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Kicking Up The Dirt - ECL Series - Round 12
Joanne White posted Sunday March 10, 2019.

Lachlan McHugh got the win in Round Twelve of the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Series at Ausdeck Patios and Roofing Archerfield Speedway last night after a truly breathtaking battle with Australian Sprintcar Champion Andrew Scheuerle for most of the race. Scheuerle led most of the race after starting from the front row, while McHugh quickly found his way into second and started challenging Scheuerle for control of the race. The pair switched positions several times, with McHugh persistent and unrelenting while Scheuerle refused to surrender, but with lapped traffic in play it all came undone for Scheuerle with half a dozen laps to run. McHugh was charging around the top side while Scheuerle tried to get underneath the lapped car of Andrew Corbet as they rounded three, but contact between Scheuerle and Corbet ended with Scheuerle making heavy contact with the turn three wall and Corbet up-side-down. Unfortunately neither were able to restart the event. Lachlan McHugh got the win ahead of Luke Oldfield while Kevin Titman had a great run to finish third, with Peter Lack and Ben Hilder rounding out the top five.

Qualifying got underway with Luke Oldfield again topping the leader board, stopping the clock at 11.790 seconds. Andrew Scheuerle was second quickest with a 11.802 second lap, while Peter Lack (11.934), Michael Saller (11.980) and Kevin Titman (11.991) rounded out the fastest five, and were the only other drivers to get into the 11-second bracket. Bryan Mann, in his first Archerfield appearance this season, beat Cody Maroske by just three thousandths of a second, while Brent Kratzmann, Bryan Mann, Cody Maroske, Allan Woods, Ben Hilder and Lachlan McHugh were all separated by less than one tenth of a second. The top twenty-four cars were separated by less than one second, while just 1.5 seconds separated the twenty-nine qualifiers. Unfortunately for Randy Morgan engine dramas on board the Q54 racer eliminated him from the competition last night before completing a qualifying lap.

Heat one started with Sean Rose and Kristy Bonsey from the front row, but it was Bonsey who got the better start and quickly took control of the race. As Bonsey began to open a comfortable lead, Anthony Lambert displaced both Ryan McNamara and Sean Rose, taking second for himself, while behind them Brent Kratzmann and Luke Oldfield got the better of Bryan Mann and began challenging Ryan McNamara. McNamara got underneath Rose, and as the pair moved slightly up track, momentarily blocking Oldfield on the high side, Kratzmann made his move on the bottom, getting underneath both Oldfield and Rose before having a quick look underneath McNamara as well. Oldfield quickly made his way underneath Rose, with Mann right on his tail, and set out after Kratzmann and McNamara, but could not quite get close enough to make a move before the chequered flag fell. Kristy Bonsey easily got the win ahead of Anthony Lambert and Ryan McNamara, with Brent Kratzmann home in fourth, leading Luke Oldfield, Bryan Mann, Trent Vardy, Jason King and James Grady across the line. Sean Rose pulled out of the event after completing just four laps.

Adam Butler and Phill Foster led the field to the green flag for the start of heat two with Butler leading the way once the lights went green. Foster settled into second with both Kevin Titman and Lachlan McHugh on his tail and managed to keep his rivals at bay for a few laps. Titman and McHugh had a thrilling battle for the minor positions, racing side-by-side for a few laps before McHugh finally managed to secure the advantage, getting underneath Titman as they rounded turn four before slipping by on the inside of Foster half a lap later. McHugh soon made his way past race leader Butler, as Titman found his way ahead of Foster, only for the race to be brought under caution moments later for the spun car of Geoff Davey in turn two. Butler led the restart from McHugh and Foster, while Titman sat in fourth but was quickly under immense pressure from Andrew Scheuerle. Scheuerle got underneath Titman as they rounded turns one and two, only for Titman to fire straight back as they raced through turns three and four. Scheuerle charged back on the bottom of turn one, getting underneath Foster as well, but Titman made heavy contact with the turn one wall and brought the race to a stop. Unfortunately for Titman he was unable to continue the race. McHugh led the restart ahead of Butler and Foster, while Cody Maroske raced underneath Scheuerle to briefly take over fourth. Scheuerle quickly regained his position before leading Maroske past Foster, while at the rear of the field Libby Ellis and Geoff Davey came together in turn four and brought the race under caution. McHugh again led the restart and went on to take the win while Andrew Scheuerle managed to finish second after displacing Adam Butler in the final few laps of the race. Butler finished third, having successfully defended his position from Cody Maroske, with Maroske home in fourth ahead of Phill Foster, Brandon Haynes and Kevin Britten. Libby Ellis, Geoff Davey and Kevin Titman all failed to finish the event.

