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Kicking Up The Dirt - ECL Series - Round 3
Joanne White posted Sunday November 3, 2019.

Last night twenty-nine Sprintcars took to the track at Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway for Round Three of the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Series, with Andrew Scheuerle eventually taking the win despite fierce challenges from both Brent Aprile and Callum Walker. Aprile managed to steal the lead from Scheuerle briefly around mid race distance, but Scheuerle quickly fought back to regain control while Aprile soon surrendered second to a very impressive Walker. Walker held down second quite comfortably, rapidly closing in on Scheuerle in lapped traffic and beginning to challenge for the lead, but Aprile came on strong in the final few laps of the race, timing his run to perfection and getting back past Walker within sight of the white flag. Brent Aprile crossed the line in second with Callum Walker in third to fill the final spot on the podium, leaving Kevin Titman and Brent Kratzmann to round out the top five.

Brent Aprile started the night by topping the qualifying order with a blistering quick 11.402 second lap, narrowly beating Callum Walker, who stopped the clock at 11.474 seconds. Kevin Titman was third quickest (11.522) ahead of Adam Butler (11.534), Brent Kratzmann (11.557) and Andrew Corbet (11.576), with just 0.174 seconds separating the quickest six cars. In fact, less than one second separated the top twenty cars and set us up for a thrilling night of Sprintcar racing. Unfortunately for Jamie O'Neill though his night came to a very premature end when mechanical problems on board the NT24 racer prevented him from recording a time in qualifying.

The first of the Development Series heats to hit the track saw Libby Ellis and Geoff Davey share the front row, and while Ellis got a brilliant start and led the field into the first corner, Davey was too quick on the top side, racing around Ellis and taking control of the race by the time they exited turn two. Davey started to open a sizable lead while Ellis found herself under pressure from Ron Hendrickson, the Q20 racer challenging Ellis for the rest of the race as he tried to find a way into second. Geoff Davey got the win, a little over six seconds ahead of Libby Ellis in second and Ron Hendrickson in third. David Kenway, Cody Reynolds and Erin Vanderreyden rounded out the finishers.

Heat one of the open Sprintcars saw young guns Nick Whell and Ryan McNamara share the front row for the start and lead the field to the green. Whell got a brilliant start and quickly secured the race lead, leaving McNamara in second while Kristy Bonsey got the better of Karl Hoffmans and settled into third. Brent Kratzmann made his way around Hoffmans as they rounded the first corner before turning his attention to Bonsey, while from the tail of the field Brent Aprile was beginning to try and make his way forward, working the high side as he searched for a way around Adam Butler and Dan Murray. Steve Greer and Nelson Reddacliff fought over minor positions at the back of the field, while in front of them Randy Morgan, who had missed his qualifying run due to a loose fuel fitting on board the Q54 racer, battled to try and find a way past Butler, who had surrendered a position to Aprile. Morgan soon got around Butler before beginning to look on the inside of Aprile, trying to find a way through, while Dan Murray and Karl Hoffmans had a great battle until Hoffmans pulled out of the event. The race was brought under caution when Brent Aprile spun the NQ42 racer in turn one, another flat right rear wheel curtailing his efforts and prematurely ending his race. Whell led the restart from McNamara, Bonsey and Kratzmann with three laps to go and while Kratzmann initially challenged Bonsey for third, he was unable to get past the Q42 racer. Randy Morgan had a couple of big looks underneath Dan Murray mid field, but there was no stopping Nick Whell as he raced to victory, his first in a Sprintcar. Ryan McNamara crossed the line second ahead of Kristy Bonsey, Brent Kratzmann, Dan Murray, Randy Morgan, Adam Butler, Nelson Reddacliff and Steve Greer. Brent Aprile and Karl Hoffmans did not finish the event.

