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Kicking Up The Dirt – ECL Track Championship – Round Thirteen
Joanne White posted Sunday April 30, 2017.

Twenty-Eight Sprintcars rolled into Ausdeck Patios and Roofing Archerfield Speedway last night, Saturday 29 April 2017, for Round Thirteen of the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Track Championship. Andrew Scheuerle was the man to beat all night but a blistering right rear tyre in the feature event hampered his progress and whilst Scheuerle had a commanding lead in the first half of the race, Luke Oldfield soon raced into the lead. Oldfield opened a sizable margin over his rival, while Scheuerle held down a strong second for the rest of the race but with Brent Kratzmann closing in as the laps wore on. Scheuerle crossed the line in second while Brent Kratzmann completed the podium, managing to hold off a hard charging Peter Lack. Kratzmann and Lack battled for much of the race, putting on a mesmerising show for race fans, with Lack forced to settle for fourth at the fall of the chequered flag. Cody Maroske rounded out the top five after an impressive drive from ninth.

Andrew Scheuerle started the night in fine form, securing maximum qualifying points when he clocked the quickest time in qualifying. Scheuerle locked in an impressive 11.778 second lap with Callum Walker having a phenomenal run in the Q33 racer to secure second in the qualifying run. Walker stopped the clock at 11.792 second, just 0.014 seconds slower than Scheuerle, setting himself up beautifully for the rest of the evening. Ben Hilder recorded an 11.878 second lap, which secured him third in qualifying, while Peter Lack and David Murcott rounded out the fastest five, Murcott beating Luke Oldfield by five thousandths of a second.

Heat one started with Mark Pholi and Brett Minett from the front row with Andrew Liebke and Karl Hoffmans right behind them. Pholi managed to get his nose in front as they took the green but Minett was determined on the topside and raced wheel-to-wheel with Pholi into the opening corner. Minett secured the lead in turn two and set about opening a small margin over the rest of the field while Pholi slotted into a comfortable second and Hoffmans got the better of Liebke to settle into third. Andrew Scheuerle was magnificent on the highline, committing to the top when the lights went green, racing around both Luke Oldfield and Dan Murray in the opening couple of corners and turning his attention to Kevin Titman and Andrew Liebke. Titman searched for a way around the outside of Liebke, while Scheuerle switched lines to race under Titman and challenge Liebke for fourth. Scheuerle raced under Liebke as they completed the second lap, setting his sights on Hoffmans and leaving Liebke to try and defend his position from a hard-charging Titman. Titman soon got underneath Liebke and started chasing down Scheuerle, who was putting incredible pressure on Hoffmans as they argued over third. Hoffmans was doing a remarkable job against his more experienced rival but spun the Q3 racer a short time later with six laps left to run. Minett led the restart from Pholi, Scheuerle and Titman, and while Minett started to pull away once more, Scheuerle and Titman focused on trying to find a way past Pholi, and, deeper in the field, Luke Oldfield started making his way to the front, taking to the high line and racing around Dan Murray before turning his attention to Andrew Liebke. Scheuerle made his way past Pholi and started closing in on Minett and the race lead, while Pholi and Titman entertained the crowd as they negotiated over third and fourth, with Oldfield now closing in as well. Titman had a massive look on the inside of Pholi through turns three and four, while Oldfield remained committed to the top before switching to the low side to get underneath Titman. Scheuerle was all over the back of Minett as they raced closer to the chequered flag, with Brett Minett hanging on to take a hard fought and well deserved win. Andrew Scheuerle crossed the line in second ahead of Mark Pholi and Luke Oldfield, with Kevin Titman home in fifth. Dan Murray, Andrew Liebke and Karl Hoffmans rounded out the finishers while Jayden Peacock pulled out of the event after just five laps.

