoe joining him on the front row, leaving Gee and Nicola to share row two.
The moment the green light was ignited, Williams bolted as the rest of the field resigned themselves to a fight for the minor placings. The only time anybody got close to Williams was when spins from Brad Pascoe, Darren Saunders and Bob McCosker necessitated restarts. Gee slotted into second spot but would find himself under attack, initially from Nicola and then Jordan. Matt Pascoe was doing everything in his power to get the outside working, dropping several spots in the process before ultimately heading infield on lap 19. Once he finally broke clear of Gee on lap 25, Jordan was able to narrow the gap to Williams but was unable to make any real impression despite a final restart with four laps remaining following a spin from Zac Hudson. Gee clung tenaciously to third despite a two-pronged late challenge from Wilson and Black. Nicola was next in line ahead of Randall, Brims, Josh McLaren, McCosker and Ryan Cats, with Brad Pascoe and Scott Taylor the only other finishers
Production Sedans fronted with 15 cars for their Clarko’s Performance-sponsored Brisbane debut and whilst it was Darren Lester who would make history as the first ever feature race winner at Archerfield, it was Joel Berkley who made the biggest impression with his high-side heroics alongside Lester for the duration of the 20 laps and trailing by just 0.218 when they swept under the chequer. Sarah Franz ran a lonely race in third spot, while a late flourish from Modlite champ Sam Gollschewsky would see him cut the quickest lap of the race on his way to finishing fourth. Michael Mason, Richard Cook and Zac McDonald were the best of the rest, with Levi O’Brien, Trent Gosley, TJ Horne and David Clarkson rounding out the field.
Lester downed Adrian Stott and McDonald in the opening heat, with Berkley making easy work of heat two with an emphatic win over Cook and Clarkson.
Franz bested Berkley to prevail in heat three, with Jeff Peacock home third, while the final preliminary went the way of Cook over Lester and Mason.
There were no surprises in the AMCA Nationals heats with wins shared between Steve Price, Shane McKinnell, Steve Potts and Bruce Marshall.
The already smaller-than-usual field for round two of the Shock Absorber Therapy AMCA Natonals Track Championship was depleted further when three failed attempts to get the feature race underway left Nathan Tomkins, Troy Price, Maverick Dack, Mark Taylor and Brett Robotham on the infield. Sanity eventually prevailed and it was Steve Price who emerged with the lead, a position he would hold through to the finish. Marshall chased hard to be a mere 0.200 adrift at the completion of 15 laps, with Potts home third ahead of Kevin Stow, Graham Holland and McKinnell, leaving James Turner, Peter Greer and Nik Stacey as the only others to go the distance.
Following Compact Speedcar heat victories to Bodie Smith and Dion Wilson, it was Matt O’Neill who won when it mattered most, finishing more than 4.5 seconds ahead of Mitchell Rooke in the feature race. Andrew Parkes placed third ahead of Wilson, Smith, Tim Devine, Chris Serle-Thrussell, Richard Treanor and Andrew Rooke.
Racing continues at Archerfield Speedway next Saturday night (November 13) with the rescheduled round of the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Track Championship that fell victim to inclement weather. Also on the program will be round three of the TFH Midget Series, along with Formula 500s, Lightning Sprints, Legend Cars, Open B/Limited Sedans and Formula 500 Juniors.