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Kicking Up The Dirt - ECL Track Championship - Round Eleven
Joanne White posted Sunday March 12, 2017.

Andrew Scheuerle had not won a Sprintcar main event in South-East Queensland since the beginning of October, and while there have been a number of occasions in recent weeks where he came close, last night he finally managed to secure his second win of the season in a thrilling battle that captivated the crowd. Thirty Sprintcars turned up at Archerfield Speedway last night and what a show they put on! The entire night of racing action was a scintillating affair, with each driver and team certainly bringing their A-game. Every time Sprintcars hit the track the racing was sensational and quite clearly demonstrates some of the remarkable talent we have in the South-East corner of the state. Peter Lack led the start of the main event, but soon became involved in a truly epic battle with Scheuerle, Bryan Mann and Luke Oldfield as they fought for control of the race. Mann and Oldfield argued over third and fourth while Scheuerle was absolutely relentless as he searched for a way past Lack, eventually getting the job down as they raced down the main straight a few laps into the race. Lack faded as the race wore on, pulling out of the event just past the halfway mark. Oldfield challenged Scheuerle for most of the race, neither driver holding anything back as the raced ever-closer the chequered flag. Andrew Scheuerle took the win ahead of Luke Oldfield with Lachlan McHugh stealing third from Bryan Mann in the closing stages of the race. Mann finished fourth while Mitchell Gee crossed the line in fifth.

Luke Oldfield set the benchmark in qualifying, topping the leader board with a blistering quick 11.502 second lap. Oldfield was in such form that he was a 0.234 seconds quicker than his nearest rival Mitchell Gee. Gee stopped the clock at 11.738 seconds and only narrowly beat Andrew Scheuerle. Scheuerle recorded a time of 11.797 seconds, with Brent Kratzmann (11.881) having a significant change in qualifying fortunes to secure fourth quickest. Peter Lack rounded out the fastest five with a 11.824 second lap and was the last of the field to break into the 11-second bracket. Dan Murray beat Mark Pholi by just one hundredth of a second, while Pholi beat Ben Hilder by the same margin. Dylan Menz beat Kevin Titman by just two thousandths of a second, with Nelson Reddacliff beating Brett Minett by the same margin, while Mick Sauer and Steve Greer recorded identical times (12.370 seconds). Unfortunately Callum Walker, who qualified eleventh quickest, would not return to the track for the rest of the night, mechanical gremlins in the Q33 racer enough to see him withdraw from the race meeting.

Phill Foster and Brad Ayers shared the front row for the start of the first heat of the evening and while Foster led the field to the opening corner, it was Ayers on the high side who secured control of the race. Foster ran too wide in turn two, giving Kevin Titman, Lachlan McHugh and Luke Oldfield all the invitation they needed to slip through, while further back in the field Bryan Mann began making his way forward as he found his way past Dylan Menz and Karl Hoffmans. Titman was all over the back of Ayers as the pair raced side-by-side for the race lead, with Titman just managing to get his nose in front when the race was brought under caution for the spun car of Hoffmans in turn three. Ayers led the restart but had Titman, McHugh and Oldfield on his tail. Dylan Menz searched for a way past Phill Foster but when Menz ran too wide in turn two, Andrew Marks made his way through on the bottom and turned his attention to Foster. Menz fought back half a lap later and raced underneath Marks as they navigated turn four to regain his position, while closer to the front of the field Oldfield relentlessly searched for a way past McHugh, while Mann closed in behind them. Ayers was doing a magnificent job out in front, in all likelihood completely oblivious to the intense battle raging behind him, and focused on hitting his marks and defending his position from the hard-charging Titman. Titman eventually managed to make his way into the lead and quickly opened a sizable margin over his rivals, while Ayers found himself under fire from McHugh, Mann and Oldfield. Deep in the field Foster and Marks were embroiled in their own battle, but there was no stopping Kevin Titman out in front as he went on to take the win. Lachlan McHugh eventually managed to get the better of Brad Ayers and crossed the line in second with Ayers forced to settle for third. Bryan Mann finished fourth and led Luke Oldfield, Dylan Menz, Phill Foster, Andrew Marks, Karl Hoffmans and Brendan Parker home.

