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Kicking Up The Dirt – Queensland Title
Joanne White posted Monday May 6, 2019.

Lachlan McHugh got a hard-fought win in the Queensland Sprintcar Title at Hi-Tec-Oils Toowoomba Speedway last night, racing to victory after starting back in tenth position. It really was a truly EPIC feature event, full of passing, with an intense four-way battle for the lead over the final ten laps, several lead changes and some thrilling battles all the way through the field. Defending Queensland Champion Mitchell Gee finished second, having led briefly late in the race, while Marcus Dumesny finished third and rounded out the Queensland Title podium. Danny Reidy had a phenomenal run to finish fourth, after a captivating battle with Michael Saller, while Bryan Mann got the better of Saller in the final few laps of the race to finish fifth. Andrew Scheuerle led the first twenty-seven laps of the race quite comfortably but faded to seventh by the fall of the chequered flag as a Gee, McHugh and Dumesny made their way in front and fought over the lead.

The night started off-song for Kevin Titman, who, along with his hard-working team, completed an engine change between engine starts and hot laps, while Randy Morgan had a rough start to the Queensland Title, setting the second quickest hot lapping time before making heavy contact with the wall coming out of turn four and inverting the Q54 racer in spectacular fashion. Morgan walked away from the wreck and while he missed qualifying, the team put in an enormous effort to get him back trackside for his first heat.

Qualifying got underway and while Aaron Kelly set the benchmark early, stopping the clock at an impressive 10.589 seconds, it was Australian Sprintcar Champion Andrew Scheuerle who not only secured quick time in qualifying, but lowered the one-lap record from 10.498 seconds (as set by Luke Oldfield just over a year ago) to 10.482 seconds. Marcus Dumesny was second quickest in qualifying last night, his 10.537 second lap just 0.055 seconds slower than Scheuerle, while Brent Kratzmann was just 0.026 seconds behind Dumesny when he stopped the clock at 10.563 seconds and secured third quickest of the twenty-nine cars. Aaron Kelly was fourth quick, an impressive effort for his first Sprintcar Queensland Title, while Bryan Mann rounded out the fastest five. Luke Oldfield beat Kevin Titman by just two thousandths of a second, while deeper in the field Geoff Davey beat Anthony Vanderreyden by the same tiny margin. The top twenty-five cars were separated by just 0.839 seconds, while the fastest fourteen were all inside the ten-second bracket, making for an extremely tough night of competition.

Heat one saw Anthony Vanderreyden and Mark Pholi share the front row for the start, and while Vanderreyden briefly secured the advantage when the lights went green, Pholi soon raced beautifully around the outside and into the race lead. Deeper in the field Luke Oldfield was beginning to make his way forward, taking to the high line to get around Anthony Lambert before setting his sights on Kevin Titman. Titman closed in on Vanderreyden, putting all kinds of pressure on the Q72 racer before eventually getting around the outside as they made their way through turns three and four, with Oldfield following a lap later. Mitchell Gee was having an impressive run on the top side in the V3 racer, battling over mid-field positions with both Lambert and Aaron Kelly, but the race was brought under caution with just two laps left to run when Lambert made heavy contact with the wall exiting turn four and tore the rear end out of the Q90 racer. Lambert managed to keep the car from rolling but was unable to continue the race. Pholi led the restart from Titman and Oldfield, and while Pholi got a great start when the race resumed Titman was determined and charged on the bottom, having a big look underneath Pholi as they fought over the race lead. Pholi managed to maintain the lead while Titman had a quick look on the top side before sliding underneath Pholi as they rounded the final corner of the race, with Oldfield right on his tail. Kevin Titman got the win ahead of Luke Oldfield, Mark Pholi, Mitchell Gee, Anthony Vanderreyden, Andrew Scheuerle, Michael Saller and Jason King. Anthony Lambert did not finish the event.

