Stellar Fields for Second-Last Show
This Saturday night (May 20) marks the beginning of the end for Archerfield Speedway, with the running of the second-last race meeting ever to be staged at the history-soaked venue. Superb fields of Sprintcars and Super Sedans will mark the occasion, with more than 100 competitors set to do battle across all divisions, many for the last time ever. The massive program will feature round ten of the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Track Championship, the Petzyo Sprintcar Development Series and the prestigious Super Sedan GP53, plus Formula 500s and Open Sedans.
The line-up for round ten of the ECL Track Championship has been boosted by the inclusion of former national champion Jamie Veal from Victoria, looking to accomplish what current titleholder Jock Goodyer was unable to do at the previous round, which is upstage series leader Luke Oldfield, whose remarkable victory in round nine continued his stunning run of success that has seen him finish on the podium in every feature race he has contested at Archerfield this season. In theory at least, there are several drivers in the field that Oldfield should regard as threats to his continued domination, yet none have been able to produce the necessary form at the rate of regularity needed to challenge for the championship. Certainly, Ryan Newton has proven himself a genuine threat against the best in the business and, having scored feature race wins and podium appearances here and interstate, he will be a very serious contender come Saturday night. Meanwhile, the likes of Jy Corbet, Taylor Prosser, Randy Morgan, Kevin Titman, Brent Kratzmann Aaron Kelly, Allan Woods, Adam Butler and Tim Farrell have all visited victory lane or finished on the podium over the last few seasons, none have been able to do so with any level of consistency. Corbet has been the best of this bunch and he currently sits second overall in the championship standings as a result, albeit almost 100 points adrift of Oldfield and just three points ahead of Titman. So, with time literally running out, this is the final opportunity for these guys to stand tall one more time before the staging of The Last Race over two huge nights on June 2 and 3.
However, maybe somebody else altogether, whether it be a rookie racer, an up-and-comer, a category veteran or one of the interstate visitors in the field, will rise to the occasion and grab their moment in the spotlight while such an opportunity still exists. The likes of Darren Jensen, Mark Pholi and Dan Murray certainly possess a wealth of experience, while Mitch Gowland has been persistent in his support of the ECL series and a podium result would certainly be a fitting reward for his commitment while, at the other end of the spectrum, Harry Stewart, Tyler Stralow, Trent Vardy, Jack Bell, Tarhlea Apelt and Kye Jensen will be hoping to transition their status from star of the future to genuine contender in the here and now. Other nominations that might potentially upstage the establishment include Darwin-based Ben Atkinson, five-time Australian Dirt Modified champion Kevin Britten and three highly successful Formula 500 competitors who have taken the plunge into the V8 ranks in Kaydon Iverson, Nathan Pronger and four-time national champ Liam Williams. Both Iverson and Pronger have been impressive in recent outings, while Williams will be making only his second appearance aboard the Aprile Motorsport #42.
With the previous round winner in Pronger foregoing double duties this weekend to concentrate solely on his ECL commitments, the Petzyo Sprintcar Development Series becomes a much more open contest. Of the 13 cars to hit the track, Dan Moes and Anthony Vanderreyden are the most experienced and Libby Ellis will undoubtedly enjoy the most crowd support, but with the rest of the field acutely aware that neither experience nor popularity alone are enough to secure success in any form of competition, expect Luke Manttan, Jared Desmares and Noah Ball to feature prominently in proceedings.
Sure, the Sprintcar field is strong, but the Super Sedan line-up for the third running of the GP53 Graham Pascoe Memorial is something to behold, with over 35 drivers from five states, including six national championship winners, all of whom are seeking to cement their place in history as the last ever Super Sedan feature race winner at Archerfield. Just a few weeks after winning the Australian Title, Townsville’s Trent Wilson heads the star-studded entry list, along with the man he deposed in four-time national titleholder Matt Pascoe, who has also won the Queensland Championship on eight occasions and is the only person to have won this event. Pascoe’s approach to racing is akin to Oldfield’s Sprintcar strategy in that, unlike so many others who are happy to settle for second best, Pascoe wants to win every single time he hits the track, regardless of whether it be a heat race or this annual 53-lap feature race that he established to honour his late father. However, whilst there will be nobody more determined than Pascoe to win on Saturday night, there are certainly plenty in the field who are quite capable of doing so. In fact Pascoe’s biggest threat may well come from within the family in the form of sons Brad and Zac. The talented siblings would love nothing better than upstaging their old man in the biggest race of the season and, with Brad having had the audacity to upstage his father to win the Queensland Championship in Toowoomba a couple of weeks ago, there is every chance that one, or both, of the brothers can defeat Dad again this weekend.