Heat two started with Brett Minett from pole position and Andrew Corbet alongside, with Jayden Peacock and Mick Sauer from the second row. Minett got a great start and quickly settled into the race lead but as Corbet and Peacock fought over second Corbet got too sideways in turn two and handed the advantage to Peacock. Peter Lack had made his way in front of Sauer and was right behind Peacock and Corbet and took evasive action to avoid the pair, ending up high on the track and caught behind Corbet while Mitchell Gee and Dan Murray took full advantage of the opening on the bottom of the track. Gee and Murray quickly moved ahead of Corbet and Lack with Lack too making his way underneath Corbet as they rounded turn four. Gee set about closing in on Peacock while Lack caught the back of Murray before uncharacteristically spinning the Q5 to a stop entering turn four. Minett led the restart from Peacock and Gee and while Peacock and Gee resumed their battle, and Lack tried to advance from the rear of the field, Mick Sauer made his way underneath Dan Murray. Minett had a comfortable lead but a mistake in turn four with the white flag in the air gave Peacock and Gee the opportunity they had been waiting for. With just five corners left to run Minett opened the door and let Peacock through, with Gee following as they entered turn one. Jayden Peacock went on to take the win ahead of Mitchell Gee and Brett Minett, with Mick Sauer next across the line ahead of Dan Murray, Peter Lack, Andrew Corbet, Neil Howard and Kevin Hill.

Nelson Reddacliff started from pole position in heat three, with Darren Silcock alongside and Paul Rooks and Steve Greer right behind them. Silcock got the jump on the start and led the way through the opening corner, while Reddacliff settled into second and Rooks and Greer argued over third. Andrew Scheuerle was in magnificent form as he took to the high side and raced around Mark Pholi and Ben Hilder through the opening two corners before switching to the bottom and looking for a way underneath Greer. Rooks had a quick look underneath Reddacliff in turn two, but with a small opening left on the bottom Greer managed to slip through. Scheuerle followed a moment later leaving Reddacliff to try and defend his position from both Greer and Scheuerle while Rooks had Mark Pholi and Brent Kratzmann on his tail. Greer and Reddacliff exchanged positions several times with Greer eventually coming out in front and Scheuerle quickly moving past Reddacliff to make his way a little closer to the front. Rooks and Pholi came together moments later as Pholi tried to race under Rooks in turn two, with Kratzmann following Pholi through and onto the tail of Reddacliff. Pholi spent several laps searching for a way under Reddacliff, eventually getting the job done coming out of turn four with both Kratzmann and Ben Hilder following a lap later. Andrew Scheuerle had made his way into second and worked tirelessly to close the gap to race leader Silcock, and while he managed to close in on the Q38 racer, he couldn’t quite get close enough to make a move. Darren Silcock went on to take the win ahead of Andrew Scheuerle and Steve Greer, with Mark Pholi home in fourth ahead of Brent Kratzmann, Ben Hider, Paul Rooks, Nelson Reddacliff, Nathan McFarlane and Garry Jacobson.