Allan Woods started heat two from pole position with Mitch Gowland alongside and Mick Sauer and Brad Ayers from the second row. Woods got a great start when the green flag flew, quickly settling into the race lead as Sauer challenged Gowland for second. Brodie Tulloch briefly got the better of Brent Kratzmann before Kratzmann raced around the outside of the Q74 racer and turned his attention to Brad Ayers. Callum Walker and David Murcott raced side-by-side for most of the first lap, with Walker quick on the topside and soon gaining the advantage over Murcott. Murcott of course fought back, sliding underneath Walker a lap later, the pair both drifting up track until Walker clipped the wall with his right rear tyre entering turn four and came to a stop bringing the race under caution. Woods led the restart from Gowland and Ayers and while Ayers searched for a way past Gowland, Mick Sauer and David Murcott both raced underneath Brent Kratzmann when the latter ran too wide in turn two. Kratzmann however didn’t surrender without a fight, immediately fighting back on the bottom and, in just half a lap, had raced back underneath both Murcott and Sauer to regain his position. Murcott soon raced under Sauer, trying to catch Kratzmann as Kratzmann closed in on Ayers once more. Kratzmann had several big looks on the inside of Ayers, but Ayers remained focussed and determined and managed to keep the Q2 racer behind. Allan Woods went on to take the win ahead of Mitch Gowland with Brad Ayers securing third. Brent Kratzmann crossed the line in fourth ahead of David Murcott, Mick Sauer, Brodie Tulloch, Callum Walker and Phill Foster.

Heat three started with James Grady and Andrew Corbet sharing the front row ahead of Kristy Bonsey and Andrew Marks. Grady and Corbet raced two abreast to the first corner but it was Corbet on the top side who managed to secure the lead, with Grady settling into second ahead of Bonsey, while Dave Whell raced underneath Andrew Marks to steal fourth. Peter Lack, Cody Maroske and Ben Hilder were all trying to make their way forward from the back of the field, while Bonsey had a massive look underneath Grady as they approached the third turn. Lack raced under Maroske and was attempting to get underneath Hilder when contact with the Q95 Motorguard Motorsport racer of Hilder saw Lack loop his own Q5 racer in the middle of turn four. Lack somehow managed to keep the car moving and avoid a stoppage, and immediately set about making up lost ground. Dave Whell was putting all kinds of pressure on Kristy Bonsey, with Bonsey managing to maintain her position for several laps before Whell finally found a way through. James Grady brought the race under caution though when he spun the Q40 racer in turn four with six laps left to run. Corbet led the restart from Whell and Bonsey but a kerfuffle on the start left Andrew Marks with a damaged front wing and allowed both Ben Hilder and Cody Maroske to slip through, with Peter Lack making his way past soon after. Whell quickly made his way into the race lead while Bonsey started putting pressure on Corbet as Hilder, Maroske and Lack closed in. Hilder and Maroske took to the high line and within a couple of laps both had successfully made their way past Bonsey, leaving Bonsey and Lack to argue over minor positions. Dave Whell took the win ahead of Andrew Corbet and Ben Hilder, with Cody Maroske fourth across the line. Peter Lack eventually managed to get ahead of Kristy Bonsey, finishing in fifth and leading Bonsey, Andrew Marks and James Grady across the line. Jason Bottin and Steven White, who was substituting for Nelson Reddacliff in the Q85 racer both pulled out of the race before the halfway point. Unfortunately for White, mechanical problems had plagued the team all night and would ultimately bring about a very premature end to his night of racing.

James Grady started from pole position in heat four with Andrew Marks alongside. Grady got a great start when the lights went green and momentarily secured the lead but Marks raced spectacularly around the outside and took control of the race by the time the pair entered turn one. Dan Murray soon found his way around Grady while Luke Oldfield, who had started from position six, immediately committed to the highline and began making his way forward. Within one lap Oldfield had raced around both Andrew Corbet and James Grady and was closing in on Murray as they completed the first lap. Half a lap into the second lap of the race and Oldfield had raced around Murray and was already starting to challenge Marks for the race lead. Oldfield was simply sensational on the topside and while Marks was solid in the lead, Oldfield was too quick on the top and stole the lead as they completed the second lap. From there Oldfield began to pull away, leaving Marks in second while Murray closed in. David Murcott was making his way forward and was up to fourth in just two laps, after starting eighth, while behind him Corbet lost several positions when he got too sideways in turn four. Unfortunately for Murcott, engine dramas in the Q83 racer saw him retire to the infield after just six laps, with the problem ending not only his race, but also his entire night of competition. Andrew Corbet and Brodie Tulloch were having a thrilling battle towards the rear of the field, while Luke Oldfield began navigating lapped traffic. Luke Oldfield went on to take the win ahead of Andrew Marks and Dan Murray, with Andrew Scheuerle home in fourth and leading Phill Foster, Brodie Tulloch, Andrew Corbet and James Grady across the line. David Murcott did not finish the event.

