• It took just two race meetings back from illness for Bryan Mann to achieve what so few have been able to this season, racing to a feature race win to take out round 13 of the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Track Championship at Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway on Saturday night (March 23). In what was a superb spectacle, Manns win was perhaps overshadowed by a stunning run from Luke Oldfield that ultimately produced no result but drew boisterous approval from those fans fortunate enough to witness his heroics. In a race that delivered many memorable performances, previous round winner Lachlan McHugh charged from 13th to finish second ahead of Randy Morgan, Andrew Scheuerle and Brent Kratzmann.

    In other feature races, Terry Leerentveld proved too strong in the Modlite main, Sean Iacono won on debut in Compact Speedcars, Michael Taylor took out the Open Sedans and Robert Kynaston prevailed in Holden vs Ford vs Sigma racing.

    Despite being one of the last cars to hit the track for his run in qualifying, Oldfield again emerged with KRE Fast Time, stopping the clock at 11.722. In fact, Oldfield was the only driver to run under 12 seconds on each of his timed laps, both of which were quicker than the best effort from Mann, whose 11.888 circulation placed him second on the timesheets. Scheuerle (11.976) was next best ahead of Kevin Titman (12.003), while Aaron Kelly made an immediate impression with a 12.051 effort in his first ever Sprintcar meeting. McHugh, Peter Lack, Paul Rooks, Andrew Corbet and Brent Kratzmann rounded out the top ten, with Mitch Gowland producing his best effort of the season to be next in line.

    Anthony Lambert got the heat racing underway with an all-the-way win in the opener, leading Rooks and Nelson Reddacliff to the line.

    Morgan also led throughout to win heat two, with McHugh snatching second in the shadows of the chequer when Corbet whacked the wall in the main straight to limp home third.

    David Whell downed Allan Woods and Scheuerle in heat three before Kristy Bonsey withstood Oldfields advances to win heat four. Sitting fourth heading into the final lap, Oldfield roared past Corbet and Woods to cement his position atop the leader board.

    The fifth heat saw Gowland prevail in the closest finish of the night when he fended off Lacks late charge, with Scheuerle home third.

    Ben Hilder looked to have the final heat safely in his keeping, only to spin himself to a halt in turn four on the penultimate lap, a mistake that would ultimately confine him to the B Main. Cody Maroske inherited the lead and the win, finishing ahead of Kratzmann and McHugh.

    In contrast to his usual luck in such selections, Oldfield drew pole position in the pre-race grid draw for the Spanloc Dash, with McHugh starting alongside. Corbet and Mann occupied row two ahead of Scheuerle and Lack, leaving Rooks and Titman to launch from the back row. The front row pair were untroubled through the 6-lap sprint, with Oldfield leading McHugh to the line. Corbet finished more than five seconds adrift in third spot and was followed to the flag by Lack, Mann, Scheuerle, Titman and Rooks. However, when Oldfield opted to accept the BK Trading Challenge and invert the field for the feature, he and McHugh would find themselves starting from row seven, with an extra five laps added to the feature race distance to assist in their bid to secure a $2000 bonus.

    Bonsey bested Whell to grab the early advantage in the B Main and held firm at the front through a series of restarts before seeing off Hilders best efforts to secure the win. Whell finished third and it was Britten who would secure the final transfer into the feature. The early laps saw Kelly running inside the top four until a spin in turn three ended his feature race aspirations.

    As a result of the inversion, Woods wound up on pole position for the main event with Morgan on the outside. Lambert and Maroske shared row two, followed by Gowland, Kratzmann, Rooks, Titman, Mann, Scheuerle, Corbet, Lack, McHugh, Oldfield and the quartet from the B Main. Despite his lack of experience in such a position, young Morgan launched from the outside to lead the field away. At the end of the opening lap, Oldfield had already surged to ninth and it seemed that something special was brewing. However, lap three saw Oldfield launch into evasive action in the main straight that sent him sliding to a halt and brought the race under yellow. With Oldfield restarting at the rear, Morgan continued to lead from Woods, Maroske, Lambert and Mann, who had already rounded up Titman, Rooks, Kratzmann and Gowland. With 10 laps completed, Morgan continued to lead Woods and Mann, who was now third ahead of Maroske, with Scheuerle having moved ahead of Lambert for fifth. Woods and Lambert would soon find themselves dropping spots to Maroske, Scheuerle and McHugh as they closed in on Morgan and Mann. On lap 16, Maroske surprised both Mann and Morgan when he charged underneath through turn two to grab the lead and he remained in front when the race was halted on lap 24 as a result of Rooks and Corbet coming together in turn two. Remarkably, at this stage Oldfield had climbed back from 18th to eighth with Woods and Lambert in his sights. Maroske remained in front until lap 29 when Mann swept to the lead as Oldfield, despite a misaligned front wing, roared into the top five. With four laps to run, Maroske climbed over Mann through turn four and spun, elevating McHugh into second spot ahead of Morgan and Oldfield, who wasted no time in advancing to third. Having chased down McHugh, Oldfield grabbed second spot momentarily, only to spin in turn one with just two laps to run, retreating to the infield to rue what might have been. Mann completed the final laps to lead home McHugh, Morgan and Scheuerle, with a late surge from Kratzmann carrying him into fifth. Lambert secured sixth ahead of Hilder, and Woods, with Lack and Titman completing the top ten. Britten also made forward progress to annex 11th, while Corbet, Maroske, Bonsey, Gowland and Whell rounded out the field as only Oldfield and Rooks failed to go the distance.

    A big field of Modlites fronted for action and following heat wins to Will Butler, Klinton Hancey, Nathan Politch and Terry Leerentveld, it was the latter who proved too strong (yet again) in the feature race, leading home Politch and Dan Lewis. Having both started deep in the pack, Klinton Hancey and Sam Gollschewsky stormed through the field to finish fourth and fifth respectively, with Butler, Jac Carnall and Joel Smith next in line.

    Not for the first time this season, Matt ONeill was the standout in the Compact Speedcar heats, picking up two heats only to find himself out of luck in the feature race once again. In his first outing without a wing, Lightning Sprint standout Sean Iacono upstaged the category regulars to win the feature in advance of Trent Usher, who also picked up a heat win. Steve Swingler, Rob Stewart and Dave Collins completed the first five.

    In the RSA Open Sedans, Michael Taylor downed Daniel Taylor and Hans Van Der Ryken, while Robert Kynaston was unstoppable in the Ford versus Holden versus Sigma events, winning all three heats before downing Troy Price and Michael Laver in the feature.

    Jy Corbet was another to enjoy an unbeaten night, winning all four heats in the Formula 500 Juniors.

    The next meeting at Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway is on Saturday, April 6 featuring round 14 of the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Track Championship and round 10 of the Polar Ice Midget Track Championship, plus AMCA Nationals, Formula 500s, Modlites, Lightning Sprints, Fireworks and a Demolition Derby.
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