Kicking Up the Dirt - Queensland Title - Night 2
Joanne White posted Monday October 5, 2020.
In what was a dramatic climax to the SRV Road Freight Services Queensland Sprintcar Title it was Lachlan McHugh who took the crown, successfully defending his Title and making it back-to-back state championships. It was not without a fight though with both Kevin Titman and Luke Oldfield pushing McHugh all the way to the line, the NQ7 racer under immense pressure for most of the race as first Titman, then Oldfield, sought their own taste of victory. Oldfield was forced to settle for second, the third time in as many races, while Titman faded to third and into the reach of a rather impressive Randy Morgan. Morgan and Titman raced side-by-side for several laps, with Morgan absolutely relentless as he raced around the high side while Titman ran the bottom. Kevin Titman crossed the line in third to fill the final Queensland Title podium position, with Morgan home in fourth ahead of Callum Walker in a very action-packed race with plenty of thrills and spills.
With no need for qualifying on the second night of a two-night format we were straight into the heat race action after a quick hot-lapping session. Heat seven of the weekend hit the track with Paul Rooks and Randy Morgan leading them to green light conditions, the pair side-by-side into turn one until Morgan managed to secure the lead in advance of Rooks, while Luke Oldfield got the better of Kevin Titman before racing around Kevin Britten and underneath Adam Butler with only half a lap completed. Titman challenged Britten as he searched for a way through, while Oldfield set out after Rooks and Morgan, only for the race to be brought under caution for the spun car of Zack Howell in turn four. Kevin Titman managed to tip the Q59 racer on its side as the cars began to slow for the caution, but was fortunately able to restart the event from the rear of the field. Morgan led the restart from Rooks and Oldfield while mid-field Mark Pholi and Kevin Britten were two abreast as they fought over minor positions. Kevin Titman tried to make his way forward despite a damaged main wing, while closer to the front of the field Oldfield closed in on Rooks and began challenging for second, eventually getting the job done when he caught the back markers. Oldfield set about closing in on Morgan and the race lead, but Morgan was flawless in the Q54 racer and proved unstoppable. Randy Morgan got the win with Luke Oldfield home in second ahead of Paul Rooks and Adam Butler. Mark Pholi finished fifth while Kevin Titman salvaged sixth after a less than ideal start to the event and led Nathan McFarlane and Zack Howell across the line.
Heat eight saw Brendon Claridge start from pole position with Nicholas Whell alongside and Callum Walker and Allan Woods close behind. Claridge got the better start and was quick to secure the lead while Whell sat in second but quickly started searching for a way past the leader. Woods got around Walker, with Lachlan McHugh challenging on the high side and Mitchell Gee within striking distance. McHugh was exceptional on the high line, racing around Walker and turning his attention to Woods while Walker was left to defend his position from a hard-charging Gee. McHugh spent a couple of laps searching for a way past Woods, eventually getting the job done on the inside, and while Woods fought back hard it wasn’t long before McHugh had opened a small margin as he chased down Whell. Whell resisted the advance of McHugh for several laps but the NQ7 was too quick, slipping past the Q21 racer as they navigated the back straight, leaving McHugh a handful of laps to chase down Claridge and the race lead. McHugh closed in fast on the #47 racer and had a massive look on the inside of Claridge as they rounded the final corner, but Claridge stood his ground and refused to surrender control of the race. Brendon Claridge went on to take the win ahead of Lachlan McHugh and Nicholas Whell and Allan Woods, with Mitchell Gee, Callum Walker, Brock Dean, Andrew Baumber and Libby Ellis rounding out the finishers.
Heat nine saw Tim Farrell and Andrew Corbet share the front row for the start in advance of Aaron Kelly and Dave Fanning. Farrell was quick to secure the lead as they took the green, while Kelly immediately looked on the inside of Corbet in an effort to move into second before they turned the first corner. Corbet though was spectacular on the top-side, withstanding the pressure from Kelly and then powering around the outside of Farrell and into the race lead with half a lap completed. Farrell fought back on the bottom as they rounded turn four but it was still Corbet who led the way, while behind them Dave Fanning made his way underneath Aaron Kelly, and Brent Kratzmann and Cody Maroske had a thrilling battle for the minor places. As Corbet pulled ahead and opened a comfortable margin, Fanning began challenging Farrell for second but the race was soon brought under caution when Brodie Tulloch stopped high on the track in turn one. Corbet led the restart from Farrell, Fanning and Kelly with eight laps still to run. When the green flag flew Corbet and Farrell quickly pulled ahead of the rest, while Aaron Kelly had a bold look on the inside of the Q89 racer of Fanning, contact between the pair bringing the race to a stop as Fanning inverted the car in the second corner. Fanning was unscathed but both he and Kelly were unable to continue the race. Corbet again led the restart from Farrell with Brent Kratzmann now running in third ahead of Cody Maroske. Kratzmann had a big look underneath Farrell as they rounded turn two, making his way into second and setting out after Corbet while Farrell tried to defend his position from Maroske. Kratzmann had several looks underneath Corbet as they raced closer to the chequered flag but could not quite find his way into the lead, while Maroske was relentless in his pursuit of Farrell, challenging him all the way to the line. Andrew Corbet got the win ahead of Brent Kratzmann and Tim Farrell with Cody Maroske fourth and leading Kristy Bonsey, Dan Murray and Brodie Tulloch home. Dave Fanning and Aaron Kelly did not finish the event.
