The two-night extravaganza is the second consecutive WSS round at the Brisbane venue, affording teams some rare continuity for car setup and race preparation. The extra laps will no doubt help travelling teams acclimate after a number of local drivers registered top-10 results in round 6, and American superstar Donny Schatz showed off incredible car speed and racing prowess.
Veteran Queenslander and former WSS contracted driver, Bryan Mann suprised the field, qualifying quickest and claiming the Revolution Racegear Quicktime Award to start the night, while fellow Queenslanders Andrew Scheuerle, Luke Oldfield and Brent Aprile joined him among the A Main’s top 10 finishers later in the evening.
Scheuerle’s 4th place finish represented the most impressive drive of the locals – starting from the third row of the grid, Scheuerle held off a hard-charging James McFadden until late in the race. Scheurle’s success will be no surprise to Brisbane regulars however, as Scheurle is the current KRE Track Champion and holds the distinction of being the first ever Queenslander to win a WSS round.
Luke Oldfield’s 6th place finish was a career best result in WSS competition, and after a number of impressive results this summer, the former Dirt Modified driver is quickly adapting to life in a sprintcar.
Championship leader Luke DIllon knows he will be racing under pressure for the remainder of the series thanks to a retirement after playing his Joker at Mount Gambier, but the South Australian continued to look suberb in Brisbane, finishing an eventual second to Donny Schatz. The Diamond Bay outfit will no doubt be a factor again this weekend as they look to hold of the charges of Steven Lines, Brooke Tatnell and James McFadden.
One of the major questions for the weekend will no doubt centre on who will be brave enough to play their Joker Card. The loss of Warrnambool’s Speedweek finale threw a spanner in the works for a number of teams’ plans to gain double feature race points, and the Open will represent a great opportunity for some specialists at the venue, namely reigning champion, James McFadden.
J-Mac is no stranger to success on the Archerfield clay having defeated Schatz in last year’s 50-lap Australian Open, and capturing his second Australian Championship at the venue a week later. Observers were quick to note the young champion’s form last weekend as he ran the inside and outside grooves, progressing from 10th place in the A Main to snag the final podium placing.
Another odds-on favourite to play their Joker Card is regular Brisbane visitor, David Murcott, who has earned a Joker Card by completing all WSS rounds to date. Murcott finished ninth last weekend after qualifying for the Amadio Wines Top 8 Shootout and has a long, successful history in Brisbane.
While harder to predict their Joker strategies, Steven Lines and Brooke Tatnell will continue to be drivers to watch this weekend. Both competitors have looked scintillating throughout the series – Lines has continued his Summer-long hot streak and consistently looked like the man to beat, while the Krikke Motorsport team must be thrilled with the seamless re-integration of 8-time WSS Champion, Brooke Tatnell.
The inclusion of three American drivers makes for a star-studded affair as Jason Sides (US 7) and Donny Schatz (US 15) will be joined once again by Californian Brad Sweet in the US 99 car. Sweet was impressive during his Speedweek appearances, capturing a win in Mount Gambier driving his Kings Royal winning car owned by the Ruhs brothers.
As always, fans will be able to stay up to date with the racing all weekend long with the WSS Live iPhone app, the wss-live.com mobile website for smartphones, and WSS Race Night Live on desktop. Live timing will be available through all platforms and fans at home can enjoy live audio coverage via Race Night Live.