Huge Field for Wingless Title Fight

In what is to be the last ever national title event to be staged at Archerfield Speedway, this weekend will see more than 70 competitors from across the country hit the track for the 2022/2023 Australian Wingless Sprint Championship. Yep, 70+ drivers from five states will fight furiously over two huge nights of racing on Saturday and Sunday (April 29/30) for the honour of carrying the Australia #1 mantle for the next 12 months. With COVID and inclement weather having forced the cancellation of this event for the last two seasons, this will be the 12th staging of the championship and the first since Kyle Mock captured the crown in Western Australia at Kalgoorlie Speedway during the 2019/2020 season. Although he has been dabbling in Sprintcar competition of late, Mock heads the entry list this weekend in a quest to join the likes of Todd Wigzell, Daniel Hartigan and Joel Chadwick as a two-time champion.

Saturday night action will also feature round seven of the Shock Absorber Therapy AMCA Nationals Track Championship and Compact Speedcars, while Sunday evening will also include round eight of the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Track Championship, along with Formula 500s and Lightning Sprints.

Of the 73 competitor entries for the Australian Wingless Sprint Championship, 47 are making the trek from interstate, with the largest contingent of 23 coming from New South Wales, including Dubbo veteran Mark Blyton who, having finished runner-up in this event during the 2017/2018 season, has continued to enjoy considerable success in the category, including feature race wins at Archerfield. Others from NSW expected to contend include the likes of Jason Bates, Andrew Sayre, Jacob Jolley, Jason Davis, Blake Darcy, David Eggins and Bailey Goodwin, the latter having scored a feature race win against a strong field at Archerfield over the Easter weekend that should certainly see him somewhat confident of a strong result on the biggest stage.

Heading a 13-strong Victorian contingent is former titleholder Alex Ross, who claimed the crown during the 2018/2019 season at Warrnambool and is the only other previous winner in the field. Having finished second behind Ross and then third behind Mock the following year, Luke Weel is certainly not lacking for motivation and, should he prevail in the championship final on Sunday night, he will become the only driver to have filled every step on the podium in this particular event. Other Victorians expected to shine over the weekend include Travis Millar, Todd Hobson, Chris Temby, Blake Walsh and Chris Ansell.

Having provided more winners of this event than any other state, South Australia has certainly established itself as a breeding ground for Wingless Sprint talent and this weekend should again see them at the forefront of the title fight with a representation that includes the likes of Mitchell Broome, Harley Alexander, Jack McCarthy, Kirby Hillyer and Tyson Martin.

Meanwhile, Tasmania might be sending the smallest contingent of title hopefuls, but they certainly have every reason to be confident of a strong result with Brad Whitchurch heading their squad. Just one of five drivers in the field to have landed on the championship podium, Whitchurch finished runner-up at Toowoomba during the 2015/2016 season, the last time the event was held in Queensland, and he has remained a dominant figure in his home state.

With no Queensland-based driver ever having finished on the podium in an Australian Wingless Sprint Championship final, this weekend serves as the best ever opportunity to eliminate this anomaly from the annals of history. Leading the local charge as the form drivers of the season thus far will be Maryborough-based siblings Brody and Scott Thomsen. So far this season, the Thomsen boys have dominated results at Archerfield and elsewhere in Queensland, with Scott recently clinching a state title win on his home track before also taking out the Brisk Spark Plugs Easter Trail over three rounds. Brody finished third in the Easter pointscore and the brothers were the only two Queensland drivers amongst the top seven overall. In fact, Jolley, Millar and Ansell all finished inside the top five, while the series also saw a couple of NSW-based runners in Jaidyn Boulding and Michael Butcher serve up some strong pre-championship form. Having spent their season thus far competing in Sprintcars and Midgets respectively, the return of Cody and Casey O’Connell to the Wingless Sprint ranks for the weekend is certainly a boost for local hopes while, of the rest, it is Robert Mazzer, Lachlan Robertson, Liam Atkinson, Andrew Robinson, Nicholas Whell, Matt Gamble, Ben Manson and Tim Harris (x2) who seem the most likely contenders.

Saturday night will include three rounds of qualifying heats and a 20-lap preliminary feature race, with Sunday to feature a final round of heats before a series a C Mains and B Mains determine the final starting order for the 40-lap championship finale.

On what will be a massive night of action, Sunday evening will also feature round eight of the East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Track Championship, which is shaping as an epic three-way showdown between series leader Luke Oldfield, previous round winner Taylor Prosser and newly-crowned Queensland champion Ryan Newton. These three, along with Gympie gun Jy Corbet, have been the standout performers in Queensland this season and, while Oldfield possesses a substantial advantage in the track championship standings, Newton has collected feature race wins at Archerfield and in Sydney prior to his state title victory in Toowoomba last weekend and will be desperate to continue his run of success, particularly given his unceremonious exit from the previous ECL round when contact between he and Corbet put both drivers out of contention and ensured that Oldfield was able to extend his remarkable run of podium results with a runner-up finish behind Prosser.