Heat four started with Andrew Marks from pole position with Brett Minett coming from position two. Marks managed to initially get his nose in front but Minett was quick on the top and secured the lead by the time they entered turn one, with Marks in second and Dylan Menz racing boldly around the outside of Paul Rooks in turn two to steal third. Jayden Peacock committed to the low line and raced underneath Rooks, just as Menz went around the top, the trio going three-wide through the turn. Menz came out in front and set his sights on Marks in second, while Rooks ran the bottom and tried to make his way back underneath Peacock when Peacock ran too wide in turn four. Rooks got a little sideways in turn four, after a tap from behind from Peacock, with Mitchell Gee, who himself was attempting to race up the inside of Rooks, also making contact with the Q64 racer of Rooks. Rooks inverted the car coming out of turn four, rolling twice before landing back on all four wheels. The damage to the car was relatively minor, and Rooks was unscathed in the crash, but he would not return to the track for the rest of the night. A full restart followed with Marks this time securing the advantage and leading the field into the first corner. Peacock quickly raced up the inside of Minett to secure second and while Minett tried to fight back on the high side in turn two, Peacock refused to surrender. Peter Lack had an inspiring run on the bottom, racing underneath Bryan Mann, Dylan Menz and Brett Minett in less than one lap before turning his attention to Peacock and Marks. The leading duo were themselves involved in an intense battle for the race lead, with Marks driving a strong and smooth race and, for a few laps, withstanding the relentless pressure from Peacock. Peacock eventually made his way through underneath Marks and settled into the race lead, while Lack gradually closed in on the pair. Bryan Mann was having another brilliant run mid-field, with Mitchell Gee right on his tail, and made his way past Minett and started chasing down Lack, who had caught Marks and was busy making his was through to second using the bottom beautifully to get the job done. Dylan Menz soon began challenging Mitchell Gee for position, the Q46 racer and Speedway Australia 2017 Rising Star racing exquisitely underneath Gee, then Minett, to make his way closer to the front of the field. Gee however quickly fought back, racing past Minett before sliding back past Menz in turn four. Bryan Mann caught Andrew Marks and spent several laps patiently searching for a way past, before racing through on the inside a few laps from home. Jayden Peacock took the win ahead of Peter Lack and Bryan Mann, while Mitchell Gee raced around the outside of Andrew Marks to steal fourth with just half a lap left to run. Gee crossed the line in fourth with Marks home in fifth and leading Dylan Menz, Brett Minett and Neil Howard across the line. Paul Rooks did not finish the event.

Heat five took several attempts to get underway, with Phill Foster and Andrew Corbet initially sharing the front row. Foster got the jump on the start with Corbet and Brad Ayers fighting over second when Corbet spun the Q78 racer in turn two, and, further back in the field, Dan Murray inverted the Q44 racer coming out of turn one. Murray was unscathed in the incident but unable to restart the event while Corbet restarted at the rear of the field. Foster and Mick Sauer now shared the front row for the restart with Foster again getting the jump on the start and settling into the race lead, while Brad Ayers challenged Sauer for second. Unfortunately contact between Ayers and Sauer in turn two saw Ayers cut down a right rear tyre and slowed to a stop coming out of the turn, while Sauer made heavy contact with the concrete wall. Sauer restarted at the rear of the field while Ayers was forced to the infield for the rest of the race. Phil Foster was relegated to the second row for the restart, officials not happy with how he led the field to the green on the previous two restarts, with Ben Hilder now from pole and Andrew Scheuerle, who had originally started from position eight, sharing the front row. Hilder got a sensational start from pole position and quickly secured the race lead ahead of Scheuerle while Brent Kratzmann tried to race through on the bottom of Foster and Corbet in the opening corner. Corbet fought back and it took Kratzmann an extra lap to find a way past, while Scheuerle worked on trying to close the gap to Hilder. Hilder was magnificent out in front, setting a cracking pace and pulling away from the rest of the field, while Nathan McFarlane and Mick Sauer battled mid-field. Ben Hilder went on to take the win with Andrew Scheuerle home in second while Brent Kratzmann had an impressive run to cross the line in third. Phill Foster was fourth past the chequered flag ahead of Mick Sauer, Andrew Corbet, Nathan McFarlane and Brendan Parker. Brad Ayers and Dan Murray both failed to finish the event.