Paul Rooks and Nicholas Whell shared the front row to lead the heat ten field to green light conditions, with Rooks getting the best start and quickly securing the lead ahead of Whell and Dave Fanning. Whell was in brilliant form though and slipped underneath Rooks as they completed the first lap taking control of the race, while behind them Fanning came under enormous pressure from Kevin Titman for a few laps before the pair were joined by Luke Oldfield and Mark Pholi. Once Oldfield made his way past Titman and turned his attention to Fanning, Fanning pulled slightly ahead as he closed in on Rooks before slipping underneath the Q43 racer but it was not long before both Rooks and Oldfield were back on the tail of Fanning, the trio fighting it out for the minor positions and entertaining the crowd with some exceptional Sprintcar racing. Oldfield and Rooks raced either side of Fanning, with Rooks committed to the high line and challenging Oldfield for the advantage, but it all came undone for Rooks moments later when he got a fraction too high in turn three, clipped the wall and inverted the car. Rooks was unscathed but unable to continue the race. With four laps left to run Whell led the restart with Oldfield now right on his tail. Whell got a brilliant start and immediately put a small gap between himself and Oldfield and while Oldfield was able to quickly close the gap Nicholas Whell was flawless as he withstood the pressure and went on to take a well-earned win. Luke Oldfield crossed the line in second ahead of Dave Fanning and Kevin Titman, with Mark Pholi, Adam Butler, Nathan McFarlane and Zack Howell rounding out the finishers. Paul Rooks did not finish the ten-lap journey.
Tim Farrell and Brendon Claridge led the field to the green flag when heat eleven got underway, with Andrew Corbet and Allan Woods close behind. Farrell was quick to secure the lead with Claridge settling into second while Woods and Corbet negotiated over third. Mitchell Gee soon joined Corbet and Woods, with Lachlan McHugh also closing in quickly. Corbet and Woods exchanged places a few times, while McHugh made his way underneath Gee and them slipped past Woods and Corbet in quick succession. Corbet fought back, boldly looking on the inside of McHugh half a lap later but was unable to get the job done. The race was brought under caution soon after with Corbet stranded in turn one and unable to continue the race, with Claridge to lead them back to green light conditions ahead of Farrell and McHugh. McHugh raced around Farrell just half a lap into the restart, leaving Farrell with Gee on his tail, but Farrell was not prepared to surrender second so easily and fought back, slipping underneath McHugh a lap later to, albeit briefly, regain second. McHugh again powered around the outside, displacing Farrell and began searching for a way past Claridge, slipping through on the inside as they rounded turn four a few laps later. Lachlan McHugh went on to take he win ahead of Brendon Claridge and Tim Farrell, with Mitchell Gee, Allan Woods, Brock Dean, Andrew Baumber and Libby Ellis rounding out the finishers. Andrew Corbet was the only starter who did not finish the event.
The final qualifying heat to the Queensland Title saw Aaron Kelly and Kevin Britten share the front row with Kelly getting the jump and securing the advantage when the green flag flew. Britten settled into second while Randy Morgan and Callum Walker negotiated over third and fourth and Brent Kratzmann tried to find his way through with Cody Maroske on his tail. Kratzmann worked the low line perfectly and managed to slip underneath both Walker and Morgan as they rounded turns three and four, just as Britten started looking underneath Kelly as the battle for the lead started to heat up. Britten and Kelly raced two abreast, neither willing to surrender control of the race, with Kelly occasionally pulling ahead only for Britten to again charge back on the low line. Deeper in the field Walker and Maroske were locked in an intense battle for mid-field positions, while Kratzmann closed in on Britten. The race was brought under caution for the spun car of Brodie Tulloch in turn two with four laps left to run. Kelly led the restart from Britten and Kratzmann, with Britten quick to challenge Kelly for the race lead once racing got back underway. This time Britten managed to make it stick as he slipped underneath Kelly and took control of the race one lap into the restart, only for the race to be brought under caution again for Tulloch who had spun in turn four. Kevin Britten led the restart and would go on to take the win ahead of Aaron Kelly and Brent Kratzmann, while the battle for the minor positions between Randy Morgan, Cody Maroske and Callum Walker raged all the way to the chequered flag. Morgan took to the restart in position four with Walker and Maroske close behind, with Walker and Maroske unsuccessfully attempting to race either side of Morgan as they greeted the white flag. Randy Morgan secured fourth while Cody Maroske got underneath Callum Walker on the final former to cross the line in fifth. Walker was sixth across the line ahead of Kristy Bonsey and Dan Murray. Brodie Tulloch did not finish the race.