Andrew Liebke and Kristy Bonsey lined up alongside each other on the front row for the start of heat five. Liebke got a brilliant start and quickly settled into the race lead while Bonsey held down second in advance of Brett Minett and Karl Hoffmans, who raced side-by-side for almost half a lap until Minett emerged in front. Kevin Titman took to the high line from position six and started looking for his way forward, while Callum Walker skilfully worked the bottom as he tried to race underneath Jayden Peacock, Ben Hilder and Brad Ayers. Ayers and Hilder came out in front while Walker and Peacock exchanged positions several times at the rear of the field entertaining the crowd, while Minett was all over the back of Bonsey, only to come under attack from a very much in form Kevin Titman. Titman raced his way underneath Minett and began closing in on Bonsey, as Bonsey herself edged a little closer to Liebke and the race lead. Hilder and Hoffmans had a thrilling battle two abreast mid field, while Walker and Peacock continued their battle behind them until Peacock pulled out of the event with just six laps completed. Back at the front of the field Titman finally managed to find a way around the outside of Bonsey and within half a lap was challenging Liebke for control of the race. Titman was absolutely relentless and had the immaculately presented Q59 car sailing seemingly effortlessly around the high line, stealing the lead from Liebke with just two laps left to run. Kevin Titman went on to take the win ahead of Andrew Liebke and Kristy Bonsey. Brad Ayers finished fourth and led Brett Minett, Ben Hilder, Callum Walker and Karl Hoffmans across the line. Jayden Peacock did not finish the event.

Heat six started with hard-chargers Mark Pholi and Mick Sauer sharing the front row, the pair racing side-by-side into the first two corners, neither willing to surrender the lead. By the time they exited the second corner though it was Pholi who led the field down the back straight with Sauer in second and Allan Woods holding down third. Peter Lack and Cody Maroske were trying to make their way forward while Brent Kratzmann raced Mitch Gowland to steal fourth at the end of the first lap. Maroske ran the bottom, with Lack on the top side, the pair two abreast as they approached Gowland, looking to go either side of the Q32 racer, only Gowland spun exiting turn three, with both Maroske and Lack only narrowly avoiding contact. Quick reflexes saw Dave Whell somehow avoid the stranded car of Gowland but Jason Bottin, who had been right on the tail of Whell had no time to react and nowhere to go. Bottin made heavy contact with Gowland and while both drivers were unscathed in the incident, neither would make it back trackside for the rest of the evening. Pholi led the restart from Sauer and Woods and while Sauer briefly challenged Pholi for the lead, he was soon forced on the defensive as Woods began challenging for second. Kratzmann soon joined the battle, searching for a way underneath Woods, but contact between the pair in turn three as Kratzmann raced up the inside of the Q28 racer of Woods saw the pair intertwined and stopped in turn three, bringing the race back under caution. Both Woods and Kratzmann restarted at the rear of the field but Woods had a damaged front wing that hampered his progress. Pholi continued to lead from Sauer with Peter Lack advancing two positions to third when Woods and Kratzmann tangled. Pholi had a commanding lead while Lack was all over the back of Sauer, and, behind them, Dave Whell was searching for a way past Cody Maroske, with Kratzmann closing in as the race drew to a close. Mark Pholi got the win ahead of Mick Sauer and Peter Lack, with Cody Maroske finishing fourth and leading Dave Whell, Brent Kratzmann and Allan Woods across the line. Mitch Gowland and Jason Bottin both failed to finish the race.