Nelson Reddacliff and Karl Hoffmans led the field to the green for the start of heat six, with Reddacliff quickly securing the lead while Hoffmans held off a challenge from Darren Silcock and Kevin Titman took to the high line in spectacular fashion to and race around the top side of all three. Unfortunately for Titman this also opened the door on the bottom for Lachlan McHugh to slip through, with Titman now chasing after McHugh, with Luke Oldfield on his tail. McHugh raced underneath Silcock as the raced down the back straight but the race was quickly brought under caution for the spun cars of Steve Greer and Garry Jacobson who had spun at opposite ends of the track. Reddacliff led the restart with nine laps left to run and Hoffmans on his tail. Reddacliff got a brilliant start and immediately opened a small lead over Hoffmans, while McHugh, Titman and Oldfield all tried to find a way past Silcock. McHugh made his way through and then quickly found a way past Hoffmans, though Hoffmans, who has only completed a small handful of races in a Sprintcar, fought back hard on the bottom before he was forced on the defensive as Kevin Titman made his presence known. Hugh had caught Reddacliff and was running the high line expertly and had just managed to take control of the race when Hoffmans spun in turn three and brought the race under caution once more. Reddacliff led the restart from McHugh and Titman, with McHugh stealing the lead from Reddacliff on the inside as they raced down the back straight, while just behind them Luke Oldfield raced audaciously around the outside of Kevin Titman to move into third. Reddacliff faded over the next few laps as Oldfield and Titman both used the high side to make their way past, with Oldfield completely focused on catching McHugh in the race lead. Within just a few laps Oldfield had not only caught McHugh but raced through on the inside to steal the lead with only a few laps left to run. Never one to surrender without a fight McHugh of course fought back, thrilling the crowd as they raced towards the chequered flag. Luke Oldfield took the win ahead of Lachlan McHugh and Kevin Titman, with early leader Nelson Reddacliff across the line in fourth. Garry Jacobson finished fifth and led Darren Silcock and Karl Hoffmans home. Kevin Hill, Steve Greer and Mark Pholi all failed to finish the event.

The pre-dash draw for starting positions saw Luke Oldfield, highest position scorer of the evening, draw a one, four or six marble to determine his starting position for the dash event. In true Oldfield form Luke drew the six marble and would start the dash event from position six. It came as no surprise that he then elected Andrew Scheuerle to start alongside him on the third row, while Scheuerle chose Peter Lack to come out of position four. Lack nominated Lachlan McHugh to start on his inside, while McHugh chose Mitchell Gee to start from the outside of the front row. This then left Brent Kratzmann from pole position for the dash event, which he used to full advantage when he secured the lead once the green flag flew. With Kratzmann in control of the race, Mitchell Gee was left in second but put all kinds of pressure on the Q2 racer as he searched for a way into the lead. Behind them the battle was fierce, with McHugh in third but under enormous pressure from a hard-charging Peter Lack, while Scheuerle, Oldfield and Bryan Mann all negotiated over the minor positions. Lack raced his way underneath McHugh, only for McHugh to fire straight back on the top side, while Scheuerle had moved ahead of Mann and Oldfield and was challenging Lack and McHugh for position. Gee was all over the back of Kratzmann and was attempting a bold inside passing move for the lead coming out of turn four when he spun the Q36 to a stop and brought the race under caution. Kratzmann led the restart with McHugh and Lack on his tail and while Kratzmann excelled out in front, it was the battle behind him that was hard to ignore. Lack took to the inside to race underneath McHugh and steal second with Scheuerle following a few laps later and Oldfield and Mann exchanging positions several times mid-field. Lack was all over the back of Kratzmann and had the Q5 racer simply flying on the high line, committing to the top side and had just managed to take the lead from Kratzmann when McHugh spun the Q23 racer in turn four. Kratzmann again led the restart with Lack and Scheuerle right behind, and this time Lack didn’t hesitate, immediately taking to the high side and racing around Kratzmann to steal the lead with just an handful of laps to run. Scheuerle made his way under Kratzmann with one lap left to run but there was no stopping Peter Lack out in front as he greeted the chequered flag and took the win, earning pole position for the A-Main. Andrew Scheuerle crossed the line in second while a mistake on the final corner saw Brent Kratzmann hand third to Bryan Mann. Luke Oldfield crossed the line in fourth, with Kratzmann home in fifth ahead of Mitchell Gee, Lachlan McHugh and Ben Hilder.