The top eight qualifiers hit the track for the shootout event, starting with qualifiers five, six, seven and eight in the Bronze Shootout. Kevin Titman topped the time board at the end of the two lap timed event, stopping the clock at 12.861 seconds and earning his spot in the Silver Shootout. Adam Butler recorded a 13.065 second lap, which was enough to see him advance with Titman, leaving Allan Woods and Mitchell Gee to start the main race from positions seven and eight respectively.
Brent Kratzmann joined Kevin Titman and Adam Butler on track for the Silver Shootout, while Cody Maroske, who with his team had only just completed a motor change, elected to sit the event out. Kevin Titman again went fastest (13.021), only narrowly beat Adam Butler (13.054) while Brent Kratzmann (13.075) was eliminated from the event.
The Gold Shootout saw Lachlan McHugh and Luke Oldfield join Kevin Titman and Adam Butler on track for two qualifying laps. Lachlan McHugh was the fastest of the quartet, stopping the clock at an impressive 12.478 seconds and earning pole position for the Queensland Title race. Luke Oldfield would again join him on the front row for the start after securing second in the Gold Shootout with a 12.638 second lap, leaving Adam Butler (13.075) and Kevin Titman (13.081) to share the second row for the start of the feature event after finishing the shootout event in third and fourth respectively.
Ten cars hit the track for the B-Main and one last chance to earn a start in the A-Main event. Andrew Corbet started from pole position with Mark Pholi alongside, with Corbet securing the race lead when the lights went green. Pholi settled into second in advance of Andrew Baumber but the race was promptly brought under caution when Zach Howell, Libby Ellis and Dan Murray came together in turn two. A full restart followed and while Corbet and Pholi raced wheel-to-wheel into the first turn, it was still Corbet who gained the advantage. Brock Dean searched for a way underneath Kristy Bonsey and Andrew Baumber, while Brodie Tulloch ran around the top side, displacing Dean and turning his attention to Bonsey. As Tulloch looked for a way through on the inside of Bonsey, Dean came under pressure from Dan Murray, the pair putting on a great show as they battled for minor places. Tulloch got the better of Bonsey, while Murray soon got past both Dean and Bonsey and set out after Tulloch. Dean took to the high side to get around Bonsey before starting to close in on Murray and Tulloch, the battle for the final transfers far from over. Once Dean got back past Murray he turned his focus to Tulloch, soon getting past Tulloch and leaving Tulloch to battle Murray. Dean closed on Baumber as the race started to draw to a close and with lapped traffic now in play, both Tulloch and Murray closed in on Baumber and Dean. Andrew Corbet got the win ahead of Mark Pholi, while the battle for third, fourth and fifth raged all the way to the line. Andrew Baumber managed to hang on to third, despite the efforts of Murray and Dean, with Dan Murray just managing to get his nose across the line in fourth and secure the final transfer to the Queensland Title race. Brock Dean finished fifth, his race weekend over, and led Brodie Tulloch, Nathan McFarlane, Kristy Bonsey, Libby Ellis and Zach Howell home.
Twenty of the best in Queensland lined up for the thirty-five-lap affair to decide the new Queensland Sprintcar Champion and there was no holding back when the green flag flew to send them on their way. A very light misty rain had fallen over the venue before the race commenced, adding one extra challenge to an already tough race. Lachlan McHugh and Luke Oldfield led the way, with McHugh getting the jump and quickly securing the lead, while Oldfield settled into second and Kevin Titman and Adam Butler fought over third. Deeper in the field Kevin Britten bicycled the Q34 racer entering turn two before inverting the car and bringing the race to a stop. Britten was unscathed but unable to continue the race.
A full restart followed but it was gain Lachlan McHugh who took control when the lights went green. Luke Oldfield settled into second and immediately started searching high and low for a way past McHugh with Kevin Titman on his tail, while further back Cody Maroske was battling with Brent Kratzmann and Mitchell Gee was running the high side trying to find a way around Allan Woods. Titman managed to get underneath Oldfield and moved spectacularly into second, setting his sights on McHugh and began closing in when the race was stopped once more, this time for Brendon Claridge who inverted the #47 racer in turn three. Claridge escaped injury but his race was over with only one lap completed.
