Winning end to season for Maroske and Thomsen
The 2020/2021 Archerfield Speedway season drew to a close on Saturday night (June 5) with Cody Maroske taking out the final round of the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Track Championship before Scott Thomsen prevailed in a thrilling 50-lap Wingless Sprint feature race. Maroske downed Kevin Titman and Aaron Kelly in a see-sawing Sprintcar finale, while Thomsen advanced from position 17 to edge out Mark Blyton and Tim Harris in the 50-lapper, the second race staged over that distance in as many weeks to see somebody land in victory lane only after securing a spot in the race via the B Main.
A 24-car field fronted for the final ECL Track Championship Grand Final and with an absent Lachlan McHugh having already wrapped up the series, all interest rested on the battle for the minor championship placings, with Callum Walker and Aaron Kelly sitting second and third respectively and separated by just four points when they rolled onto the track for time trial qualifying. It was Walker who struck first in a battle that would rage until the final laps of the feature race, stopping the clock at 13.027 to emerge with KRE Quick Time. Ryan McNamara (13.048) was second quickest, with Kelly (13.198) third best ahead of Michael Saller (13.201), Brendan Scorgie (13.216), Titman (13.260) and Kaidon Brown (13.294), with Maroske, Brent Kratzmann and Ryan Newton rounding out the top ten.
On the back of two strong feature race performances in recent weeks, Jy Corbet collected his inaugural heat race win when he outgunned Adam Butler and Kratzmann to win the first heat of the night.
Kristy Bonsey downed Brad Ayres and Darren Jensen in heat two and then backed up to win again in heat three, outpacing Titman and Andrew Baumber to elevate herself into the Pole Shootout.
In the final heat, Ryan Newton looked on track for his first ever win until Maroske moved to the front on lap nine, leaving Newton to finish second in advance of Ayres.
Having failed to finish his second heat, young Corbet found himself on pole position for the B Main and he had little trouble maintaining the lead throughout, leading home Mitch Gowland and Tim Farrell, with Andrew Baumber resisting a late surge from Sam Bylsma to secure the final transfer spot into the feature.
The Bronze round of the Pole Shootout brought Kratzmann, Bonsey, Titman and Saller together, but the session was halted abruptly when Saller found himself upside down in turn three. Once back underway, it would be Kratzmann and Titman who advanced to the Silver showdown against McNamara and Kelly. It was McNamara who cut the quickest lap on this occasion, taking Kratzmann with him into the Gold Shootout against Walker and Maroske. For the second time in as many rounds, McNamara would emerge with pole position, outpacing Maroske, Kratzmann and Walker.
Exactly as he did the previous weekend, McNamara leapt clear of the field to lead the feature race through the opening laps, running high on the track to great effect as he extended his lead with each circulation until being brought back to the field courtesy of a restart on lap 13 after Scorgie rode the wall and flipped in turn four. With McNamara in control out front, the battle further back between Walker and Kelly was intensifying with every position gained adding precious points to their championship total. When Ayres wiped out in turn three on lap 19, McNamara would see his lead vanish again and, having contacted the wall to avoid the chaos unfolding around him, a problem with the Titan Garages #88 left him defenceless when Kratzmann surged to the front immediately upon resumption. Sliding to a halt in turn four soon after, McNamara was unable to continue and then just two more laps were completed before Gowland spun in the same spot to halt proceedings once more. Through the interruptions, Kratzmann maintained his lead over Titman, who had had rounded up Kelly, Walker and Maroske, although the latter would be back in second spot when Corbet stopped in turn one with just three laps remaining. Maroske pounced at the restart to slip ahead of Kratzmann who, not willing to surrender meekly, looked to surge underneath Maroske along the main straight. Unfortunately for Kratzmann, contact between the pair sent him spinning to the infield and, whilst he was able to keep the BK Trading #2 in motion, his hopes were dashed and he would ultimately finish sixth as Maroske motored home ahead of Titman and Kelly, with Brown advancing from 14th to grab fourth from Walker late in proceedings. Behind Kratzmann came Butler, Saller, Bonsey and Jensen, with Ryan Newton exiting on lap 19 after running strongly through the first half of the race, leaving Farrell, Corbet, Baumber and Gowland as the remaining finishers.
When Seiton Young spun himself out of the lead on lap two, Brett Russo assumed control of the opening Wingless sprint heat and would hold on to score a narrow win, although it would not br enough to secure him a place in the feature race field. Ashleigh Jack and Timothy Harris filled the minor placings.
In heat two it was Australian champ Kyle Mock who came unstuck in turn four, getting out of shape whilst running in second spot and dropping to the back of the field as Robert Mazzer took the race in advance of Paul Robinson and Jason Bates.
Luke Sayre downed downed Bailey Goodwin and Blyton in heat three, with Lachlan Robertson taking out heat four in advance of Liam Atkinson and Ian O’Toole.
Brody Thomsen led throughout to win heat five over Daniel Sayre, who survived a moment on lap five when contact from Daniel Nikiforoff sent the latter into a spin. Bates replicated he earlier result in third spot.
Turn four again proved a magnet in heat four with James Grady and Bailey Goodwin both spinning out in that location, the latter with just one lap to go whilst running third. Luke Sayre took out the race to secure pole position for the feature, with Blyton second again ahead of Mock, who charged from the back row.
Dave Eggins made easy work of heat seven to lead Dan Moes and Jayden O’Toole to the chequer, with Kevin Willis winning the final heat over Tim Harris and Ben Manson.