Peter Campbell and Andrew Corbet shared the front row for the start of heat three, and while Corbet got the better start and led the first field through the first couple of corners, Campbell spun the NQ22 racer in turn two and brought the race under caution. A full restart followed with Paul Rooks elevated to pole position, and while Rooks and Corbet raced wheel-to-wheel towards the first corner, it was Corbet on the high side who secured the advantage. Ben Hilder was phenomenal on the top side, quickly racing around Rooks and securing second, leaving Rooks with Peter Lack on his tail and nine and half laps left to run. Lack had a big but unsuccessful look on the inside of Rooks before Rooks pulled slightly ahead, while out in front Hilder was quickly closing in on Corbet. As Lack relentlessly pursued Rooks, the pair could do nothing to catch the battle in front of them for control of the race, with Hilder getting around Corbet and into the race lead before Corbet fought back to regain the lead. Andrew Corbet went on to take the win ahead of Ben Hilder, while Peter Lack eventually got the better of Paul Rooks to claim third. Paul Rooks finished fourth and led Michael Saller, Nick Whell, Peter Campbell, Des Collier, in his first competitive drive in about nine years, and Allan Woods across the line.

Phill Foster started heat four from pole position with Kevin Titman alongside and Andrew Corbet and Ben Hilder right behind. Titman quickly secured the led when the green flag flew, with Foster initially settling into second before succumbing to the pressure applied by Hilder. Mid-field Lachlan McHugh began trying to make his way forward, searching for a way past Corbet and Foster, with Andrew Scheuerle closing in fast. The race was brought under caution after just three laps with Corbet stranded in turn two, while it was Titman who led them all back to the green. Titman was untouchable out in front while the battles for the minor positions, between Hilder and McHugh for second, and Foster and Scheuerle for fourth, really started to heat up. McHugh was determined and relentless as he searched the back of Hilder for a way past, occasionally attempting to get by only to have Hilder deny him a way through. Kevin Titman made it look easy as he took a much needed win, with Ben Hilder coming home in second ahead of Lachlan McHugh, Andrew Scheuerle, Phill Foster, Adam Butler, Andrew Corbet, Sean Rose and Des Collier.

Kevin Britten and Allan Woods led the field for the start of heat five, with Woods immediately taking control but it was deeper in the field that saw chaos unfold. Cody Maroske, Luke Oldfield and Brent Kratzmann were three-wide through turn one, each fighting for the same piece of race track, when contact between Oldfield and Kratzmann saw Kratzmann, on the low line, climb over the front end of Oldfield before rolling the always immaculately presented Q2 racer end-to-end towards the turn one fence. Kratzmann landed right way up and not only was he unscathed, the car seemed to have only suffered relatively minor damage. In fact, a few minutes work from crew chief Drew Gessner was enough to enable Kratzmann to restart at the rear of the field, albeit with a little damage to his wings, and finish the race. Oldfield too was able to restart the event, but without the front wing on the Q17 racer. A full restart followed and again it was Woods who led the way, securing the lead despite pressure from Britten. Oldfield didn’t let his lack of a front wing slow him down, and quickly took to the high line in an effort to make his way forward. Brandon Haynes brought the race under caution with a spin in turn two, with Woods to again lead the restart ahead of Britten and Cody Maroske. Oldfield raced around Ryan McNamara before getting underneath Maroske a couple of laps later, while Kratzmann searched for a way past Nick Whell. Allan Woods got the win ahead of Kevin Britten while Luke Oldfield did a remarkable job to finish third despite the opening lap incident. Cody Maroske was fourth across the line ahead of Ryan McNamara, Nick Whell, Brent Kratzmann, Brandon Haynes and Jason King.

Paul Rooks and Kristy Bonsey shared the front row for the start of the sixth and final heat of the night, and while the leading duo raced wheel-to-wheel into the first corner, it was Rooks who managed to secure the race lead. Bonsey settled into second but soon surrendered the position to Bryan Mann and Peter Lack, with Mann and Lack then spending a couple of laps closing in on the back of Rooks. Mann had a brief and unsuccessful look on the outside of Rooks before getting by on the inside a few laps later, leaving Rooks and Lack to resume their battle from the earlier heat. Lack was relentless in his search for a way past, but Rooks, again driving the Q96 racer, refused to give up his position. Bryan Mann got the win ahead of Paul Rooks, Peter Lack, Anthony Lambert, Michael Saller, Trent Vardy, Geoff Davey, James Grady and Peter Campbell. Kristy Bonsey did not finish the event.

Michael Saller and Andrew Scheuerle shared the front row for the start of the six-lap Dash event. Scheuerle was unstoppable out in front once he secured the lead and while Saller settled into second all eyes were on Cody Maroske as he charged through underneath Peter Lack, Ben Hilder and Luke Oldfield to move into third on the opening lap. Lachlan McHugh made his way underneath Bryan Mann, Peter Lack and Ben Hilder before turning his attention to Oldfield, while Oldfield searched high and low for a way back past Maroske. A small mistake from Maroske in turn four saw him loose positions to McHugh, Lack and Mann, but there was no stopping Andrew Scheuerle as he raced to victory, leading Michael Saller and Luke Oldfield across the line. Lachlan McHugh finished fourth ahead of Peter Lack, Bryan Mann, Cody Maroske and Ben Hilder.