Lachlan McHugh led field for the restart, with Kevin Titman second ahead of Luke Oldfield, Brent Kratzmann and Adam Butler, who had managed to get the better of Cody Maroske. Mitchell Gee was back in eighth but took to the high side to try and move forward while battling Callum Walker. Maroske got the better of Butler, leaving Butler to defend his position from Gee and Walker, while Maroske caught, and slipped underneath, Kratzmann. Gee was brilliant on the top side, relentlessly pursuing both Walker and Butler until he got the job done, while Kratzmann fought back and challenged Maroske for position and, at the front of the field, Titman was having a breath-taking run, bolding looking up the inside of McHugh as he challenged for the race lead. Oldfield stayed close to Titman and McHugh but, for the time being, left the pair to battle between themselves, while behind them Kratzmann was now under increasing pressure from Mitchell Gee and Callum Walker. When the leaders entered lapped traffic Oldfield had a big but unsuccessful look on the inside of Titman, as Maroske really closed in. Kratzmann and Maroske continued to negotiate over the minor positions with Kratzmann fighting back and getting back in front of Maroske, the pair trading places back and forth several times and entertaining the crowd with some thrilling racing. Oldfield searched for a way past Titman, unable to get the job done, but the race was soon paused when Allan Woods came to a stop in turn one after contact with another competitor, leaving the Q28 racer with enough damage to end his race.
Lachlan McHugh led the restart from Kevin Titman and Luke Oldfield with nineteen laps still to run. Aaron Kelly, running mid-field, took to the high line in an effort to find a way around Randy Morgan and Callum Walker, while Maroske and Kratzmann picked up where they left off, with Maroske holding nothing back as he searched for a way past then fourth-placed Kratzmann. Mitchell Gee soon joined Maroske and Kratzmann and while Maroske was forced on the defensive Kratzmann started to pull ever so slightly ahead. Oldfield was all over the back of Titman, with Oldfield, and the others who were running the top, only inches away from the fence. Unfortunately that is right where it all came unstuck for Aaron Kelly. Kelly had made up ground after a less than ideal start to his Queensland Title campaign and had made his way forward in the main race, but got a fraction too high in turn three while running ever so close to the wall and inverted the Q7 racer in truly spectacular fashion. Kelly was unscathed but out of the race, while Mitchell Gee also exited the race, a flat right rear tyre seeing him pull the #65 racer up on the infield.
With fourteen laps still to run it was again Lachlan McHugh, Kevin Titman and Luke Oldfield who led the field back to green light conditions. Oldfield and Titman put on a show as they battled for second, with Oldfield phenomenal on the high side, but the race was again brought to a stop when Brent Kratzmann, while running the high line in fourth, clipped the wall and inverted the immaculately presented Q2 racer in a very similar spot to Kelly a few laps beforehand, with Randy Morgan doing an incredible job to avoid the airborne Kratzmann. Kratzmann was unscathed but unable to finish the race.
Lachlan McHugh led the restart from Kevin Titman, Luke Oldfield and Cody Maroske and while Oldfield finally managed to get around the high side of Titman, Maroske looped the Q5 racer behind them, and in front of the rest of the field, and while Maroske was able to keep the car running, the race had already been brought under caution. Maroske was relegated to the rear of the field, while Titman was reinstated to second place ahead of Oldfield as a lap had not been completed.
Lachlan McHugh led the way back to the restart, with Kevin Titman, Luke Oldfield and Randy Morgan on his tail. Oldfield again took to the high line in an effort to get back around Titman, getting the job done a few laps into the restart, and set his sights on McHugh. Titman was left to fend his position from a rather impressive Randy Morgan, the pair running two-wide for much of the rest of the race. Meanwhile at the front Oldfield soon closed in on McHugh and began challenging for the lead as they raced closer to the chequered flag. Oldfield was relentless and pushed all the way to the line but in the end there was nothing he could do to stop McHugh beating him to the flag. Lachlan McHugh got the win, retaining the Queensland Championship, with Luke Oldfield home in second ahead of Kevin Titman. Randy Morgan finished fourth with Callum Walker rounding out the top five. Adam Butler crossed the line in sixth ahead of Mark Pholi, who had transferred from the B-Main, Cody Maroske, Dan Murray, Tim Farrell, Dave Fanning, Nicholas Whell, Andrew Corbet and Andrew Baumber. Brent Kratzmann, Mitchell Gee, Aaron Kelly, Allan Woods, Brendon Claridge and Kevin Britten all failed to finish the thirty-five-lap affair.
Sprintcars Queensland will return to Hi-Tec Oils Toowoomba Speedway next Saturday night for more thrilling Sprintcar racing action. Until then, take care, be safe and we hope to see as many of you as possible trackside next weekend - COVID-Safe style of course. See you trackside race fans!
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