Kicking Up The Dirt - ECL Series - Round 16
Joanne White posted Sunday May 26, 2019.
Thirty Sprintcars rolled into Ausdeck Archerfield Speedway last night for the second last time this season and treated the large crowd to some truly breath-taking racing. Peter Lack advanced through the three shootout events to earn pole position for the main race, with Kevin Titman sharing the front row. Titman led the field to the first corner but soon surrendered control to a determined Lack who went on to lead the first half of the race. Andrew Scheuerle, who displaced both Cody Maroske and Michael Saller in the first five laps to advance to third, came on strong at mid-race distance, catching Titman and Lack in lapped traffic. Scheuerle raced beautifully underneath Titman as they headed down the back straight before getting up the inside of Lack and getting his nose in front of Lack less than half a lap later. Lack fired back around the top side, refusing to surrender the lead, but Scheuerle was not done and persisted on the bottom, spending a few laps looking underneath Lack before eventually getting the job done and taking over the race lead. Lack of course fought back but soon found both Kevin Titman and Lachlan McHugh, who had transferred from the B-Main, on his tail. Titman got underneath Lack and moved into second, with McHugh looking to follow him through, but Lack dove back underneath Titman, shutting the door on McHugh, as they rounded turn three with twelve laps left to run. The trio raced three-wide through turn four as they negotiated over second, with Titman leading them into turn one. McHugh and Lack traded places back and forth as they fought over the final podium position with Cody Maroske closing in behind. Maroske made heavy contact with the wall and brought the race to a stop with only four laps left to run. Lack raced around Titman when the race resumed and set his sights on Scheuerle, challenging the Australian Champion all the way to the line, while Titman tried to hold off the hard-charging McHugh. Andrew Scheuerle got the win with Peter Lack home in second and Lachlan McHugh snaring third. Kevin Titman crossed the line in fourth, with Michael Saller rounding out the top five. Bryan Mann rode a massive crash in the Q16 racer with just two and half laps completed. The wonderful people of the crash crew and trackside paramedics assisted him off the track and we wish him a very speedy recovery.
When qualifying got underway track conditions improved with each qualifying run. Cody Maroske, in the last group to qualify, managed to secure the quickest time, stopping the clock at 11.605 seconds on his final qualifying lap. Michael Saller locked in second quickest with a 11.661 second lap while young Aaron Kelly recorded an 11.871 second lap and finished third overall in the qualifying session. Mark Pholi and Darren Jensen rounded out the fastest five, while less than one second separated the top twenty-one drivers.
Heat one started with Brad Ayers and Richard Morgan from the front row and while the pair raced-side-by-side into turn one it was Morgan on the high side who managed to secure the race lead. Ayers settled into second while Ben Hilder settled into third ahead of Andrew Scheuerle and Bryan Mann. Mann came under enormous pressure from Kevin Titman while behind them Cody Maroske searched for a way past Karl Hoffmans. Titman was absolutely relentless on the back of Mann, the pair closing slightly on Scheuerle as the laps wore on with Maroske closing in fast. Maroske raced underneath Titman as they rounded turn four, with Titman firing straight back as they entered turn one. The pair raced either side of the lapped car of Libby Ellis, with Maroske on the bottom making contact with the front end of the NQ73 racer. Ellis came to a stop in turn two and brought the race under caution with four laps still to run. Morgan led the restart from Ayers and Hilder, while Mann restarted in fourth having got the better of Scheuerle. Scheuerle challenged Mann, as Mann challenged Hilder, but Kevin Titman came on strong, slipping underneath Scheuerle as they rounded turn four before turning his attention to Mann. Richard Morgan got the win, comfortably leading Brad Ayers and Ben Hilder across the line. Bryan Mann was fourth past the chequered flag, leading Kevin Titman, Andrew Scheuerle, Cody Maroske, Karl Hoffmans and Jason King home. Libby Ellis did not finish the race.