Obviously Wilson will be seeking to consolidate his status as Australia #1 and, whilst he has certainly proven successful at Archerfield previously, he faces some formidable opposition in his bid to become the last ever person to drive a Super Sedan into victory lane at Archerfield. The entry list includes Victorian veteran Michael Nicola Snr, Tasmania’s Callum Harper and local guns Steve Jordan and Darren Kane, who have accumulated a total of ten Australian Championship victories between them, with a slew of state championship winners from across the country also in the field, including Michael Nicola Jnr, South Australia’s Dave Gartner and the Tasmanian duo of Steve Latham and Dave Nichols, along with in-form former Queensland champ Matt Williams. Having finished third behind Wilson and Justin Randall in the national title feature race, Williams comes to Brisbane fresh from scoring back-to-back feature race wins on consecutive nights in Rockhampton last weekend. With the likes of Randall, two-time SSA series champion Sean Black and the Victorian duo of Ash Bergmeier and former Australian Modified Sedan champion Brock Atkins also in the field, along with NSW’s Tyson Moon, Paul Blenkiron from South Australia and another Tasmanian in Luke Gunn, plus young guns such as JJ Hamilton and the brothers Brims in Zac and Hayden, a trio who have proven themselves capable of mixing it up at the front of the field, the scene is set for an epic showdown. Having been instrumental in the growth of the category, Archerfield has served up some of the most exciting Australian Championship finals, has hosted myriad other blue ribbon events over the years and played a critical role in the development of so many of the very best drivers. Certainly, this final ever Super Sedan feature race at Archerfield is shaping as something very, very special and, with only one chance to be remembered forever as the last feature race winner at Archerfield, not to mention the considerable prizemoney and lap bonuses up for grabs, no doubt every competitor will be using every inch of the track in search of any advantage that will deliver them the spoils of victory. After all, what is the point in settling for second (or worse) when there is so much at stake?
Formula 500 competitors will also have their final ever run on the Archerfield clay, with former state champ James Kennedy heading the entry list. Recent form suggests that Brady Argles and Bailey Lesson loom as his biggest threats, the latter having quickly established himself as a contender after stepping up from the Junior ranks. .
With such a massive program, which also includes Open Sedans, early racing gets underway at 3.55pm and the main program kicks off at 5.15pm. Spectator gates open at 2.30pm for online ticketholders, with general admission ticket sales and entry from 3.00pm.
East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Track Championship round ten nominations: Aaron Kelly, Adam Butler, Allan Woods, Andrew Corbet, Ben Atkinson, Brad Ayers, Brent Kratzmann, Dan Murray, Darren Jensen, Dylan Menz, Harry Stewart, Jack Bell, James Matthews, Jamie Veal, Jy Corbet, Kaydon Iverson, Kevin Britten, Kevin Titman, Kye Jensen, Liam Williams, Luke Dougherty, Luke Oldfield, Mark Pholi, Mitch Gowland, Nash Morris, Nathan Pronger, Nicholas Whell, Randy Morgan, Ryan Newton, Tarhlea Apelt, Taylor Prosser, Tim Farrell, Trent Vardy, Tyler Stralow, Will Carroll
Petzyo Sprintcar Development Series nominations: Anthony Vanderreyden, Carlo Moiola, Craig Hyde, Dan Moes, Harry Dixon, Jared Desmares, Jason Rae, Libby Ellis, Luke Manttan, Noah Ball, Ron Henrickson, Steve Bateman, Thomas Clarendon-Blair
Super Sedan GP53 nominations: Ash Bergmeier, Bob McCosker, Brad Pascoe, Brock Atkins, Callum Harper, Daniel Taylor, Darren Kane, Dave Gartner, David Nichols, Gavin Northfield, Hayden Brims, JJ Hamilton, Josh McLaren, Justin Randall, Luke Gunn, Matt Pascoe, Matt Williams, Michael Hally, Michael Kendall, Michael Taylor, Michael Nicola Snr, Michael Nicola Jnr, Paul Blenkiron, Rob Hamtilon, Ryan Cats, Sam Hughes, Sam Roza, Sean Black, Steve Jordan, Steve Latham, Tania Smith, Trent Wilson, Tyson Moon, Wayne Dick, Zac Brims, Zac Pascoe
Formula 500 nominations: Anthony Chaffey, Amanda Chaffey, Bailey Leeson, Brady Argles, Brock Thornton, Bryce McGregor, James Kennedy, Riley Simpson, Scott Jukes, Wayne Jukes
Open Sedan nominations: Bob Ware, Brad White, Chris Blackburn, Colin Morris, Drew Craft, Haiden Grantz, Jamie Olsen, Matthew Hannigan, Michael Cheeseman, Neil Crawford, Ricky Price, Ronnie Young, Scott Atkins, Scott Manser, Shane Ellis, Shaun Donnelly, Tim Swart, Wayne Kirkman
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