Scott Genrich and Tim Farrell led the field to the green for the start of the second open Sprintcar heat of the evening, with Genrich getting the jump from pole position and leading the field through turn one. Farrell settled into second while behind him Brendon Claridge momentarily held down third. Claridge however immediately came under pressure from Aaron Kelly on the high side, and Andrew Scheuerle on the bottom. Kelly managed to get around Claridge by the time they made their way through turn two, leaving Claridge to defend his position from Andrew Scheuerle and a very hard-charging Kevin Titman. Titman looked up the inside of Scheuerle before Scheuerle got underneath Claridge half a lap later, only for Claridge to boldly challenge Scheuerle as they entered turn the three, the Q47 racer looking underneath the Australian Champion in an effort to regain his position. The race was almost immediately brought under caution for the spun cars of Andrew Corbet and Brett Minett in turn two, with Scheuerle being relegated back behind Claridge for the restart. Genrich led them to the green and was essentially unchallenged out in front, while Aaron Kelly briefly challenged Tim Farrell for second before being forced on the defensive as Claridge tried to advance into third. Titman got underneath Scheuerle as they made their way through turn two, the Q59 racer then closing in to challenge Claridge for position before surrendering his position back to Scheuerle a lap and a half later. Titman was absolutely relentless though, and challenged Scheuerle for the rest of the race, searching high and low for a way past before having one last exciting look on the inside of Scheuerle as they rounded the final corner. Scott Genrich got the win ahead of Tim Farrell and Aaron Kelly, with Brendon Claridge home in fourth. Andrew Scheuerle managed to hang on to finish fifth ahead of Kevin Titman, Mitch Gowland and Andrew Baumber. Andrew Corbet and Brett Minett did not finish the event.

Ron Hendrickson and David Kenway shared the front row for the start of the second Development Series heat, with Hendrickson securing the race lead when the green flag flew. Hendrickson immediately started opening a very comfortable lead while Kenway settled into second ahead of Libby Ellis. Ellis and Geoff Davey closed in on Kenway as lapped traffic came into play, with Davey soon racing around Ellis as they tried to find their way past a back marker. Davey was magnificent on the high side, catching Kenway with three quarters of a lap left to run, before racing around the outside of the NQ26 racer and stole second just half a lap before the chequered flag waved. Ron Hendrickson got the win ahead of Geoff Davey and David Kenway, with Libby Ellis home in fourth ahead of Cody Reynolds and Erin Vanderreyden.

The third open Sprintcars heat event started with Randy Morgan from pole position with Tim Farrell alongside. Morgan got a breath-taking start, quickly racing into the lead and taking control of the race by the time they made their way through turn one, while Farrell defended his position from Scott Genrich only to immediately come under fire from a very much in-form Callum Walker. Walker worked the high side beautifully as he challenged Farrell for second, while deeper in the field Kristy Bonsey had a phenomenal drive on the high side, getting the better of Andrew Scheuerle before challenging Brent Aprile for mid-field positions. Kevin Titman raced his way around Andrew Scheuerle a lap later, resuming the battle they had in the earlier heat, while Aprile searched the high line for a way around Scott Genrich. Callum Walker persisted on the high side of Tim Farrell, the pair racing side-by-side for a couple of laps before Walker was able to pull slightly ahead, taking over second and turning his attention to closing the gap to Morgan. Titman was all over the back of Bonsey, while Bonsey refused to surrender and drove a commanding race, withstanding the pressure and hanging on to her position. Titman however soon came under fire from Scheuerle, the Australian Champion getting underneath Titman as they rounded turn four a few laps from home, and while Titman fought back hard there was little he could do to regain his position. Randy Morgan got the win ahead of Callum Walker and Brent Aprile, with Tim Farrell home in fourth. Scott Genrich finished fifth and led Kristy Bonsey, Andrew Scheuerle, Kevin Titman, Steve Greer and Nelson Reddacliff across the line.

The fourth and final heat of the open Sprintcars for the night saw Andrew Corbet and Nick Whell share the front row for the start ahead of Brendon Claridge and Ryan McNamara. Corbet and Whell raced wheel-to-wheel into the first corner, with Corbet soon emerging in front, but a small error from Corbet in turn two gave Whell the only invitation he needed, the teenager quickly switching to the low side the racing underneath Corbet and into the race lead. Corbet settled into second but came under pressure from Ryan McNamara, while Aaron Kelly raced around Claridge and turned his attention to McNamara. Brent Kratzmann got underneath Dan Murray before starting to challenge Adam Butler, while Claridge challenged Kelly in an effort to regain his position. Andrew Baumber brought the race under caution when he spun the NQ2 racer in turn four, with Whell and Corbet to lead them back to green light conditions and eight laps still to run. When the race resumed Kratzmann took to the high side, racing around Butler as they made their way through turn two, before getting past on the high side of Claridge half a lap later. Kratzmann set his sights on Kelly but spent just half a lap closing in on the Q7 racer before slipping though on the inside as they raced down back straight, leaving Kelly and Claridge to their own battle. Kratzmann turned his attention to McNamara, spending the next few laps closing the gap to the Q88 racer, before swiftly displacing McNamara from third, only to make a small error in turn two and allow McNamara back though. Deeper in the field Dan Murray was having an intense battle with Mitch Gowland, with Brett Minett soon joining them to make for a thrilling battle for the minor places as they raced closer to the chequered flag. Minett slid beautifully underneath Gowland and started focussing on Murray but ran out laps and was unable to advance any further. Nick Whell got his second heat race victory of the night, with Andrew Corbet home in second ahead of Ryan McNamara and Brent Kratzmann. Aaron Kelly finished fourth and led Brendon Claridge, Adam Butler, Dan Murray, Brett Minett, Mitch Gowland and Andrew Baumber home.

