• If you intend to be anywhere other than Archerfield Speedway this weekend, you might want to get your head checked because there is no other event on the Brisbane social or sporting calendar that can come close to the action and excitement that two nights of Sprintcar racing will deliver. This Friday and Saturday night (January 8 and 9), 40 drivers will engage in an epic battle for the Titan Garages Queensland Open and this event, which doubles as round three of the Super Seven Series, will see competitors from four states face off in pursuit of the ultimate achievement. Just securing a place in the Queensland Open feature race will be tough enough, but success in the 40-lap event will ultimately go to the team who can best combine the key ingredients of desire, preparation, determination and execution with a pinch of good luck.

    Sure, this is the biggest weekend of Sprintcar racing for the season, but there is so much more on offer. In addition to the running of the Queensland Sprintcar Open, the weekend will also feature round six of the TFH Midget Series and the final round of the Formula 500 Speedweek Series, plus round four of the Shock Absorber Therapy AMCA Nationals Track Championship and round seven of the Queensland Wingless Sprint Club Championship, along with Modlites, Lightning Sprints and Formula 500 Juniors, a veritable feast of dirt track action.

    In the two completed rounds of the Sprintcar Super Seven Series, two young guns from opposite ends of the country have been duking it out, with Gold Coast-based Lachlan McHugh and Tasmania’s Jock Goodyer expected to continue their battle this weekend. McHugh, of course, has been the dominant force in Queensland since the season began, accumulating eight feature race wins at three different tracks but, after a later start to the season, Goodyer has been improving with each outing and has emerged as the interstater most likely to take the Queensland Open trophy out of the sunshine state. After finishing second to McHugh in round two of the Super Sevens at Archerfield (round one was washed out just six laps into the feature race), Goodyer was leading round three in Maryborough on Tuesday night until a late-race spin and subsequent flat tyre ended his race, handing McHugh another win to extend his points advantage.

    Luke Oldfield has been the most exciting element of every Sprintcar event conducted so far this season, yet the popular pilot of the #17 is yet to find his way into victory lane, which is almost impossible to believe given his level of success in recent seasons. He has been super fast and as spectacular as ever with his rim-riding, highline heroics, but luck has deserted him at every turn. Sure, he has finished on the podium on no less than six occasions, but various setbacks and mishaps have thus far denied him the honour of rolling into victory lane. Forget that fact that there is more money on the line this weekend and that the field will be the biggest for the season, Oldfield will be determined to win simply because that is his intention every time he hits the track, no matter what obstacles stand in his way.

    As the only driver to defeat McHugh at Archerfield this season, Callum Walker is another young gun with his eye on the big prize that is a Queensland Open victory. Perhaps the politest, most personable player in the game, Walker is proof that nice guys don’t always finish last and he will be hoping to brew up another batch of the winning formula that powered him to an emphatic win just a week or so ago. Meanwhile, Sydney-based Marcus Dumesny has moved beyond the shadow of his illustrious father to establish himself as a talent in his own right and is the only driver other than McHugh to have finished in the top five in both completed Super Seven Series feature races. In fact, if Dumesny can arrive at Archerfield on Sunday night for round one with no laps on the circuit this season and outpace 30+ others to finish third in the feature race, and then follow up with a runner-up result in Maryborough, such an upward trajectory suggests that the top step of the podium is where he will end up next.

    Of course, the fickle finger of fate can strike at anytime and there are no certainties in motorsport which, combined with the fact that there are numerous drivers in the field who have proven that they can, under the right circumstances, find their way to victory lane, only serves to support the notion that there are numerous potential winners in the field. Given that the field also includes Cody Maroske, Allan Woods, Brent Kratzmann, Mitchell Gee and Kevin Titman, all of whom are feature race winners, plus current Archerfield track champion Aaron Kelly and several others (such as Randy Morgan, Adam Butler and Ryan McNamara) who have placed on the podium in feature race competition, along with a strong contingent if interstate visitors, the weekend will deliver Sprintcar competition of the highest order.

    However, there is much more than Sprintcars on the menu as more than 20 Midget competitors from Queensland and interstate have nominated for round six of the TFH Series to be contested on Friday night. Although he has finished on the podium in every round contested thus far (and is the only driver to do so), Darren Vine is yet to secure his first feature win for the season, so he will be primed to break the drought and remind his younger rivals that he remains a force whose quest for success has not waned. So far this season, Bodie Smith (2), Rusty Whittaker and Brad Dawson have recorded feature race wins, while Cal Whatmore, Nathan Mathers and Lachlan Paulger have all procured podium results in what has been a very competitive start to the championship.

    The final round of the Driven/Mainstreme Automotive Formula 500 Speedweek Series will feature a three-way fight for series honours with Liam Williams, James Kennedy and Kurt Wilson having been the standout performers across the three completed rounds. Kennedy won round one in Toowoomba and then Williams prevailed in round two at Archerfield before Kennedy cleaned up again in round three at Maryborough. As the only driver to finish inside the top four in all three rounds, and with both Kennedy and Williams each failing to finish one round, Wilson finds himself in a very strong position heading into the series finale.

    Also on Friday, Lightning Sprints and Modlites will feature and, interestingly, both categories have appeared three times at Archerfield so far this season and neither has produced a duplicate feature race winner. In Lightning Sprints, Michael Gollagher, Keith Blatch and Tyler Stralow have shared the spoils, while Modlite successes have been spread between Klinton Hancey, Terry Leerentveld and Sam Gollschewsky. Whilst Friday presents an opportunity for another name to be added to the winners list, these guys will most certainly be gunning to become the first driver in either category to score a second success.