The starting order for the top eight Dash was decided by a random draw with each driver taking turns to draw a starting position. As highest point scorer of the night going into the event Andrew Scheuerle was first to draw and as has become customary for Scheuerle, he drew pole position. Next up was Luke Oldfield who seems to have a certain knack for sending himself to the rear of the field in these random draws, and last night he drew position seven. Brent Kratzmann, who had entered the event in eighth, would share the front row for the start of the Dash race with Scheuerle after Ben Hilder drew position six, Peter Lack drew position five, Kevin Titman drew position three, Dave Whell drew position eight and Callum Walker drew position four, leaving Kratzmann with position two. Scheuerle quickly secured the lead when the green flag flew with Kratzmann settling into second, with Titman in third. Within half a lap Titman began challenging Kratzmann for position, and when Kratzmann ran too wide in turn four, Titman did not hesitate and raced through on the bottom before turning his focus to Scheuerle. Peter Lack raced up the inside of Callum Walker and began putting pressure on Kratzmann, while Dave Whell, Luke Oldfield and Ben Hilder negotiated over positions further back in the field. Lack was spectacular on the high side as he searched for a way past Kratzmann, but got a little too high in turn four with two laps go and clipped the wall, inverting the Q5 racer and bringing the race to a stop. Lack was not injured and even restarted at the rear of the field, but pulled out of the event not long after the race resumed. Luke Oldfield was all over the back of Callum Waker, but Walker was having a sensational run and managed to hold him off, while behind them the battle between Hilder and Whell intensified. Andrew Scheuerle went on to take the win, declining the Kratzmann Challenge (which would have inverted the top fourteen starters in the A-Main event), with Kevin Titman crossing the line in second. Brent Kratzmann finished third ahead of Callum Walker, Luke Oldfield, Dave Whell and Ben Hilder, with Peter Lack failing to finish the event.

Twelve cars were scheduled to roll out for the B-Main event, but with Mitch Gowland, Jason Bottin and Steven White all failing to make the start the field was reduced to nine cars. Mark Pholi and Mick Sauer led them to the green, with Pholi getting the better start and quickly settling into the race lead. Sauer sat comfortably in second while Kristy Bonsey held down third in advance of Andrew Liebke. Behind the leading quartet Allan Woods was trying to make his way forward and find a way past Andrew Corbet, while also defending his position from Karl Hoffmans. Bonsey, not content with a solid and comfortable third began challenging Sauer for second, having a bold look on the inside of the Q69 racer, but wasn’t quite able to get the job done. Allan Woods finally made his way under Andrew Corbet just as the race was brought under caution for the spun car of Phill Foster in turn three. Pholi led the restart from Sauer and Bonsey with Liebke holding down the fourth and final position that would transfer to the back of the A-Main field. Allan Woods sat in fifth and with a transfer position firmly in his sights, Woods started searching for a way past Liebke, while Liebke tried to find a way past Bonsey and Andrew Corbet had a look on the high side. Woods made it under Liebke in turn two, earning himself a start in the main race, while Corbet challenged Liebke for fifth, only for Foster to come charging through and slip straight underneath Corbet. Mark Pholi went on to take the win ahead of Mick Sauer and Kristy Bonsey, with Allan Woods in fourth. Pholi, Sauer, Bonsey and Woods would all transfer to the back of the starting grid for the A-Main event. Andrew Liebke finished fifth in the B-main event and led Phill Foster, Andrew Corbet, Karl Hoffmans and James Grady across the line.

Andrew Scheuerle and Kevin Titman shared the front row for the start of the main race, and while the leading pair raced side-by-side into the first corner, contact between the pair, and then between Titman and Brent Kratzmann, saw Titman barrel roll the Q59 racer into turn two. The rest of the field took evasive action and managed to avoid a bigger incident and while Titman was not injured in the crash, he was unable to continue the race. His absence from the restart saw Callum Walker elevated to the front row alongside Scheuerle but it was still Scheuerle who secured the lead when the green flag flew. Walker settled into second despite an early challenge from Kratzmann, while Kratzmann held down third but immediately had Luke Oldfield on his tail. Peter Lack took to the high line while Cody Maroske raced under Ben Hilder and started challenging Lack and Dave Whell for position. Deeper in the field Andrew Marks raced up the inside of Mark Pholi and set out after Brett Minett, while at the front of the field Oldfield raced around the outside of Kratzmann and Maroske found his way in front of both Lack and Whell. Minett searched for a way around Dan Murray, but Murray was focussed on trying to get underneath Brad Ayers, giving Andrew Marks the chance to have a bold look underneath Minett. Minett was running the high line beautifully as he tried to get around Murray and Ayers, but got too high in turn three, clipped the wall and inverted the Q94 racer. Minett walked away from the wreck but was unable to continue the race.