Geoff Davey and Karl Hoffmans led the field to the green for the start of heat two, and while Davey initially secured the lead the officials soon brought the race under caution, sending Davey back one row for jumping the start. Ben Hilder was elevated to pole position for the restart and quickly secured the race lead when the green flag flew, while Peter Lack raced underneath Hoffmans to move into second, just as the race was brought under caution for the spun car of Davey in turn two. Another full restart followed with Hilder again securing the lead. Hoffmans settled into second but immediately came under pressure from Mitch Gowland who was trying to advance on the low side, while behind them Allan Woods and Peter Lack negotiated over the minor positions. Lack took to the high side and raced exquisitely around both Woods and Gowland before switching to the bottom and getting underneath Hoffmans as they rounded turns one and two. Davey again brought the race under caution, spinning the NQ74 racer, leaving Sean Rose nowhere to go. Hilder led the restart while Lack chased after Hoffmans, and Woods, Gowland and Marcus Dumesny negotiated over positions behind them. Woods and Dumesny made their way past Gowland, leaving Gowland to try and defend his position from Bryan Mann, while Woods and Dumesny had a truly brilliant battle as they tried to find a way past Hoffmans. Dumesny looped the #40 racer but managed to keep it moving, and while he lost ground on Woods the race was soon brought under caution when Gowland spun to a stop. Hilder again led the restart from Lack and Hoffmans and while the leaders were able to open a small margin on those behind them, it was hard not to watch Woods and Dumesny as they exchanged positions back and forth with four laps to go. Dumesny had an unsuccessful look underneath Woods, with Woods soon trying get underneath Hoffmans, only for Hoffmans to deny him a way through. Woods and Dumesny were unrelenting though, captivating the crowd until Dumesny again looped the car and lost ground on Woods once more. Lack closed in on Hilder as they raced closer to the chequered flag but it was Ben Hilder who got the win ahead of Peter Lack and Allan Woods. Bryan Mann finished fourth ahead of Karl Hoffmans, Marcus Dumesny, Libby Ellis, Mitch Gowland, Sean Rose and Geoff Davey.

When heat three got underway all eyes were on Kristy Bonsey as she raced boldly underneath the pole-sitter just as the lights went green, racing spectacularly into the race lead from position three. Danny Reidy, from position five, was quick to challenge Bonsey though, having quickly displaced the other rivals, with Reidy soon taking control of the race. Nathan Black faded quickly and found himself in a tense battle with Brent Kratzmann, while Lachlan McHugh and Aaron Kelly battled mid-field. The race was brought to a stop just four laps in when Brent Kratzmann hit the wall and spectacularly inverted the immaculately presented Q2 racer, rolling several times down the main straight. Fortunately Kratzmann was able to walk away from the wreck, but was sadly unable to continue the race. Danny Reidy led the restart from Blake Darcy and Lachlan McHugh. McHugh took to the high line and began searching for a way around Darcy, eventually getting the job done as they raced through turn two a few laps into the restart. McHugh set his sights on Reidy and race lead with only four laps left to run, starting to close in on the #5 racer as the laps wore on. McHugh had a brief and unsuccessful look underneath Reidy as they rounded the final corner, but it was Danny Reidy who got the win ahead of Lachlan McHugh and Blake Darcy when the chequered flag flew. Aaron Kelly crossed the line an impressive fourth, leading Kristy Bonsey, Nathan Black, Nicholas Whell and Jai Stephenson across the line. Brent Kratzmann did not finish the event, while Randy Morgan, back after his earlier crash, pulled out of the event before taking the green.

Jai Stephenson and Blake Darcy led the field to the green for the start of heat four, with Darcy securing the lead ahead of Stephenson and Peter Lack. Brent Kratzmann, back trackside after his huge crash in the earlier heat, was mesmerising on the high side as he raced around Nicholas Whell and Lachlan McHugh, while McHugh was looking to move forward from the rear of the field. Lack started putting pressure on Stephenson but the race was brought to a stop for Brent Kratzmann who had slowed to a stop on the bottom of turn four. Darcy led the restart from Stephenson, Lack and Mitchell Gee, with Lack quickly racing underneath Stephenson when the lights went green and stealing second. The race however was soon brought under caution, with Darcy eventually penalised two positions for hitting the cone on the last restart, handing control of the race to Lack. Lack led them back to green light conditions with five laps left to run. Gee was spectacular on the high side of Lachlan McHugh, taking the V3 racer to the high side and racing around McHugh before switching to the bottom and sliding beautifully underneath Darcy. Darcy fought back and regained his position from Gee, with McHugh following him through but Mitchell Gee was not done and again fought back to regain the position. Peter Lack got the win ahead of Jai Stephenson with Mitchell Gee securing third. Blake Darcy crossed the line fourth ahead of Lachlan McHugh, Andrew Scheuerle, Brent Kratzmann, Nicholas Whell and Libby Ellis.

