Sprintcars and Midgets back in action at Archerfield
It is Sprintcar time again this weekend at Ausdeck Archerfield Speedway with round three of the East Coast Logistics Track Championship to be decided on Saturday night (November 2). As expected, another quality field will hit the track in search of success in Queensland’s premier Sprintcar series and, with five different drivers having appeared on the podium in the opening two rounds, the contest is wide open as defending champion Andrew Scheurele returns to take on opening round winner Kevin Titman and another 25 drivers, all of whom will be fixated on finding their way to victory lane.
Round two of the American Tire and Racing Services Midget Series has also attracted a very strong line-up in excess of 20 cars as they continue their positive start to the season, while Modlites make their season debut with a huge field of cars for round four of their Campbells Truck & Bobcat Championship Series. With Formula 500s, Stockcars, Formula 500 Juniors and Ford versus Holden versus Sigma sedans also on the program, more than 110 nominations have been received for the show, which promises to deliver something special for race fans.
After storming to victory in the opening round last month ahead of Scheuerle and Luke Oldfield, Titman was unable to replicate the result in round two and struggled to make much impression in the feature race, which was won by South Aussie star Steven Lines ahead of Oldfield and young gun Ryan McNamara. A scan of the entry list should serve as supreme motivation for Titman because, with Oldfield not amongst the nominations and Scheurele having missed round two with interstate commitments as national champion, the son of two-time motorcycle speedway world finalist John Titman will never get a better opportunity to stamp his authority on the championship. A strong result this weekend could see Titman, who finished fifth in the championship last season, establish himself at the top of the series standings for the first time ever.
In the wake of his round two misfortune, it is hard to imagine any driver in the field more determined to visit victory lane than Brent Kratzmann. After a wretched opening round, the series stalwart had turned things around superbly in round two and looked on track to win the feature race until, as is so often the case in Sprintcar racing, the merest mistake proved very costly indeed. In control of the race just 10 laps to run, Kratzmann contacted the back straight wall and the damage was sufficient to see him head infield immediately and hand the win to Lines. Bouncing back from such heartbreak can sometimes be difficult, so it is imperative that Kratzmann remains focussed on the challenge that lies ahead, rather than dwelling on what might have been.
Of course, McNamara will be out to prove that his round two result is a genuine reflection of his place in the local Sprintcar hierarchy, while fellow young guns in Randy Morgan and Callum Walker, who made an impressive return in round two following a lengthy layoff due to injury, have also experienced the myriad emotions that come with securing a place on the podium in feature race competition. North Queensland flyer Brent Aprile is another serious contender if his form at the previous round is any indication, having advanced from ninth to third on that occasion before ultimately joining Kratzmann on the infield. Aaron Kelly was fourth in round two and is another edging closer to some serious success, while the likes of Adam Butler and Mitch Gowland seem to have found some extra pace this season that suggests both could be in line for their best campaign yet.
Round two of the Petzyko Sprintcar Development Series will also be contested with seven drivers taking the opportunity to gain experience and develop their skills without the pressure that comes with being thrust into competition against the more experienced competitors. In previous seasons, drivers such as Peter Campbell and Andrew Baumber have graduated from this series to tackle the Track Championship and if Geoff Davey is as dominant this weekend as he was in the opening round, he may find himself making that progression in very short time.
In racing to victory in round one of the American Tire and Racing Midget Series, Glenn Wright upset the established order and the former Wingless Sprint and Compact Speedcar racer will face an even tougher field this week with drivers such as Troy Ware and Chris Singleton returning to the fray. Hell bent on preventing Wright from replicating his success, current track champion Rusty Whittaker leads a strong field of challengers that includes the likes of Darren Vine, Brock Dean and Cal Whatmore. A former track titleholder and prolific feature race winner, Vine is always willing to do the hard yards up high on the track in his quest for victory, while Whatmore and Dean finished second and third respectively behind Wright in the opening round before Dean then followed up with a strong second-place finish in Sydney the following week, with Wright fourth on that occasion.
