Kicking Up The Dirt - East Coast Logistics Series - Round 3
Joanne White posted Sunday October 15, 2017.
Twenty-seven Sprintcars rolled into AusDeck Patios and Roofing Archerfield Speedway last night in an effort to contest Round Three of the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Series. Andrew Scheuerle was looking to make it a three in a row after winning the opening two rounds of the series but Mother Nature had other plans. Despite the imminent threat of inclement weather, the rain avoided the track all day and Archerfield Speedway promoter John Kelly did everything he could to try and get the race meeting in. We were able to complete qualifying and the first round of heats before conditions forced the abandonment of the remainder of the program.
Luke Oldfield secured his third Quick Time in qualifying, stopping the clock at a very quick 11.511 seconds, while Peter Lack had some good pace in the Q5 racer to lock in the second fastest qualifying time (11.592). Mitchell Gee, Ben Hilder and Steve Greer rounded out the fastest five drivers in the qualifying sessions, while eight cars managed to dip into the 11-second bracket. Nelson Reddacliff smashed his personal best lap time by an impressive 0.4 seconds, while the top twenty-two cars qualified with less than one second between them. Qualifying was not without issues though with Mark Pholi seeming to have some mechanical problems in the Q14 racer which resulted in a time much slower than we are accustomed to seeing from him. Kristy Bonsey struck drama in turn three during her run and collided heavily with wall but made it back trackside for her heat event. Steve Rowell and Callum Walker came together during their qualifying turn, with Walker spectacularly inverting the immaculately presented Q33 racer in turn three. Walker was unscathed in the incident but his night was over somewhat prematurely.
With the wind picking up and very light rain starting to fall heat one rolled onto the track, though both Brett Minett and Andrew Liebke elected not to compete. With Minett out of the race Mark Pholi inherited pole position for the start with Andrew Corbet alongside. The first start was aborted when officials deemed Pholi to have jumped the start, while the second attempt almost ended in disaster for both drivers when they came together racing towards turn one. Andrew Scheuerle and Brock Dean were left with nowhere to go and collided with Corbet, the chaos bringing the race under caution. Pholi, Scheuerle and Dean were all able to restart the race, however the Q78 racer of Andrew Corbet was fork-lifted from the track and unable to continue. Pholi led the field to the restart with Dave Whell, who was initially scheduled to start from position six, now sharing the front row. Pholi and Whell raced side-by-side into turn one but it was Pholi who managed to secure the lead as they headed towards turn two. Whell settled into second with Scheuerle close behind, while deeper in the field Lachlan McHugh was trying to find his way past Brock Dean. McHugh raced under Dean and set out after Scheuerle, who, after just a few laps, was challenging Whell for second. Scheuerle patiently searched high and low for a way past Whell but Whell drove a faultless race, successfully defending his position. McHugh closed in on Scheuerle and quickly raced underneath the Q25 in turn one, only to bounce through a rut in turn two and give Scheuerle the only invitation he needed to regain his position. Scheuerle quickly opened a small margin on McHugh and began closing in on Whell once more. Mark Pholi got the win, a little over four seconds ahead of Dave Whell in second. Andrew Scheuerle came home in third and led Lachlan McHugh, Brock Dean and Kris Jennings across the line. Andrew Corbet did not finish the event.
Heat two hit the track but without original pole-sitter Stewart Craig. Brent Kratzmann moved forward to join Andrew Marks on the front row for the start and quickly secured the lead when the lights went green. Marks settled into second while Karl Hoffmans dropped several positions after climbing the right rear wheel of Brad Ayers as they fought over third. Kratzmann and Marks started opening a small margin over Ayers and the rest of the field, while Mick Sauer and Mitchell Gee started working their way through the field as they edged closer to the front-runners. Brent Kratzmann was first past the chequered flag while Andrew Marks finished a very comfortable second, but it was the battle for the minors that had the crowd captivated. Brad Ayers hung on to finish third just two tenths of a second ahead of Mitchell Gee, who crossed the line side-by-side with Mick Sauer. Gee beat Sauer to the line by a tiny one tenth of second, with Mitchell Gee officially fourth and leading Mick Sauer, Ben Hilder, Karl Hoffmans and Kristy Bonsey across the line.
Heat three was supposed to see Steve Rowell and Callum Walker share the front row for the start, but, after their incident in qualifying and with bad weather only minutes away, neither driver started the race. Dan Murray and Mitch Gowland inherited the front row for the start with Murray securing the lead when the green flag flew. Gowland settled into second while Nelson Reddacliff held down third. Luke Oldfield and Peter Lack tried to race either side of Steve Greer and they raced through turn one, the trio momentarily three-wide in the opening corner, with Greer closing the door on Lack and Oldfield powering around the outside. By the time they hit turn two they were all over the back of Reddacliff, with Greer looking for a way underneath the Q85 racer while Oldfield tried the top. Oldfield secured the advantage over Greer, before racing underneath Reddacliff a lap and a half later, while Lack quickly made his way under Greer and turned his attention to Reddacliff. Lack spent several laps on the tail of the Q85 racer, searching for a way past, before racing up the inside as they made their way down the main straight. Meanwhile Oldfield had caught, and passed Mitch Gowland and was rapidly closing in on Murray and the race lead. With the white flag in the air Oldfield made his move as they raced towards turn one for the final lap of the race, slipping into the lead with just three quarters of a lap left to run. Luke Oldfield got the win ahead of Dan Murray while Peter Lack managed to secure third after displacing Mitch Gowland. Gowland crossed the line in fourth ahead of Nelson Reddacliff, Steve Greer and Adam Butler.
Unfortunately only a few minutes after the third heat was completed the light rain that had been threatening to fall all evening set in. While the rain was only light, it was persistent and with plenty more rain following, Archerfield Speedway promoter John Kelly was left with no choice but to abandon the rest of the race meeting. Sprintcars Queensland will head back to Hi-Tec Oils Speedway in Toowoomba next Saturday night, 21 October (which can be live steamed for a small fee at clayperview.com if you cannot make it trackside), before returning to AusDeck Patios and Roofing Archerfield Speedway the following weekend, Saturday 28 October 2017. See you there!
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