With twenty-eight laps still to run it was Andrew Scheuerle who led the restart from Callum Walker and Luke Oldfield, with Brent Kratzmann, Cody Maroske and Peter Lack in hot pursuit. Kratzmann tried to stay on the tail of Oldfield while Lack and Maroske put all kinds of pressure on Kratzmann as they searched for a way forward. Allan Woods and Kristy Bonsey were making impressive progress through the field after transferring from the B-Main, as was Mark Pholi, but before long race leader Scheuerle was entering lapped traffic. Callum Walker was having a great solid run in second, and had an advantage of several car lengths on Oldfield, when an incident in turn four saw Walker collect the outside concrete wall and come to a stop. Unfortunately for Walker he was unable to restart the event.

With twenty-one laps left to run Andrew Scheuerle led the restart from Luke Oldfield and Brent Kratzmann, with Peter Lack, Dave Whell and Cody Maroske all close behind. Scheuerle and Oldfield started to pull away the moment the race resumed, while Lack challenged Kratzmann for third. Mark Pholi and Dan Murray raced two abreast mid field with Allan Woods soon joining their battle, while Cody Maroske chased Dave Whell and waited for the right opportunity to make his move. Kristy Bonsey raced sensationally up the inside of Brodie Tulloch before turning her attention to Andrew Marks and starting to try and close the gap to the Q96 racer. Meanwhile the leaders had again entered lapped traffic, weaving their way through and making it look easy, but lapped traffic allowed Oldfield to not only close in on Scheuerle but race underneath the Q25 racer coming out of turn four to steal the lead. Scheuerle fought back hard and had a massive look underneath Oldfield half a lap later but Oldfield was too quick on the top side and started to pull ahead. Oldfield spent a couple of laps working his way around the outside of Tulloch, Bonsey and Marks, while Scheuerle started to struggle with a tyre that was going off. Scheuerle made his way past the lapped traffic but Brent Kratzmann had significantly closed the gap to Scheuerle and was starting to set up a challenge for second. Ben Hilder and Andrew Marks had a fierce battle mid field, their duel unfolding as Peter Lack tried to find a way though as he chased after Kratzmann. Luke Oldfield got the win with a margin of nearly seven seconds, or about half a lap, over Andrew Scheuerle in second. Brent Kratzmann had a brilliant run to finish third and round out the podium in one of his better results this season, while Peter Lack and Cody Maroske completed the top five. Dave Whell crossed the line in sixth and led Dan Murray, Brad Ayers, Allan Woods, Mark Pholi, Kristy Bonsey and Ben Hilder across the line. Brodie Tulloch finished thirteenth, after stealing the position from Andrew Marks with just half a lap left to run, with Marks home in fourteenth ahead of Mick Sauer. Callum Walker, Brett Minett and Kevin Titman did not finish the event.

Sprintcars Queensland will take next weekend off before they return trackside for three weeks in a row to conclude the season. Our next race will be back at AusDeck Patios and Roofing Archerfield Speedway on Saturday 13 May 2017 for the second last round of the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Track Championship, while the following weekend, 20 May 2017, will see Sprintcars return to Maryborough Speedway for the first time in three years. The final round of the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Track Championship will then unfold back at AusDeck Patios and Roofing Archerfield Speedway on Saturday 27 May 2017 and will conclude our 2016-2017 race season. The championship points battle is really starting to get intense and with one double points night still in play this one is, not for the first time, going to go down to the wire. You will not want to miss a moment of the action so come on out trackside and get another Sprintcar fix before the season ends – these drivers are sure to put on a scintillating show. See you trackside in two weeks!

 

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