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  • Andrew Scheuerle executed a miraculous last gasp victory in round two of the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Track Championship at Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway on Saturday night (October 7), chasing down Luke Oldfield in the final metres of the event to prevail by just 0.016 seconds after 30 torrid laps of racing. On a super sticky race track, Oldfield established a substantial lead after qualifying on pole position and still looked a certain winner for all but those final moments, finishing runner-up behind Scheuerle for the second round in succession. Further back, a mesmerising battle for third spot resulted in Lachlan McHugh besting fellow teens Mitchell Gee and Callum Walker to secure third spot.

    In the second round of racing in the Polar Ice Midget Track Championship, Scott Farmer powered to victory in the 25-lap feature event. Rusty Whittaker set the pace for much of the duration but had no answer when Farmer pounced on lap 17, leaving the defending champ to settle for second ahead of a barnstorming Troy Ware, who bounced back from a wild heat race wreck to finish third ahead of Reid Mackay and Darren Vine.

    On a newly laid track surface and under threatening skies, 22 cars hit the track for Sprintcar qualifying and it was Oldfield who emerged with KRE Quick Time, topping the timesheets at 11.721 to edge out Gee (11.751), Scheuerle (11.869) and surprise packet Brad Ayers (11.880), with Mark Pholi (11.929), Ben Hilder (11.955), Brent Kratzmann (11.972) and David Whell (11.998) the only others to run under 12 seconds.

    Walker whipped his rivals in the opening heat, finishing half a second clear of Oldfield, with Peter Lack trailing in third ahead of McHugh.

    A late addition to the field, Simon Jupe headed Hilder and Kratzmann in winning heat two, while Gee suffered a setback when he hooked a rut and took a tumble that also eliminated Jayden Peacock.

    A kamikaze move from David Whell resulted in a kerfuffle in turn two on the opening lap of heat three that put both Whell and Bryan Zelinski on the infield. Despite starting from the back of the inversion, Oldfield found his way to the front to defeat Kratzmann and McHugh.

    Pholi and Gee swapped the lead in the final heat before the latter ultimately prevailed, leaving Lack to fend off Scheuerle in securing third.

    A fortuitous pre-race grid draw saw Oldfield retain pole position for the Dash and he was untroubled in leading throughout the 6-lapper, finishing in advance of Scheuerle, Hilder, Gee, Kratzmann, Lack, Pholi and Ayers.

    An uncharacteristically subdued B Main resulted in a win for Karl Hoffmans over Andrew Liebke and Rob Hamilton, with Mitch Gowland securing the final transfer into the main event.

    When the feature field was launched into action, it was Scheuerle who shot to the lead and held sway for five laps before Oldfield zoomed to the front and set forth building a buffer that looked more than enough even as the laps wound down but ultimately proved insufficient by the narrowest margin, the merest hindrance in lapped traffic enabling Scheuerle to pounce for his second win in as many rounds. The fight for the final podium position was a cracker, with Gee and the 10th-starting McHugh putting on a terrific display before being joined by Walker, who had stormed through the field after an opening lap tangle saw him restart from the rear. These three young guns were spectacular on a challenging track that rewarded the fearless and just when it looked like McHugh had a lock on third, Gee moved ahead again before a final change in the order gave McHugh the advantage when it mattered most. Hilder finished sixth ahead of Lack and Kratzmann, with Pholi and Nelson Reddacliff rounding out the top ten. Whell, Liebke, Andrew Marks, Hoffmans and Gowland completed the finishers, while it was Ayers who made the most spectacular exit with a wild ride along the main straight.

    Lightning Sprint convert Peter Campbell completely dominated the opening round of the Sprintcar Development Series, winning both heats and the feature race with a minimum of fuss. Kris Jennings finished second on each occasion, while Aleesha Woods improved with each outing and was rewarded with third place in the feature race, which doubled as the C main and afforded the opportunity for two drivers to advance into the B Main.

    The opening Midget heat race saw Whittaker outgun Robbie Stewart and Reid Mackay, followed by a Ware win over Vine and Mackay in heat two.

    Wallis proved too swift in downing Vine and Mackay in heat three, while Ware looked done for the night when he rode out a wild flip through turn two.

    Chaffey kick started his season when he withstood Whittaker’s best efforts to win the final heat, with Michael Harders third home.

    From pole position in the 25-lap feature, Whittaker was expected to set the pace and that was how things panned out until Farmer found his way into second spot and zeroed in on the lead, catching Whittaker unawares with eight laps remaining. Ware survived a couple of close calls in his charge to third while Mackay followed his podium result in Sydney last weekend with a fine fourth in tougher company. Vine was next in line ahead of Chaffey, Brad Young and Mitchell Rooke, with Harders and Dallas Sharp the only others to go the distance.

    Compact Speedcar heat wins went the way of Matt ONeill, Tim Farrell, Wayne Corbett and Dave Collins, but it was Trent Usher who proved unstoppable in the feature race, surging from position 12 to the lead in just six laps. Farrell snared second spot, while ONeill put in a remarkable drive to finish third after an opening lap skirmish left him upended in the main straight. Restarting from the rear, ONeill surged through the field and looked as though he might reel in the leaders before the race was cut short following a heavy wreck from Riki Harrison. Corbett filled fourth, followed by Richard Treanor, Jim Kennedy and Chris Serle-Thrussell.

    In the Formula 500 Junior ranks, Bodie Smith proved the pick of the crop with two heat wins, with success in the remaining races shared between Tarhlea Apelt and Nicholas Whell.

    Racing continues next Saturday night (October 14) at Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway with round three of the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Track Championship, along with Formula 500’s, AMCA Nationals, Wingless Sprints, Modlites, Lightning Sprints and Ford versus Holden versus Sigma sedans.
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