Jason King started heat five from pole position with Karl Hoffmans alongside, the leading duo racing side-by-side through the opening corners before Hoffmans managed to secure the lead. Ben Hilder made his way into second while Allan Woods raced around King and into the top three. Luke Oldfield again took the high line, quickly displacing both Mark Pholi and Jason King, while Marcus Dumesny made impressive progress forward and became embroiled in an intense battle with Oldfield as they battled over fourth and fifth. Hoffmans had control of the race but was under enormous pressure from Hilder, the pair putting on a spectacular show as they negotiated over control of the race, the lead changing several times while behind them Woods and Dumesny switched places a couple of times as they fought over the minor positions. Hilder took control from Hoffmans, leaving Hoffmans to try and defend his position from both Woods and Dumesny, but Dumesny was in magnificent form and soon got the better of both Woods and Hoffmans and set out after Hilder. Dumesny, who had started from position eight, slid underneath Hilder and took over the race lead, while Luke Oldfield began closing in on Woods and Hilder. Woods and Hilder had a thrilling battle for second and third, while Oldfield had a bold but ultimately unsuccessful look up the inside of Woods as they rounded the final corner. Marcus Dumesny got the win ahead of Ben Hilder and Allan Woods, with Luke Oldfield home in fourth and leading Danny Reidy, Karl Hoffmans, Mark Pholi and Jason King across the line.

The final heat of the night started with Anthony Vanderreyden and Nathan Black sharing the front row, with Vanderreyden securing the lead when the lights went green. From deep in the field Michael Saller took to the high line, making impressive progress forward before being momentarily caught behind Nathan Black. Kevin Titman climbed over the right rear of the car in front, while Mitch Gowland made his way underneath Vanderreyden, both drivers having already surrendered positions to Saller, with Kevin Titman soon racing around Vanderreyden and beginning to challenge Gowland once more before making his way around the top side. Aaron Kelly started closing in on both Titman and Gowland, the teenager challenging Gowland for a lap or two before making his way through on the bottom and setting his sights on Titman with two laps to run. Michael Saller got the win, from position six, with Kevin Titman home in second ahead of an impressive Aaron Kelly. Mitch Gowland crossed the line in fourth and led Bryan Mann, Nathan Black, Anthony Vanderreyden, Kristy Bonsey, Geoff Davey and Sean Rose past the chequered flag.
?The Bronze Shootout hit the track with Bryan Mann, Mitchell Gee, Allan Woods and Kevin Titman taking to the track for a couple of qualifying laps. Allan Woods was the quickest of the quartet, stopping the clock at 11.352 seconds, with Mitchell Gee second quickest (11.547) and doing enough to advance to the Silver Shootout. Kevin Titman (12.022) and Bryan Mann (12.114) were eliminated from the Shootout events.

Andrew Scheuerle and Michael Saller (who replaced an engine in the N56 racer after the heats events concluded) joined Allan Woods and Mitchell Gee on track for the Silver Shootout. Andrew Scheuerle this time locked in the quickest time, an 11.537 second lap, while Mitchell Gee again managed to secure a transfer, his 11.969 second lap enough to beat both Allan Woods (12.112) and Michael Saller (12.125). Woods and Saller would start the main race from positions five and six respectively.

The Gold Shootout rolled onto the track with Marcus Dumesny the highest points scorer of the night ahead of young Aaron Kelly. Dumesny and Kelly joined Andrew Scheuerle and Mitchell Gee on track but it was Marcus Dumesny who secured the quickest time (11.324) and secured pole position for the Title race. Aaron Kelly, in his first Sprintcar Queensland Title and first Sprintcar race meeting at Hi-Tec Oils Toowoomba Speedway, stopped the clock at 11.745 seconds to earn a front row start for the main race. Andrew Scheuerle would start from position three after locking in a 12.038 second lap in the Gold Shootout, while Mitchell Gee, who spun to a stop before completing a lap in the Gold Shootout and was subsequently eliminated from the event, would start the main race from position four.

