In the wake of a remarkable Sprintcar feature race last Saturday night, Super Sedans take centre stage at Ausdeck Archerfield Speedway this weekend in a bid to deliver something just as special when a big field of cars from across Australia will come together to contest the GP53 Graham Pascoe Memorial on Saturday night (May 18). Drivers from New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia are amongst the nominations for what will be Queensland’s biggest Super Sedan event this season. On a typically packed Archerfield program that has attracted more than 120 competitor nominations, the Queensland Modlite Championship will also be decided, along with events for Dirt Modifieds, Lightning Sprints, Open Sedans, RSA Sedans and Ford vs Holden vs Sigma sedans.
Whilst there are few certainties in motorsport, one thing about which we can be absolutely adamant is that there will nobody more fixated on winning the GP53 than current Australian Champion Matt Pascoe. Whilst the fact that he is the current national champion renders him the pre-race favourite anyway, Pascoe has been instrumental in putting this event together as a tribute to his father and whilst the additional prizemoney on offer gives everybody plenty of incentive to do well, nobody else can lay claim to such a personal motivation to emerge victorious. Having scored a feature race here last month in addition to recent successes interstate in Goulburn and Lismore, Pascoe has every reason to be confident of emerging triumphant in the special 53-lap feature race, but he will also be acutely aware of the fact he faces a very tough task occasion given what is at stake and the influx of interstaters determined to deny his destiny.
Leading the southern charge is three-time national titleholder Michael Nicola from Victoria, one of the most experienced and accomplished competitors in the category who recently added a fourth New South Wales Championship success to his long list of achievements. As a driver who has won pretty much everything there is to win in the sport, Nicola would love nothing better than to create history by upstaging the locals on home soil to become the first ever winner of this exciting new event.
Western Australian veteran Gary Higgs was very impressive here three weeks ago with a runner-up finish behind Pascoe in the feature race, a result that should instil him with plenty of confidence for the return bout this weekend, while Tasmanian hard charger Steve Latham would love nothing more than to avenge all the success that Queensland drivers have enjoyed in his home territory in recent years by turning the tables on them in their own backyard.
New South Wales are sending a six-strong contingent across the border to take part, led by Archerfield regulars Ian Brims and Tania Smith. Far from impressed at having been wiped out by another driver at his last Archerfield outing, Brims will be determined to avoid trouble this weekend and secure a solid result, while Smith finished on the podium earlier this season and is very much in the frame to match, or even improve upon, that performance this Saturday.
Despite the influx of interstate stars, it remains highly likely that fellow Ipswich-based racer Darren Kane will prove to be Pascoe’s biggest threat, continuing the rivalry that has seen them dominate results, both locally and on the national scene, for several seasons. The battles between them always deliver plenty of action and the their last clash at Archerfield saw them once again locked in combat at the front of the field before Kane, who is also a three-time national champion, incurred a mechanical problem that forced him out. Other locals who shouldn’t be overlooked as serious contenders include the most experienced driver in the field in Wayne Randall, along with his son Justin, who has a feature race win at Archerfield this season, and Toowoomba’s Sean Black, who has really stepped up this year with some great results in Queensland and interstate that now has him ranked amongst the best in the country, while former Queensland champion Matt Williams from Rockhampton and Townsville’s Trent Wilson, who finished third here in April, lead a strong contingent from the north of the state for what is shaping as an event to remember.
With more than 25 drivers vying for the title, the Queensland Modlite Championship will undoubtedly deliver action aplenty as newly-crowned national champ Kyle Honour takes on the man he deposed in Klinton Hancey and another former titleholder in Terry Leerentveld, the most successful driver in the history of the category. Others who have proven themselves as genuine front runners throughout the season include Sam Gollschewsky, Scott Lehfeldt, Dan Lewis and Sean Rose, while Will Butler is a former winner of this event and is obviously another worth watching when the championship final hits the track.
Although down in numbers for their final fling of the season, Dirt Modifieds rarely fail to entertain, particularly with four-time national champ Kevin Britten strutting his stuff up high on the track, rounding up his rivals in spectacular fashion. David Clark, Andrew Pezzutti, Sam Bruggy and Ray Klarich will likely offer the most resistance, with Mitchell Randall and Trent Scofield should also be in the mix come feature race time.
Lightning Sprints are certainly finishing their season with a flourish and whilst the growing numbers have resulted in much closer competition and more potential feature race winners, we can still expect to see the likes Kurt Wilson, Keith Blatch, Sean Iacono somewhere near the front of the field. Jason Rae will also feature if he can rediscover the form that carried him to a win in the Queensland Championship earlier in the season.
In what will be a feast for tin top fans, another 30+ competitors will feature in RSA Sedan, Open Sedan and Ford vs Holden vs Sigma action, with gates opening at 4.00pm and early racing from 4.30pm. The main program, featuring the Super Sedan GP53 and the Queensland Modlite Championship, will get underway from 6.00pm
Super Sedan GP53 nominations: Ash Bergmeier, Bob McCosker, Brendan Doyle, Dale Christensen, Darren Anning, Darren Kane, Daryl Moon, David Musch, David O’Keefe, Dion Bennett, Ed Doherty, Gary Higgs, Ian Brims, Justin Randall, Justin Smithwick, Kyall Fisher, Leigh Williams, Mark O’Brien, Mark Towers, Matt Williams, Matt Pascoe, Michael Nicola, Nicholas O’Keefe, Rodney Craft, Sam Roza, Sean Black, Steve Latham, Tania Smith, Tony Brinkmann, Trent Wilson, Tyson Moon, Wayne Randall
Queensland Modlite Championship nominations: Abi Meehan, Adam Walker, Alex Coward, Chris Crowe, Chris Were, Dan Lewis, Dylan Hunter, Jac Carnell, Jared Stephenson, Joel Smith, Joshua Smith, Julian Olley, Klinton Hancey, Kurt Grambower, Kyle Honour, Leroy Martin, Nik Keeley, Rachael Jenkins, Sam Gollschewsky, Scott Leheldt, Sean Egan, Sean Rose, Steve Collins, Terry Leerentveld, Tim Jackson, Troy Carnell, Warren Hooper, Will Butler, Zac McDonald
Dirt Modified nominations: Andrew Firth, Andrew Pezzutti, Chris Polsen, David Clark, Kevin Britten, Marcus McKenzie, Mark Connolly, Mitchell Randall, Phil McNamara, Phil Roberts, Ray Klarich, Sam Bruggy, Trent Scofield, Trevor Wiley, Zac McDonald
Lightning Sprint nominations: Adam Norton, Andrew Sparks, Derek Wells, James Elliott, Jason George, Jason Rae, Jayden Iacono, Jim Kennedy, Keith Blatch, Kurt Wilson, Ron Holmes, Scott Jukes, Sean Iacono, Tyler Stralow
RSA Sedan nominations: Aaron Buchanan, Adrian Browne, Daniel Taylor, Greg Trezise, Karen Taylor, Mark Whalley, Michael Taylor, Russell Davis, Scott Taylor, Tarsha Troth, Wade Baker, Zane Williams
Open Sedan nominations: Bob Ware, Glenn Willmott, Matt McGee, Ron Hornbuckle, Wayne Kirkman, Ben Harris, Chloe Bennett, Greg Town, Haiden Grantz, Jo Woolf, Josh Manser, Mark Anderson, Michael Cheeseman, Rachael Hawkins, Ricky Price, Trevor Polzin
Ford vs Holden vs Sigma sedan nominations: Bernie Wright, Brett Russo, Brian Knight, Dallas Dack, Maverick Dack, Michael Laver, Robert Kynaston, Troy Price
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