Brandon Hayes and Anthony Lambert shared the front row for the start of heat two, with Peter Lack and Lachlan McHugh right behind them. Lambert got a brilliant start and quickly secured the race lead, while McHugh did not let a broken left front shock slow him down, the Q23 racer powering around the top side of Haynes and into second before they hit turn two. Haynes faded quickly, while Peter Lack and Darren Jensen set out after McHugh and Lambert. Lack challenged McHugh, having several big but unsuccessful looks underneath the Q23 racer, while behind them Michael Saller was all over the back of Sean Rose. With two laps left to run the Q75 of Jensen slowed unexpectedly on the main straight, leaving Saller with nowhere to go. Heavy contact followed but fortunately both drivers were able to walk away. Lambert led the restart and easily got the win, while McHugh managed to hold off a hard-charging Peter Lack to finish second. Lack crossed the line third and led Sean Rose, Scott Genrich, Peter Campbell and Brandon Haynes across the line. Darren Jensen and Michael Saller did not finish the event.
Mitch Gowland started heat three from pole position with Dave Whell alongside and Kristy Bonsey and Brent Kratzmann sharing the second row. Whell was too quick for Gowland when the lights went green and quickly powered into the race lead, while Kratzmann from position four did not hesitate, following Whell into turn one and securing second ahead of Gowland and Bonsey. Mark Pholi was quick on the top side and quickly displaced Bonsey from fourth before turning his attention to Gowland, while deeper in the field good friends Trent Vardy and Aaron Kelly had a great battle for the minor positions. Allan Woods made his way past Kristy Bonsey and started closing in on Mitch Gowland, but ran out of laps and could not quite get the job done. Dave Whell took the win ahead of Brent Kratzmann and Mark Pholi, with Mitch Gowland, Allan Woods, Kristy Bonsey, Aaron Kelly, Des Collier and Trent Vardy rounding out the finishers.
Heat four started with Mitch Gowland and Kristy Bonsey sharing the front row, with Bonsey on the high side getting the better start and securing the race lead just moments after the green flag flew. Gowland settled into second while Kevin Titman made his way around Bryan Mann and began challenging Dave Whell for third. Lachlan McHugh raced around Mann before diving underneath Titman moments later before turning his focus to Whell. Titman tried to fight back, challenging McHugh and looking up the inside of Whell, while McHugh attempted to get around both Titman and Whell. McHugh rode the right rear of Whell as they rounded turn three, making heavy contact with the turn three wall and while he was able to keep the car going, he pulled onto the infield half a lap later. Bonsey had a commanding lead while Gowland was under increasing pressure from a very in-form Titman. Titman was absolutely relentless and while Gowland did not surrender without a fight, Titman eventually got through on the bottom and set out after Bonsey. Bonsey hesitated behind lapped traffic with Titman closing in fast and, within just a couple of laps, Titman was challenging for the race lead. Titman took to the high side and raced beautifully around Bonsey and the lapped car, with Bonsey following Titman around the outside. Kevin Titman got the win ahead of Kristy Bonsey, Bryan Mann, Dave Whell, Mitch Gowland, Mark Pholi, Brandon Haynes and Libby Ellis. Lachlan McHugh did not finish the event.
Heat five saw Sean Rose and Brad Ayers take the green from the front row, with Ayers securing the lead ahead of Ben Hilder, Sean Rose and Peter Lack. Lack was on a mission to get to the front and quickly displaced Rose, leaving Rose with Andrew Scheuerle on his tail, with Lack quickly closing in on Hilder. The Q5 racer took to the high side, powering around the top side of Hilder as they rounded turn four before turning his attention to Ayers and the race lead. In less than a lap Lack began searching for a way past the leader, while behind him Hilder was left to defend his position from Andrew Scheuerle, the pair putting on a spectacular show as they negotiated over the minor places. Lack searched high and low for a way past Ayers, patiently searching for the right opportunity racing up the inside of the NQ11 racer as they made their way through turn three. Peter Lack went on to take the win ahead of Brad Ayers, while Andrew Scheuerle held nothing back in his pursuit of Ben Hilder, eventually making his way into third by the fall of the chequered flag. Ben Hilder crossed the line in fourth and led Cody Maroske, Sean Rose, Scott Genrich, Peter Campbell and Jason King home.