Mark Pholi and Kristy Bonsey led the field to the green for the start of the twelve lap B-Main event, with Pholi quickly securing the lead when the green flag flew. Nicholas Whell settled into second while Nathan Black took to the high side in an effort to move forward through turn four. Jai Stephenson and Karl Hoffmans came together in turn four while negotiating over track position, leaving both Anthony Lambert and Anthony Vanderreyden nowhere to go. Unfortunately Vanderreyden suffered front end damage in the incident which ended his race, with Hoffmans also unable to restart. Pholi led the restart from Whell and Bonsey with eleven laps still to run, with Bonsey coming under increasing pressure from Black. Whell closed in a little on Pholi but it was hard not to watch the battle behind the leaders as they argued over the final transfer spots. Bonsey sat in third with both Black and Jason King on her tail, but a spin in turn four with just five laps left to run saw Bonsey bring the race under caution and surrender her spot in the A-Main. Bonsey restarted at the rear of the field while Pholi, Whell, Black and King led them back to green light conditions. Whell had a bold look underneath Pholi as they negotiated over the race lead, almost managed to take control of the race, but Pholi fought back on the top side. Jai Stephenson started making his way forward, edging closer to a transfer position, while Jason King made his way underneath Nathan Black. Black surrendered a position to Stephenson, who then started searching for a way past King. Mark Pholi got the win ahead of Nicholas Whell and Jai Stephenson with Jason King securing the final transfer position. Libby Ellis crossed the line an impressive fifth, only narrowly missing out on a transfer to the main race, with Geoff Davey, Kristy Bonsey, Sean Rose and Nathan Black rounding out the finishers. Anthony Lambert, Karl Hoffmans and Anthony Vanderreyden all failed to finish the event.

Marcus Dumesny and Aaron Kelly shared the front row for the start of the main race, but it was Andrew Scheuerle from position three who quickly moved into the race lead once the lights went green. Allan Woods and Lachlan McHugh both began making their way forward, with Woods moving ahead of Mitchell Gee and challenging Kelly on the top side. Lachlan McHugh and Luke Oldfield battled mid-field, both eager to get to the front after starting deep in the field, but the race was brought under caution when Kevin Titman made contact with the concrete wall and slowed to a stop in turn two. Damage to the front end of the Q59 racer of Titman left him out of the race with just four laps completed.

Andrew Scheuerle led the restart from Marcus Dumesny and Allan Woods, with Aaron Kelly close behind and thirty-one laps still to run. Kelly got into the back of Woods as they took the green, setting off a chain reaction behind that left Kelly with a flat rear tyre. While Kelly tried to battle on the race was brought under caution and he retired to the infield and out of the race.

With thirty laps still on the board Andrew Scheuerle again led them to the restart with Marcus Dumesny, and Allan Woods on his tail. The battle for the minors was in full swing, with Danny Reidy, Michael Saller, Lachlan McHugh and Peter Lack racing four wide through turn two, while Allan Woods and Mitchell Gee traded blows as they negotiated over third and fourth. Reidy soon joined Woods and Gee, with Woods then making contact with the wall and pulled out of the event with twenty-two laps still to run. Gee, carrying impressive speed in the V3 racer, began closing in on Dumesny and Scheuerle, catching the leading pair in only a few laps. Dumesny had a quick look underneath Scheuerle but could not quite make it work, with Dumesny soon forced on the defensive as Gee began to challenge on the top side with sixteen laps left to run. Gee switched to the bottom and slid beautifully underneath Dumesny, while behind them Lachlan McHugh and Danny Reidy raced wheel-to-wheel, switching places back and forth a number of times, with Michael Saller closing in fast. As the leaders raced their way past the back markers, it became an intense and exciting four-way battle for control of the race. What followed was an exceptional display of Sprintcar racing that will long be remembered by all those who were lucky enough to witness it. Dumesny, Gee and McHugh traded places back and forth as they negotiated over positions two, three and four, while behind them Danny Reidy and Michael Saller were breath-taking as they switched back and forth and back again several times while fighting over fifth and sixth. Gee ran the top side before switching to the bottom and getting underneath Scheuerle to take control of the race, but it was short-lived as McHugh made his way to the front. Gee and McHugh had a brilliant battle for the lead, with Gee momentarily regaining control before McHugh was finally able to secure control with only a few laps left to run. Lachlan McHugh got the win and is the new Queensland Champion, with Mitchell Gee storming home in second and Marcus Dumesny rounding out the podium in third. Danny Reidy finished fourth ahead of Bryan Mann and Michael Saller, while Andrew Scheuerle, who led comfortably until the final dozen laps, finished seventh. Peter Lack was next across the line ahead of Luke Oldfield, Brent Kratzmann, Jai Stephenson, Ben Hilder, Blake Darcy, Mitch Gowland, Mark Pholi, Nicholas Whell and Jason King. Allan Woods, Aaron Kelly and Kevin Titman all failed to finish the event.

Congratulations to Lachlan McHugh and his team on a very well-deserved Queensland Title win, and to all the drivers and teams who competed last night on a truly exceptional night of Sprintcar racing. Sprintcars Queensland will return to Ausdeck Patios and Roofing Archerfield Speedway next Saturday night, 11 May 2019, for another thrilling night of Sprintcar racing. The track championship is starting to heat up and you will not want to miss a moment of the action. See you trackside race fans!


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