The opening two rounds of the 2018/2019 East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Track Championship at Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway have produced some outstanding competition, with two drivers emerging as the standouts in these early weeks of the season. Gold Coast university student Lachlan McHugh and Tooowomba-based former national Modified Sedan champion Peter Lack have battled at the front of both rounds to snare a feature race win apiece, leaving their rivals with the challenge of lifting their game if they intend to contend. This Saturday night (November 10), 25 drivers will take on Lack and McHugh in round three of the season-long series, including Queensland champion Mitchell Gee and the previous two track championship winners in Andrew Scheuerle and Luke Oldfield.
Supporting the Sprintcar action in an all open-wheel program will be a strong field of Wingless Sprints contesting round three of their Ian Boettcher Race Parts Super Series, plus round three of the Everyday Finance Solutions Lightning Sprint Club Championship and round five of the NuPave Formula 500 Championship Series, with Junior Formula 500s also on the card.
In the opening round of the ECL Championship, McHugh chased down Lack to take the win and, while the second round looked as though it might follow a similar trajectory with McHugh again chasing Lack through the opening laps, the latter was not to be denied on this occasion and withstood a late charge from Allan Woods to snare the win as McHugh faded to fourth. The only other drivers to feature on the podium thus far are Brent Kratzmann and defending track titleholder Scheuerle, all of whom are in the field this weekend. That leaves a lot of drivers with not much to show for their early season efforts, with Gee perhaps the most frustrated of all. Gee has been exceptional in qualifying, clocking KRE Fast Time at both rounds before striking trouble during the heats and being unable to capitalise on his early advantage. However, last weekend saw Gee finish third in the feature in Toowoomba and he will now be looking to excise his opening round demons and get his chase for Queenslands premier Sprintcar series back on track with a similar (or better) result this Saturday.
A subdued performance from Oldfield in his season debut during round two was not only out of character, but also unlikely to be repeated anytime soon. Given the hard-charging style for which he is renowned and which has carried him to a multitude of feature race wins at Archerfield, look for Oldfield to light up the track in round three. North Queenslander Brent Aprile was electric in the opening round with a big charge from deep in the field to finish fourth and he returns in another bid to upstage the locals, while the likes of Kevin Titman, Brock Dean and Darren Jensen cannot be underestimated given their collective experience. Hitting the track for the first time this season will be one the boom rookies from last season in Randy Morgan, while Sean Rose also joins the field in a step up from the Modlite ranks.
Wingless Sprints have secured nominations from more than 20 drivers for their first Archerfield outing of the season after their scheduled opener was washed out last month. Whilst there is a very strong contingent of local drivers in the field, including the likes of Brant Chandler, Josh Dreaver, Cody OConnell, Dan Moes and Scott Thomsen, there is also a potent posse of New South Wales competitors trekking north to spoil the party. Of those, Jacob Jolley arrives in winning form after a feature race victory in Lismore last weekend, while David Eggins, Mason Cattell, Matthew Wright, Robert Mazzer and Michael Butcher will also be resolute in their pursuit of a place on the podium.
After a slow start to the season, Formula 500 numbers are on the rise and 14 cars will face the starter for the latest round of their championship series. The last round saw series organisers contemplating an inverted grid for the feature, a format that would take the quality of their racing to another level given that Liam Williams has been completely dominant thus far in winning every round. Whilst Ryan Skennar and Kristin Brown have been dogged in their determination to upstage Williams, the current Australian champ has proven too swift from the front of the field on each occasion. The addition of Nathan Pronger and Tristan Johnson to the field brings a couple of proven race winners into the mix, with Ethan Eyears, Tomas Partington and Tarhlea Apelt certainly poised to pounce should the favourites flounder.
Lightning Sprints will cut loose on the Archerfield clay for the first time this season as category top guns Kurt Wilson, Keith Blatch and Sean Iacono lead a 12-car field into combat. Although yet to win a round, Blatch currently leads the series pointscore ahead of David Van Vegchel and Andrew Sparks, both of whom are also in the field. Round victors have been Jason Rae (Kingaroy) and Iacono (Toowoomba), setting the scene for a hotly contested night of action as both Blatch and former national champion Wilson look to add their name to the winners list.
Gates open at 4.00pm, early racing gets underway from 5.00pm and Sprintcars hit the track for time trial qualifying from 5.30pm. The main program featuring Sprintcars, Wingless Sprints, Lightning Sprints, Formula 500s and Formula 500 Juniors, kicks off at 6.00pm.
East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Track Championship round three nominations: Allan Woods, Andrew Baumber, Andrew Corbet, Andrew Scheuerle, Brent Aprile, Brent Kratzmann, Brock Dean, Bryan Zelinski, Clem Hoffmans, Dan Murray, Darren Jensen, Kevin Titman, Kris Jennings, Kristy Bonsey, Lachlan McHugh, Libby Ellis, Luke Oldfield, Mitch Gowland, Mitchell Gee, Nelson Reddacliff, Peter Lack, Randy Morgan, Ryan McNamara, Sean Rose, Steven Johnson, Tony Wynne, Trent Vardy
Nupave Formula 500 Series round five nominations: Adrian Farrell, Brady Argles, Brock Thornton, Bryn Upshall, Ethan Eyears, Kristin Brown, Liam Williams, Mitchell Whittaker, Nathan Pronger, Ryan Skennar, Tarhlea Apelt, Tomas Partington, Tony Bailey, Tristan Johnson
Ian Boettcher Race Parts Wingless Sprints Super Series round three nominations: Andrew Robinson, Ben Hull, Ben Jennings, Brad Keiler, Brant Chandler, Brendan Webber, Cody OConnell, Dan Moes, Dave Ellis, David Eggins, Jacob Jolley, Jamie Usher, Josh Dreaver, Mason Cattell, Matt Wright, Michael Butcher, Mick Reid, Paul Robinson, Robert Mazzer, Scott Thomsen, Tim Harris, Timothy Harris
Formula 500 Junior nominations: Blake Matthews, Dekota Gay, Jy Corbet, Kyle Price, Taylor Morgan, Taylor Prosser
Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway is proudly supported by: Ausdeck Patios and Roofing East Coast Logistics Polar Ice Queensland Speedway Spares
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