The sixth and final heat of the night saw Karl Hoffmans and Richard Morgan lead the nine-car field to the green, with Morgan getting the better start and securing the lead. Hoffmans briefly held down second but soon surrendered the position to Michael Saller, with Hoffmans then coming under increasing pressure from Brent Kratzmann and Allan Woods. At the front of the field Saller closed in on Morgan, the N56 racer wasting no time when he caught the leader, racing around the top side as they made their way through turn four, taking control of the race and starting to open a small margin on his rivals. Woods had a big look up the inside of Kratzmann as they negotiated over mid-field positions with one lap left to run. Kratzmann managed to maintain his advantage and challenged Hoffmans as they rounded the final corner. Contact between the pair almost ended in disaster for both, with Hoffmans left stranded on the track. Michael Saller got the win ahead of Richard Morgan, with Allan Woods crossing the line in third. Anthony Lambert, Aaron Kelly, Brent Kratzmann, Des Collier, Trent Vardy and Karl Hoffmans rounded out the field.
The Bronze Shootout saw Aaron Kelly, Andrew Scheuerle, Allan Woods and Peter Lack race against the clock for the chance to advance to the Silver Shootout. Andrew Scheuerle secured the fastest time (11.911) with Peter Lack taking the second transfer after recording an 11.937 second lap. Allan Woods (12.198) and Aaron Kelly (12.265) were eliminated from the Shootout events.
Mark Pholi and Michael Saller joined Andrew Scheuerle and Peter Lack on track for the Silver Shootout, with Michael Saller this time taking top honours. Saller stopped the clock at 11.798 seconds with Peter Lack again scoring the second and final transfer after stopping the clock at 11.886 seconds. Andrew Scheuerle (11.970) and Mark Pholi (12.257) did not advance to the Gold Shootout.
For the Gold Shootout it was Kevin Titman and Cody Maroske who joined Michael Saller and Peter Lack on the track for the race against the clock. This time it was Peter Lack who secured the quickest time, a 11.875 second lap, and earn pole position for the main race. Kevin Titman stopped the clock at 12.098 and secured a front row start alongside Lack for the A-Main, with Cody Maroske (12.203) and Michael Saller (12.416) set to share the second row of the A-Main starting grid.
Anthony Lambert and Brad Ayers shared the front row for the start of the fifteen-lap B-Main and while they raced side-by-side into turn one, and Ayers soon secured the lead, Lachlan McHugh was on a mission to get to the front. McHugh took to the high side and with just half a lap completed raced around Lambert to secure second before turning his focus to Ayers and the race lead, catching the leader and racing through on the bottom as they competed the first lap. Sean Rose had a look around Anthony Lambert but ended up surrendering positions to Kristy Bonsey and Mitch Gowland in quick succession before the Q56 racer slowed to a stop with a flat right rear tyre. McHugh led the restart from Ayers and Lambert but all eyes were on Bonsey and Gowland as they fought over the final transfer position. Gowland was relentless as he searched for a way around the Q42 racer, but Bonsey held her own and denied Gowland at every opportunity. The race however was soon brought to a stop when a quartet of back markers came together in turn two. Trent Vardy and Peter Campbell came together, with Campbell inverting the NQ22 racer, while Karl Hoffmans and Des Collier also became involved, with Collier inverting the Q36 racer in spectacular fashion. Fortunately all drivers walked away from the incident, with both Campbell and Collier unable to restart the event. Lachlan McHugh led the field back to green light conditions and started opening a sizable lead, a lead that would ultimately extend to half a lap by the fall of the chequered flag, leaving the rest of the field to fight over the minor positions. Lachlan McHugh went on to take the win, as he was about to lap fifth place, an impressive 9.195 seconds ahead of second placed Brad Ayers. Anthony Lambert finished third while Kristy Bonsey held off the advances of Mitch Gowland to finish fourth and secure the final transfer to the A-Main. Mitch Gowland finished fifth and led Trent Vardy, Karl Hoffmans, Jason King and Libby Ellis across the line. Peter Campbell, Des Collier, Sean Rose and Brandon Haynes all failed to finish the event.
