World Series showdown on Saturday night
The big show is coming to town this weekend when the QSS World Series Sprintcars roadshow invades Ausdeck Archerfield Speedway on Saturday night (January 4), pitching Australia’s leading Sprintcar exponents into battle against two of America’s finest and the very best local talent. Since its inception back in the 1987/1988 season, World Series has been regarded as the pinnacle of Sprintcar competition in Australia and that level of prestige remains today as teams criss-cross the country in search of championship glory, something that has been achieved by only 11 drivers in the 30+ year history of the series. Having presented more WSS events than any other active circuit, Archerfield has played a pivotal role in the growth of the championship and Saturday night will be the first of two rounds at the venue this season.
Presented by Performance Wholesale, round six of World Series Sprintcars has attracted a stellar line-up of local, national and international talent, with four-time series champion James McFadden currently leading the championship after winning the previous round in Warrnambool. However, for McFadden and his championship rivals, which includes the likes of Kerry Madsen, David Murcott and defending series champion Steven Lines, this weekend presents their toughest challenge of the season thus far as they face off against Andrew Scheuerle, who has a WSS feature win to his name and defeated all of these guys here last season to win the Australian Championship, and 10-times World of Outlaws champion Donny Schatz, who is currently undefeated in feature race competition at Archerfield this season.
Of the four completed rounds, McFadden has won twice and holds a 97-point lead over Madsen, with South Australia’s Brock Hallett sitting in third spot in the wake of his sensational win in the opening round. Murcott and Lines have endured difficult starts to their championship campaign, with Lines riding out a spectacular wreck at Warrnambool on Wednesday night that left the catch fence in need of repair. However, both drivers have visited victory lane at Archerfield before and will be hoping that this weekend brings a change in fortunes.
Schatz has the second highest number of WSS feature race wins of any driver in the field and enjoys a remarkable record of success at Archerfield. His form so far this season has been as good as ever and it is going to take something very special to deny Schatz another WSS success. Fellow American Lucas Wolfe is amongst those trying to prevent Schatz from accruing a 26th World Series feature win and the Pennsylvania-based driver, who is embarking on his first ever WSS campaign and currently sits seventh in the championship standings, is no stranger to Archerfield, having finished on the podium here on more than one occasion.
Joining Schatz and Scheuerle in making things very difficult for the contracted series drivers will be Luke Oldfield, who is one of only four Queenslanders to have ever won a WSS round and has been the only driver to offer up any kind of resistance to Schatz so far this season. Oldfield looked on track to beat Schatz in the feature race here on Wednesday night before contact with the wall sent him crashing out of the lead with just 10 laps remaining. Whilst no doubt devastated at gifting Schatz his third consecutive win, don’t expect Oldfield to curb the hard charging style that is as effective as it is spectacular.
Others coming to town in search of success to advance their championship position are another South Australian in Glen Sutherland, plus young gun Rusty Hickman and fellow Victorian Jack Lee, along with Jason Pryde from Western Australian and a two-pronged Tasmanian challenge comprising Shaun Dobson and newly crowned Australian Formula 500 champion Jock Goodyer. The meeting will also serve as a homecoming for Gold Coast gun Lachlan McHugh, a former Queensland champion whose efforts so far for his Western Australia-based J&S Drilling team have him sitting eighth overall in the standings.
Of the locals looking to defend their territory, expect Kevin Titman, Callum Walker, Brent Kratzmann and Bryan Mann to be in the thick of the action, while Randy Morgan returns home from a southern sojourn that saw him contest all four WSS rounds to be sitting 16th overall. However, the Archerfield track can be a difficult beast to master and often dishes up anomalous results, so there will no surprises if somebody emerges from the shadows of the big names to stand tall atop the podium.
Also on the program is a stacked field of Modified Sedans contesting the opening round of the Twin City Challenge, with former national champ Aydan Raymont the man of the moment following his win in the New South Wales Championship in Sydney last weekend. Raymont, who is also a three-time Queensland Champion, has earned the right to favouritism, but there are myriad others in the 30+ car field who are a serious threat, including current state titleholder Tim Weir and two other former national championship winners in Greg Worling and Max Clarke. Having finished third in Sydney, Mick Shelford leads a strong Toowoomba contingent into battle, including Nathan McDonald and a pair of former state champions in Shane McDonald and Rodney Pammenter.
Compact Speedcars and Formula 500 Juniors complete the program and both categories have produced their biggest entry lists for the season thus far, no doubt wanting to showcase their racing in front of the large crowd that will pack the stadium and the interstate and international viewers who will catch all the action on the World Series live broadcast.
Gates open at 4.00pm (online ticketholders from 3.30pm), with early racing from 4.45pm. Sprintcar time trial qualifying will get underway from 5.00pm and the main program will kick off at 6.00pm.
QSS World Series Sprintcars round six nominations: Andrew Corbet, Andrew Scheuerle, Anthony Vanderreyden, Brent Kratzmann, Brock Dean, Brock Hallett, Brooke Tatnell, Bryan Mann, Callum Walker, Cody Maroske, David Murcott, Donny Schatz, Glen Sutherland, Jack Lee, Jai Stephenson, James McFadden, Jason Pryde, Jock Goodyer, Kerry Madsen, Kevin Titman, Kristy Bonsey, Lachlan McHugh, Lucas Wolfe, Luke Oldfield, Nicholas Whell, Randy Morgan, Ryan McNamara, Rusty Hickman, Shaun Dobson, Steven Lines, Tim Farrell
Modified Sedan Twin City Challenge round one nominations: Aaron Alcock, Aidan Raymont, Alex Sweeney, Ashley Volk, Cameron Taylor, Chris Hayden, Cory Stein, Darren Lester, Darren Baldwin, David Head, David Jacobi, Greg Worling, Jake Hawkins, Jamie Love, Jason Dreaver, Joseph Saporoshetz, Jordan Cunningham, Kent Shelford, Max Clarke, Mick Langton, Mick Shelford, Nathan Lowe, Nathan McDonald, Neil Crawford, Peter White, Rachel Hawkins, Rodney Pammenter, Russell Harris, Shane McDonald, Shannon Blackburn, Steve Blackburn, Steve Jordan, Steven Love, Steven Quirk, Tim Atkin, Tim Weir, Ty Francis
Compact Speedcar nominations: Andrew Rooke, Bernie Clarke, Bodie Smith, Chris Pidgeon, Connor McCullough, Dave Collins, Dave Swan, David Everitt, Jayden Iacono, Matt O’Neill, Richard Rooke, Richard Treanor, Rob Stewart, Steve Swingler, Trent Usher
Formula 500 Junior nominations: Blake Matthews, Jared Boys, Jy Corbet, Kacy Lee Black, Khiana Gay, Kyle Price, Ryan Newton, Taylor Morgan, Taylor Prosser
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