With a four-way tie on points for positions seven to ten, Kristy Bonsey and Aaron Kelly missed out on a spot in the shootout events based on their qualifying times. Kevin Titman, Ryan McNamara, Adam Butler and Andrew Scheuerle took to the track for the Bronze Shootout, with Kevin Titman topping the leader board at the end of the session. Titman stopped the clock at 12.127 seconds to secure his spot in the Silver Shootout, with Andrew Scheuerle joining him after recording a 12.172 second lap. Adam Butler (12.249) and Ryan McNamara (12.538) were eliminated from the Shootout events.

Nick Whell and Brent Aprile joined Kevin Titman and Andrew Scheuerle on track for the Silver Shootout. This time it was Brent Aprile who secured the quickest time, an 11.984 second lap on his final timed lap. Aprile would advance to the Gold Shootout, while Andrew Scheuerle again did just enough to secure a transfer as well, stopping the clock at 12.001 seconds. Kevin Titman (12.227) and Nick Whell (12.604) were relegated to the infield and out of the Shootout event.

Highest points scorers of the night, Brent Kratzmann and Callum Walker, joined Brent Aprile and Andrew Scheuerle on the track for the Gold Shootout. Brent Kratzmann went on to record the quickest time, an 11.986 second lap, and earn pole position for the start of the main event, while Andrew Scheuerle was just 0.011 seconds slower, stopping the clock at 11.997 seconds. Kratzmann and Scheuerle would share the front row for the start of the A-Main, with Callum Walker (12.040) and Brent Aprile (12.074) right behind.

The B-Main rolled onto the track, with the inclusion of the six Development Series at the rear of the field and Brendon Claridge and Randy Morgan to lead them all to the green. While Claridge and Morgan raced towards turn one together, it was Morgan who emerged in front and started opening a lead on the rest of the field. Claridge settled into second ahead of Mitch Gowland and Steve Greer, while Brett Minett started his climb towards the front of the field, getting underneath Nelson Reddacliff before racing around Andrew Baumber half a lap later. Reddacliff held off a hard-charging Ron Hendrickson while Minett began to close in on Greer. The race was soon brought under caution with Minett spun to a stop in turn four, leaving Baumber nowhere to go. The pair restarted at the rear of the field while Morgan led them all back to green light conditions. Gowland challenged Claridge for position, before running a little wide as they approached turn three, allowing Greer to slip through on the inside. But Gowland quickly fought back, racing up the inside of Greer as they rounded turn four as Reddacliff began to close in and start searching for a way into one of the coveted transfer positions. Libby Ellis brought the race under caution with six laps still to run, with Morgan still unstoppable out in front. Randy Morgan went on to take the win ahead of Mitch Gowland and Brendon Claridge, with Steve Greer crossing the line fourth and securing the final transfer to the A-Main. Nelson Reddacliff finished fifth while Brett Minett had a phenomenal run to come back from the rear of the field and finish sixth ahead of Geoff Davey, Ron Hendrickson, Andrew Baumber, Cody Reynolds, Libby Ellis and Erin Vanderreyden.

