Robinson Ready to Fire in Dirt Modified Memorial
Dirt Modifieds take centre stage this Saturday night (January 28) at Archerfield Speedway with more than 25 drivers from three states rumbling into town to contest the PB44 Memorial feature race. An annual event staged in honour of Paul Britten, a popular Dirt Modified administrator who tragically passed away in 2012 at just 44 years of age, the PB44 always attracts a stellar field and this year is no exception as the event is contested at Archerfield for the final time. With big fields of Wingless Sprints, AMCA Nationals, Modlites and Open Sedans also confirmed, more than 120 competitors will hit the track on Saturday night to dish up a deluge of dirt track action.
Regarded as an outstanding administrator and a genuinely nice bloke, Paul Britten was a passionate advocate for Dirt Modified racing and remains perhaps the most influential figure in the transformation of the category into a united national force on the Australian speedway landscape. With sons Peter and Kevin having won eight Australian Championships between them, the Britten family will be forever entrenched in Dirt Modified folklore for their exploits on and off the track. Of course, the PB44 always attracts a stellar field and the unique format delivers exceptional racing as the big guns surge through the field in the 44-lap feature race. An invitation to start from the rear of the grid is issued to all drivers who qualify into the Dash and, with such a request rarely declined, spectacular action almost always ensues.
There will be no place for sentimentality in the mind of current Australian titleholder Mark Robinson as he seeks to deny Kevin Britten another win in the race that means more to him than any other. Fresh from winning the New South Wales Championship in Grafton last weekend, Robinson heads a line-up that also includes another former national titleholder in David Clark, along with the likes of Mitchell Randall, the Corbet brothers (Chris and Dale) and Terry Leerentveld, who finished third in the Australian Championship feature race at Archerfield last season, beaten only by Robinson and Britten on that occasion. With no real racer likely to refuse an invitation to start rearward, the thought of this group having to fight their way to the front over 44 gruelling laps is certainly a mouth-watering prospect for race fans too often deprived the fastest-from-the-rear format that always ensures more passing, more action and more excitement.
Despite consistently large fields so far this season, Wingless Sprint feature race results have been dominated by just four drivers in Jacob Jolley, Scott Thomsen, Brody Thomsen and Jamie Usher. This quartet has been consistently quicker than their opposition in the Archerfield rounds of the Wildink Club Championship and they have dominated the feature race podium. Whilst, the likes of Jayden O’Toole, Andrew Robinson, Liam Atkinson, Tim Harris and Chris Catchpole have proven pacey at times, none of them, or anybody else amongst those nominated for Saturday night, have been able to offer much resistance to the fast foursome come feature race time and, with the Australian Championship to be decided at Archerfield later in the season and, with time is running out for others to step up and announce themselves as title contenders, maybe this weekend will see some new contenders emerge.
AMCA National action so far this season has been dominated by a gang of three, the membership of which includes Bruce Marshall, Steve Potts, and Lee McKinnell. Each has a feature win to their name and the most recent round saw them fill the top three spots, with McKinnell prevailing on that occasion. However, the last round also saw Nathan Tomkins start back in the pack and chase down the leaders to be lurking ominously in fourth spot at the chequer, suggesting that a stronger qualifying effort will put him firmly in the fight for a place on the podium. Of course, with Australian champ Steve Price back on track this weekend, it becomes decidedly tougher for the three amigos to maintain their dominance. Graeme Holland and Brett Robotham have been quick at times, but have thus far been able to keep pace with the leaders across the duration of the feature race.
With his arch rival Klinton Hancey not amongst the entries this weekend, Terry Leerentveld could ordinarily be expected to dominate proceedings in the Modlite events except for the fact that, in also contesting the Dirt Modified events on the night, preparation time will be at a premium and his divided loyalties could leave him vulnerable. Expect the likes of Dan Lewis, Callum Beerling, Sean Rose, Chris Fing, Tyson Snow and Gavin Thomas to be best positioned to take advantage of any opportunity that arises should Leerentveld falter.
Pit gates open at 2.00pm, with spectator entry for online ticketholders from 3.00pm. General admission tickets are on sale from 4.00pm, with early racing scheduled for a 5.00pm start. The main program, which will also feature Compact Speedcars and a 20-car field of Open Sedans, will get underway at 6.00pm.
PB44 Paul Britten Dirt Modified Memorial nominations: Adam Thomsen, Andrew Firth, Brendan Cherrie, Brenton Bennie, Brock Gardiner, Chris Corbet, Dale Corbet, Daryl Armfield, David Clark, Jay Davey, Kevin Britten, Mark Robinson, Marley Weller, Matt Ferry, Mick Reid, Mitchell Randall, Phil McNamara, Phil Roberts, Ray Klarich, Riley Smith, Scott Quirk, Seiton Young, Shane Laurie, Taylah Firth, Terry Leerentveld, Trevor Wiley, Zac Blanch
Wildink Wingless Sprint Club Championship round seven nominations: Adam Hotchkis, Andrew Robinson, Anthony Joyce, Ben Manson, Brett Russo, Brody Thomsen, Chris Catchpole, Corey O’Toole, David Sansby, Ian Milnes, Ian O’Toole, Jacob Jolley, Jacob Waller, James Grady, Jamie Usher, Jayden O’Toole, Jeremy Burt, Joel Buettel, Lance Dawson, Liam Atkinson, Matthew Brown, Mitchell Allan, Neil Howard, Scott Thomsen, Stuart Jefferies, Tim Harris, Tom Robertson
Shock Absorber Therapy AMCA Nationals Track Championship round five nominations: Brett Robotham, Bruce Marshall, Gary Stacey, Graeme Holland, Lee McKinnell, Mark Taylor, Maverick Dack, Michael Denning, Nash Granger, Natasha Herne, Nathan Tomkins, Peter Greer, Robert Turner, Roy Embrey, Shane Stacey, Steve Potts, Steve Price, Wayne Stacey
Modlite nominations: Abi Meehan, Adrian Reinke, Callum Beerling, Chris Fing, Dan Lewis, Dane Beerling, Donika Gower, Gavin Thomas, Jake McRae, Jordan Ferguson, Josh Herne, Josh Leerentveld, Josh Smith, Kristian Walker, Luke Harrison, Mark Troth, Mark Webster, Michael Lawton, Sean Rose, Steve Collins, Terry Leerentveld, Tyson Snow, Warren Hooper
Open Sedan nominations: Aaron Stone, Bob Ware, Colin Morris, Drew Craft, Gary Kivela, Haiden Grantz, Jake Twin, Jamie Olsen, Jayden Marengo-Hartley, Kevin Maher, Matthew Hannigan, Merv Price, Robin Bains, Ronnie Young, Scott Atkins, Shaun Donnelly, Tim Swart, Travis Maher, Troy Price, Wayne Kirkman
Compact Speedcar nominations: Andrew Parkes, Andrew Rooke, Arren Healey, Brock Byrne, Dave Collins, Dion Wilson, Jeremy Ennever, Matt O’Neill, Mitchell Rooke, Richard Treanor
For further information and event updates, please stay tuned to Facebook or the track website at www.brisbanespeedway.com.au