Three Championship Finals at Archerfield this Saturday
After 14 rounds of racing in a series that kicked off back in September, less than a dozen points separate Luke Oldfield and Andrew Scheuerle heading into the final round of the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Track Championship at Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway this weekend. It is remarkable that the championship battle remains so close and it sets the scene for a high stakes feature race on Saturday night (May 27) when Scheurele and Oldfield are joined by another 20+ drivers to contest the championship Grand Final. In what is going to be a massive night of open wheel championship action, Midgets drivers are also contesting the final round of the Polar Ice Track Championship and the Formula 500s have gathered a cracking field for the final round of their KRE Race Engines Series.
Heading into the previous round two weekends ago, Oldfield trailed Scheuerle by 11 points, but now the situation has been reversed with Scheurele sitting 11 points in arrears, having lost the series lead for the first time since the championship began. The round 14 action saw Oldfield finish second behind two-time Australian champ Dave Murcott, while Scheuerle soldiered on to salvage a 9th-place finish after contact with another car on the opening lap necessitated a tyre change and subsequent restart from the rear of the field. Running third in the championship, Peter Lack seemed certain to finish on the podium at the previous round, only to expire on the final lap. However, with double points on offer this Saturday night, Lack can still win the series if both Scheurele and Oldfield strike trouble, setting the scene for a sensational showdown to secure the series crown.
Whilst several drivers have thrown in the towel for this season, opting to focus their attentions on preparing for their 2017/2018 championship campaign, the field for the final is still very strong indeed, with Murcott and three-time national Midget champion Adam Clarke returning to take on the locals and, potentially, take vital points from those fighting to secure the best possible overall result in the championship. Just four points separate 4th-placed Ben Hilder from Brent Kratzmann, while there is less than 30 points between the next three drivers in David Whell, Kevin Titman and Callum Walker, who brings some great form into the final with his first podium result in the previous round. With so many possible permutations given the double dose of points up for grabs, it is going to be a fitting end to what has been a superb series
If the results throughout the second half of the season are any indication, the final round of the Polar Ice Midget Track Championship looms as another showdown between Brock Dean, Darren Vine, Troy Ware and series leader Rusty Whittaker. This quartet have been the standouts in recent weeks, with Vine, Dean and Whittaker filling the podium in the recent 50-lap event. However, Scott Farmer’s disappointment from that event (having led the race before spinning) will no doubt serve as motivation, while New Zealand’s Chris Gwilliam will be desperate to finish his season on a positive note after a series of setbacks that have prevented him from repeating his feature wins from earlier in the season. Throw in Michael Harders, Reid Mackay, Scott Doyle and Charlie Brown, who showed what he is capable of in the 50-lapper before again being beset with mechanical problems, and the race to secure the final feature race of the season will be everything we have come to expect from the mighty Midgets.
The Formula 500 fraternity are determined to leave an impression with their series finale, securing a stellar 26-car field for the KRE Championship closer. Whilst Australian champ Liam Williams has been the dominant performer over the course of the season, it is actually Kristin Brown who heads into Saturday night’s showdown as the form driver of the moment, having scored an all-the-way win in the previous round. Besides Brown and Williams, the field is bursting with talent, with Kaydon Iverson, Ryan McNamara, Ryan Skennar and James Kennedy having established themselves amongst the best in the country, while Graham Williams has also performed with distinction here and interstate. When you add Tristan Johnson and Piper Ogilvie into the mix, along with a couple of talented young rookies in Randy Morgan and Nick Hodges, this promises to be a fitting finale for a series that has been the catalyst for a rampant resurgence for the category that doesn’t look like ending any time soon.
A 20-car field of Modlites, which includes Australian champ Aaron Prosser and Queensland titleholder Terry Leerentveld, will also take to the track for their final fling, with Fireworks and the Caravan, Boat and Dunny Derby completing a huge night of family entertainment.
Gates open at 4.00pm (3.30pm for online ticketholders), with early racing from 4.45pm and Sprintcar time trials from 5.30pm. The main program, featuring the final rounds of the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Track Championship, the Polar Ice Midget Track Championship and the KRE Race Engines Formula 500 Series, gets underway at 6.00pm.