Defending champion Andrew Scheurele took maximum advantage of the rescheduling of round two of the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Track Championship with an emphatic win at Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway on Saturday night (December 1). Having qualified on the outside front row of the feature race grid, Scheuerle led every circulation of the 25-lap showdown to clinch his first feature race win for the year. In a much-improved performance, Kevin Titman finished in second spot ahead of Peter Lack, with Kristy Bonsey and Brock Dean rounding out the first five.
The Dirt Modified feature race saw Sam Bruggy take out the feature race ahead of Klinton Hancey and Graeme Holland, while Ryan Skennar repeated his result from the previous round of the NuPave Formula 500 Series with another feature win ahead of Australian champ Liam Williams.
A 21-car field hit the track for Sprintcar qualifying and it was Brent Kratzmann who topped the timesheets at 11.809 to secure KRE Fast Time. Titman timed next quickest with a best effort of 11.942, with Scheuerle (11.967), Mitchell Gee (11.974) and Lack (12.049) rounding out the top five ahead of Jessie Attard and David Whell.
The opening heat saw Dean down Lack and Dan Murray, with Bonsey outpacing Allan Woods and Clem Hoffmans to win heat two.
Heat three saw teenager Randy Morgan collect his first heat win of the season, leading home Murray and Anthony Lambert.
By powering her way to another win in the final heat, Bonsey secured her first appearance in the Dash. Whell finished second in this instance, while Scheuerle made plenty of ground from the back of the pack to climb into third.
Morgan made easy work of the B Main, leading Kris Jennings, Jason King and Andrew Baumber in transferring to the feature race. Tony Michell looked to have a feature race spot secured, only to throw it away with a moment in turn two on the final lap that allowed Baumber to slip ahead.
The Spanloc Dash saw Whell emerge as the feature race polesitter, assuming the lead in the wake of a Kratzmann spin and then holding firm to keep Scheurele at bay. Gee advanced three spots to finish third ahead of Lack, Titman, Dean, Kratzmann and Bonsey.
Scheuerle got the best of the feature race start from the outside front row, while Whell threw away his chances with a spin in turn four on the opening lap and, although he was able to continue without forcing a restart, several drivers were baulked as they took evasive action, with Lack losing several spots. Gee, however, took full advantage to take over second spot, only to spin himself out of contention in turn one on lap three. With Gee restarting from the rear, Brock Dean inherited second spot but the race was halted again a lap later due to a spin by Jason King. Once underway, Dean was looking very strong, clocking the fastest lap of the race as he closed in on Scheuerle. Unfortunately, Dean was unable to sustain that pace and by lap 15 he had been shuffled back to fourth by Titman and Lack. On lap 21, Bonsey also moved ahead of Dean in pursuit of her first ever Sprintcar feature race podium. As the laps wound down, Scheuerle expanded his advantage to finish almost seven seconds clear of Titman and Lack, with Bonsey holding onto fourth to cap a great night. Dean finished fifth ahead of Attard, with Anthony Lambert, Kratzmann, Gee and Mick Sauer rounding out the top ten.
Australian champion Kevin Britten cleared away to win the opening Dirt Modified heat from Ray Klarich and Zac McDonald, with Kevin Stow inheriting victory in heat two when David Clark whacked the wall and flattened a tyre, leaving Stow to take the win over Andrew Firth and Terry Leerentveld.
Heat three went to Hancey ahead of Britten and McDonald, while the final heat proved fortuitous for Bruggy despite being beaten. Having led the early laps, Bruggy would eventually finish second behind Geoff Phillips, a result that would ultimately give him a front row start in the feature when the first five rows of the grid were inverted.
Whilst an inverted field generally makes for more exciting racing, the dangers of such a format came to bear when Stow spun in turn one and was collected by Britten, who was starting from position 10 as the top qualifier. With Britten unable to continue, nobody else seemed willing to step up to the mantle and run the highline in pursuit of the leaders, leaving Bruggy with a largely unchallenged run out front. After advancing to second spot on lap 10, Hancey closed in on Bruggy and was close enough to pounce should Bruggy falter, but there were no mistakes forthcoming as Bruggy led Hancey and polesitter Holland to the chequer. Firth finished fourth in advance of Leerentveld and Ray Klarich, with Wayne Randall enjoying a solid Dirt Modified debut in seventh. Phillips, Dale Corbett and Lee Gorton completed the top ten ahead of Trevor Wiley, Peter Readett and Marcus McKenzie.
In round seven of the NuPave Formula 500 Series, Skennar blitzed the field to lead home Williams for the second time in as many rounds. A returning James Kennedy would start the 15-lap feature from pole position, only for a spin in turn four on the opening lap to render him a spectator as Skennar took control from the restart. Whilst the first two positions were decided early, there was plenty of action back in the pack as Bampfield rounded up Cameron Bertuch on lap 11 to grab third, with young Tarhlea Apelt also besting Bertuch to finish fourth. Kristin Brown looked to have fifth place in her keeping, only to falter on the final lap and limp home in seventh behind Jacob Gray and Adrian Farrell, while Tony Bailey and Tristan Johnson were the only others to go the distance.
Heat wins were shared between Skennar, Kennedy and Apelt, whose best time of the night was second only to Skennar in a performance that has put her rivals on notice.
Following heat wins to Kurt Wilson, Darren Baldwin and David Van Vegchel, it was the latter who raced away for an easy win in the Lightning Sprint feature race, finishing more than three seconds clear of second-placed Scott Jukes, with Keith Blatch third. Jim Kennedy, Ben Wright and Andrew Sparks were next best, followed by Michael Gollagher, Jason Rae, Tyler Stralow and Alan Brosnan.
The Microsprint feature race went to Eddie Schwehla over John Lawson, Shane Munro, Julian Olley and Connor McCullough, while Darren Kane strolled to victory against a six-car field in the Late Model feature race, leading home Carter Armstrong and Aaron Van Zeeland.
A Ford Falcon trifecta in the Open Sedan B feature saw Neil Crawford home first ahead of Greg Town and Steve Bradford, with the Open Sedan A feature falling to Wayne Kirkman over Michael Taylor and Les Eisenmenger.
Racing continues at Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway next Saturday night (December 8) with round six of the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Track Championship plus Polar Ice Midgets, AMCA Nationals, Modlites and Ford vs Holden vs Sigma sedans.