A 20-car field fronted for the B-Main and it was Scott Thomsen who led all 15 laps from pole position to finish ahead of Ian O’Toole and Goodwin, with Mock advancing from 11th to secure the final transfer spot into the feature field, although Jacob Jolley would also be granted a start in the 50-lapper after charging from 14th to finish fifth.
Luke Sayre led the field through the opening laps of the feature before surrendering command to Blyton on lap five, with Eggins in third ahead of Bates and Ashleigh Jack. Deep in the field, Scott Thomsen and Mock were on the move and both had moved into the top ten when Bates stopped in turn four with a flat tyre on lap 24 to trigger the first restart, by which stage Eggins had retreated to the infield. By lap 30, Thomsen had climbed to fifth behind Blyton, Sayre, Tim Harris and Willis. Having advanced to seventh with a spectacular outside run, Mock undid all his good work with a spin in turn one on lap 32 to find himself at the back again for the ensuing restart. Thomsen continued to climb, taking fourth from Willis on lap 36 and then demoting Harris from third two laps later. Behind the lead group, Mazzer was on the move and surging late as Mock set forth on a mission to salvage something for his efforts. At lap 40, Blyton continued to lead Sayre, although Thomsen would surge into second spot two laps later before rounding up Blyton on lap 45. Having also disposed of Sayre, Harris moved ahead of Blyton momentarily before the Dubbo-based veteran fought back to reclaim the position. Sayre, meanwhile, suffered a flat tyre that ended his challenge just two laps from home. Thomsen completed the final laps to secure a back-to-the-front win in very illustrious company, denying Blyton in his bid for a third feature win at Archerfield for the season. Mazzer annexed fourth behind Harris, with Daniel Sayre, Willis and Brody Thomsen next best. Continuing his highline heroics in his second surge from the back, Mock would ultimately finish in eighth spot ahead of Jack and another B-Main transferee in Goodwin, leaving Robinson, Moes, Joel Rhind, and Robertson as the remaining finishers.
In the Queensland Microsprint Championship, John Lawson led from the outset to win the 15-lap feature race from pole qualifier Jacob Lynd and Ernie Havas. Lawson led the field through the opening lap despite starting from row three and quickly distanced himself from the pack. Although his lead diminished somewhat through the closing stages, he never faced a serious challenge as Lynd found himself having to fend of Havas. Fourth home was Adam Jack, with Eddie Schwehla bouncing back from a heat race crash to finish fifth ahead of Ben Le Pla, who started alongside Lynd on the front row.
Lynd, Le Pla and Havas claimed a heat win apiece and it was the second preliminary that proved costly for several competitors with only five of the 13 starters going the distance. Both Peter Challen and Schwehla would find themselves upended, while Kaitlyn Field, Damien Palmer, Jason Glynn, Jackson Isaacs, Bryce Moorman and Adam Jack would also strike trouble. Of these, Glynn, Isaacs, Challen and Moorman would fail to make the feature, leaving nine cars to face the starter in the championship final.
Jason Rae outgunned the field to win the Lightning Sprint feature race, a sensational outside pass around Sean Iacono and Tyler Stralow through turn three on lap six propelling the recently deposed Queensland champ into the lead. Iacono finished second ahead of Stralow, Jim Kennedy and Scott Jukes. In a small field, Wayne Jukes, Jac Carnall, Danny Stone and Jayden Mathers filled out the finishers.
Stockcars saved their best display of the season for the final show and it was Graeme Rangihuna was emerged the standout, collecting two heat wins before also taking out the feature race. Brad Philpott and Fraser Ward filled the minor placings in the feature, with Kev Healy, Justin Burr and Peter Hosking the remaining survivors.
In RSA Outlaw Sedans, Glen Lesslie and Wayne Kirkman split the heats with a win apiece and then finished first and second respectively in the feature, with Michael Taylor the only other finisher.
Steven Quirk won both of the heats in RSA Limited Sedan competition but was an early retiree from the feature, handing the lead to Matthew Hannigan, who would hold that position to the finish. Greg Dickinson, Russell Mahon and Daniel Taylor rounded out the top five.
Bob Ware won both heats and the feature race in the Open Sedan A division, which are cars very much akin to those running in Outlaw Sedans, so some kind of amalgamation between the two groups would certainly make for tougher competition and a better spectacle. David Mortimer and Dave Sansby filled the minor placings in the feature, with Justin Randall and Colin Morris the remaining runners.
It was a familiar story in the Open Sedan B ranks with Ben Harris annexing his umpteenth feature race win, ahead of Mark Lowe, Greg Akers, Todd Anderson and Steffani Manser on this occasion. Harris won the opening heat and Alex Sweeney took the other but failed to front for the feature.
Following Junior Sedan heat successes to Connor Reeves, Ryley Smith and Jackson Goldie, it was Smith who again proved too rapid for his rivals come feature race time and he raced away to record another win. Connor Reeves scored second ahead of Tyler Burnham, Jake Smith and Sam Mooney, with Goldie failing to go the distance.
Maverick Dack won both heats of Ford vs Holden vs Sigma sedans but played no part in the feature race results as it was Ricky Loeber who prevailed over Josh Thompson and Linkon Allen.
The next meeting at Archerfield Speedway will be the 2021/2022 season opener on October 2 featuring Sprintcars, Monster Trucks, Fireworks and a full support program.