Still struggling for numbers in the wake of a slow start to the season for several Archerfield regulars, round two of the Touch Ups Done Right Formula 500 Series will again see Liam Williams as the pre-race favourite, although the opening round proved that perhaps the four-time Australian champion will be under increased pressure this season. Whilst he did emerge victorious in the feature race on that occasion, Williams was upstaged in both of the heat races, with wins by Tarhlea Apelt and Tomas Partington proving that even the best can be beaten and no doubt they are confident they can do it again.
An outstanding entry list of 29 competitors has been forthcoming for round four of the Campbell Truck and Bobcat Modlite Championship Series and if all the nominated competitors turn up, they will have the biggest field of the night, which is a fantastic way to start their Archerfield season. Of this group, Nathan Politch brings the best form into the weekend with two runner-up finishes in the opening rounds, however the remarkable record of success enjoyed by Terry Leerentveld and Klinton Hancey cannot be overlooked when it comes to trying to pick a winner. With the likes of Sam Gollschewsky, Neil Gregson, Dan Lewis and a couple of Toowoomba aces in Rodney Pammenter and Scott Lehfeldt also the mix, some red hot racing seems a certainty.
After spending some time off the Archerfield scheduling, Stockcars return to the track this weekend amid assurances the category is forging a positive path towards a strong future with growing numbers and a commitment to delivering a consistent product. Certainly if the cars that turned laps in pre-season practice are any indication, vehicle presentation is looking very sharp indeed.
Gates open at 4.00pm and early racing gets underway from 4.45pm, with Sprintcar time trial qualifying scheduled for 5.00pm. The main program, which will also feature Ford versus Holden versus Sigma sedans and showcase the future stars of the Formula 500 Juniors, gets underway at 6.00pm.
East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Track Championship round three nominations: Aaron Kelly, Adam Butler, Andrew Baumber, Andrew Scheuerle, Brendon Claridge, Brent Aprile, Brent Kratzmann, Brett Minett, Callum Walker, Cody Reynolds, Dan Murray, David Kenway, Erin Vanderreyden, Geoff Davey, Jamie O’Neill, Karl Hoffmans, Kevin Titman, Kristy Bonsey, Libby Ellis, Mitch Gowland, Nicholas Whell, Randy Morgan, Ron Hendrickson, Ryan McNamara, Scott Genrich, Steve Greer, Tim Farrell
American Tire and Racing Services Midget Series round two nominations: Audie Malt, Barry Gibbes, Bodie Smith, Brad Dawson, Brock Dean, Cal Whatmore, Chris Singleton, Darren Vine, Gavin McDowell, Glen Wright, Graham Flynn, Jason McDowall, Lachlan Paulger, Matt O’Neill, Mitchell Rooke, Nathan Mathers, Rusty Whitaker, Scott Doyle, Tom Clauss, Tony Stephens, Troy Ware, Zac McDonald
Done Right Touch Ups Formula 500 Series round two nominations: Adrian Farrell, Brady Argles, Brock Thornton, Dekota Gay, Kristin Brown, Kurt Wilson, Liam Williams, Royce Harvey, Tarhlea Apelt, Tomas Partington, Tony Bailey
Campbell Truck and Bobcat Modlite Series round three nominations: Abi Meehan, Adam Walker, Anthony Stewart, Brayden Preston, Callum Beering, Chris Were, Dakota Laverty, Dan Lewis, Dylan Hunter, Jac Carnall, Jamie Cornes, Joel Smith, Joshua Smith, Julian Olley, Kurt Grambower, Mitchell Pammenter, Nathan Politch, Neil Gregson, Nik Keeley, Pacey Clegg, Rachel Jenkins, Rodney Pammenter, Sam Gollschewsky, Scott Lehfeldt, Sean Butcher, Steve Collins, Terry Leerentveld, Tim Jackson, Warren Hooper
Stockcar nominations: Blake Smith, Brad Eames, Graham Rangihuna, James McEwan, James Turner, Jason Martin, Jeremy Hemi, Mike Foley, Rick Conrad, Robert Turner, Stacey Nicholas, Steve Love
Formula 500 Junior nominations: Jy Corbet, Kacy Lee Black, Khiana Gay, Kyle Price, Ryan Newton, Taylor Morgan
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