• With practice and pre-season preparations complete, the moment of truth has arrived for competitors with the 2019/2020 Queensland speedway season getting underway this Saturday night (October 5) at Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway. Teams have been busy during the winter months upgrading and fine-tuning their machinery in preparation for this weekend, which features a massive opening night program of Sprintcars, Midgets, AMCA Nationals, Wingless Sprints and Formula 500s, along with fireworks and two mighty Monster Trucks. In what is shaping as one of the biggest opening night line-ups for several seasons, more than 90 competitors have nominated for competition to launch the new season in style.

    The opening round of the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Track Championship will see defending track titleholder and current national champ Andrew Scheuerle face off against another 25 competitors and there will much interest in seeing if somebody new can step up this season to emerge as a championship contender. Despite the fact that more than 50 drivers took part in the track championship last season, there was only a select few who consistently found themselves featuring on the podium or in the thick of the action at the front of the field. The likes of Luke Oldfield, Lachlan McHugh and Mitchell Gee were amongst those who proved to be Scheuerles biggest rivals and the trio are in the field again this weekend, with the latter making his first competition appearance aboard the AEB Services Q43 Triple X for team owner Simon Hansen. Certainly, the results from a pre-season shootout in Toowoomba last weekend suggest that little has changed with Scheuerle, Oldfield and McHugh once again at the forefront.

    Allan Woods, Brent Kratzmann and Kevin Titman showed glimpses of speed throughout last season and, whilst all three drivers were able to procure podium results, they were collectively unable to cultivate the consistency needed to emerge as a serious threat, although the retirement of Peter Lack has removed one of the obstacles for this trio in establishing themselves as regular race winners. Woods is one of several drivers in the field who journeyed to North Queensland for some pre-season racing a few weeks ago, with Andrew Corbet, Ryan McNamara, Kristy Bonsey and Steve Greer also taking the opportunity to secure some track time in the tropics. Having both snared feature race wins in the north, McNamara and Corbet are no doubt confident of a solid showing this weekend, but achieving a similar result against a much stronger field is an altogether more daunting challenge. Interstaters looking to upstage the locals on opening night include South Australia’s Glen Sutherland and Sydneysider Michael Saller, whose regular appearances in Brisbane over recent seasons have proven the catalyst for his emergence as a genuine threat whenever he hits the track.

    Typically slow starters to each season, Midget drivers have bucked that trend this season and dished up a 19-car entry list for the opening round of the American Tire and Racing Services Midget Series. Along with all the regular contenders, such as Darren Vine, Rusty Whittaker, Mitchell Rooke and Brock Dean, the field includes a swathe of newcomers to the ranks, some of whom debuted towards the end of last season and a few who will be making their first appearance in the category. Following in the footsteps of Vine, Rooke and plenty more besides, three more drivers are making the step up from the Compact Speedcar ranks with Barry Gibbes, Graham Flynn and Matt O’Neill all scheduled to make their Midget debut on Saturday night. With Brad Dawson, Cal Whatmore, Glen Wright, Zac McDonald and youngster Bodie Smith also amongst the starters for the season opener, and several more drivers expected to hit the track in the weeks ahead, this might just be the start of something special from a category that is rich in history and renowned for delivering dynamic dirt track derring-do.

    On the back of a terrific campaign last season, Wingless Sprints are out in force from the get-go, with 23 drivers from Queensland and New South Wales set to lock horns in the opening round of their 2019/2020 Archerfield Speedway Track Championship. Andrew Robinson, Tim Harris, Liam Atkinson and Paul Robinson will lead the locals against an interstate contingent that includes well-credentialed runners such as Jacob Jolley, Michael Butcher, Mason Cattell and Dave Eggins.

    Likewise, AMCA Nationals are backing up from a big season and will be out in force for the opening round of their Shock Absorber Therapy Track Championship. Australian champ Matt Hardy heads the entry list, which includes a bevy of big guns such as Steve Potts, Nathan Durston, Steve Price and Thomas Vickery, while local sedan racer Robert Kynaston is amongst those moving into the control-spec category for the season ahead.

    A small field will contest the opening round of the Done Right Touch Ups Formula 500 Series and, with several regular front runners missing from the action, Liam Williams and Kristin Brown look the most likely to fight for the top spot, with Tarhlea Apelt, Mitchell Whittaker and Tomas Partington looming as their biggest threats.

    Gates open at 4.00pm (3.30pm for online ticketholders) with early racing from 5.00pm and Sprintcar time trial qualifying scheduled for 5.30pm. The main program, which also features several appearances from the car-crunching Monster Trucks and a spectacular fireworks show, gets underway at 6.00pm.

    East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Track Championship round 1 nominations: Aaron Kelly, Adam Butler, Allan Woods, Andrew Baumber, Andrew Corbet, Andrew Scheuerle, Anthony Lambert, Brendon Claridge, Brent Kratzmann, Brett Minett, Bryan Mann, Dan Murray, David Whell, Glen Sutherland, Kevin Titman, Kristy Bonsey, Lachlan McHugh, Luke Dougherty, Luke Oldfield, Mark Pholi, Michael Saller, Mitch Gowland, Mitchell Gee, Ryan McNamara, Steve Greer, Tim Farrell

    American Tire and Racing Services Midget Series round one nominations: Audie Malt, Barry Gibbes, Bodie Smith, Brad Dawson, Brock Dean, Cal Whatmore, Darren Vine, Gavin McDowell, Glen Wright, Graham Flynn, Jason McDowall, Lachlan Paulger, Matt O’Neill, Mitchell Rooke, Rusty Whitaker, Scott Doyle, Tom Clauss, Zac McDonald

    Wingless Sprints Track Championship round one nominations: Andrew Robinson, Ben Hull, Brady Baldwin, Danny Evans, Dave Eggins, Dave Ellis, Dave Jobe, Jacob Jolley, John Slack, Lachie Robertson, Liam Atkinson, Mason Cattell, Michael Butcher, Michael Lampard, Mick Reid, Nathan Jones, Paul Robinson, Robert Mazzer, Shane Costello, Shane Thompson, Shaun Knight, Tim Harris, Tim Harris

    Shock Absorber Therapy AMCA Nationals Track Championship round one nominations: Ben Anderson, Brett Robotham, Chris Wilson, Cody Simmons, Darren Miller, Graeme Holland, Kevin Stow, Matt Hardy, Michael Denning, Nathan Durston, Nathan Tomkins, Peter Bayliss, Robert Kynaston, Russ Hardy, Steve Price, Stuart Jefferies, Thomas Vickery, Troy Price, Wayne Stacey

    Done Right Touch Ups Formula 500 Series round one nominations: Adrian Farrell, Brady Argles, Dekota Gay, Kristin Brown, Liam Williams, Mitchell Whittaker, Royce Harvey, Tarhlea Apelt, Tomas Partington, Tony Bailey

    For more information and event updates, follow Archerfield Speedway on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

    Ausdeck Archerfield Speedway is proudly supported by:

    Ausdeck Group
    East Coast Logistics
    Performance Wholesale
    Queensland Speedway Spares
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