Peter Lack and Kevin Titman led the field of eighteen cars to the start of the thirty-lap A-Main event, with Cody Maroske, Michael Saller, Andrew Scheuerle and Mark Pholi close behind. Titman managed to secure the led when the green flag flew, but it was short-lived as Lack charged through on the bottom and took control before they entered the second corner of the race. Allan Woods and Aaron Kelly tried to race either side of Pholi, while behind them Richard Morgan made his way underneath Brent Kratzmann. Morgan and Kratzmann began challenging Woods, the trio racing three wide through turn three just moments before the race was brought to a sudden stop. Bryan Mann rode out a massive crash in turn three, getting considerable height in the Q16 racer before landing back on the track. The incredible people on the crash crew and the paramedics on scene helped Mann from the car, and reports from the team this morning say he has suffered a compression fracture to his T5 vertebrae.
With twenty-eight laps left to run Peter Lack led the restart from Kevin Titman and Cody Maroske, with Andrew Scheuerle, Michael Saller and Aaron Kelly close behind. Scheuerle spent just a lap or two chasing Maroske before sliding through on the bottom and taking over third and setting his sights on Titman and Lack. Lachlan McHugh was carving his way through the field, a big task from the back of a quality line up, and quickly displaced both Ben Hilder and Brent Kratzmann before getting underneath Allan Woods a lap later. While McHugh kept moving forward, with Richard Morgan and Mark Pholi next in his line of sight, Kratzmann and Hilder had a thrilling battle mid-field and the leaders began navigating lapped traffic. Titman and Scheuerle closed in on Lack with each passing lap, with Scheuerle having a particularly impressive run on the bottom, slipping up the inside of Titman as they raced down the back straight before having a massive look underneath Lack as they rounded turn four. Scheuerle managed to get his nose in front as they raced down the main straight, but Lack was determined and fought back valiantly on the top side, regaining the lead less than half a lap later and leaving Scheuerle with Titman on his tail. Lack led for another few laps, despite the pressure from Scheuerle, but Scheuerle eventually got through on the bottom and took control of the race. Lack soon found Titman and McHugh on his tail, with Titman slipping underneath the Q5 racer and into second. McHugh looked underneath Lack, but Lack shut the door, diving back underneath Titman to regain second moments before the trio raced three-wide through turn four with twelve laps left to run. Titman was the first of the trio to turn one, leaving Lack and McHugh to fight over third, as Maroske began closing in and started challenging for a podium position of his own. Maroske managed to get ahead of McHugh for a couple of laps before McHugh made his way back in front, with McHugh and Lack then exchanging positions back and forth a couple of times. Maroske hit the wall in turn three, inverting the Q22 racer with only four laps left to run. He walked away from the wreck but was unable to continue the race.
Andrew Scheuerle led the restart from Kevin Titman and Peter Lack with Lachlan McHugh in fourth. Lack seemed re-energised on the start and quickly took to the high line racing around Titman and into second before starting to challenge Scheuerle for the race lead. Andrew Scheuerle got the win with Peter Lack across the line in second while Lachlan McHugh got the better of Kevin Titman with one lap left to run. Lachlan McHugh finished third ahead of Kevin Titman with Michael Saller rounding out the top five. Mark Pholi crossed the line sixth and led Aaron Kelly, Richard Morgan, Allan Woods, Brent Kratzmann, Ben Hilder, Anthony Lambert and Kristy Bonsey past the chequered flag. Cody Maroske, Dave Whell, Scott Genrich, Brad Ayers and Bryan Mann all failed to finish the action-packed affair.
Sprintcars Queensland will return to Archerfield Speedway next Saturday night, 01 June 2019, for the last run in Brisbane this season. It will be a massive night of Sprintcar racing so come along and see it all for yourself. From everyone here at Sprintcars Queensland we also wish Bryan Mann a very speedy recovery and hope to see him at the track again soon.
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