From Archerfield Speedway
Under threatening skies, more than 30 Sprintcars gathered at Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway on Saturday night for round six of the Supercheap Auto Track Championship. Whilst all other venues in the region had opted to cancel their scheduled events given the unsettled weather conditions, Archerfield promoter John Kelly persevered and the event was ultimately completed with no interference from the elements. Making his first appearance on home soil since wrapping up his hugely successful American campaign which included winning the Knoxville Track Championship – Ian Madsen was unstoppable in the 30-lap feature event and saw off the challenge of national champ Dave Murcott to score an emphatic win. Despite Murcott’s best efforts, which included the briefest of moments in the lead immediately following a mid-race restart, Madsen could not be tamed and powered home to complete a perfect start to his Australian season.
Perennial front runner Andrew Scheuerle finished in third spot and expanded his lead in the track championship standings as a result, with Bryan Mann snaring fourth ahead of WSS-bound Brent Aprile. Previous round winner Luke Oldfield could do no better than sixth on this occasion, with Jamie Bricknell surging forward to finish seventh after qualifying through the B Main. Mick Sauer and Ben Hilder produced their best result for the season thus far to be next in line, with Kevin Titman recovering from a spin on lap 15 to round out the top ten.
Danny Reidy and Brent Kratzmann were the best of the rest, leaving Mark Pholi, Andrew Leibke, Paul Morris, Brodie Tulloch and Paul Rooks to complete the finishers. Terry Bracken was the only driver who failed to go the distance, riding out a wild flip through turn three with 7 laps remaining.
Continuing the pace that has brought him such good results so far this season, Oldfield stopped the clock at 11.355 to secure KRE Fast Time, edging out Murcott, Mann and an impressive Morris. Bracken time trialled well once again to qualify inside the top five, with Hilder, Scheuerle, Bricknell, Rooks and Madsen the best of the rest.
The opening heat of the night saw Pholi outpace Dave Fanning and Sauer, while heat two went to Reidy over Murcott who advanced from position eighth and Brock Dean.
Titman triumphed in heat three in advance of Kratzmann and Liebke before Madsen stamped his authority on proceedings in taking out heat four in advance of Richard Morgan and Scheuerle.
Heat five produced a repeat win for Reidy, this time over David Whell and Oldfield, with Titman also doubling up in the final heat of the night, downing Dan Murray and Dean.
The East Coast Logistics B Main was always going to prove critical for many teams and with Bracken and Bricknell sharing the front row, it was latter who proved too strong. A barnstorming finish from Liebke saw him elevate himself into second overall after starting 10th. With the likes of Dean and Murray erring while inside the top four, it was ultimately Bracken and Pholi who secured the final transfer spots.
On a slick track that some found much harder to master than others, Madsen reveled in the conditions and drove faultlessly throughout the feature. It was only in lapped traffic that Murcott was able to narrow the margin enough to put Madsen under any pressure. Scheuerle was untroubled in third once he disposed of Mann, who kept young Aprile and the always adventuresome Oldfield at bay. Bricknell earned the Darra Mechanical Hard Charger Award for his surge into seventh after starting 15th.
After surviving a spirited challenge from Emma Harris in the opening few laps, Nick Hudson took out the Compact Speedcar feature. Wayne Corbett finished second overall, with Harris holding on for third ahead of Gary Hudson, Kyle Collins and Dave Swann.
The Formula 500 feature race resulted in an all-the-way win for Nathan Pronger. Dave Muir started with a flurry before ultimately losing touch with the leader in finishing second, with Kydon Iverson, Ryan Skennar and last start winner Kristin Brown completing the top five.
The AMCA Nationals feature race saw a jubilant Jason Molle collect his first ever feature race win, leading home Lee McKinnell, Matt Hardy, Matt Enders and Peter Greer.
Justin Randall took out the Open Sedan feature race, with Mick Wheeler proving too strong for a small field of Ford versus Holden versus Sigma sedans.
Sprintcar Contingency Winners:
KRE Engines Quick Time: Luke Oldfield
Lucas Oils Dash Winner: Ian Madsen
Darra Mechanical Hard Charger: Jamie Bricknell
The next meeting at Ausdeck Patios Archerfield Speedway is on Boxing Night (December 26) featuring World of Outlaws champion Donny Schatz and Californian legend Brent Kaeding, along with monster trucks, fireworks and a big support program comprising Formula 500s, AMCA Nationals, Modlites and Open Sedans.