Fourteen cars hit the track for the fifteen-lap B-Main event, with only the top four finishers to transfer to the A-Main. Kevin Britten and Andrew Corbet led them to the green, with Britten quickly securing the lead in advance of Corbet while Kristy Bonsey briefly held down third before surrendering to Adam Butler and Trent Vardy. Bonsey faded further as Brandon Haynes slipped through on the inside, while Trent Vardy had a brilliant run in the Q55 racer as he began challenging Butler for third. Des Collier and Nick Whell had a great battle for a few laps deep in the field, as did Sean Rose and Jason King, while Brandon Haynes began challenging Trent Vardy for the final transfer to the A-Main. Vardy had a brilliant run, arguably his best night in a Sprintcar to date, but Haynes managed to make his way into fourth as they navigated lapped traffic. Nick Whell had a spin in turn two that brought the race under caution, with Britten, Corbet, Butler and Haynes to lead them back underway. Vardy resumed his challenge to Haynes in an effort to regain a transfer position but could not quite get the job done before the chequered flag. Kevin Britten got the win ahead of Andrew Corbet, Adam Butler and Brandon Haynes, with Trent Vardy forced to settle for fifth. Kristy Bonsey come home in sixth and led Peter Campbell, Des Collier, Jason King, Geoff Davey, Nick Whell, James Grady, Libby Ellis and Sean Rose across the line.

Andrew Scheuerle and Michael Saller led the field to the green for the start of the feature event, with Scheuerle quickly securing the lead when the lights went green. Lachlan McHugh quickly displaced Saller from second and set out after Scheuerle, while Saller was left to try and defend his position from Luke Oldfield. Deeper in the field Andrew Corbet made his way around Paul Rooks before slipping underneath Ryan McNamara, while Kevin Titman tried to get around Brent Kratzmann, as Kratzmann attempted to race underneath Cody Maroske. The race was promptly brought under caution though when Brandon Haynes spun to a stop in turn four just a few laps into the race.

Andrew Scheuerle led the restart from Lachlan McHugh and Michael Saller, while deeper in the field Ryan McNamara made heavy contact with the wall coming out of turn two and lost a few positions as he recovered. Luke Oldfield was all over the back of Saller, soon getting around Saller as they made their way through turn two, while mid-field Brent Kratzmann and Kevin Titman were embroiled in their own intense battle for track position. McHugh and Oldfield closed in on Scheuerle and the race lead as the trio entered lapped traffic, and while Scheuerle was quick to put lapped cars between himself and his rivals, McHugh and Oldfield were just as good and stayed with Scheuerle lap after lap. McHugh edged closer to Scheuerle with each passing lap, before sliding underneath the A1 racer and into the race lead as they rounded turn four. Scheuerle fought back on the inside and immediately regained the lead, but McHugh was not done. The battle captivated the crowd for a few more laps before the leaders happened upon the lapped car of Andrew Corbet. McHugh was committed to the high side, trying to get around both Scheuerle and Corbet as they rounded turn three, while Scheuerle was on the bottom, trying to get underneath Corbet and maintain control of the race. Unfortunately contact between Scheuerle and the luckless Corbet ended with Scheuerle going head first into the turn three wall, while Corbet inverted the Q78 racer and brought the race to a stop. While both Corbet and Scheuerle walked away from the incident, neither were able to restart the race.

Lachlan McHugh led the restart from Luke Oldfield and Ben Hilder, with Kevin Titman and Peter Lack close behind. Titman got around Hilder half a lap into the restart, while mid-field Brent Kratzmann made his way underneath Michael Saller before turning his attention to Bryan Mann and Anthony Lambert. Mann got past Lambert, leaving Lambert to try and defend his position from Kratzmann, but Kratzmann was too quick and managed to get underneath Lambert before challenging Mann for sixth. Lachlan McHugh got the win ahead of Luke Oldfield, with Kevin Titman snaring the third and final podium position. Peter Lack got the better of Ben Hilder before the chequered flag to secure fourth with Ben Hilder rounding out the top five. Bryan Mann managed to hold off a hard-charging Brent Kratzmann to get sixth, with Kratzmann seventh across the line ahead of Anthony Lambert, Michael Saller, Allan Woods and Kevin Britten. Paul Rooks finished twelfth just a fraction ahead of Ryan McNamara, but contact between the pair as they took the chequered flag launched McNamara high into the air in what was a rather large wreck in the turn one fence. Adam Butler finished fourteenth ahead of Brandon Haynes, while Andrew Scheuerle, Andrew Corbet and Cody Maroske failed to finish the event.

Sprintcars Queensland will take next weekend off before returning to Ausdeck Patios and Roofing Archerfield Speedway on Saturday 23 March 2019 for another HUGE night of Sprintcar racing… See you trackside!


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