With cars on track and circulating in readiness for the first of two scheduled 20-lap features that would decide round 10 of the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Track Championship at Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway on Saturday night (March 4), a light shower of rain swept across the venue and ultimately brought proceedings to a premature end. Until the weather intervened, it had been Luke Oldfield who again emerged as the standout, securing pole position for the twin features with another dazzling display in qualifying. However, with the features not run, there will be little change in the championship standings with Andrew Scheuerle maintaining his series lead ahead of Peter Lack and Oldfield.
As he has done so often of late, Oldfield recorded the fastest lap in time trials, leaving it until his final run against the clock to set 11.733 and edge out Bryan Mann (11.753), Scheuerle (11.878), Ben Hilder (11.930) and an impressive Cody Maroske (11.950). Brock Dean and David Whell were the only others to go under 12 seconds, with Dan Murray, Lack and Paul Rooks rounding out the top ten. Unfortunately for Brent Kratzmann and Mark Pholi, neither driver would take any further part in proceedings, leaving 35 cars to tackle the heats.
The opening heat saw Anthony Lambert launch from the front row to lead while Lachlan McHugh and Mitchell Gee engaged in the first of their battles for the night, the two teenagers finishing behind Lambert in that order.
In only his second outing for the season, Brad Ayers took out heat two ahead of Andrew Marks and Simon Jupe.
Kristy Bonsey led every lap of heat three except the one that matters most, with Lack swooping around the outside on the final corner to snatch a last gasp win, with Callum Walker finishing in third spot.
A stunning run from Oldfield in heat four saw him charge from position eight to emulate Lack’s effort with a last lap pass on Jupe to score a rousing win. Kevin Titman finished in third spot.
Determined not to be upstaged by his championship challengers, Scheuerle upped the ante in heat five when he also charged to victory, rounding up McHugh, Gee, Lambert and Anthony Vanderreyden in his charge to the front. McHugh bested Gee again to finish in second in spot as Vanderreyden fell to fourth after leading the opening laps.
The final heat also proved a thriller with Callum Walker keeping Lack at bay to take the race, leaving Rob Hamilton some three seconds further back in third spot.
In a race that saw five rookies in the six-car field, Mitch Gowland motored home to win the Lucas Oils C Main over Neil Howard, Scott Johnston, Kevin Hill, Tim Ford and Brendan Parker, with only the first two advancing to the back of the East Coast Logistics B Main, which was halted for an extended period following a heavy crash from Vanderreyden on the opening lap.
Once the B Main got underway though, it proved a cracking race between Gee and McHugh that saw the pair not only skip clear of the field but put on a fine exhibition of two-wide racing that produced another great finish. The two swapped positions throughout the race in pursuit of victory, despite the fact that they were both guaranteed a feature race start simply by filling the top two spots. McHugh looked like he had snatched the win when he moved ahead of Gee on the final lap, only for Gee to surge through the final turn to take the race by a mere 0.221. Ayers and Andrew Liebke secured the final transfer spots, with their efforts ultimately going unrewarded once the rain arrived.
Contesting their first ever Queensland Championship, the RSA Street Stocks presented with 26 cars, all of whom were from south of the border and it was Sydney's Andrew Espener who prevailed in the opening heat over Josh Donnelly and Nigel Oneill.
Shane Carlson downed Andrew Fuller and Tim Cartwright in heat two and then Ben Cartwright cleaned up in heat three, leading home Chris Marino and Daniel Forbes.
Andrew Fuller triumphed in heat four from Ben Cartwright and Steve Hall, while recently crowned ACT champion Aaron Barnes proved too quick in heat five, finishing in advance of Luke Gray and Tim Cartwright.
After a lacklustre opening race, national champ Blake Everleigh bounced back to win heat six, leading Oneill and Donnelly to the line.
Ashley Hall annexed heat seven over Brendan Meyers and Everleigh, with Steve Hall matching his son’s effort with a win in heat eight ahead of the consistent Donnelly and Barnes. The final heat of the night saw an erratic Shaun Devoodi keep Carlson at bay to snare a win, with Espener finishing third.
The only feature race completed on the night saw Ronnie Young cruise home in the Ford vs Holden vs Sigma event to defeat Bernie Wright, Thomas Hunter, David Tookey and Mickey Mitchell.
Sprintcars return next Saturday night (March 11) for round 11 of the East Coast Logistics Track Championship, along with the Polar Ice Midget Track Championship plus AMCA Nationals, Lightning Sprints, Compact Speedcars and Wingless Sprints.