It was Brock Dean and Matt Pascoe who shared the feature race spoils at Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway on Saturday night (February 25), with Dean holding off the advances of Reid Mackay and Rusty Whittaker to win the Polar Ice Midget main before Pascoe powered home to win round nine of the Think Money Super Sedan Series. Although neither category fronted in big numbers, the racing was good regardless, including some great supporting action from Compact Speedcars, AMCA Nationals and Modlites.
Darren Vine paced the 16-car field in Midget qualifying, stopping the clock at 13.907 to outgun Troy Ware, Dean, Whittaker and Chris Gwilliam. Teammates Dan Biner and Jamie Hall were next best, with Mark George, Dallas Sharp and Reid Mackay rounding out the top ten.
In the opening heat, Sharp raced to his first Midget win, finishing ahead of Vine and George.
Mackay downed Dean and Biner in heat two and then backed up to also win heat three, this time ahead of Whittaker and George.
Perhaps buoyed by his earlier win, Sharp went a little too hard in heat four and spun in front of the field to trigger a pile-up that left Gwilliam upside down and out of the race. Vine inexplicably climbed over the front of Dean and rolled before the restart had even reached the green flag, and with Whatmore, Sharp and Gavin McDowell also on the grass, just three cars remained and it was Dean who took the win over Hall and Kristy Bonsey.
Starting from pole position in the Polar Ice Feature Race, Dean danced clear at the drop of the green and was able to distance himself a little as the chasers settled into a scrap that continued through to the end, all the while edging closer to the race leader. Mackay occupied second spot early, dropped a couple of spots on lap five to Whittaker and Vine before scrambling his way into back to the runner-up spot and then taking the lead momentarily through turn one with three laps to go. Dean was up to the challenge though and immediately reasserted his ascendancy to take the race, which ran without interruption. Mackay was gallant in defeat, with Whittaker ending the night well in third after being hampered by mechanical gremlins in the heats. Having swapped spots with Whittaker several times in the final few laps, Vine finished fourth ahead of Mark George and Troy Ware, who bounced back from a wild ride through turn one in his opening heat. Cal Whatmore secured seventh, with Bonsey enjoying a solid debut to be next best ahead of Brad Harrison and Sharp.
The Super Sedan action kicked off with Dempsie Pails scoring a narrow win over series leader Mark Pagel in the opening heat, with Wayne Randall third.
A patient Pascoe bided his time in heat two before pouncing on lap six to take the lead from Rodney Craft, who remained second to the chequer in advance of Tony Brinkmann.
Wayne Randall scored a close result over Pascoe and Jack Childs in heat three before Brims blitzed the field in heat four, finishing more than seven seconds clear of Pails and Brinkmann.
Brims backed up to win heat five from Brinkmann and Pails and then Pascoe outpaced Randall and Bob McCosker in the final heat to finish as top qualifier.
The Penrite Feature Race Grid Draw saw Pascoe hold on to pole position for the 30-lap feature, with Pagel starting alongside. It was Pascoe who led the field away with Randall rounding up Pagel, Brinkmann and Brims to be running in second spot after five laps and closing in on Pascoe. On lap 13, Randall moved to the front but found himself relegated again by lap 15 as Pascoe regained the ascendancy. Manoeuvring through lapped traffic without incident, Pascoe was able to put some distance between himself and Randall to eventually finish more than two seconds clear. Brims finished in third spot, while Pagel fetched fourth and was the last car on the lead lap. McCosker executed a series of outsode passes to good effect in the early laps to secure fifth, with David Okeefe, Brian Trevithick, Craft and Brinkmann the only other finishers.
Compact Speedcars produced a good field of cars and put on a great display, with Robbie Stewart coming from deep in the field to win the 20-lap feature event. Trent Usher scooted to a an early lead and looked unfazed by the pack that was hounding him until he hit lapped traffic and was shuffled back as far as sixth before rebounding to finish fourth behind Stewart, Wayne Corbett and Nathan Mathers. Chris Pidgeon, Jim Kennedy, Audie Malt, Rick Harrison, Matt Oneill and James Barton completed the top ten in a race that saw all 17 starters still running at the end.
Compact Speedcar heat winners were Stewart, Corbett and Usher, while the Modlite preliminaries saw Steve Collins win two heats and Brad Dawson the other. In the Modlite feature race though it was Sean Rose who raced to the win, downing Collins, Dawson, Alex Coward and Jake McRae.
Jason Dreaver, Steve Potts and Matt Enders shared the spoils in the AMCA Nationals heats, but come feature race time it was the race winning experience of Potts to the fore as he took the 15-lapper from Michael Mason, Nathan Durston, who enjoyed an impressive return after a couple of seasons on the sidelines. Jason Dreaver and Stephen Ward were next best, followed home by Nathan Jones, Anthony Joyce, Nick Storey, Grant Geary and Matt Enders.
Scott Taylor downed Jason Beer and Ben Harris to win the Open Sedan B Feature, with the Open Sedan A Feature falling to Wayne Kirkman over Keith Craft and Michael Taylor.