With Sprintcars dominating the speedway landscape, it is easy to overlook those competitors whose performances in other categories rank them amongst the very best the sport has to offer, and this Saturday night (March 24) will see two such competitors in action at Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway when Kevin Britten and Liam Williams hit the track. Despite a vastly reduced racing schedule this season, Britten journeyed to Heartland Raceway in Moama two weekends ago and spanked a very strong field to retain his Australian Dirt Modified Championship crown. Like Britten, Formula 500 ace Liam Williams is a three-time and current national champion who has been a class above his rivals with a consistency that is as impressive to witness as it is dispiriting to those trying to find a way to beat him.
On another typically jam-packed Archerfield show, Dirt Modifieds headline the program, with round seven of the Polar Ice Midget Track Championship and round nine of the KRE Formula 500 Championship Series also featuring. With another big field of Compact Speedcars, plus Open Sedans and Ford vs Holden vs Sigma sedans, Brisbane fans will again be treated to a feast of dirt track action featuring 100 competitors.
The benchmark performer in Dirt Modified competition for several seasons, Brittens hard charging style is as spectacular as it is effective and this weekend will see another 19 drivers take on the three-time national champ, all of whom are acutely aware that beating Britten is the biggest hurdle they face in securing a place on the feature race podium. A peruse of the Dirt Modified nominations suggests category stalwart Ray Klarich looms as Britten’s biggest threat this weekend. Nobody is more passionate about Dirt Modified racing than Klarich and, having achieved a stunning win in the Paul Britten Memorial 44 earlier in the season, the veteran racer should be confident of a repeat performance. Although he is making his first Archerfield appearance for the season, former national champ David Clark has won plenty of races here and, having finished third behind Britten at Moama, he is a very serious contender. Sam Bruggy is another with good form on the board, having finished on top at Lismore last weekend, while Modlite standout Terry Leerentveld is also likely to be in the mix at the front of the field.
It is somewhat incongruous that, for Williams, his achievements dont draw the recognition they deserve because he has been all but unbeatable in Formula 500 feature race competition at Archerfield and elsewhere this season, adding the New South Wales Championship to his already considerable list of achievements. As such, it is going to require something special from one, or more, of his rivals if we are going to see an upset unfold on Saturday night. There is no doubt that Archerfield has the strongest Formula 500 fields in the country, a fact that only serves to highlight just how good Williams has been this season. Kristin Brown, Ryan McNamara, Charlie Brown and James Kennedy can match it with the best anywhere and they will again pose the biggest threat to Williams, although Nick Hodges, Mitchell Whittaker, Tristan Johnson and Tomas Partington will also be in the thick of the action, with Victoria’s Jarrod Bamfield a potential spoiler.
Given that several events have been lost to rain this season, plus the fact that the event doubles as the Danny Davidson Memorial, an event held to honour one of Queenslands best and most popular Midget competitors, the field for round seven of the Polar Ice Track Championship is perhaps below what might have been expected with 14 drivers nominated. With such a long break in competition at Archerfield due to inclement weather, the one driver who has every reason to be confident heading into Saturday nights competition is Reid Mackay who, just last weekend, clinched his maiden feature race win when he outgunned an international field to win the time-honoured Australian Midget Grand Prix at Gunnedah Speedway. Mackays toughest competition this Saturday is expected to come courtesy of current track championship leader Scott Farmer, defending series champion Rusty Whittaker and the likes of Darren Vine, Brock Dean, Troy Ware and Sprintcar regular Callum Walker, who made a stunning Midget debut here earlier in the season.
The Compact Speedcar brigade have excelled again in gathering a stout 22-car field for their events in a continuation of what has been a stellar season thus far. The list of potential feature winners is extensive and includes national champ Darren Vine, who is in for a busy night doing double duty. Robbie Stewart, Wayne Corbett, Steve Swingler and Mark Maczek bring a wealth of experience and success into the battle, while Trent Usher, Tim Farrell, Riki Harrison, Glenn Wright and Richard Treanor have joined the likes of Emma Harris, Dave Collins, Nick Gannon and Matt ONeill as potential race winners each week, elevating the quality of the racing to new heights.
AMCA Nationals have also secured more than 20 nominations for the latest round of their Shock Absorber Therapy Track Championship that has already produced plenty of intense competition so far this season between the likes of Steve Potts, Nathan Durston, Matt Hardy, Steve Price and Michael Mason. With a few interstate visitors in the mix this weekend, another close night of AMCA action seems assured.
Gates open at 4.00pm and there is plenty for tin top fans as well, with Open Sedans and Ford vs Holden vs Sigma on the program. Early racing gets underway from 5.00pm, with Midget time trials scheduled for 5.30pm and the main program to kick off at 6.00pm.
Dirt Modified nominations: Andrew Firth, Anthony Ashen, Ashley Hall, Chris Corbett, Dale Corbett, David Clark, Geoff Rose, Josh Rose, Kevin Britten, Kevin Stow, Mark Connolly, Mark Griffith, Nick Knott, Ray Klarich, Russell Knight, Russell Ward, Sam Bruggy, Terry Leerentveld, Trevor Wiley, Zac McDonald
Polar Ice Midget Track Championship round seven nominations: Brad Dawson, Brad Young, Brock Dean, Cal Whatmore, Callum Walker, Darren Vine, Mark George, Mitchell Rooke, Nathan Mathers, Reid Mackay, Rusty Whittaker, Scott Farmer, Tim Farrell, Troy Ware
KRE Formula 500 Championship Series round nine nominations: Adrian Farrell, Brady Argles, Bryn Upshall, Cameron Bertuch, Charlie Brown, Ethan Eyears, James Kennedy, Jarrod Bamfield, Kristin Brown, Liam Williams, Mitchell Whittaker, Nick Hodges, Richard Morgan, Royce Harvey, Ryan Mcnamara, Tomas Partington, Tony Bailey, Tristan Johnson, Wayne Wallace
Compact Speedcar nominations: Cory Stothard, Darren Vine, Dave Collins, Emma Harris, Glenn Prowse, Glenn Wright, Graeme Flynn, James Barton, Jayden Mathers, Jayden OToole, Mark Maczek, Matt Jurczak, Matt ONeill, Nick Gannon, Richard Rooke, Richard Treanor, Riki Harrison, Robbie Stewart, Steve Swingler, Tim Farrell, Trent Usher, Wayne Corbett
AMCA Nationals nominations: Anthony Joyce, Cody Simmons, Dallas Czerwinski, Damien Groer, Darren Miller, Declan Brownsey, Hans Van Der Rykon, Mark Chiplin, Matt Hardy, Matthew Herne, Michael Denning, Michael Mason, Nathan Durston, Ricky Sendall, Russ Hardy, Scott Hitchcock, Steve Potts, Steve Price, Terry Ward, Thomas Vickery, Tim Gamble
Open Sedan nominations: Ben Finch, Ben Robertson, Ben Taylor, Haiden Grantz, Merv Price, Michael Cheeseman, Rachel Hawkins, Scott Taylor, Tristan Price, Alan Pearson, Daniel Taylor, Keith Craft, Michael Taylor, Wayne Kirkman
Ford vs Holden vs Sigma nominations: David Tookey, Matthew Hannigan, Michael Laver, Peter Bayliss, Robert Kynaston, Ronnie Young, Troy Price, Wade Turner
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