The fifteen lap B-Main started with Darren Silcock and Steve Greer from the front row with Silcock getting the initial jump and settling into the race lead. Greer settled into second ahead of Brett Minett, while Nathan McFarlane started making his way forward after starting deep in the field. Neil Howard had a spin in turn four, with Andrew Marks spinning to avoid contact. Silcock led the restart from Minett, Greer and Andrew Corbet with thirteen laps to go and Nathan McFarlane up to eighth, having gained five positions in just two laps. Once the race resumed McFarlane raced around the outside of Phill Foster while at the front of the field Minett was working the high line as he tried to steal the lead from Silcock. McFarlane was quickly working his way through the field and within just a couple of laps he was challenging for a transfer position, while Andrew Marks began working his way forward again after the earlier stoppage. Marks made his way past Neil Howard and began challenging Karl Hoffmans for position, and was just slipping by the inside of the Q3 racer when Andrew Corbet brought the race under caution. With six laps left to run it was Brett Minett who led the restart from Darren Silcock, Steve Greer and Brad Ayers with Nathan McFarlane now in fifth. McFarlane quickly made his way past both Ayers and Greer and set out after Silcock and Minett, while towards the rear of the field Karl Hoffmans was having a brilliant run on the high side as he challenged Andrew Marks for position. Garry Jacobson and Nelson Reddacliff had a great battle for a number of laps but Jacobson eventually moved ahead. Brett Minett went on to take the win ahead of Nathan McFarlane with Darren Silcock and Brad Ayers in third and fourth respectively and all four transferring to the back of the A-Main field. Garry Jacobson finished fifth and led Nelson Reddacliff, Phill Foster, Kevin Hill, Andrew Marks, Neil Howard, Andrew Corbet, Karl Hoffmans, Brendan Parker and Steve Greer home.

The thirty-lap A-Main race was a sight to behold and if you were not there you certainly missed some truly mesmerising racing. These boys absolutely know how to put on a show and one simply does not have enough eyes to catch it all. It was impossible to know where to look but it really did not matter a great deal because the action, intensity and sensational racing was right through the field. Peter Lack started from pole position and got a brilliant start in the Q5 racer, quickly securing the race lead from Andrew Scheuerle and Bryan Mann, while Luke Oldfield ran the high side as he tried to find a way in front of Mann. Scheuerle began challenging Lack for the lead, while Mann had a look under Scheuerle and Oldfield considered racing straight between Scheuerle and Mann. Behind them Brent Kratzmann had the advantage over Mitchell Gee and Lachlan McHugh but the race was quickly brought under caution when Mick Sauer and Brett Minett came together in turn two. Unfortunately for Sauer he was unable to restart the race.