Brent Kratzmann and Andrew Scheuerle shared the front row for the start of the thirty-lap A-Main event, with Callum Walker and Brent Aprile right behind them. Kratzmann got the initial jump and led them into turn one, but Scheuerle was too quick on the top side and quickly raced around Kratzmann and into the race lead, while Aprile quickly followed, moving his way into second as they rounded turn two before challenging Scheuerle for control of the race in turn three. Kevin Titman managed to get around Callum Walker in the opening couple of corners before turning his attention to Kratzmann, racing under the Q2 racer as they navigated turns three and four. Walker got underneath Kratzmann a lap later, while deeper in the field Ryan McNamara and Nick Whell were having their own battle for mid-field positions, until McNamara faded back a few positions, leaving Butler to defend his position from Aaron Kelly and Kristy Bonsey. Kelly and Bonsey had a great battle for minor positions, the pair quickly closing in on Whell just outside the top five, while behind them Scott Genrich and Mitch Gowland raced wheel-to-wheel as Brett Minett, who had started the main event from position nineteen, started making his way forward, joining Genrich and Gowland in their battle for minor positions. Meanwhile Scheuerle had begun to try and make his way through heavy lapped traffic, with both Aprile and Titman closing in fast. Titman had a couple of very bold looks underneath Aprile but got momentarily caught behind a lapped car and could not quite get the better of Aprile. A caution followed soon after for the spun car of Brendon Claridge in turn four with nineteen laps still to run.

Andrew Scheuerle led the restart from Brent Aprile, Kevin Titman, Callum Walker and Brent Kratzmann, with Aaron Kelly sitting in sixth. Less than a lap into the restart though and Steve Greer spun the immaculately presented Q84 racer in turn and brought the race back under caution.

Still with nineteen laps left to run it was again Andrew Scheuerle who led the restart, but unbeknown to the leaders Steve Greer and Brendon Claridge came together on the back straight, as the leaders took the green, with Claridge inverting the Q47 racer in the middle of the back straight. The field, already spread out from a long single file restart, quickly approached the up-turned car of Claridge and attempted to take evasive action. Andrew Corbet, in a completely separate incident, inverted the Q78 car in turn two, while Callum Walker and Brent Kratzmann almost came together while trying to avoid the up-side-down Claridge. With little time to react and nowhere else to go Aaron Kelly attempted to get around the top side of Claridge, but clipped the upturned car with his own front end before ploughing in the concrete wall and ending up on his side. Fortunately all drivers walked away from the incident, though Claridge, Corbet and Kelly were all unable to restart the event. Officials relegated Greer to the infield for his part in the incident and the earlier caution.

Andrew Scheuerle, Brent Aprile, Kevin Titman, Callum Walker and Brent Kratzmann again led the field back to green light conditions on the restart, and while Aprile started challenging Scheuerle for the race lead, Walker slipped up the inside of Titman to steal third as they navigated turn two. Titman of course fought back, having a bold look on the inside of Walker several times before Walker managed to open a small margin on the Q59 racer. Walker set out after Aprile and Scheuerle, while deeper in the field it was hard to ignore Brett Minett as he charged through the field, working the high line and weaving his way past his opposition to make his way inside the top ten. Back at the front though all eyes were on Aprile as he committed to a bold run on the inside of the Australian Champion as they rounded turns three and four, with Aprile successfully making his way in front and taking control of the race only a lap or two past half race distance. It was short lived for Aprile though, with Scheuerle firing back a lap later, racing up the inside of Aprile and regaining control of the race, leaving Aprile only a car length or two ahead of Walker. Walker was mesmerising as he quietly worked the top-side, closing the gap to Aprile before making it all too so easy as he raced around Aprile and into second. Walker set his sights on Scheuerle, slowly closing the gap as the leaders made their way through lapped traffic, with Aprile still staying close behind. Deep in the field and about to go a lap down, Randy Morgan and Ryan McNamara were racing side-by-side, thrilling the crowd and making it a little trickier for the leaders to find a way through. Walker closed in on Scheuerle but could not quite get close enough to make a move, while Aprile had dropped back a few car lengths before coming on exceptionally strong with only a handful of laps remaining. Aprile raced through on the bottom of Walker as they rounded turn four with just one more lap left to run, leaving Walker with Titman on this tail for the final circulation under green light conditions. Andrew Scheuerle got the win ahead of Brent Aprile and Callum Walker, with Kevin Titman and Brent Kratzmann rounding out the top five. Adam Butler finished sixth while Brett Minett managed to cross the line in seventh after coming from position nineteen. Nick Whell had a phenomenal night to come home in a very impressive eighth ahead of Kristy Bonsey and Tim Farrell. Ryan McNamara, Randy Morgan, Scott Genrich, Mitch Gowland and Dan Murray rounded out the finishers, while Aaron Kelly, Andrew Corbet, Steve Greer and Brendon Claridge all failed to finish the event.

Sprintcars Queensland will return to Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway in two weeks time, on Saturday 16 November 2019, for Round 4 of the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Series. Come and join us trackside for a great family-friendly night out and some thrilling Sprintcar racing. See you trackside!

 

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