While it’s been a long time coming, Brent Kratzmann managed to achieve a major career breakthrough in last Saturday night’s opening Ultimate Sprintcar Championship Qld round at Toowoomba’s Hi-Tec Oils Speedway, scoring his maiden 410 Sprintcar feature-race victory.
Getting his night off to the perfect start, Kratzmann got a taste of what was to come, winning his opening heat race and placing third in heat race two, before lining up on the second row for the feature race.
Elevating himself to second place in the opening stages of the feature race, Kratzmann held the position for most of the 30-lap distance, before an incident with a lapped car caused race leader Robbie Farr to be relegated to the rear of field with five laps to go. Farr’s misfortune then left Kratzmann in prime position to take control of the feature race and go on to claim the chequered flag for the first time in his career.
“It was a certainly a long time coming, but to have finally achieved this milestone is an amazing feeling,” expressed the Qld # 2 BK Trading Australia supported Maxim driver, who resides in the Brisbane suburb of Ascot in Queensland and who had also collected five minor podium results in 410 Sprintcar competition prior to Saturday night’s win.
“We started out strong in our qualifying heat races and managed to carry that form through to the feature race, where it all came together for us and we were able to put ourselves in a good position to win.
“I have to say a huge thanks to my crew chief Drew Gessner, whose experience and new ideas, despite being relatively young as a crew chief, have been invaluable. This win is certainly great for the confidence heading into the rest of the season.”
With no prior racing experience to his name, Kratzmann’s speedway career began at the age of 26, when he leased a 372ci Sprintcar for the 2001-02 season, after attending a speedway event with a friend and then going on to complete some practice sessions.
Following his debut season, the now 43-year-old self-employed car and truck wholesaler decided to step away from the sport, so that he could concentrate on building his business: BK Trading Australia.
Making a Sprintcar return in 2010, Kratzmann, who admitted that it was like starting in Sprintcars all over again after nearly a decade out of the driver’s seat, spent the season behind the wheel of the Paul Rooks-owned Qld # 64 Cheetah car, later launching a team of his own in which he predominantly races throughout his home state.
The 2013-14 season saw Kratzmann complete a busy schedule, competing in the All Star 360 Sprintcar Series, where he finished inside the top 10 of the final point standings and the highlight was a third-place finish in the opening round at Murray Bridge Speedway (SA), along with his regular 410 commitments in his home state.
Making the change to a Maxim chassis last season and finishing fourth in the Archerfield Speedway 410 Sprintcar Track Championship for the second season in a row, Kratzmann also parted ways with long-time crew chief Tony Cochrane in the latter stages of that season, welcoming into the team a new crew chief in Gessner.
Planning on completing the full Queensland schedule this season, Kratzmann will also contest selected shows at Sydney’s Valvoline Raceway (NSW), as well as travelling south-east to participate in the Grand Annual Classic at Warrnambool’s Premier Speedway (Vic) and the Australian Title at Mount Gambier’s Borderline Speedway (SA).
For his next appearance, Kratzmann will head to Brisbane’s Archerfield Speedway on the Saturday night of October 7, where he will contest the second round of the East Coast Logistics Series.
Kratzmann would like to give special thanks to the following supporters: BK Trading Australia, Vortex Express, AFCO Shock Doctor (Wayne Randall), Dryden Signs (Rick Dryden), KRE Race Engines (Kenny McNamara) and BHR Fabrication (Brad Hilder).