    Saturday night’s program will include Wingless Sprints and AMCA Nationals, both of which have been responsible for consistently big fields so far this season, which continues this weekend with both groups having secured in excess of 20 nominations.

    With two feature wins, Steve Potts has been the best of the AMCA brigade thus far, although Bruce Marshall has emerged as a real force this season, having accrued a feature race victory and more heat wins than any other driver. Given that Steve Price, Matt Hardy, Lee McKinnell, Russ Hardy, Thomas Vickery and Nathan Tomkins are all proven front runners who have nominated, this round seems certain to be the most competitive yet.

    As is so often the case, the Wingless Sprint events will pitch the locals into battle against their rivals from south of the border. Led by previous round winner Lachie Robertson, the local line-up will include Paul Robinson, Ryan Harris, Tim Harris and Liam Atkinson, while the interstate contingent of seven will include the experienced Mark Blyton from Dubbo, along with a couple of Lismore-based steerers who have enjoyed success at Archerfield in Dave Eggins and Jamie Usher.

    Formula 500 Juniors complete the program on Saturday with Kacy Lee Black looking to win back-to-back feature races, taking on her regular foe and a few youngsters from interstate.

    Gates open for competitors and online ticket holders at 1.00pm on both days, with general admission ticket sales and entry from 3.00pm. Grandstand and bleacher seating is for reserved ticketholders only and tickets for these areas must be purchased online. Early racing gets underway from 5.00pm and the main program kick off at 6.00pm each night.

    Queensland Sprintcar Open nominations: Aaron Kelly, Adam Butler, Allan Woods, Andrew Baumber, Andrew Corbet, Andrew Wright, Brad Ayers, Brent Kratzmann, Brock Dean, Callum Walker, Cody Maroske, Dan Murray, Darren Jensen, Dave Fanning, David Donegan, Dylan Menz, Jackson Delamont, Jai Stephenson, Jason King, Jayden Peacock, Jock Goodyer, Kevin Britten, Kevin Titman, Kristy Bonsey, Lachlan Caunt, Lachlan McHugh, Libby Ellis, Luke Oldfield, Marcus Dumesny, Mick Rowell, Mick Sauer, Mitch Gowland, Mitchell Gee, Nathan McFarlane, Nicholas Whell, Peter Doukas, Peter Campbell, Randy Morgan, Ryan McNamara, Sean Rose, Taylor Prosser, Tim Farrell

    TFH Midget Series round six nominations: Barry Gibbs, Bernie Clarke, Bodie Smith, Brad Dawson, Braydan Willmington, Brodie Tulloch, Cal Whatmore, Chris Singleton, Cody OConnell, Darren Dillon, Darren Vine, Jordan Mackay, Kody Stothard, Lachlan Paulger, Matt Hefford, Matt O’Neil, Mitchell Rooke, Nathan Mathers, Rusty Whittaker, Sean Dyson, Scott Doyle, Scott Jeynes, Tony Stephens, Zac McDonald

    Driven/Mainstreme Automotive Formula 500 Speedweek Series round four nominations: Brady Argles, Brodie Davis, Bryn Upshall, Cameron Bertuch, Dekota Gay, Errin Lambert, Hayden Pascoe, Jack Bell, James Kennedy, John Magro, Kaydon Iverson, Kurt Wilson, Liam Williams, Libby Ellis, Luke Edwards, Michael Harders, Mitchell Whittaker, Royce Harvey, Ryan Newton, Tim Randall, Tony Bailey, Troy Duncan

    Queensland Lightning Sprint Club Championship round eight nominations: Andy Kimm, Jason Rae, Jayden Mathers, Michael Gollagher, Scott Jukes, Sean Iacono, Tyler Stralow, Wayne Jukes, Wayne Iacono

    Modlite nominations: Abi Meehan, Adam Walker, Anthony Stewart, Brock Lehfeldt, Callum Beerling, Chris Fing, Chris Were, Dan Lewis, Dylan Hunter, Jamie Cornes, Julian Olley, Klinton Hancey, Nic Stein, Phil Gower, Sam Gollschewsky, Sean Egan, Steve Collins, Terry Leerentveld, Tyson Snow, Warren Hooper

    Shock Absorber Therapy AMCA Nationals Track Championship round six nominations: Ben Anderson, Brett Robotham, Bruce Marshall, Damien Groer, Darren Miller, Darryl Kime, Dylan Stacey, Gary Stacey, Graeme Holland, Jay Allen, Lee McKinnell, Mark Taylor, Matt Hardy, Matt Ingrey, Michael Denning, Nathan Tomkins, Raymond Kime, Russ Hardy, Scott Hitchcock, Shane Stacey, Steve Potts, Steve Price, Thomas Vickery, Troy Price

    Queensland Wingless Sprint Club Championship round seven nominations: Andrew Seery, Andrew Smith, Ben Hull, Brett Russo, Chris Catchpole, Corey OToole, Dan Evans, Dave Eggins, Ian Milnes, James Barton, Jamie Usher, Jayden OToole, Lachie Robertson, Lance Dawson, Liam Atkinson, Mark Blyton, Mick Reid, Paul Robinson, Ryan Harris, Scott Mortenson, Shaun Knight, Steve Pilkington, Tim Harris

    Formula 500 Junior nominations: Amanda Chaffey, Blake Matthews, Brody Duncan, Ewan Oliver, Jac Laynerie. Jared Boys, Kacy Lee Black, Kinser Claridge, Noah Ball, Taylor Morgan, Time Devine

    For further information and event updates, please stay tuned to Facebook or the track website at www.brisbanespeedway.com.au



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