Peter Lack led the restart from Andrew Scheuerle, Bryan Mann, Luke Oldfield and Mitchell Gee with twenty-nine laps left to run. When the lights went green Lack remained focused out in front while Scheuerle was persistent and uncompromising in his pursuit of the race lead. Oldfield took to the high line as he tried to make his way in front of Mann, but Mann, who is in some of the best form of his racing career at the moment, held nothing back as he withstood the mounting pressure. Scheuerle, committed to the low side soon found his way underneath Lack and took control of the race, and while Lack tried to fight back he now had both Mann and Oldfield challenging him for second. Mann made his way past Lack, leaving Lack to defend his position from Oldfield and Mitchell Gee, while Brent Kratzmann and Lachlan McHugh had a thrilling battle just outside the top five. Oldfield raced around the outside of Lack and Mann, with Lack taking to the topside and following Oldfield around Mann, just as Gee had a big look on the bottom. Gee, Mann and Lack went three-wide into turn one, with Lack coming out in front, only for Gee to move ahead on the next corner. Kratzmann and McHugh were still racing wheel-to-wheel, neither willing to surrender a position, with the pair quickly approaching Lack. Kratzmann on the bottom made his way underneath Lack and started to pull away ever so slightly, but just one lap later Lack slid straight back under Kratzmann and the battle between Kratzmann and McHugh resumed. Kratzmann had a massive look on the inside of Lack as they raced down the back straight, with Lack hanging on to the position, only Kratzmann was not done and a lap later he slid back underneath the Q5 racer. Kevin Titman and Ben Hilder were quietly making their way forward and now joined the battle with McHugh, Lack and Kratzmann, with McHugh and Lack coming close to disaster after contact in turn four. Oldfield caught Scheuerle in lapped traffic, which only served to make things even more exciting for race fans. Mark Pholi looped the Q14 racer in turn four, right in front of the leaders, and while he managed to keep the race moving, officials had already brought the race under caution. Pholi was relegated to the rear of the field for the restart.

Andrew Scheuerle led the restart from Luke Oldfield, Mitchell Gee, Bryan Mann and Lachlan McHugh, with McHugh initially under pressure from Brent Kratzmann and Kevin Titman before he pulled ahead enough to challenge Mann and Gee for position, sliding under Mann in turn three, only for Mann to return serve in turn four. Oldfield was all over the back of Scheuerle, the leading duo demonstrating just how good Sprintcar racing can be. Mann raced underneath Gee as they came out of turn two, with McHugh following on the bottom and sliding underneath Mann in turn three. In what was essentially a repeat of the previous laps, only with Gee now behind then, Mann again slid straight back past McHugh in a sensational drive through turn four. McHugh had another couple of big looks up the inside of Mann on the following lap, while Kratzmann started putting pressure on Gee and joined the battle for the minor places. Kevin Titman came to a stop in turn two and brought the race back under caution with eight exhilarating laps to go.

Andrew Scheuerle again led the restart from Luke Oldfield with Bryan Mann in third ahead of Lachlan McHugh, Mitchell Gee and Brent Kratzmann. One lap into the restart McHugh raced up the inside of Mann, only for Mann to come back hard on the high side and not only remain third, but had a quick look underneath Oldfield in an attempt to steal second. Gee and McHugh battled for the minor places while further back in the field Ben Hilder, Dan Murray and Dylan Menz were having a great race amongst themselves. Menz made his way past Murray and started looking for a way past Hilder, only for Murray to fight back on the bottom. It was sensational racing from the entire field but it was Andrew Scheuerle who finally got the win after a long and dynamic race. Luke Oldfield secured second with Lachlan McHugh across the line in third after a very close call as he stole third from Mann in the closing stages of the race. Bryan Mann finished fourth with Mitchell Gee rounding out the top five. Brent Kratzmann crossed the line in a very impressive sixth, while Dylan Menz ran the high line around Ben Hilder beautifully and snatched seventh as they exited the final corner. Ben Hilder finished eighth after an impressive run and led Dan Murray, Brad Ayers, Nathan McFarlane (who came from thirteenth in the B-Main to an impressive eleventh in the A-Main), Mark Pholi, Kevin Titman, Darren Silcock and Brett Minett across the line. Jayden Peacock, Peter Lack and Mick Sauer all failed to finish the event.

Sprintcars Queensland will take next weekend off before heading back to Hi-Tec Oils Speedway in Toowoomba the following weekend, Saturday 25 March 2017. These boys seem to get better every week so you will not want to miss this one. If you can’t get trackside in Toowoomba though, you can always tune in live to clayperview.com and for around $30.00 you can watch the action from the comfort of your home. Nothing beats being there though, so if you can, find your way to Hi-Tec Oils Speedway in Toowoomba on Saturday 25 March 2017 and see all the racing action for yourself. It will no doubt be another thrilling night of Sprintcar racing action not to be missed! See you trackside!


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