It is only a lack of consistency that has prevented Randy Morgan from featuring with greater regularity at the front of the field, but he is certainly a massive chance of making a podium appearance, or even better, whenever he brings his best form. Aaron Kelly, Brent Kratzmann, Adam Butler and Kevin Titman are always in the mix while, fresh from winning the Australian Compact Speedcar Championship last weekend, Harry Stewart continues what has been a notable rookie Sprintcar season. Formula 500 convert Kaydon Iverson has also impressed in recent outings and, with Dirt Modified maestro Kevin Britten and a couple of interlopers from interstate in the form of Tasmania’s Brody Appleby and Territorian Ben Atkinson also amongst the entries, the scene is set for another epic Sprintcar showdown.

There are no certainties in motorsport, but betting the Shock Absorber Therapy AMCA Nationals Track Championship will deliver close racing might be as close as you can get to a sure thing. The competition this year between Steve Potts, Lee McKinnell, Bruce Marshall and Steve Price has been both fast and furious and this week, in addition to taking on championship regulars such as Brett Robotham, Nash Granger, Maverick Dack, Graeme Holland and Michael Denning, the quartet will face off against four of the best from New South Wales in Tony Blanch, Lewis Gamble, Paul Reeves and Tim Gamble. While McKinnell has been the pick of the bunch in recent Archerfield outings, Potts has accumulated a string of good results in various events in Queensland and interstate over the last few weeks, the most recent of which was a feature race win in Toowoomba last weekend. Blanch finished second on that occasion ahead of Marshall, with Price finishing fifth as a late addition to the field.

Compact Speedcars will complete the Saturday night program, with Formula 500s and Lightning Sprints also featuring on Sunday. Gates open both days for online ticketholders at 3.00pm, with general admission from 4.00pm. Early racing will commence from 5.00pm on both nights, with the main program to get underway at 6.00pm.

Australian Wingless Sprint Championship nominations: Adam Hotchkis, Alex Ross, Allan Woods, Andrew Robinson, Andrew Sayre, Andrew Seery, Anthony Joyce, Bailey Goodwin, Ben Manson, Blake Darcy, Blake Walsh, Brad Whitchurch, Brett Hehir, Brittany Schmidt, Brock Argus, Brody Thomson, Casey O’Connell, Chad Gardner, Chris Ansell, Chris Catchpole, Chris Temby, Cody O’Connell, Cooper Wilson, Corey O’Toole, Darryl Marshall, David Eggins, David Sansby, Dillon Siely, Errol Campbell, Geoff Cook, Graham Flood, Harley Alexander, Ian Milnes, Ian O’Toole, Jack McCarthy, Jacob Jolley, Jaidyn Boulding, Jason Bates, Jason Davis, Jayden O’Toole, Jenna Kervers, Jeremy Burt, Joel Buettel, John Egan, Kirby Hillyer, Kyle Mock, Lachlan Robertson, Liam Atkinson, Luke Weel, Luke Wilson, Mark Blyton, Mason Cattell, Matt Gamble, Matthew Brown, Matthew Nikiforoff, Michael Butcher, Mitchell Allen, Mitchell Broome, Nicholas Whell, Robert Mazzer, Ryan Furler, Scott Irons, Scott Thomsen, Shane Thompson, Steven Hateley, Stuart Jefferies, Thomas McDonald, Tim Harris, Timothy Harris, Todd Hobson, Travis Millar, Tyson Martin, Tyson Williams

East Coast Logistics Sprintcar Track Championship round eight nominations: Aaron Kelly, Adam Butler, Andrew Corbet, Ben Atkinson, Brad Ayers, Brent Kratzmann, Brody Appleby, Dan Murray, Daniel Helmore, Darren Jensen, Harry Stewart, Jayden Peacock, Jy Corbet, Kaydon Iverson, Kevin Britten, Kevin Titman, Kye Jensen, Libby Ellis, Luke Dougherty, Luke Manttan, Luke Oldfield, Mark Pholi, Nathan Pronger, Peter Campbell, Randy Morgan, Ryan Newton, Taylor Prosser, Thomas Button, Tim Farrell

Shock Absorber Therapy AMCA Nationals Track Championship round seven nominations: Brett Robotham, Brock Stacey, Bruce Marshall, Conor Embrey, Darren Miller, Graeme Holland, Greg Dickinson, Lee McKinnell, Lewis Gamble, Mark Taylor, Maverick Dack, Michael Denning, Nash Granger, Nick Stacey, Paul Reeves, Peter Greer, Robert Turner, Russ Hardy, Steve Potts, Steve Price, Tim Gamble, Tony Blanch, Wayne Stacey.

Compact Speedcar nominations: Andrew Parkes, Arren Healey, Brock Byrne, Dave Collins, Gavin McDowell, Harry Stewart, Jeremy Ennever, Luke Williams, Matt O’Neill, Mitchell Rooke, Richard Treanor, Ron Williams

Formula 500 nominations: Amanda Chaffey, Bailey Leeson, Brady Argles, Brock Thornton, Brodie Davis, Bryce McGregor, Liam Williams, Nathan Reeks, Wayne Jukes

Lightning Sprint nominations: Ally Moore, Andy Kimm, Darren Baldwin, Harley Graham, Jac Carnell, James Elliott, Michael Gollagher, Scott Jukes, Wayne Iacono

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

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